Keeping your Broth Safe

food-safety-broth-001Do you worry about how long you can keep your broth safely in the frig?  Concerned about leaving it out on counter?  Want to know how to tell if your broth’s gone bad?   Stop worrying.  Here’s your answers.

On average, your broth will be good for five days in the frig.  How long  will depend on the temperature setting of your refrigerator and where you place your container of broth.   Generally foods stay colder if placed near the back, where they are the least affected by the opening and closing of the refrigerator door.   If you retain the layer of fat on the top, however, your broth may stay good for as a long as a couple weeks.

If your broth goes bad, you will most likely know it.  If you are unsure, you have two options:  throw it out or boil it before eating.  Keep in mind that just heating it to serving temperature won’t destroy the active bacteria and some people might become sick. To kill active bacteria boil the broth for at least a minute at 150 degrees or above.

People who are food sensitive, prone to histamine reactions and recovering from illness, may do well to toss the broth.   Paul Jaminet, author of The Perfect Health Diet, explains why:  “Boiling it will kill bacteria and prevent it from giving you an infection. But you’ll still get the dead bacteria, which are immunogenic, and any toxins they produced, plus any amines/toxins they produced from the broth proteins.”

Many people also report that they often forget about their broth, leave it out on the counter and wonder if they need to throw it out.  A related question is, how long we can allow broth to cool before being put away in the refrigerator.  Again, that’s going to depend on factors like your climate, the season and the temperature of the kitchen.  Some people, after all, keeps their kitchens quite cold, especially in the winter.  Food safety experts caution that we should cool our food as rapidly as possible down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.  To easily achieve this, take your big hot pot of broth and divvy it up into mason jars, pyrex food storage containers or other smaller containers.

Finally, if you are not sure you can use up all broth within a few days, freeze some of those containers.  If freezing glass, take care to prevent breakage by leaving plenty of space at the top for when the liquid expands into solid ice.

Keep your questions coming in .  .  . and enjoy your broth!

STANDARD FTC PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our blogging activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.


  1. Great information!
    Just to add about glass containers and freezing the broth which is my favorite method…I’ve found the jars do not break if I use wide mouth. Maybe if I put less in the small mouth they would be ok, but wide mouth with adequate space at top works best for me.
    Thanks for the helpful info!

  2. Gary Ogden says:

    I’ve evolved a method which works well for me. My stockpot makes 15-18 cups. After letting it partially cool, I remove the vegetables and bones, decant it into a large bowl, drop in a chunk of ice to congeal the fat, let it further cool as the ice melts, then spoon it into 10 oz. plastic containers, which I freeze. Pop one out in the morning and enjoy it with butter and sea salt.

  3. I make (collegen) bone broth in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker for 7-8 hrs, strain it, put it in quart jars, let it cool some, and put it in the back of the frige. I have read that as long as there is a good 1/2″ layer of tallow or more, it lasts pretty much indefinitely. I usually make 4-5 quarts (2 batches) maybe every 3 weeks. Some of it is in the frige at least 2 and sometimes 3 weeks. Have never had it go bad. Since the water I use is rainwater catchment water (I live on the rainy side of the Big Island) which is multiply filtered and structured, I imagine that makes a difference as well, as it would be hard to find cleaner and more vibrant water……

  4. I was just wondering if, after crock potting my broth, it can be canned in mason jars and left on the shelf? I suppose it would have to be pressure canned but I will definitely run out of room in my freezers : ) !

  5. Mara Rivera says:

    After my broth is made, I make into a soup with vegetables. After about a week maybe, any which may be left turns sour. I think it’s fermented and “some like it sour”! (“Some like it in the pot, 9 days old!”) So then I boil it before eating, but did it have a bacterial culture in it? Or a beneficial fermentation? I don’t know. Does anyone?

    • Your soup may say fresh longer if you turn down the temperature of your refrigerator or keep your soup near the back (where it is colder and not as susceptible to heat from the door being opened and closed). If that doesn’t help, I would suggest freezing part of your broth and eating the rest up within a few days. I don’t think what you are describing sounds like beneficial fermentation. f you enjoy a sour flavor, I would recommend adding a little sauerkraut or kimchi prior to serving. Hope that helps. Kaayla

  6. Mariia Sakharova says:

    I cook a lot of broth and freeze it in a chest freezer. Than every week I take a container and make 6 litres of soup from it (about 6 portions for 4-y.o. twins). My sons (allergic to many foods, one has tics) have soup every day after preschool. I only keep 3 litres in the fridge and freeze other 3 litres. Is it harmful to freeze the soup? (I know that unfrozen food should not be frozen again, but I am cooking soup from frozen broth and freeze it again). My son is allergic to gluten, diary, potatoes, yeast and even coconuts. I cook all food for my children and I also work… Batch cooking and planning makes it possible, but I am still worried. Help me please.

  7. Calvin Kramer says:

    When my broth is done cooking I immediately begin cooling it in the sink with cold water, spinning the pan to dissipate heat, into the fridge to continue cooling, skim and into the freezer asap. If I make soups, again, into the freezer, wide mouth jars all the way, as little air space as possible. Thank you for such a wonderful book.

  8. Trudi Sharp says:

    Does it matter what bones u use to make broth. I always thought beef bones were to be used?

    • Any bones are good — chicken, turkey, beef, duck, venison, lamb . . . Whatever you prefer. The nutritional profiles vary somewhat, but the most important things is the collagen. And any broth that gels is rich in collagen. Some people mix up their bones and make broth that way. It’s all good. There are a wide variety of broth, soup and stew recipes in the book Nourishing Broth.

Speak Your Mind