how long does beef broth last in the refrigerator

Homemade chicken broth or beef broth can last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It’s important to store the broth in an airtight container to prevent contamination and ensure that it stays fresh. It’s also a good idea to check the broth for any signs of spoilage before using it, such as a strange odor or off-taste.

So your boxed beef broth has been opened for a couple of days already, and you’re wondering how long beef broth lasts in the fridge.

Or maybe you found an unopened can of beef broth that’s a few months past the printed date. And you started thinking: does beef broth go bad, and if so, how do you tell?

Does Beef Broth Go Bad?

Canned and boxed beef broth typically comes with a suggested shelf life of between six months and two years, but it usually keeps for at least another three months beyond the printed date. And if you store it in a cool and dark place away from heat sources and ensure the seal stays untouched, it’ll likely keep for much longer.

In other words, commercially packaged beef broth usually lasts well past the date on the label.

Of course, most brands recommend using their beef broth within those two years of canning, but that printed date is only a best-by date. It basically means the seller guarantees quality up until the printed date, but that doesn’t mean the product will suddenly go bad a couple of days or weeks later.

And in the case of beef broth (and canned and boxed foods in general), the product tends to keep for months beyond its date.

That might make you start wondering:

Unfortunately, there’s no way to give you an exact period. It all depends on the production process, the ingredients used, storage practices you follow, and probably even a bit of luck.

That said, there’s a simple approach you can take that works in almost all cases. All you need to do is pick a period you’re comfortable with before you check the printed date.

For instance, it might be three months for boxed beef broth and six months for canned, as canned tends to come with a longer storage time.

Then you read the date on the label, add the period you came up with, and check if the product is within the resulting date.

If it is, and the broth doesn’t show any signs of spoilage (more on that later), you use it. Otherwise, you discard it.

This way, you decide how to go about this upfront instead of bargaining with yourself for 5 minutes until you reach a conclusion that you’ll probably not be happy about.

Next, let’s talk about what to do after opening the broth.

How Long Does Beef Broth Last?

Pantry Fridge
Canned beef broth (unopened) Best by + 3 – 6 months
Canned beef broth (opened) 4 – 7 days
Homemade beef broth 4 days

Beef broth has a shelf life of about 12 to 24 months and typically stays good for at least a couple of extra months. After opening, you can refrigerate it for 4 to 7 days, depending on the brand’s recommendation.

If that’s not long enough, you can easily freeze the leftovers, which I will cover in a minute.

That’s the overview of the shelf life of beef broth.

Next, let’s dive into details.

how long does beef broth last in the refrigerator

Open beef broth lasts 4 to 7 days in the fridge, depending on the seller’s recommendations. After that period, the broth is no longer safe to eat, and you should discard it.

Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the broth is spoiled if stored for more than 4 to 7 days, but it’s no longer safe, and that’s a good enough reason to discard it.

When it comes to the storage period, go with whatever the label says. Usually, the recommendation will be four days, as that’s the official guideline for storing perishable leftovers.

But some brands sell their broth with a slightly longer storage time, and if that’s the case, enjoy those couple of extra days. Or play it safe and stick with the 4-day rule. Up to you.

Once again, instead of trying to squeeze the most out of refrigeration by storing the broth for an extra day or two, it’s better to freeze it. This way, the broth will last much longer, and you don’t have to rely on hope.

Homemade beef broth lasts about four days in the fridge. After that period, it won’t necessarily spoil, but you should consider it unsafe to eat and discard it for safety reasons.

If you’ve cooked a big pot of beef broth and don’t want the leftovers to go bad, it’s best to freeze them as soon as possible. That’s how I go about broth that I know I won’t use within the next couple of days.

Similarly, about four days is how long soup made with beef broth lasts.

Canned and boxed beef broth typically retains quality for at least three to six months beyond the date on the label. Of course, there’s no way to tell precisely how long an unopened beef broth lasts after the “expiration” date, but those three to six months are a reasonably safe assumption.

As you might imagine, every seller recommends using their broth before the printed date. But that doesn’t mean the product will go bad a day, a week, or even a month later. Canned goods tend to last months or even years beyond their dates, and beef broth is no different.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that in 3 years, the broth will be as good as it is today, but it most likely will be perfectly safe to eat. Assuming that the can or box is still intact and there’s no bulging, swelling, or rusting.

The easiest way to go about it is to check the printed date and ask yourself if you’re comfortable using that broth. If not, toss it and call it a day.

But if you are, examine the can or box carefully, and if there’s nothing suspicious going on, open it up and see what’s inside. Then check it against the spoilage signs I list in a later section of the article.

how long does beef broth last in the refrigerator

How Long Does Beef Broth Last in the Fridge?

After opening the can or box, beef broth typically lasts 4 to 5 days if you seal it tightly in an airtight container or lidded pot and refrigerate it. If that’s not long enough, you can freeze the leftovers for later.

This 4- to 5-day period is a pretty safe estimate you can go with no matter the brand you’re buying. That said, some brands recommend longer storage times.

I wouldn’t feel particularly comfortable having a half-open canned broth in the fridge for longer than those 4 to 5 days, however. That’s why I suggest you freeze any leftovers instead.

(We’ll talk about freezing in a moment.)

What about homemade beef broth?

Homemade chicken broth keeps for 3 to 4 days of cooking if you refrigerate it sealed tightly in a lidded pot or airtight container. Let the broth cool to about room temperature before you place it in the fridge, but limit the cooldown period to two hours.

You might find some recipes online suggesting that homemade beef broth lasts for up to a week. Sure, your beef broth might keep quality for a whole week, but the 3 to 4 days period is much safer and limits the chances of finding a spoiled broth in the fridge to a minimum.

As I mentioned a couple of times, freezing the broth is a much better option than hoping it’ll last an extra day or two.

Now, let’s talk about the spoilage signs.

Homemade chicken broth or beef broth can last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It’s important to store the broth in an airtight container to prevent contamination and ensure that it stays fresh. It’s also a good idea to check the broth for any signs of spoilage before using it, such as a strange odor or off-taste.


Can you use broth after 7 days?

The boxed chicken broth in a sealed container is best within 3-4 days but is safe to consume within 7 days. After that, we recommend freezing it to last longer.

Does broth go bad in the fridge?

Information. Chicken broth can be refrigerated for 3-4 days and frozen (for best quality) for 2-3 months.

What are the white specks in beef broth?

The little white dots in your canned Puritan beef stew are likely fat globules that have solidified. This is a common occurrence in canned stews and soups, especially those containing meat. While not harmful, some people prefer to remove these solidified fat globules before consuming the stew.

What is the difference between beef broth and beef stock?

Broth is stock’s cousin but has some key differences. Although both stock and broth involve simmering in water, broth uses meat while stock uses bones. As a result, broth contains very little protein, a key ingredient in building flavor.

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