Chicken broth is often regarded as the secret ingredient that delivers the correct taste and consistency to the dish. However, its complex and unique taste retains only with the correct storage techniques, the absence of which might lead to a drastic change in the taste of the final dish.
If you want your chicken broth to last for an extended period, it is necessary to understand its expiration, spoiling signs, as well as storage hacks. Don’t worry; you wouldn’t have to go the extra mile to research as we have compiled all the necessary information in the following article.
First, let’s find out how long chicken broth can last under various situations-
How Long Does Chicken Broth Last?
The meat and bones of chicken are used to make chicken broth. Store-bought canned chicken broth can have a long shelf life, but chicken broth does go bad after a certain time.
Your store-bought chicken broth comes packaged in aseptic containers, making it possible for them to stay edible for a year beyond the mentioned “use-by date,” but once opened, it rapidly loses its shelf life. You should consume it in under six days when stored in a fridge.
Homemade chicken broth shares somewhat the same fate.
The table below lists the time when chicken broth stays edible under different circumstances.
|Homemade chicken broth||5-6 days||2-3 hours||5-6 months|
|Store-bought(unopened)||use- by date + 2- 5 years||use- by date + one-year|
|Store-bought( opened)||4-5 days||2-3 hours||5-6 months|
Is Chicken Broth Safe To Eat After The Use-By Date?
The Use-by date is the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the chicken broth will remain in top condition. Using it beyond the Use-by date for a specific time is safe.
But if you eat chicken broth with obvious signs of being spoiled, then you may get a stomach ache, and there is a risk of food poisoning.
If you are unsure about it being safe, look for the signs mentioned below.
How To Tell If Chicken Broth Has Gone Bad?
If left unopened, chicken broth can last you a long time, but once opened, it starts losing its freshness.
Look for the below-mentioned signs to ascertain if your chicken broth is safe to eat –
Signs to look for in unopened cans-
- If your unopened chicken broth is bulging or seems to be swelling up and leaking.
- Large or sharp dents on the can signify bacteria growth and possible botulism contamination.
If you can see the signs mentioned above, it’s best not to open it and throw it in the bin, as it’s spoiled. If your can is swollen or dented, you should boil it in water for 30 minutes before discarding it as it may be contaminated.
The steps mentioned earlier helped you understand if an unopened can of chicken broth is edible or not.
But How can you check if your opened or homemade chicken broth is still safe to eat?
You should check for signs like-
- You can see mold.
Suppose you can see greenish-blue or white mold at the top of your chicken broth, or the top layer is foaming. In that case, it is a sign that it has spoilt.
- Broth looks cloudy
Suppose your broth is not clear and looks cloudy. You can see sediment formation at the bottom of the container. It would be best if you discarded the chicken broth immediately.
- It smells sour.
If your chicken broth does not have its sweet, pleasant smell, which a sour, rotten smell has replaced, it’s best not to consume it.
- Tastes rancid
If you can see any of the signs mentioned above, We strongly do not advise you to taste the broth. But if you still want to confirm if your chicken broth is rotten, it will be unpleasant and not have its characteristic taste.
Will reheating the chicken broth make it safe to eat?
Many people believe that reheating or boiling the chicken broth will make it safe to eat.
This is wrong! Boiling the chicken broth will only kill the bacteria present in spoiled chicken broth and not remove the toxins.
Once spoilt, the chicken broth should be thrown away and not consumed at any cost.
Will Eating Expired Chicken Broth Make Me Sick?
No, eating chicken broth after the use-by date is safe for some time, considering it has been stored in optimum conditions and does not show signs of spoilage.
But eating spoiled chicken broth can make you very sick. It might contain bacteria like salmonella and E-coli, leading to food poisoning.
Can Chicken Broth Be Frozen? Refrigerated Vs. Shelf-Table
Yes, freezing chicken broth is an effective way to make it stay fresh for longer!
Place the chicken broth in an airtight container and seal it with heavy-duty freezer bags.
When properly stored, homemade and opened cans of chicken broth will retain its freshness for about five to six months, after which it might start tasting funny.
Pro tip: If you can maintain a freezer temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit, the chicken broth will stay fresh indefinitely.
Once opened from the can. Chicken broth starts to lose its freshness rapidly; hence, it is advisable to refrigerate it.
If you have store-bought canned broth, pour the remaining broth into an airtight container and then place it in the fridge.
You should cool the homemade broth completely before transferring it into an airtight container and placing it in the refrigerator.
Under refrigeration, chicken broth can stay fresh for up to five days.
If your broth is unopened, you can store it in the fridge for up to one year, added to the use-by date.
You can keep unopened chicken broth cans in the pantry without refrigerating.
Store it in a cool, dry, and dark place in your pantry, and it will stay in edible condition for up to one year more than the mentioned used by date.
Bacteria thrive rapidly in temperatures ranging from 40 °F and 140 °F. Hence, you should not store your opened chicken broth at room temperature beyond 1-2 hours.
What Is The Best Way To Store Chicken Broth?
Follow the below-mentioned tips to store your chicken broth safely to prevent spoilage!
- It would be best if you stored unopened chicken broth in a cool, dry, dark place away from sunlight. Your broth shall be okay for up to a year more than the use-by date!
- You can keep it in a pantry or a cupboard as long as the conditions are met.
- Once opened, consume the broth immediately or store it in airtight containers in the fridge.
- The homemade broth should be first cooled and then refrigerated to keep it fresh for five days. Do not strain out the fat while making chicken broth at home, as it will help the chicken broth stay fresh for longer. Fat forms a protective layer over the broth, hence keeping it safe for up to ten days.
- You can freeze chicken broth in a freezer to prolong its freshness!
Frozen chicken broth can remain in the best condition for up to six months.
Pro tips: Store your chicken broth in ice cube trays in an airtight container and froze. So that when you need to use them, you can pop one out of the tray while the others remain fresh!
Alternatives for Chicken Broth if it Goes Bad
In case your chicken broth is showing signs of spoilage, you can try the following substitutes:
- Chicken stock
- Beef broth
- Vegetable stock
- Salted butter and water
- Coconut milk
Why is my chicken broth gelatinous?
While simmering fresh chicken, you extract collagen from the bones, Which causes the soup to get gelatinous.
This is completely normal and safe to consume!
Are chicken broth and chicken stock the same?
No, chicken broth is made out of boiling chicken meat in the water, often with vegetables, while the stock is made out of chicken bones. Chicken stock will be more gelatinous, giving it a more decadent feel.
The Bottom Line
Chicken broth is an excellent addition to soups and gives a tasty twist to many other dishes!
With this article, you now know that chicken broth shouldn’t be stored at room temperature for more than two hours, and the best way to store your chicken broth is by refrigerating it in an airtight container.
You also know that mold is a sign that the chicken broth has gone bad! And eating cloudy broth is a no-no.
Comment below which of the tips mentioned you will be using next, and tell us your recommendations!
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Michael A. Antoine is a Sr. Chef at one of the leading chains of restaurants in the USA. He might raise hell in his kitchen, but his deep and practical knowledge about food and recipes helps us give you the best and tastiest recipes.