How Long is Broth Good For?

The Shelf Life of Broth in the Fridge, Pantry and Freezer

••• Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Wondering if that can or box of broth is still safe to use? Here's how to decide:

  • Unopened broth can be stored in the pantry to its best buy date and beyond. As long as it has been stored properly (in an undamaged container, in a cool, dark place) and it still smells and looks good, it should be fine to use. Best buy dates are not expiration dates, and do not need to be treated as such.
  • Opened broth (store-bought or homemade) can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Frozen broth will keep indefinitely, but is best used within 2-3 months.

Need to chuck your broth now that you know the answer? Here's a simple broth substitute that you can use until you're able to get to the store for more.

How to Keep Leftover Broth from Going Bad

Get in the habit of freezing your leftover broth, and you'll never have any go to waste. Just pour the unused portion into a freezer-safe container, leave an inch of headspace for expansion, and stick it in the freezer until you need it. If you only have a small amount left, pour it into an ice cube tray, and use the cubes to flavor cooked dishes. Just be sure to label your cubes, so you don't toss them into a drink by mistake!

Note: Do not freeze broth in its original container. Liquids expand when frozen, and the original container won't be big enough to accommodate this.

Want to Learn How to Make Your Own Broth? These tutorials will take you through the process:

*Shelf life information based on current USDA recommendations.