It's Probably Time To Throw Out That Forgotten Carton Of Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is versatile and healthy — and whether you use it to enrich your rice or for a heaping pot of stew, it's pretty darn delicious too. What makes chicken broth particularly appealing is its shelf life. When properly stored in a cool, dry place with an untouched seal, chicken broth can last for up to a year. However, once that container of chicken broth has been opened, it won't last for long — indeed, it can go bad far sooner than you imagine.

Even when stored in the refrigerator, an open carton of chicken broth will only last up to four days. Consuming soiled chicken broth can lead to food poisoning like E. Coli and salmonella which can result in a host of unpleasant symptoms. Expired chicken broth is marked by foul smells, changes in color, and sometimes, mold.

So if you've held onto leftover chicken broth past four days, your best bet is to throw it out.

Solutions to avoid wasting chicken broth

At best, opened chicken broth that's sat too long in the refrigerator will lack flavor. At worst, it can lead to illness. However, there are some easy solutions and preventative measures you can take to avoid wasting your unused chicken broth.

After making a batch of your world-famous chicken noodle soup, instead of putting the leftover chicken broth in the refrigerator, grab an ice tray and pour the broth into its molds before storing it in the freezer. Not only will the pre-portioned wedges of broth give you more waste-free measurements for single-serving soups, but chicken broth lasts up to three months when stored in the freezer. If you don't have access to an ice tray, don't fret — any freezer-friendly container will work.

Another way to avoid wasting chicken broth is to use chicken bouillon cubes instead. Bouillon cubes are essentially just dehydrated chicken broth with some extra spices for added flavor. Simply bring a pot of water to a boil, add your chicken bouillon cubes, et voila — waste-free chicken broth. The measurement for water to bouillon is 1:1, so if you only need one cup of broth, just one cup of water and one cube of bouillon will do the trick. Adjust accordingly if you need a larger batch. Happy soup eating!