You found an expired crate or boxed chicken broth in your pantry, and you’re not sure if you can use the or not. Does chicken broth go bad?

Or perhaps you just returned the leftovers in the refrigerator, and also you’re wondering just how long walk chicken broth last in the fridge.

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Most store-bought chicken broths last for at least a year the their manufacturing date, yet once you open up the can, every you’ve got is a pair of days. If girlfriend need an ext than that, freeze the leftovers is your finest bet.

If you’re interested in learning much more aboutspoilage, shelf life, storage, and freezing of chicken broth, you’re in the appropriate place.

Let’s gain right right into it.


While broth and also stock, in theory, space different, most brands use the term interchangeably. I do the exact same in this article.

Vegetable soup based on chicken broth

How lengthy Does Chicken Broth Last?

Store-bought chicken broth comes through a shelf life that one to two years and usually keeps because that an extra half a year previous its date. Once you open up the can or box, the keeps for around 3 come 4 days.

Homemade chicken broth is pretty comparable to an opened can and also keeps for about 3 come 4 days together well.

If girlfriend need an ext time than that, freeze is a possibility.

That’s the gist the it. Let’s get the details.

Canned chicken broth (unopened)Best by + 6 months
Canned chicken broth (opened)3 – 4 days
Homemade chicken broth3 – 4 days

Pouring soup


Unopened chicken broth typically has a shelf life that 12 to 24 months and also easily keeps because that 6+ months previous the published date.

The cans and boxes space sealed and safe from the exterior environment, so as long as you keep them properly and nothing destructive happens, they should last well past the labeling date.

More on how long is chicken stock good after expiration in a moment.

In The Fridge

Once you open the store-bought chicken broth, you have to use it in ~ 3 to 4 days. That’s theofficial USDA recommendation.

Some brands imply a slightlylonger storage period of up to 7 days, but most stick come the 3 to 4 days preeminence of thumb.

You can sometimes obtain away with letting the broth sit in the refrigerator for an extra day, but much more than that feels favor playing v fire come me.

Again, if those couple of days aren’t long sufficient for your needs, think about freezing the leftovers.


The exact same storage time suggestions use to beef broth and vegetable broth.

Tomato soup with chicken and also pasta

How long Is Homemade Chicken Stock great For?

Homemade chicken broth stays great for 3 come 4 job in the fridge, the exact same as store-bought broth keeps after ~ opening.

It’s additionally the same period that’ssuggested for storing all sorts of leftovers that need refrigeration.

In mine experience, homemade chicken broth have the right to keep for as much as 5 days. On the 6th day, it frequently starts to offer off a foul smell, and also that’s a sure sign it’s no much longer safe to use.

How lengthy Is Chicken Broth an excellent After Expiration?

Boxed or canned chicken broth need to keep for at least an extra six months past the published date.

Truth it is in told, there’s no method to give you an accurate period. Those 6 months that i recommend are simply a for sure estimate, and also many various other websites recommend also longer periods.

If you store the container properly, it should stay for sure to eat for at the very least a pair of years previous its date.

Obviously,sellers constantly suggest you have to eat your product prior to the day on the labelfor the best quality and also so on.

For me, it’s an ext about what you’re comfortable with.

If you check out an unopened boxed chicken broth that’s 7 months past the printed date, and you’re like: “looks good, let’s acquire cooking,” then by all means, usage that broth.

But if you have actually one that’s three months after the best-by date, and you’re like: “nope, let’s get this thing out of here,” then it’s perfectly it s okay to discard it.


Before utilizing an out-of-date chicken broth, always look because that the indications of spoilage. I cover them broadly in the following section.

Homemade chicken broth, an alert the cloudiness

How come Tell if Chicken Broth Is Bad?

While store-bought chicken broth come with fairly a long shelf life, it doesn’t last forever. And also once you open up it, it becomes unsafe come eat within a couple of days.

When checking if your chicken stock is still it s okay to use, take into consideration the following:

Storage Time

If her chicken stock is method past the day on the label, or sits in the refrigerator for choose a main already, discard it.

It isn’t have to spoiled, but it’s no much longer safe to eat, and also that’s a an excellent enough factor to to water it down the drain.

For a in-depth discussion on how long after ~ the “expiration” day you can use chicken stock, check the section on shelf life.

Check the Container

If there’s anything wrong through the have the right to or box, choose it’sleaking, rusting, or swelling, discard it.

Again, nobody of these necessarily typical the chicken broth is bad, yet using the is risky. And also there’s no suggest in obtaining sick ~ ignoring apparent signs the something is wrong.

Cabbage soup (based on chicken broth) with potatoes and also chicken


Chicken broth, particularly homemade, grows a special layer that fat on peak of the fluid after gift refrigerated because that a work or so. The fat should be creamy white, without any kind of discolorations or mold.

If you an alert anything monster going top top on the surface of the fat or the broth itself, discard it. Scooping the “spoiled” fat and also using the remainder is a bad idea.

Next, let’s set some expectation on how the liquid need to look like.

Store-bought broth should be clear and without any sediment top top the bottom (unless the label claims otherwise). On the other hand, homemade chicken broth will probably be quite cloudy and possibly v a many sediment top top the bottom (unless you strain it).

Sometimes, the broth can thicken ~ cooling and become jello-like. The happens pretty much only in homemade chicken bone broth, andit’s a an excellent thing.

If there’s something “funny” about your broth, and also it doesn’t enhance the above description in ~ all, assume the it’s bad and also discard it.

Fat ~ above homemade chicken broth surface, perfect normal

Give it a Whiff

If her chicken stock smells sour, off, or “funny,” it’s time for it come go.

In mine experience, the most usual sign the spoiled chicken broth is the turn off smell. The aroma readjust is usually rather clear, and also if that’s the case, pour it down the drain.

Now, if every little thing up to this suggest seems to it is in okay, it’s time come taste it.

The Taste Test

This one is as straightforward as it gets: friend drink a small sip or 2 of the broth and also decide if it’s great enough or not.

95 out of 100 times, it will certainly be just fine if the smells good. Yet if the tastes off for any kind of reason, err top top the side of caution and also throw it out.

How To keep Chicken Broth

An unopened canned or boxed chicken stock have to sit in acool and dry place. The pantry or a cabinet in the kitchen room perfect because that that.

Once you open the container, seal the leftovers tightly and also refrigerate. The same uses to homemade chicken broth.

While boxed chicken broth is quickly resealable, the canned variation isn’t. If that’s what girlfriend have, you have the right to transfer the leftovers into an airtight container, mason jar, bottle, or a lidded pot. Either will acquire the task done.

Last,leave the fat on height of the liquid.

If you tend to discard the thick layer that develops after refrigerating broth leftovers, leave it intact. It helps defend the broth and also keep the nice and also fresh because that longer.

Chicken Broth offered Frozen

There room brands likeBrodoorBonafide Provisionsthat sell frozen broth. The packages are shipped frozen and also delivered cold or partly frozen.

For together broths, you have to adhere to the company’s recommendation for storage.

In most cases, that way freezing the broth once it arrives and also defrosting that in the fridge as soon as you’re ready to use it.

Creamy broccoli soup based upon chicken broth

Can You freeze Chicken Broth?

You can freeze both store-bought and also homemade chicken broth. Even the producers together asCollege InnorMcCormicksay you deserve to freeze their broths no problem.

Here’s how:

Choose packaging.If you setup on make a chicken soup from that broth, a container or a pair is a good option. But if you generally need simply a tablespoon or 2 of the broth because that a sauce, gravy, or to include some extra flavor, an ice cream cube tray is a much far better option.Pour the broth into the containers or ice cube trays.(If utilizing an ice cube tray) Put the tray in the freezer and also leave the there until the cubes freeze solid. Then transfer the frozen broth cubes right into an airtight container or freezer bag.Put whatever in the freezer.

When it comes to how lengthy the chicken broth have the right to sit in the freezer, many sellers introduce 2 come 3 months because that the ideal flavor. The course, the broth should stay perfect fine for a lot of longer.

When you need to thaw the chicken broth, ar it in the fridge and also leave it over there overnight. The broth need to be defrosted in the morning.

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If you’re short on time, you deserve to defrost it on the stovetop on short heat. Just remember come be near the pot and stir the now and then so that it doesn’t burn.