Does Beef Broth Go Bad?

Does beef broth go bad or not? Obviously, the answer is yes, but there are ways you can increase the longevity of beef broth significantly. Find them here.

You might be here because you’ve just grabbed a can of beef broth out of the fridge, only to realize that you can’t remember when you opened it.

No worries. We’re here to help.

Beef broth is packed with tons of nutritional benefits, including being rich in minerals that build and strengthen your bones. However, eating an off can of beef broth just isn’t worth it – rotten beef broth can cause food poisoning due to an intake of harmful bacteria. If you have any symptoms of food poisoning after eating beef broth, go to your doctor immediately.

Here’s the deal. Beef broth definitely does go bad, but an unopened can will still be okay to eat for 1-2 years after its best-before date. There are also tons of easy ways to preserve beef broth, and it’s not hard to tell if beef broth has gone bad.

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How To Tell If Beef Broth Is Off

beef broth in bowl

The easiest method to tell if your beef broth is bad is to check the expiration, best-before, or sell-by dates on the packaging.

Sell-by dates indicate the date the supermarket should throw the beef broth into wastage if it hasn’t been purchased yet.

Best-before dates indicate when you should eat the beef broth to benefit from its optimum nutritional value, and to ensure you have no unexpected problems.

Expiration dates refer to the final date the beef broth can be eaten. With an unopened packet of beef broth, you’ll probably be okay if you use it beyond that point, but don’t do so unless you have to.

But you’re probably not here if your beef broth has a date on it. You may have opened your tin or packet of beef broth already. Or you may have made your own.

Here’s how to tell if any beef broth is off:

  • Taste. Beef broth should taste fresh and meaty. If its flavors have been disrupted, it’s time to discard it.
  • Smell. Has your beef broth started to emanate a putrid sour odor? If so, it’s time to go.
  • Mold. Any floating mold, and you should throw the whole tin away.

Beware. Because beef broth is a liquid, unlike other foods, you have to throw away the whole tin if you find a problem in it. Don’t attempt to just scoop out the bad bits. Using moldy beef broth can lead to food poisoning!

How To Store Beef Broth

beef broth with mushroom

It’s best to keep your unopened can of beef broth in a cool, dark area of the house, such as a cupboard or the pantry. If your can of beef broth has been opened, you should transfer it into an airtight container to prevent any oxygen from getting in and place it inside the fridge.

Beef broth can keep up to 4-5 days in the fridge!

If you’re looking for a quick fix, pop the beef broth jar into the freezer! The beef broth can be preserved for 4-6 months.

Homemade beef broth should be allowed to cool, then put in an airtight container in the freezer. This will ensure your beef broth lasts for up to 3 months.

Exactly which storage method you choose should be determined by whether your beef broth is store-bought or homemade. More on that below.

You can’t go wrong with simply storing your beef broth in the fridge, though. It will last a minimum of 3 days, and the cool temperature will mean the broth’s flavors aren’t disrupted.

Homemade Or Store-Bought Beef Broth: Which Lasts Longer?

beef broth with meat and potatoes

Whether beef broth is homemade or store-bought has an effect on how long the broth lasts.

Due to a lack of preservatives, homemade beef broth can only last up to 3-4 days before it’s time to chuck it. To preserve it as long as possible, it’s best to either freeze it or, for short-term usage, put it in the refrigerator.

Pro Tip. Cook your beef broth in bulk and portion it out into different airtight containers. Leave one portion in the refrigerator for easy access and the rest in the freezer.

Store-bought beef broth can last up to 4-5 days in the fridge. It can also be stored in the freezer.

Got an unopen packet of beef broth? It can last up to 1-2 years in your fridge!

So, Does Beef Broth Go Bad?

Yes, beef broth certainly does go bad!

However, there are surefire ways to help maintain your beef broth’s complexity of flavor, as well as to keep it lasting as long as possible. This can be as simple as moving your broth to the fridge or freezer (yes, even if it’s unopened!).

That way, your broth can last an impressive two years!

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Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.