Chicken broth is full of flavor, and it acts as a base for soups, stews, and other dishes. You can use it to make chicken soup, an effective remedy for colds and the flu. Overall, chicken broth is easy-to-make with many health benefits, but you must ensure that it is safe for consumption. So, how long does chicken broth last in the fridge? What should you keep in mind when storing chicken broth for long-term use?
Chicken broth can quickly spoil if improperly prepared and stored. Once opened, it will last 4-5 days in the fridge. However, chicken broth will last for six to nine months if you freeze it. Store-bought chicken broth left unopened will also last for up to two years.
There are several ways to store chicken broth, and each has a different timeline for safe storage. You can use this chart as a quick reference to the shelf life of chicken broth:
|Homemade Chicken Broth||Store-bought chicken broth|
|Unopened||–||Refer to the Use-By Date (add up to 6 months after determining the quality)|
|In the Fridge||3-5 days||3-5 days|
|In the Freezer||6-9 months||6-9 months|
If you do not use a fridge or freezer, you should store chicken broth cans in your pantry, which is cool and avoids direct sunlight. Before using chicken broth, always check its appearance, smell, and taste to ensure it is safe for consumption.
If you have opened homemade or store-bought chicken broth, it is best to store it in the fridge. Storing chicken broth in the refrigerator gives you an additional4-5 days to use it. To preserve its flavor and texture, use an air-tight container to store the chicken broth.
To increase the shelf life of your chicken broth, you can freeze it. Freezing the chicken broth will give it an additional six to nine months of shelf life.
You can store the chicken broth in an air-tight container, or for easy portioning, you can freeze the broth using ice-cube trays. Once the broth has frozen solid, transfer the cubes to freezer-safe bags and load them into the freezer. Finally, label and date the containers to keep track of how long it has been in your freezer.
Once you open a can of chicken broth, you only have 4-5 days to use it. Some brands might give you an additional day or two, but you should use it as soon as possible. If you cannot immediately use all the broth, transfer it to an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator to maximize its shelf life.
Unopened chicken broth from the grocery usually has a use-by date of about 1-2 years. However, it will last about six more months after the use-by date if the broth remains unopened.
If your chicken broth has been in storage for a long time, you must ensure it is still safe for consumption. Here are a few things to keep in mind when checking if your chicken broth has gone bad.
Ensure that you follow all storage times diligently for your chicken broth. If your chicken broth is way past its use-by date or has been in the refrigerator for too many days, you should discard it.
While your chicken broth is in storage, check it every few days to ensure its quality does not worsen. If you notice any leaks, rusting, or mold on the container, discard the container completely.
Before using the chicken broth, check its appearance to ensure it is still safe to consume. If the broth has been in the refrigerator, it may have a layer of fat. This is common, and you have no reason to worry. However, this layer should be a creamy white and not have any discolorations.
If you doubt whether the broth has expired, it is best to throw it out. You can always buy or make more chicken broth, so do not sacrifice your health for convenience.
Do not repeatedly reheat, refrigerate or freeze the chicken broth because it negatively impacts its flavor and quality.
The microwave is a quick and easy way to defrost chicken broth. Place the chicken broth in the microwave and thaw it using the defrost setting for 5-7 minutes. Stir the chicken broth every minute until the ice has melted and the chicken broth is at room temperature.
If you have extra time, you can thaw your chicken broth using the refrigerator. Leave the chicken broth in the fridge for 20-24 hours until it has thawed completely. Note that this time can vary according to the quantity of chicken broth you want to defrost.
When you are in a hurry to defrost the chicken broth, you can use hot water. Run your frozen chicken broth container under hot water until it loosens from the side, then transfer it to a stockpot. Place the stockpot on the burner on low heat and let the broth fully thaw.
You can only use frozen or unopened chicken broth after 14 days. Once you open chicken broth, you can use it within 3-5 days. Even if you store it in the refrigerator in an air-tight container, you can use it for a maximum of 7 days.
Spoiled chicken broth can ruin the taste of dishes and give you food poisoning. If the broth looks cloudy or smells sour, you should discard it immediately. Always rely on your sight, smell, and touch to determine if the broth is still suitable for use, and trust your kitchen instincts!
Chicken broth is a beloved pantry staple for its versatility and nutrients. You can use it to add flavor to soups, stews, and even stuffings while keeping it healthy. Although it is a beneficial ingredient, you must store it properly and track its shelf life. You can move it in the freezer, fridge, or pantry, but always discard the broth if there are any signs of spoilage!
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