I've cooked a large pot of soup for myself. I know it'll take me at least 3+ days to drink it, and I don't like to drink it after 4 days because it sometimes smells funny.

I was wondering which would be a more effective way of preserving the soup: continuously simmering it over a few days or refrigerating it?

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    I would think that continually simmering it for 3 days would require you to add more water so it doesn't get too thick - and in the worst case, burn and stick to the pot. Not to mention it will also require more energy to run the stove in addition to your fridge which is already on (and which is is more efficient when it has more stuff inside). Why not put half in the fridge and half in the freezer, so you can save it frozen for weeks/months? Dec 7, 2013 at 5:00
  • So smart. I ended up letting it boil too long and it got stuck to the pot and thicky.
    – Jason
    Dec 8, 2013 at 5:57

1 Answer 1


For bacterial spoilage, keeping the soup hot would be more effective. As for "preserving" the soup, refrigeration will be drastically more effective.

The high temperatures of simmering would keep the bacterial level pretty much nil, but the constant heat will ruin your soup on it's own. Anything in the soup will become mush, flavors will become over-concentrated, and some flavors can drastically change from prolonged exposure to such heat.

Prompt chilling and cold storage after cooking will greatly slow down the rate at which bacteria can repopulate the soup, and will also keep everything else in the soup about the way it was when the soup was at it's prime. To really keep textures nice, I'd recommend pulling off the soup that will be stored while vegetables & meat are still a little firmer than you'd like so that they'll finish when you reheat.

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    After letting it oversimmer for 3 hours, I pretty much had no soup and it tasted strangely strong and almost even bitter. Maybe it was because it was burnt.
    – Jason
    Dec 8, 2013 at 5:58

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