Making your own chicken broth is a great way to save money and control the ingredients that go into it. But once you’ve made a batch, how long does chicken broth last in the fridge?
According to the USDA, opened chicken broth and homemade chicken broth may last up to three to four days in the fridge or two to three months in the freezer. Although boxed chicken broth often has a “best if used by” date, unopened, it may stay good for up to one year when stored in cool, dry conditions.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about chicken broth and chicken stock expiration dates. So let’s have a closer look at the shelf life of chicken broth in and out of your refrigerator.
Does Chicken Broth Need To Be Refrigerated?
Yes, homemade and open-boxed chicken broth needs to be refrigerated. If you don’t intend to use it within 4 days, it’s best to store it in the freezer for later use.
You should store your broth in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the fridge and from becoming contaminated. To keep it fresh for as long as possible, the less air in the container, the better.
Chicken broth left at room temperature will become unsafe to consume or cook with after about 2 hours.
You should always store broth and stock in the refrigerator as soon as possible to slow down spoilage bacteria from multiplying, which can result in food poisoning when consumed.
If you’re wondering how to tell if chicken broth is gone bad, there are a few signs to look for that I explain in my other guide.
How Long Does Chicken Broth Last?
|In The Fridge||In The Freezer|
|Homemade||3-4 days||2-3 months|
|Open Box||3-4 days||2-3 months|
|Unopened Box||Up to 1 year past the expiration date||Do Not Freeze|
How Long Does Homemade Chicken Broth Last?
Your homemade chicken broth may last up to 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 2-3 months in the freezer, which gives you plenty of time to make a delicious soup before it goes bad!
Sometimes, homemade chicken broth may last longer in the fridge than store-bought broth. Because homemade broth creates an extra layer of fat protection that can help preserve it longer. Still, it’s best to use it up quickly.
It is important to let your broth cool for an hour before placing it in the fridge. If you refrigerate warm chicken broth in a closed container, it could take hours for it to reach a safe 40°F or below.
Anything above 40°F over 2 hours will promote the growth of bacteria and cause your broth to spoil faster.
If you’re in a pinch, freeze 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.
When ready to use them, you can control the amount more easily than thawing a large block of frozen broth and refreezing.
How Long Does Open Chicken Broth Last?
An open box is much like homemade chicken broth. It should last up to four days in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer.
I always transfer unused portions from the box into an airtight container. This will help it last longer in your fridge.
If you decide to freeze it, write the date on your bag or container so that you know when it was put in the freezer and can make plans to use it up before it expires.
How Long Does Unopened Chicken Broth Last?
Boxed and canned 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, it should easily last up until the best used by date printed on it and beyond up to a year.
If it happens to have an actual expiration date, it’s best to adhere to it and not take any chances.
How Long Is Boxed Chicken Broth Good After Expiration?
If boxed chicken broth is unopened and stored in a cool, dry place, you can expect it to last up to a year past the best if used by date.
Your pantry, basement, or kitchen cabinet are perfect places to store your canned or boxed chicken broth.
But before using it, you should check the container’s condition 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 once opened. If there is a strange or unpleasant odor coming from the container, you should discard it
Remember, the “best by” date on a chicken broth container is the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the broth will maintain its highest quality.