Chicken broth, or bouillon, is the water in which meat and vegetables have been cooked. Basically, it’s a liquid rich in nutrients that come from meat and other ingredients. All ingredients are processed and strained to produce chicken broth as you know it.
Chicken broth is a base ingredient for many delicious meals. It can be used for making soups and sauces, or it can be eaten alone. It compliments so many meals. In other words, chicken broth is great.
Also, it’s a source of warmth and comfort when you catch the sniffles. Who doesn’t feel better after eating hot soup when out sick?
All this results in so many people hoarding cans of broth in their kitchens and even basements. So, you’ve stocked up on broth as well. It was on sale, and we don’t judge you. We’re guilty of this as well.
What you’re wondering is: does chicken broth go bad? Did you make a bad investment on that canned bouillon?
Luckily for you, we have the answers to all your questions. If you have concerns about your canned goods, this article will inform you on topics like: does chicken broth go bad and how to store it, so read on to find out!
Does Chicken Broth Go Bad?
We know this is the question that has been bothering you since you’ve started cooking on your own. So, to reveal the hard truth: chicken broth can, actually, go bad.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, follow the guidelines below and the instructions on the label. Proper storage and care will ensure the safety of your canned goods for quite a while, even years.
Homemade chicken broth doesn’t have long before it expires – keep this in mind when you make some yourself. Always check the wellness of your broth before eating it or using it to make a meal. Using spoiled broth to make food will ruin the entire meal.
Also, eating rotten broth can cause food poisoning. To prevent chicken broth from turning on you, read the following.
How To Store Chicken Broth
All of these tips and recommendations can be used for storing chicken stock as well.
Normally, chicken broth is packaged in cans or containers. Make sure to store them in a dry and cool place, away from heat or humidity. For example, the kitchen pantry or cupboard is a great idea.
If you have questions about homemade bouillon, always store it in the fridge! Refrigerating your “just like mama used to make” will give you the best results. Something major to keep in mind: always let your broth cool off before putting it in the fridge.
A once-opened can or container should be placed in the refrigerator. Because tin cans do not have a lid when opened, we advise you to pour the remaining chicken stock into an airtight container or a jar.
Furthermore, if your stock of chicken broth precedes how much you need for a couple of months, consider putting some cans into the freezer. Freezing broth will prolong its life and freshness. You can use freezer bags or airtight containers to store it.
How To Tell If Your Broth Has Gone Bad
There are a few ways to tell if your broth has gone foul. Read this part carefully to learn how to do that.
First, look at it. Leaky or rusty cans should be thrown out immediately. If your can or container of broth looks swollen, one thing is sure: it’s gone bad. The containers expand by the release of yeast and bacteria, which spoil the content of the can.
If the appearance of the container looks fine, open it. Canned chicken broth should look like a clear, yellow (or yellowish) liquid. If you can, however, spot mold on the surface, that usually means it is no longer safe to eat. If the fat has coagulated on top of the liquid, don’t be alarmed yet. When the bouillon is stored in a chilly place, the fat tends to turn solid. On the other hand, if the coagulated fat is accompanied by a cloudy liquid, that is also a sign of food spoilage. Throw this broth out.
The next step is smelling the liquid. If the smell is rotten and sour, or it just doesn’t smell the way it should, do yourself a favor and trash it.
The very last step is tasting it. If the flavor is unfamiliar or disgusting, don’t risk it, simply throw the broth out. You won’t lose a fortune, but you might gain an upset stomach.
It’s a little different when it comes to homemade broth. When left in the refrigerator, the homemade broth will develop a fat film over the surface. This is not dangerous for human health, the fats turn solid when exposed to low temperatures. You can remove it when you start cooking, for a lower-calorie meal. The process for checking if it’s gone bad matches the process for store-bought bouillon.
Moreover, if everything looks good after the thorough wellness-check, start cooking! If you’re low on ideas on how to use chicken broth, we’ve got your back.
How Long Does Chicken Broth Last?
Chicken broth in a can or a container comes with a best-by date. If you’ve decided to stock up on broth, check the label on the side. The best-by date doesn’t mean the food in question will inherently go bad. The best-by date means that the manufacturer can guarantee the same quality up to that date (specified on the label).
Your good old chicken broth is perfectly safe to use after that date. Almost all chicken broth has preservatives added in order to retain freshness longer. Once again, it’s very important to store it following the recommendations. Doing that will ensure your chicken broth will be fresh and ready to use when you need it.
So, to conclude: with proper care, the canned broth will be safe to use for around a year after the best-by date. You can try and use a can past that time, but we advise against that – the quality is bound to suffer at some point.
Freezing chicken broth will give you peace of mind. Chicken broth can be stored indefinitely in the freezer – but it might lose some quality after a few years.
Once thawed, canned goods should be eaten in a few days’ time if you thaw it in the fridge. If you decide on microwaving it or placing it in water to thaw, you should use it immediately after it defrosts.
An opened can of broth will last a couple of days – provided you keep in the refrigerator. The story isn’t very different when it comes to homemade chicken bouillon. It will stay good in the fridge for a few days, but not a week. A week-old broth can still be fresh, but it could have gone bad as well. Don’t roll the dice, just place it in the trash.
Does Chicken Broth Go Bad – Conclusion
Chicken broth is great, we agree. Making a sauce or gravy with broth instead of water will result in a fuller taste and better texture. If you’re feeling lazy today, just heat up a can and your meal is ready without breaking a sweat. These are probably some of the reasons why this is such a popular ingredient in so many kitchen pantries across the country.
So, does chicken broth go bad? Yes, it can go bad. Although, the possibility of bouillon turning bad is less likely if you keep it following the advice we gave you.
To make cooking with kitchen bouillon a pleasant experience, take a few seconds before you start to check it out. First, check out the can, if it cooks a-okay, open it, and examine the liquid carefully. If the liquid is cloudy, with fat or, worse, mold spots, it’s gone bad. Never even think about using chicken broth in that condition. It will spoil your food and might make you ill as well. Pour it down the drain.
The next step is smelling the broth. If it smells rotten, sour, or simply different, that’s a sign of spoilage. However, if it smells fine but you’re still not sure about the wellness of your broth, give it a small taste. If it tastes sour or just bad, trash it.
The canned broth is safe for more than a year after the date on the label, provided you keep it in a dry and cool place (the kitchen pantry works best). Opened canned broth or homemade broth is good up to a few days if stored in the fridge. If you can’t exactly remember when you opened or cooked the bouillon, throw it out. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If it looks, smells, and tastes fine to you, rest assured – your broth is safe for consumption. There’s nothing stopping you from using it. So what are you waiting for? Start cooking!