Food Guide

Beef Stew That Smells Like Tomatoes: A Delicious Twist on a Classic Recipe

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of Cookindocs.com. With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for Cookindocs.com is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about...

What To Know

  • When it comes to a beef stew that smells like tomatoes, people are not only concerned about how unpleasant it is to enjoy the dish but also the safety of this stew.
  • If the dish only comes with only a too sour smell from tomatoes because you use too much tomato-based sauce, it will be fine to keep consuming this dish, but you might need to find a way to fix it (will be mentioned in the next section.
  • So the easiest way to offset the acidic smell in your beef stew is to add a pinch of sugar.

Many people must have wondered why their beef stews smell like tomatoes.

It is actually quite easy to understand, and this post will help you explore this topic.

Keep reading to find out the main reasons that cause this acidic smell in your beef stew and how to take it away.

Why does my beef stew smell like tomatoes?

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A beef stew never fails to satisfy the whole family on any occasion, especially in winter.

However, there is a good chance that your favorite recipe has once smelled like tomatoes.

Here are some reasons why your beef stew has a tomato-like odor:

Use too much tomato-based sauce or other tomato products

The first cause is that the recipe makes use of too much tomato sauce.

Tomato sauce or puree is a great foundation to have a rich and hearty stew.

It does not only provide your dish with nutrients and flavors but also a vibrant color that makes everyone want to try your beef stew.

But if you use too many tomatoes, chances are your beef stew is lacking flavors from beef and other ingredients but is packed with a strong tomato smell.

There is a problem with your tomato product

The second reason is that your tomato product (puree or sauce) is out of order.

If this happens, your beef stew often comes with other signs of spoilage besides just the acidic smell.

You might notice that the stew doesn’t have a normal red color from tomatoes as usual, or it even has mold on the surface.

This is why you should say goodbye to your pot of stew, unfortunately. 

Is it safe to eat beef stew that smells like tomatoes?

When it comes to a beef stew that smells like tomatoes, people are not only concerned about how unpleasant it is to enjoy the dish but also the safety of this stew.

So the question is is it safe to keep eating your beef stew even if you figure out an unpleasant tomato smell from it?

Well, it depends.

If the dish only comes with only a too sour smell from tomatoes because you use too much tomato-based sauce, it will be fine to keep consuming this dish, but you might need to find a way to fix it (will be mentioned in the next section.)

Otherwise, if the tomato sauce is due to the spoiled tomato-based ingredient, then it is not safe to eat anymore.

What you need to do is to discard it right away to prevent foodborne illnesses.

How to get rid of the tomato smell from beef stews?

Here are some common and easy-to-do methods to take the tomato smell away from your beef stews if you ever had one:

Add a sweetener (sugar, syrup, or honey)

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Sweetness to balance sourness?

This is a simple rule that every cook knows.

So the easiest way to offset the acidic smell in your beef stew is to add a pinch of sugar.

Use a small spoon to make sure that you won’t accidentally add a lot of sugar and make your stew too sweet.

You can also opt for other sweeteners like natural honey or agave syrup to substitute for sugar.

Use baking soda

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Baking soda is safe to use in cooking in an allowable amount.

It reacts with an acid to bring out a more balanced flavor.

Therefore, you can add about ½ teaspoon of baking soda to your beef stew and see how it helps ease the tomato smell.

Don’t forget to discard the foam on the surface.

You can repeat it until the flavor of your beef stew is as you desire.

Use low-acid tomato products

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The last method we would like to introduce is meant to get rid of the tomato smell from your beef stew from the beginning.

This means if you follow this way, you might never encounter this situation.

So use low-acid tomato products instead.

You can find a variety of brands of low-acid tomato products by reading their labels.

But don’t forget to follow the recipe and instructions to avoid ending up with a tomato-like smell in your hearty beef stew.

The bottom line

Beef stew is great as long as it doesn’t have any weird smell or taste.

If the acidity once kicked in your beef stew, then hopefully, this article has helped you figure out the causes and solutions to get rid of it.

We highly recommend you to check the quality of the tomato-based products as well as use exactly what the recipe calls for to never experience beef stews that smell like tomatoes.

Otherwise, refer to our aforementioned methods to get rid of the tomato smell from your beef stew.

Good luck!

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of Cookindocs.com. With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for Cookindocs.com is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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