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How To Store Seitan To Keep It Fresh & Delicious

Seitan is a nutritious and tasty meat alternative that’s becoming more and more mainstream. One thing contributing to its popularity is how easy it is to make at home.

As with most homemade stuff, it makes a lot of sense to make a big batch that you can dip in and out of whenever you need it. 

I like making my seitan ahead of time because I think it tastes even better after it’s had time to properly rest and absorb the flavors I’ve used to cook it.

So, how do you store seitan? You can store seitan with or without its cooking broth. To store it in the broth, pour it into a suitable sized airtight container, and place it in the fridge. To store dry, double wrap the seitan in cling wrap or foil and store in the fridge.

How to store seitan

Choosing the correct storage method depends on how you prepared and cooked the seitan in the first place. Most people either boil it in a broth or bake it.

No matter how you prepared it, make sure to let the seitan cool (enough that you can handle it) before storing it.

How to store seitan in a broth

If you plan to use seitan in stews or other wet dishes, then you can keep the seitan in its broth. Pour the seitan and its broth into an air-tight container such as a tupperware box and keep it in the refrigerator.

Seitan in its broth in a Tupperware container
Storing seitan in broth will keep it fresh for up to 10 days

This storage method can keep the seitan fresh for up to 10 days. However, I tend to play it safe and use the seitan within a week.

The seitan will continue to absorb the broth’s flavors, meaning it will be extra delicious when you do eat it. 

According to The Vegan Society, re-boiling the seitan in its stock every 3-4 days (twice a week) can help to extend its shelf life. As long as you keep re-boiling the seitan, you could, in theory, extend its storage life indefinitely.

However, if you plan to store the seitan for longer than 7-10 days, an easier option is to freeze the seitan. This will be covered in more detail below.

If you don’t want to store the seitan and the broth together, it’s fine to separate them. Instead of just throwing away the broth, I definitely recommend keeping it. The broth makes a great addition to stews and soups. You can also use it to re-hydrate and cook the seitan later if it gets a little dry.

How to store dry seitan

This storage method is better if you plan to use seitan in stir-fries or similar dry dishes.

Take the dry/baked seitan, wrap it in cling film or aluminum foil, and then place it in the refrigerator.

Seitan double wrapped in cling film and foil
Double wrapping dry seitan in cling film and aluminum foil helps minimize exposure to air

Make sure you wrap it tightly to minimize exposure to air. I sometimes use two layers of material for extra protection.

A double layer of wrapping also prevents the seitan from absorbing any odors from other foods in the refrigerator. The seitan will be good for 4-5 days.

If you’re storing seitan regularly, consider investing in some re-usable wrap. This helps you cut down on waste as they fully biodegrade at the end of their life, usually about a year.

I use the Original Bee’s wrap. The large and medium-size options are good for wrapping a seitan loaf. The wraps are made in Vermont using certified organic cotton and sustainably harvested beeswax. 

How to freeze seitan

If you are looking to store your seitan for more than a week, freezing is an excellent option. Seitan freezes very well, and generally, you won’t notice any change in taste or texture. Some people report that frozen seitan is a little bit chewier, but this isn’t a major issue.

You can freeze seitan in the broth (wet) or dry. No matter how you’ve prepared it, make sure you let the seitan cool before placing it in the freezer. A good rule to keep in mind is this; if it’s cool enough to handle, it’s cool enough to store.

How to freeze seitan in a broth

  1. Put both the broth and seitan in an airtight container
  2. Make sure the container is well sealed. Try to use a small a container as possible to minimize empty space above the seitan 
  3. Label the container. That way, you know how long the seitan’s been in the freezer for

How to freeze dry seitan

  1. Wrap the seitan in cling wrap
  2. Then double wrap it in aluminum foil, another layer of cling wrap, or put the wrapped seitan in a freezer-safe bag. The double-layer helps to prevent freezer burn. You can also put the wrapped seitan in a freezer-proof bag to create a double layer
  3. Label the container. That way, you know how long the seitan’s been in the freezer for

Similar to what happens to meat products such as pork and chicken, freezer burn can affect seitan, changing its texture and taste.

Seitan double wrapped in cling film and a freezer bag
Double wrapping the seitan can also protect against freezer burn

As well as protecting against freezer burn, double wrapping can also keep the seitan from picking up odors in the freezer. Not only do outside odors potentially give the seitan a strange smell, but they can also change the taste over time.

Seitan will last up to 6 months in the freezer. After this, the quality of the seitan will start to deteriorate.

To cut down on waste and make access easier, portion the seitan out ahead of time. That way, you don’t have to defrost everything in one go.

If you’re not sure about the portion sizes you need, consider cutting the seitan into small chunks or slices and flash freezing them before putting them in a Ziploc bag.

Flash freezing is one of the best ways to ensure you have access to the exact portion of seitan you need rather than having to expose a loaf to room temperature every time you want to thaw some. 

Cut seitan pieces on a baking tray ready to be flash frozen
Flash freezing prevents individual pieces from sticking together

To flash freeze, spread the chunks out on a baking tray and freeze them for 2-3 hours. This stops them from sticking together in the Ziploc bag.

Using smaller chunks also cuts down on thawing time as small chunks thaw faster. However, this storage method is more susceptible to freezer burn than if you wrap the seitan.

How to freeze raw seitan

Maybe you want to store the seitan in its raw, doughy form.

You can store raw seitan dough in the freezer. Just follow the same instructions for storing cooked seitan: wrap tightly in cling wrap, then double-wrap in aluminum foil.

Also, feel free to slice the seitan in order to create manageable portions for cooking.

How do you defrost seitan?

It’s best to thaw your seitan in the fridge. Dry seitan thaws quickly and should be done in about 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the piece you’re defrosting. 

Seitan stored in a broth will take slightly longer to defrost fully. I’d take out dry seitan the morning of the day I want to use it, while I’d take wet seitan out the night before.

If you forgot to take the seitan out and need to thaw it quickly, you can use running cold water.

Does seitan go bad?

Yes, seitan can go bad. Seitan contains moisture, which means it can harbor bacteria and possibly mold, therefore becoming unsafe to eat.

Don’t leave seitan out at room temperature for longer than two hours.

If you do, you run the risk of bacteria forming on the seitan and spoiling it.

Best practice suggests you store it immediately or as soon as is convenient so long as it does not sit out for two hours.

Seitan is also vulnerable to absorbing outside odors and freezer burn. While these things won’t render the seitan unsafe to eat, they might leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

How long does unopened seitan last in the refrigerator?

If you purchase seitan from the store, use the expiration date as your guide to how long it lasts. Once the seitan is past the expiration date throw it out.

The use-by dates tend to be quite far in the future because manufacturers use preservatives to extend shelf life. For this reason, store-bought seitan will last longer than the homemade stuff.

Familiarize yourself with the location of the date so you don’t forget it.

How do you keep seitan moist?

Over a long enough period of time, seitan will naturally dry out. The best way to keep seitan moist is to store it in broth. It will help retain the flavor in addition to keeping moisture inside.

If you want to store seitan dry, use the foil method to preserve moisture inside the seitan. If your seitan does dry out, you can always re-hydrate it.

Re-hydrating seitan can improve taste and help during the cooking process. You can re-hydrate seitan in two ways.

  • First, by soaking in a bowl of hot water or broth for 10 minutes. The soaking process will soften the seitan up before cooking or eating.
  • Add a bit of extra water or sauce to your dish while it’s cooking. The seitan will absorb this, helping to soften it up.
Seitan being rehydrated in a bowl
You can re-hydrate seitan to keep it moist

For best results in re-hydrating, you should cut the seitan into smaller cubes. It will rehydrate quicker and more evenly this way,

Can you reheat seitan?

You can reheat seitan. However, when you do, you run the risk of it drying out. Make sure to take steps to prevent this.

You can reheat seitan in the microwave or by heating it in a pan. If you’re using a pan, put a bit of water in with the seitan. This will prevent it from becoming too dry.

Seitan in tupperware with added water
Adding a small amount of water before reheating will keep the seitan at its best

To protect your seitan from drying out in the microwave, put some water in the bottom of whatever container you’re using. This will aid in re-hydrating the seitan during the re-heating process.

Keep storing, keep re-heating, and keep eating!

Whether you are boiling or baking seitan, there are several options for storing it safely.

No matter your desired timeline for storage, these methods can help you protect the taste and texture of the seitan you worked so hard to make.

Remember to always store as soon as possible to minimize exposure to room temperatures and bacteria. Cool the seitan before storing it.

Wrap your seitan tight in order to prevent possible freezer burn and outside odors.

Take care to re-hydrate your seitan and store it safely according to your timeline and needs.

But, most importantly, keep cooking, storing, and eating that seitan. Eat on, readers.

How To Store Seitan

You can store seitan with or without its cooking broth. To store it in the broth, pour it into a suitable sized airtight container, and place it in the fridge. To store dry, double wrap the seitan in cling wrap or foil and store in the fridge.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 1 person
Calories 100 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion seitan

Instructions
 

How to store seitan in a broth

  • If you plan to use seitan in stews or other wet dishes, then you can keep the seitan in its broth.
  • Pour the seitan and its broth into an air-tight container such as a tupperware box and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • This storage method can keep the seitan fresh for up to 10 days.
  • The seitan will continue to absorb the broth's flavors, meaning it will be extra delicious when you do eat it. 
  • If you don't want to store the seitan and the broth together, it's fine to separate them.

How to store dry seitan

  • Take the dry/baked seitan, wrap it in cling film or aluminum foil, and then place it in the refrigerator.
  • Make sure you wrap it tightly to minimize exposure to air.
  • I use two layers of material for extra protection. A double layer of wrapping also prevents the seitan from absorbing any odors from other foods in the refrigerator.
  • The seitan will be good for 4-5 days.

How to freeze seitan

  • You can freeze seitan in the broth (wet) or dry.
  • Make sure you let the seitan cool before placing it in the freezer.
  • A good rule to keep in mind is this; if it's cool enough to handle, it's cool enough to store.

How to freeze seitan in a broth

  • Put both the broth and seitan in an airtight container
  • Make sure the container is well sealed. Try to use a small a container as possible to minimize empty space above the seitan 
  • Label the container. That way, you know how long the seitan's been in the freezer for

How to freeze dry seitan

  • Wrap the seitan in cling wrap
  • Then double wrap it in aluminum foil, another layer of cling wrap, or put the wrapped seitan in a freezer-safe bag. The double-layer helps to prevent freezer burn. You can also put the wrapped seitan in a freezer-proof bag to create a double layer
  • Label the container. That way, you know how long the seitan's been in the freezer for

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal
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