How Long Does Chicken Broth Last? (Homemade & Boxed)

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Have you ever needed a certain ingredient for dinner, checked the “best if used by” label, and noticed that it was expired? Of course, you have! This has happened to all of us.

Chicken broth is no different!

Although boxed chicken broth has an expiration date, it will stay good for up to a year later. Opened chicken broth, as well as homemade chicken broth, will last 3-4 days in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer.

There are many signs of spoiled chicken broth, including changes in smell and appearance, so let’s have a deeper look into how long it lasts.

How Long Does Chicken Broth Last?

In The fridgeIn The freezer
Homemade3-4 days in the fridge2-3 months in the freezer
Box opened3-4 days in the fridge2-3 months in the freezer
Box unopenedUp to 1 year past the expiration date

SEE ALSO: Is Chicken Broth The Same As Chicken Stock?


Homemade chicken broth will last 3-4 days in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer.

Homemade chicken broth normally lasts longer in the fridge than store-bought broth. This is because the fat from homemade broth creates a layer that can preserve it longer. Homemade broth should last the whole 4 days.

A great way to make “homemade bouillon cubes” is by freezing your broth in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer your cubes to a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible to help prevent freezer burn.

Box Opened

Much like homemade chicken broth, boxed chicken broth also lasts 3-4 days in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer.

Once you open your chicken broth, you should transfer it from the box into an airtight container. This will help it last longer in your fridge.

You should freeze your chicken broth in a freezer bag or freezer container. It is important to write the date on your bag or container so you know when the broth has expired.

Box Unopened

An unopened box of chicken broth can last up to 1 year past its expiration date.

Chicken broth has a relatively long shelf life. As long as you store it in a cool, dry place and keep it away from any heat sources, your unopened box of broth should last for a whole year.

How Long Does Chicken Broth Last In The Fridge?

Once you open your chicken broth, you do not have a lot of time to use it. You have 3-4 days to use it before it spoils.

It is important to let your broth cool before placing it in the fridge. If you refrigerate warm chicken broth in a closed container, it could take hours for it to reach 40 degrees. This can promote the growth of bacteria and can cause your broth to spoil faster.

If you use boxed chicken broth and have some leftover in the box, you should transfer it to a tightly sealed container and place it in the fridge.

How Long Is Homemade Chicken Broth Good For?

Your homemade chicken broth will last 3-4 days in the fridge. This isn’t a long time, so you’ll only want to store it in the fridge if you’ll be using it again within that timeframe.

The broth will last 2-3 months in the freezer. This gives you plenty of time to make a delicious soup before it goes bad!

Homemade chicken broth left at room temperature will ruin after 2 hours. You should always store it as soon as possible to prevent it from spoiling.

How Long Does Chicken Broth Last Unopened?

Unopened chicken broth can last quite a while past its expiration date. Boxed chicken broth typically has an expiration date of 1-2 years from the time you purchase it.

If you check the label and your chicken broth expired less than a year ago, it is probably safe to consume.

You should check the container first. Is it damaged, leaking, or swollen? If so, you shouldn’t use it.

If the box seems to be in good shape, do a smell test. If there is a strange or unpleasant odor coming from the container, you shouldn’t use it.

Is Boxed Chicken Broth Good After Expiration Date?

Absolutely! If boxed chicken broth is stored in a cool, dry place, you can expect it to last up to a year past the expiration date.

Your pantry, basement, or kitchen cabinet are perfect places to store your boxed chicken broth.

Of course, if your box is damaged or leaking, you should discard it immediately. Even if it smells fine, there is a chance that it has grown bacteria such as E. Coli or salmonella.

Can You Use Expired Chicken Broth?

It all depends on the expiration date.

Remember, the “best by” date on a chicken broth container isn’t a safety date. It’s the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the broth will maintain its highest quality.

How long has it been since your canned or unopened box of chicken broth has expired? If it has been over a year, it is probably best to buy a new one.

If your chicken broth has been frozen, how long has it been? Frozen chicken broth is only good for 2-3 months.

If it has been longer than that, you probably shouldn’t use it. Your recipe can only be as good as the ingredients you put in it!

How To Tell If Chicken Broth Has Gone Bad?

Your nose is the best way to determine if your chicken broth has spoiled.

The once pleasant smell will be replaced with a very sour smell, which is one of the first signs of spoiled chicken broth.

If your chicken broth has expired and there isn’t a sour smell, check the appearance. You’ll likely see mold, which presents as solid particles or sediment at the bottom of the container.

Yeast and bacteria will cause the broth to turn cloudy, develop a foamy substance, develop a slimy consistency, and cause the container to bulge.

Here are 7 signs that your chicken broth has gone bad:

  1. Sour smell
  2. Mold
  3. Swollen container
  4. Foamy substance
  5. Sediment in container
  6. Cloudiness
  7. Slimy consistency

And now you have a better idea about the shelf life of chicken broth and how to tell when it’s gone bad. Never take a chance with expired food. So if you’re still unsure, the best thing to do is to toss it!

Written By Justin Micheal

Justin is not just the creator but also an author and editor for KitchenSanity. He does the majority of the cooking at home with his wife. His friends and family look forward to eating his delicious creations, which often leads to many questions about how they can replicate his meals at home. In his writing, he shares his passion and knowledge as a home chef from his kitchen to yours.