Does Beef Broth Go Bad?

Does beef broth go bad? Stocking up on beef broth is always a good idea because this is a flexible ingredient in cooking. You can add beef broth in stews, soups, and just about any dish! Beef broth is made by boiling bones, vegetables, and seasonings for hours. If you are making beef broth from scratch, the entire process of making the broth takes a long time. Since making the broth is tedious as it is, you simply cannot afford to waste the rest of your supply. So what if you have too much beef stock in your hands?

does beef broth go bad

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Yes, unfortunately, beef broth will go bad especially the homemade kind. The ingredients of the broth are quite temperature sensitive. If the broth has been kept sitting at room temperature long enough, it will eventually go bad. The oils in beef broth could also become rancid when the stock is not stored properly. Thankfully, beef broth is easy to store. This goes for homemade and store-bought beef broth.

How to Store Beef Broth?

Storing Beef Broth in the Pantry

Generally, store-bought beef broth is sold in cans and sealed tetra pack packaging. Usually, the broth is stored in supermarket shelves, not the chiller so it’s a shelf-stable product. This means store-bought beef broth can be stored safely in the pantry at room temperature. As long as the container is kept unopened, it should keep well in the pantry for months. But as soon as you opened the packaging, we recommend storing the beef broth in the fridge. As for homemade broth, this is free from any preservative that’ll extend its shelf life so it’s best to store the excess in the fridge or freezer immediately.

Storing Beef Broth in the Refrigerator

This method is perfect for storing homemade and store-bought beef broth, specifically store-bought broth that’s been opened. The cold air does a great job of retaining the quality of the broth. However, stow the broth in the fridge only for a short period of time. Do not leave the broth sitting in the fridge for weeks or it will start degrading over time. This goes especially for the homemade broth that’s stored in a simple container. If you want to optimize the quality of the beef broth, there is no better way of storing this than in the freezer.

Storing Beef Broth in the Freezer

Freezing is the best method for storing homemade and store-bought beef broth alike. The freezing temps extend the shelf life of the broth while also retaining its best quality. If you are freezing homemade broth, you want to give the broth enough room to expand. If the container is unopened and/or canned, we suggest transferring the product in an airtight container or use up some of the broth before freezing it to give the container more room for expansion.

For homemade broth, we recommend dividing the broth into manageable portions. This way, thawing the broth is much less of a hassle. You can use ice cube trays or muffin tins to divide the homemade beef broth into equal portions. Then, stick the muffin tins or ice cube trays in the freezer, leave the broth to freeze solid for at least 3 hours.

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Once the broth has frozen solid, take the trays out of the freezer. Prepare a resealable plastic bag. Carefully pop the cubed broth one by one and then put the cubes in the resealable plastic bag. Seal the plastic bag, write the storage date, then stick back in the freezer. Every time a recipe requires a portion of beef broth, just take several cubed broth. No need to thaw, chuck the broth directly into the cooking dish!

Shelf Life of Beef Broth

Homemade beef broth will keep in the refrigerator for a week. In the freezer, it will keep indefinitely but we recommend using your supply up within 4 to 5 months. On the other hand, canned and unopened packs of beef broth will keep in the pantry for 3 to 5 years. Don’t wait too long before using up the broth though!

How to Tell if Beef Broth Has Gone Bad?

Beef broth has a pleasant, meaty aroma and a brown to a deep brown color when it is fresh. But if it’s been kept too long in storage, look for subtle changes in color or aroma. If the broth started developing a sour smell or the flavor is no longer the same, discard the broth immediately. Beef broth that’s been kept in storage for a long time will be susceptible to mold growth too. Check for signs of mold growth and if you are seeing greenish specks on the broth, discard it immediately.


Does beef broth go bad? Beef broth has a long shelf life, especially store-bought stock. But these products won’t keep forever. Store the broth properly to minimize spoilage as well as to avoid sickness.