Does Beef Broth Go Bad?

Starting from taking the pot-full of water, flinging some beef bones or meat, spicing it up with lemon zest and finally pouring it into the bowl. Congrats! Your hearty stew –the beef broth is ready!

Filled up with a bunch of healthy fats, amino acids, collagen, and minerals; the beef broth is one of the most nutritious soups that serve well to deal with sudden hunger pangs.

No matter you spend hours in its prep at home, or you’ve bought a ready-made can, once you keep it in the refrigerator, your brain starts wondering, ‘does beef broth go bad?’ How long will it remain fresh? Does its savory taste remain the same? And many more!

Sometimes it just happens when we end up making a lot of broth or unable to consume the entire can; it’s an unavoidable thing. What to do with the leftover?

Let me tell you one thing! Once you are successful at refrigerating or freezing it the right way, your beef broth will not go bad even for months and months.

So we’re right here to guide you ultimately that how you need to prevent your favorite stew from going bad. Let’s get right into the business!

Storing Beef Broth the Right Way

If you’re worried about your beef broth going bad, why don’t you think to store and preserve it the right way? When it comes to storing the broth for longer, there’s no better way to freeze it.

But if you’re sure that you’re going to use that opened jar or leftover homemade beef stew within a week, you can either store it in the refrigerator. Let’s explore the first and the best way to store your broth!

Tips for Freezing the Beef Broth

Tips for Freezing the Beef Broth

Just like there’s more than one way to do each and every task, there’s more than one way to freeze a beef bone broth. Trust me; freezing doesn’t mean only to preserve it, but it actually means to maintain the broth’s savory taste and aroma too.

Do you know what the biggest mistake many people make while storing the broth is? They forget to refrigerate or freeze it earlier, and when they defrost it, sadly, their savory beef broth had already gone bad.

Being a perishable food, it doesn’t remain for more than two hours at room temperature. So hurry!

We’ve got here the three most practical ways through which you can choose the one that suits best to you. So let’s dive into it!

Tip#1. Store it in glass jars

Storing the beef broth in an air-sealed container –a glass jar is a great way to prevent the molds from growing into it. Moreover, it’s the best possible way to prevent the ingredients from getting oxidized when they contact the air.

Step by Step Process to Store beef in glass Jar:

  • Once you’re done preparing the broth, wait until it gets cooled down at room temperature.
  • Put your finger into the broth to check if it’s adequately cooled or not.
  • Now, pour it into the jar. Make sure there’s a 1-inch space between the top of the jar and the top of the broth.
  • Tighten the lid of the jar and make sure it’s air-sealed now.
  • Wait, wait! Don’t just randomly lay the jar in the freezer. Make sure to set it in the upright position.

But you know what? It would help if you were a lot cautious because it’s the least secure way to store the broth. The glass jar may crack in the cold conditions of the freezer.

Pros of using jars

  • Glass jars are reusable, so there are fewer chances of wastage.
  • There’s no contact between food and plastic.
  • The metal lid turns the jar into a perfect airtight container.

Cons of using jars

  • The biggest downfall of using glass jars is that they frequently crack even if you leave adequate headspace.
  • Frequent jar cracking is an invitation to money wastage.
  • Broth can only be used when it’s completely defrosted.
  • The frozen jars in refrigerators limit them to use for other purposes.
  • The thawing process is quite time-taking in the glass jars.

Tip#2. Store it in Ziploc bags

When we say that freezing the broth in a Ziploc bag is the best way so far, we really mean it. A Ziploc bag serves the same air-sealed container, and it consumes far less place than a jar in the freezer.

Let’s get into the process!

  • Let the broth cool down until it reaches room temperature.
  • Don’t forget to date the Ziploc bag, and mentioning the measured amount will help you later. But wait, do it before adding the broth to the bag.
  • Measure the exact amount and pour it into the right bag size.
  • Squeeze all the possible air out of the bag before you lock it. Press the seal properly from the way to the end.
  • First, you’ve to lie that straight in the freezer. Once the bags are frozen completely, stand them right straight and arrange them like books on a shelf.

One thing you’ve to keep in mind! Your Ziploc bag should be a quality one with good seals. Because when you’re going to stand them up like books, they shouldn’t open.

Creating a broth shelf inside the freezer creates room for many more items and gives you an organized look.

Pros of using Ziploc bags

  • You can use the broth straight away by tearing the bag away. There’s no need to wait for hours of the defrosting process.
  • There’s no worry of cracking and breaking –it’s the best technique so far.
  • You can use frozen bags according to your needs when you measure their amounts.
  • If the amount written on the bag is 1-quart, it means you’ve got 4 cups of broth straight away.
  • If your bag is of high-quality and the seal is intact after the first use, you can reuse it again too.

Cons of using Ziploc bags

  • There’s a direct contact between food and plastic –and that’s not a good thing.
  • If you place sizzling-hot broth into the plastic bag, you’ll feel the plastic smell in your broth.
  • If you don’t seal the bag properly, broth may leak and cause a mess in the freezer.

Tip#3. Store it in Pucks or Cubes

Although storing a beef broth in an ice-cube tray seems a crazy thing, it’s actually worth doing.

Let’s get into the whole process.

  • Here you have to bring a mini silicon muffin, ice cube tray, and silicon ice cube mold into play to freeze your broth. Measure the amount of one cube or mold by considering tablespoons.
  • If you’re done cooking your broth, wait until it gets cooled down.
  • Pour the broth into each mold by using a measuring cup.
  • Put the tray in the freezer and let the process start.
  • Once the broth is frozen correctly, puck them off the try and store it either in a Ziploc bag or a container.
  • Mark the container with a tag of broth amount and its date of freezing, so you don’t forget.

This storing broth method is only useful for those who need broth in small amounts, probably preparing gravy or sauces and craving a mug of hot broth.

Pros of using an ice cube tray

  • Ice cube trays or mini muffin molds are the best reusable ways to freeze broth.
  • You can get small measured amounts in this way.
  • In this way, the cubed broth is much easier and faster to thaw.
  • You can reuse the storage container.


  • It’s not a good idea when you need larger amounts of broth to feed your families.

Reheating the Frozen Broth

Things don’t end if you once freeze the broth successfully. The real-time challenge starts when you have to restore its state, aroma, delicacy, and everything in it.

Like you needed the right technique to freeze it well, you need the best right way here to thaw it too.

The reheating process –Step by step

Before you directly toss your cubed or packaged broth onto the flame, it’s better to defrost it first. It’s better to keep it inside the refrigerator instead of bringing it directly at room temperature.

  • Take a stockpot and pour the beef broth into it once you’re done with thawing it properly.
  • Place it on the stove and let it heat until bubbles start forming. Make sure that you’re not stirring it continuously; let it heat evenly.
  • Keep the flame on average to let the flavors fuse properly once again.
  • If you’re in a hurry and want to use it in your recipe, you can simply place it in your microwave and set the timer.
  • And that’s it! You’ve successfully done the job.

The Life Span of Preserved Broth

Beef in a plate

If you bought a can of beef broth from the market and keep it unopened, trust me, it’s actually meant to last for up to 4-5 years. YES! You read that right. If you store it correctly in your pantry, you get the same savory taste every time you use it.

If the manufacturers offer you that long time to preserve beef broth, you certainly don’t need to worry about if you even pass the expiry date. Do you know what the secret is?

The expiry date is the minimum time during which the broth will remain in its best condition. If the date goes beyond the label, it doesn’t really mean that your broth has gone bad. But wait, that was only the case when you’d not opened the seal yet.

Let’s talk about the life-span of broth when you have opened the can! For how long can you keep the leftover? You can preserve the broth for up to five days in the refrigerator. And it goes pretty well for up to six months in the freezer.

That’s even amazing if you get your favorite sizzling-hot broth for the whole good winter season with the same freshness and aroma.

But what about the homemade broth? As we all know, the homemade recipe is always free from preservatives, so there’s no exaggeration in saying that homemade beef broth will not last much longer.

Moreover, while cooking the broth, the perishable ingredients you use are prone to getting oxidized faster and attacked by molds and bacteria.

If you store it in a refrigerator, you’ll get a safe and delicate taste for not more than four days. And the same goes well for a frozen broth that’s safe only for 2-3 months. However, we recommend using it even before this timespan.

When you’ll Know That Your Beef Broth Has Gone Bad?

The biggest concern that crosses your mind after defrosting the stored broth or after opening any sealed can is about the most obvious symptom of your broth going bad. Well! Let’s start right away with an unopened can.

Firstly, if you’re not sure that the broth isn’t fresh or expired, start scrutinizing the can. We’re sure you’ll get any clue. If the can is bulging, leaking, or you see some rust mingling on it, you’ve to discard it immediately without thinking anymore.

However, if the package conditions are good and tidy and there’s no leakage in it, you are good to go with your favorite broth. We’re sure that it will be fresh to enjoy.

What about the frozen broth? How to check that? The beef broth has a deep meaty aroma with a savor of spices in it. The color of fresh and healthy beef broth is usually brown to dark brown, depending on extra toppings.

Noticing the subtle changes in the broth’s appearance is the most practical way to check either the uninviting mold has attacked it or not.

If the smell isn’t the same or getting sour with time, try to taste it with your finger. It’s the test you must have to perform before discarding your hearty broth. Unluckily, if the taste is not the same, it has lost the flavor, there’s no good reason left to eat it.

Moreover, if you see some greenish specks in it, the condition has gone worse.

We’d end up saying that it’s better safe than sorry! Follow the direction of canned broth and use it within the prescribed time. If the homemade broth is left unused in the fridge for more than six days, just throw it out without thinking anymore.

What If You Eat Spoiled Broth?

If you were not successful at testing the broth or just forget to do so, there are many chances that you eat that spoiled thing. There are two conditions –either your broth will be expired or spoiled.

Most of the canned beef broths come with a pretty long life span, and it’s expected that they go pretty well even after the expiry date –thanks to the preservatives. There are chances that there’s no change in taste, but the broth is not healthy anymore.  

When the broth reaches the stage of ‘spoiled,’ trust me, it’s not safe to eat that thing at all. You might get food poisoning, some bacterial or fungal infections, or other health complications inclining towards severity.

It’s not only about the beef broth, but any food you eat should be healthy. If you take molds or cloned bacteria in your body, just imagine how that will affect you?

That’s the main reason we always recommend you to test the broth by using your nose or finger before you eat it away.

The Bottom Line

From the part of scrumptious sizzling hot stews and soups to the ingredient of many hearty dishes, the beef broth is the love of many people.

It warms you up when it’s snow falling outside, nourishes you up with its nutritious composition, and overall makes you contented with its taste and delight.

But the sad reality is beef broth may go bad if you keep it at room temperature for a long time; either it’s canned or homemade. Save it in your pantry if it is sealed, refrigerate, or freeze it when leftover –that’s the secret of it. 

We have tried our best to guide you entirely from freezing it to defrosting it and finally discarding it when it’s not okeydokey.

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