Does Beef Broth Go Bad? A Timeline of Spoilage

August 4, 2022

Yes, beef broth can go bad in three to four days if refrigerated and a couple of months if frozen.

As a trained chef, I have to stay on top of food safety regardless of whether I am using homemade or store bought ingredients. So, I can answer your questions regarding beef broth.

In this post I will tackle does beef broth go bad and show you the top tips for helping your broth to stay good for longer. Let's begin!

Can Beef Broth Go Bad?

The short answer is yes - beef broth can spoil.

What you should be just as interested in is how long can beef broth remain safe and usable for. Now, this will depend on the type of beef broth, the method of storage, and how it is stored after opening.

For more in-depth answers, keep reading...

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How Long Does Homemade Beef Broth Last?

If you have made homemade beef broth from beef bones, then you will likely store it in the refrigerator. Here, it will be good for up to 3 to 4 days at a time.

In case you wish to store beef broth for longer, then freeze beef broth shortly after making it. In this case, the homemade beef broth can last for a couple of months.

How Long Does Store Bought Beef Broth Last For?

You can buy beef broth from the store in canned or boxed form.

As you can imagine, commercially packaged beef broth tends to have a longer shelf life. This is because it is infused with additives that preserve beef broth.

In case you were wondering:

Does boxed broth go bad?

The answer is yes, again. After a certain point, the preservatives in the beef broth will stop working. And, the beef broth will begin to spoil inside the container.

How long does beef broth last if it has been boxed or canned, though?

Well, this does depend on the manufacturer. In most cases, though, boxed and canned beef broth may be good for up to several months at a time.

On average, canned beef broth does have a longer shelf life than boxed broth. However, the boxed version does tend to taste fresher.

To determine just how long your commercial beef broth can last, check out the expiration date on the packaging. This will tell you just how long it will be good for.

Is It OK to Use Expired Beef Broth?

Here's the thing - the expiration date on your commercial beef broth is actually more of a sell-by date. This is to ensure that the manufacturer and the store don't get in trouble for selling you bad beef broth.

Due to this, the beef broth doesn't begin to spoil the moment that it reaches its expiration date. It can be days or even a week or two before the broth begins to spoil.

How Long is Boxed Beef Broth Good Past Date?

This is a tricky question to answer as there is no way of knowing. This all depends on the preservatives added to the beef broth.

How the cans or boxes were stored can also have an impact. For instance, if the boxes and cans were properly stored in a cool, dry place, then it is likely that they will last for longer.

On the other hand, if they were kept somewhere very hot or damp, then it is possible that the beef broth will go bad faster.

Can Expired Broth Make You Sick?

Yes, you can get sick from beef broth past its expiration date. It is because of this that it is best not to take your chance with boxed or canned broth.

If the expiry date printed on the packaging is more than a week or so past due, it is best to toss the broth.

How to Tell If Beef Broth Has Gone Bad?

The easiest way to tell if beef broth has gone bad is by the smell. It will smell bad or off. If you notice that the broth doesn't smell like it is supposed to, then it is best to throw the broth away.

You may also notice specks of molds or unusual particles in the broth.

It doesn't matter if you are not sure - never taste the beef broth to check if it has gone bad. If you have any doubts at all, toss the broth.

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How Long Will Leftover Broth Last?

So, let's say that you opened the can or box within its shelf life. Once opened, how long does the beef broth last?

If you refrigerate the broth right away, then it can last around 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

If you have chosen to freeze beef broth instead, then it may be able to last a month or so.

How to Store Beef Broth to Make It Last?

For homemade broth and canned broth, make sure to store the liquid in an airtight container before refrigerating.

Not only will this help the liquid to last longer, but it will also help to maintain its taste.

The boxed version can be stored as is unless you feel like the packaging is flimsy.

If you are freezing beef broth, then there is a trick to it. If you have a lot of broth leftovers then it will not help to freeze it all in the same container. Do this and you will have to defrost all the frozen broth at once.

Instead, you should use the ice cube tray method.

This is where you pour the broth into ice cube trays. Then, place in the freezer. When it is completely frozen, empty the broth cubes into a Ziploc or freezer bag and seal.

Then, you can only as much broth as you need at any one time. This trick also works for vegetable broth too.

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, beef broth can go bad. This is true for boxed and canned broth although the shelf life is longer here.

If stored in the refrigerator, it may take up to 3 to 4 days to spoil. If you freeze it, though, it can be good for a few months as a time.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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