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I read the question (and all of the answers) Can I Brown Beef For Slow Cooking the Night Before. I can see how it might be conceived as a duplicate, but I'm not meaning for my question to be. It talks about large cuts of meat and I want to ask about small chunks of meat. I wanted to ask the question on the other post, but since it's four years old, I wasn't sure if it would get read or answered.

I have a slow cooker recipe that calls for stew meat to be seared before adding to the slow cooker. I know I can skip that step and have less "beefy" stew, but I'd like to have the beef flavor shine. Since I plan to do this in the morning, can I safely sear the chunks of meat ahead of time and immediately refrigerate? Would the same rules that apply to large chunks of meat apply to smaller stew chunks?

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The accepted answer from the linked question is just as accurate in this situation. Assuming you're talking about "stew meat" sized pieces (about 2cm per side or so) by the time smaller pieces brown sufficiently, they should be nearly if not completely cooked through. By similar logic, when you refrigerate them they should cool down more quickly than a larger roast. So there's even less risk here than with larger pieces.

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