Does Beef Broth Go Bad?

Beef broth can help you make a variety of dishes. If you find some leftover broth that you think might be a bit old, is it still safe to use it? Has it gone bad?
There are several things you need to keep in mind, so let’s take a look at how long beef broth can last and how to tell if it has gone bad.

Shelf Life of Beef Broth

Beef broth can certainly go bad, although how long it can last can depend on the kind of beef broth you have. There are bound to be some differences in the shelf life between canned beef broth and homemade beef broth that you can go through below.

Unopened Beef Broth

If you retain unopened beef broth you purchased in a can from the shop, you may anticipate it to last quite a time. The first thing you should do if you discover an unopened can of beef broth in your kitchen is to check the expiration date to get a broad notion.
Even if the can has long ago passed its expiration date, the beef broth may still be safe to consume since, when properly maintained, it may keep for up to three to five years.
This is due to the fact that canned beef broth is often prepared with a lot of preservatives, which can keep it safe to ingest for a long time (although the quality may somewhat deteriorate).

Opened Beef Broth

If you have canned beef broth that you bought from the store and you’ve already opened it up, then you can expect it to last for up to five days, sometimes even a week, as long as you immediately place it in the fridge after opening it.
After five days, however, you will need to consume all of it or chuck it out if there is any more of it left over.
In case you want to make it last even longer, you can simply store it in the freezer and keep it safe for up to 6 months.

Homemade Beef Broth

The homemade beef broth has the shortest shelf life of all the options mentioned here. This is because there are no preservatives or additives when you make this broth at home.
Thus, whenever you make beef broth, you should aim to use it all up at once. You can also store the leftover broth in the fridge for a couple of days or so, after which you will need to consume it or throw it out.
To make it last longer, you can put it in the freezer and keep it safe for around 3 months.

Signs That Beef Broth Has Gone Bad

Simply checking the expiry date might not be able to tell you if the beef broth is still safe to use or not, so make sure you look for other signs to figure it out. Try out the following steps or options.

  • Smell the beef broth. If it is still safe to use, then it will have a rich smell that will let you distinctly identify its quality. However, if it smells sour, you should throw it out.
  • The color of the broth should be brown and a bit dark. Signs of mold, a changed color (green or blue-brown) and some curdling can each indicate that it has gone bad.
  • Take a look at the can itself. If it appears to have major dents, bulges, leaks or corrosion, you should chuck it out.

Storage Requirements and Conditions

You will need to store your beef broth properly to keep it safe. Take a look at what this entails.

Unopened Beef Broth

If you have bought some beef broth cans from the supermarket, then you will be perfectly fine storing them in your pantry, inside a cabinet in your kitchen or even on a shelf.
All you need to do is ensure that there are no temperature fluctuations (maintain cool temperatures) and no contact with water or moisture.

Opened Beef Broth

As soon as you open the can of beef broth and take the amount that you need, make sure you reseal the can (if possible) or store it in another container with a tight enough seal. Put this in the fridge and do not leave it out at room temperature for too long since bacteria grow and thrive in temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.

Homemade Beef Broth

Immediately place leftover homemade beef broth in the fridge inside a tightly sealed container.

Is Freezing Beef Broth an Option?

Yes, you can freeze beef broth if you have any leftovers. You can do this by pouring the broth into a tightly sealed container so that no odors enter the broth. You can also pour out small quantities of the broth into ice cube trays so that you can use each cube whenever required.

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