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How Long Does Chicken Broth Last? Can it Go Bad?

If you are a fan of making stews, you know the chicken broth is a precious ingredient. It helps in bringing out your kitchen skills the way you imagine. Chicken broth can be homemade or bought ready-made from food stores.

And if you have incredible taste buds, you can always tell when water is used instead of chicken stock for making gravy.

Readymade broth contains less fat than homemade one since you remove nothing when making the broth at home. So, when preparing your dishes, you may want to remove excess fat that sits on top of homemade broth for health concerns.

In terms of lasting time, it entirely depends on how you handle your broths. But, homemade broth has to be refrigerated since it is fresh and contains no preservatives. For the readymade broth, you can store it in your pantry, provided the seal is not broken, and the temperature is not high.

Which Chicken Broth is best for you?


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The chicken broth comes in different forms. If you are a DIYer and love doing everything from scratch, homemade broth can work best for you. Besides, it is nutritious and has no artificial additives. Bonus point if you like all things natural.

Another interesting thing about homemade chicken broth is the types of ingredients used. In this broth, you can use as many or as little as you want. If you like your broth tastier, you can create with any spice you feel. But, for the commercial one, you do not have a chance to decide the type of ingredients to use.

Commercial chicken broth is either packed as bouillon cubes or granular. In this case, both packages are dry. This option is ideal if you do not have the time to make the broth at home from scratch. Its fat content is relatively low and has preservatives to keep it good while packaged for long.

In case of the commercial broth, boiling water is used to melt the cubes. You make the quantity you want to use and store the remaining cubes or granular for next time. It is worth noting that these take a little time to prepare when compared to the homemade one.

So, Can Chicken Broth Go Bad?


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It depends. Readymade chicken broth can last for years when their packaging is not opened. The trick is to make sure the packages remain airtight, away from sunlight and moisture. Well, a moist environment can react with the packaging container, causing it to rust and spoiling your broth.

If you keep your sealed container in the refrigerator, the preservatives and chemicals used in making the packaging material can react. You end up with a messy refrigerator when the packet bursts.

So, when you open your chicken broth container, make sure you refrigerate the remaining portion. Opened chicken broth is highly perishable and refrigerating it prolongs its life for approximately 3-5 days.

Chicken broth made from home creates a fat layer on top after cooling. The layer protects the broth from contamination and going bad quickly. For better results, refrigerate this broth to serve you for 4-6 days. After refrigeration, you will realize that the layer hardens.

The hardening of the fat layer prevents oxidation in your broth. It creates an environment that doesn’t allow growth and multiplication of microbes, keeping your broth good for long.

Signs Your Chicken Broth has gone bad

There are several ways you can check whether your broth is spoilt at home. All these methods are free and involve you checking it manually.

The easiest way to check whether your broth has gone bad is by smelling it. If spoilt, you will realize an off smell from the usual mouth-watering smell. When used, this broth can generally ruin your entire meal. It can make your food taste stale and sour. It is also a way of ruining a perfect family reunion.

Another way you can test whether your chicken broth is spoilt is by looking at its appearance. Often, when microbes start growing, they allow mould growth on the top fat layer of your homemade broth. It also starts decanting, making your stock look thin and clearer.

If you are not satisfied with the two testing methods, you can taste a little broth from your storing container. We don’t advocate for this method unless you are comfortable with it. You know your broth is spoilt when you have that awful sour and stale taste.

The best thing to do with such broth is to discard.

What Happens if You Take Spoilt Chicken Broth?

If you have had any food poisoning, it is something you would loathe experiencing again. Food poisoning can be caused by many things, such as poor food hygiene, cross-contamination, and spoilt food.

Chicken broth cannot be exempted from causing food poisoning. To avoid being a victim of the poisoning, check whether yours is safe for consumption. The spoilt broth is not safe for consumption.

Other than giving your food an awful taste, spoilt chicken broth can cause horrible effects on your body. In this state, the broth produces exotoxins. Although high temperatures kill most of these exotoxins, some of them can be resistant to heat. They can cause diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, or severe stomach cramps when consumed.

The effects of chicken broth poisoning can start showing from 24 to 48 hours after ingestion. We recommend staying on light foods or no food for a few hours when the symptoms start showing.

Drink lots of water instead and let your stomach relax. If you do not feel better, medical attention is necessary to make sure the condition does not worsen.

How Do You Prevent Your Chicken Broth From Going Bad?


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Keeping your chicken broth fresh for long is a way of saving both your time and money. That is, you do not have to prepare the broth each time you want to use or buy it often to make your meals.

When using a pantry, make sure it is free from dampness or high temperature. Your unopened chicken broth can stay there for years, and you can enjoy huge discounts from bulk buying. So, each time you pick a can and open, refrigerate it and leave the rest in the pantry.

When using the fridge for your homemade chicken broth, make sure your it is hygienic and is cooling properly. An unhygienic and poorly working refrigerator can cause contamination and create an ample breeding temperature for the microbes.

Your storage containers should be clean and dry. This way, you reduce the chances of introducing microbes into your stock through damp containers.

When storing your broth, the best tip is to use a glass container. It provides better storage than plastic one since your broth retains its aroma and taste. It is also easy to clean.

Related Questions

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How Long Does it Take to Make Homemade Chicken Broth?

It is natural to feel curious about different preparations if you love cooking. If you want to include chicken broth to your recipes without rushing to the food store, you should learn how to prepare it.

An excellent chicken broth takes approximately 3-6hrs to simmer. Of course, that is a lot of time if you have a tight schedule, but not too long when you value quality. You can decide to make it on the day you have set to do your general house chores and keep checking it after a while.

Excess fat is removed by straining the stock before packing it in jars for storage. It must be allowed to cool before refrigerating.

Can You Freeze Chicken Broth?

If you aren’t planning to use all your broth soon, you can freeze it to prolong its life for up to 4 months. When you plan to use it, thaw it before using it. The best way to do this is by moving your broth from the freezer to the refrigerator. Move it a day or two earlier for proper thawing.

However, if you are using the commercial one, unopened chicken broth can last for years after when properly stored. It is useless to freeze it as it will only consume your space.

What Happens if You Consume Chicken Broth Past its Best Before Date?

Commercial chicken broths come with a recommended period for consumption when the packing container is unopened. Mostly, that only gives you the shelf life of the broth. If your commercial broth in the pantry has exceeded this date, do not rush to discard it.

Many broths continue being good even a year after their best before dates. However, we do not recommend that you go buying those that have passed this date. Check those you have stored whether they have a funny smell before getting rid of them.

Although refrigerated chicken broth has a shorter lifespan than unopened commercial chicken broth, there are a few factors to consider. That is, we can say their lifespan is relative. When you have awesome storage conditions, you can have your broth longer than the average time most people manage to keep theirs fresh.

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