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How to tell if the chicken broth has gone bad

So you have chicken stock in the refrigerator or cupboard and you’re wondering if the chicken broth has gone bad. Are you confused and want answers on how long it will last?

Don’t worry we have you covered on this one. I will show you the ways I would go about it.

The best way to tell if your chicken broth has gone bad is to smell it. When you smell the chicken broth you want to get that chicken smell. If it smells off or it has a sour smell then it is no good and you will want to toss it in the garbage because it is spoiled.

chicken stock in jars

Best ways to tell if your chicken broth is bad

Yep, we are going with the smell, eyes, and date of purchase for this one. These are by far the best ways to know if the chicken stock is spoiled.

Now, this guide also will cover chicken stock also. It can be confusing figuring out the difference between stock and broth.

How the chicken broth smells

Chicken broth if is homemade should have what I call a chicken smell to it. It should make you want to eat it. I use a homemade chicken broth in my chicken noodle soup from scratch recipe that is amazing.

If you have a store bought chicken broth then you might not get such a strong smell from it. But in any case it should not smell bad or sour.

How the chicken broth looks

Looking at the chicken broth or stock you want to make sure it has a nice yellow or amber color to it.

If it has some mold growing on the top then you know for sure that it has been to long since you last used the broth and you need to toss it.

It is normal to see some separation of the fat and the rest of the stock if it is in a glass jar. Sometimes you can not tell if it store bought stock.

The age of the chicken broth

If this is fresh homemade chicken broth then you want to be using it within the first 3-5 days max. I have found closer to the 5 days and beyond tends to be too long to use the chicken broth.

So if you defrost some chicken broth or you just made some I would use it as quickly as possible.

One cheat for this is people will freeze it in ice cube trays and be able to have a little bit ready when it’s needed.

BrothOpenedUnopened or Frozen
Homemade3-4 days2-3 months
Store-bought2 days1 year
Bouillon cubes5 days6-12 months

If you have a store-bought chicken broth they can last a long time in the cupboard and refrigerator if they are not opened. If they have been opened then I would also stick with the 3-5 day rule.

Amazing chicken broth recipe video

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