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How Long Does Bone Broth Last?

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Bone broth is a popular inclusion in many diets, and for good reason. If you have made a fresh batch of bone broth at home, or have an open can in the fridge, you would want to know when it would start to spoil.

The best way to store bone broth is in the refrigerator, but how long does bone broth last? Kept in the fridge, bone broth can last up to four days, but there are factors that can influence this and cause the bone broth to last longer, or go off sooner, so it is important to know the different factors that affect the shelf-life of bone broth.

Read on to find out more about how long bone broth lasts, and the best way to store it to keep it fresher for longer.

What Is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is a clear soup liquid made by simmering the connective tissue and bones of animals. It is a highly nutritious stock that can be eaten as is or used to make soups, gravies, and sauces.

Bone broth can be made from pork, beef, lamb, veal, turkey, chicken, fish and more – depending on what you have to use and your preference of flavor.

Many people include bone broth in their diet because of its nutritional value and the health benefits it is supposed to have.

How Long Does Bone Broth Last In The Fridge?

Once you make bone broth, or once you have opened a container containing bone broth, you need to place it in the fridge to keep it fresh.

To store bone broth in the fridge, you need to keep it in an airtight container, or in a lidded pot, sealed properly. If stored correctly this way, the bone broth can be kept in the fridge for up to four or five days.

This is the general rule of thumb for store-bought bone broth, and it is a safe estimate to run off to ensure that the bone broth does not begin to spoil before you get around to eating it.

There are some brands of bone broth that claim to last up to a week or two when kept in the fridge, and while this might be true, it is safer to eat it within four or five days.

How Long Does Homemade Bone Broth Last?

Making homemade bone broth is easy enough, but you need to know how long you can store it for, as it won’t come with an expiration date.

Homemade bone broth, stored in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge, can last for between three and four days.

Before placing it in the fridge, allow the bone broth to cool to room temperature, but do not let it sit at room temperature for longer than two hours, or the chance of bacterial growth increases.

Can You Freeze Bone Broth?

If you do not think that you will be able to eat the bone broth before it spoils, you can freeze it to extend its shelf-life further.

The best way to freeze bone broth is to place it in an airtight container, leaving some room near the top to allow for expansion as it freezes. Label it with the date of freezing and place it in the freezer.

Alternatively, to save space, you can freeze the bone broth in portions in plastic freezer bags, and stack them on top of each other in the freezer.

If you want to freeze smaller portions of bone broth, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray, and once the blocks are frozen, you can place them in a plastic freezer bag, squeeze all the air out, and seal tight, once again labeling the package with the date of freezing.

If stored properly in the freezer, the bone broth will retain its best quality for up to three months. It will still be fine to eat after this time, but the quality will begin to decline and it will not taste as fresh as it should.

How To Tell If Bone Broth Has Gone Bad

While it is recommended to only keep bone broth in the fridge for up to four or five days,  it does help to know the signs to look for that bone broth might have gone bad.

These are all indications that bone broth has spoiled, or is not safe to eat:

It Smells Bad

As bone broth begins to spoil, it will start to smell bad. Bone broth has quite a distinctive smell to it, and if it starts smelling sour, rancid or just ‘off’, then it is best to throw the bone broth away.

The smell will be quite obvious as soon as you open the bone broth container, and if it smells bad, then there are no other signs needed to indicate that it is off.

The Container Is Compromised

If you have bought bone broth from the store, and the can is dented or damaged, or the box is compromised, then the bone broth is no longer safe to eat.

Bacteria can enter the can or box if it is dented or damaged, and this can accelerate the spoiling of the bone broth.

It Tastes Bad

Hopefully you would have noticed another sign that bone broth is off before tasting it, but if you do end up taking a taste of the bone broth, and it tastes sour or off, then stop eating it and throw it away.

Is It Okay If The Consistency Of Bone Broth Changes?

You might be worried when you open up the container of bone broth you have sitting in your fridge and notice that the consistency has changed or it looks a little different, but this isn’t usually cause for concern as long as there aren’t other signs of spoiling.

These are some changes that bone broth might go through when kept in the fridge:


It is normal for bone broth to turn slightly cloudy when kept in the fridge, especially homemade bone broth. This is usually absolutely fine.

You might also notice sediment settled at the bottom of the container too, but this is mostly only with homemade bone broth, as store-bought bone broth are filtered well.

Fat Accumulation

Once the bone broth has been stored in the fridge for a short amount of time, it might develop some fat accumulation on the surface.

This will be a white layer of fat on the top of the broth, and as long as there are no other signs of spoiling, this layer of fat is fine to incorporate with the rest of the broth, or you can scrape it away.

Jelly-Like Consistency

Homemade bone broth has a tendency to turn into a jelly-like consistency after being kept in the fridge for a short while.

This is because bone broth contains gelatin, which helps to gel the bone broth, especially when kept in the fridge.

This does not always happen with store-bought bone broth, but it might turn slightly thicker in the fridge.

Does Bone Broth Need To Be Refrigerated?

It is recommended to place bone broth in the refrigerator once it has been made or once you have opened the can or box.

If the bone broth is hot, it needs to be cooled to room temperature before being placed in the fridge, but it cannot be left at room temperature for longer than two hours.

If bone broth is left out at room temperature for longer than two hours, it would need to be discarded as it is at a higher risk of spoiling.

Make sure to place bone broth in the fridge as soon as possible to ensure it stays fresher for longer.

How Long Does Bone Broth Last?

Bone broth, whether homemade or store-bought, can be kept in the fridge for up to four or five days, with homemade bone broth having a slightly shorter shelf-life.

It is best to allow bone broth to reach room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator, where it should be kept in an air-tight, sealed container. However, you should not leave bone broth out at room temperature for longer than two hours.

If you will not use the bone broth within this time frame, then you can freeze it in suitable portion sizes for up to three months.

Take note of how to tell if bone broth has spoiled, to ensure that you only enjoy fresh bone broth at home!

Related Questions

Can you get sick from eating old bone broth?

You can get sick from eating old bone broth, as there could be an increase of bacteria growth that could lead to food poisoning.

Can you drink bone broth daily?

You can drink bone broth daily, but it is best to keep it to smaller portions, and to ensure that you keep up with a regular, nutritious diet as well. 

What are the most popular types of bone broth?

Chicken and beef are the most popular types of bone broth made and consumed.


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