How Long Does Boxed Chicken Broth Stay Good in the Fridge?

So you've opened a box of chicken broth from the pantry — do you need to use it all ASAP or is there some wiggle room?

box of chicken broth in fridge door
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There are certain kitchen staples that are versatile superstars, here to help with any number of recipes. Boxed chicken broth is one of those hard-working items you can keep on hand for everything from soups and stews to rice and pasta.

This handy supermarket shortcut is shelf-stable as long as it isn't opened, but once you unscrew the cap, do you actually need to use it all at once? Here's everything you need to know about saving an open carton of chicken broth.

Is There a Difference Between Homemade and Boxed Chicken Broth?

The biggest difference with homemade broth and a box of chicken broth is the time it takes to prepare. Homemade broth involves simmering onions, carrots, and other aromatics along with chicken in water. The chicken broth in a box is a kitchen time-saver in that it is ready-to-use as soon as it is opened.

The ingredient profile is also slightly different as far as the protein and gelatin content. A boxed broth has virtually no gelatin which means that it does not have the depth and viscosity of a homemade version. A homemade broth will naturally start to thicken as it reduces over heat, while a store-bought stock will remain a thinner consistency.

What Is In Boxed Chicken Broth?

Look at the ingredient list on a box of chicken broth and you will find a combination of ingredients not dramatically different from what you'd use to make broth at home. Ingredients such as: chicken, water, salt, natural flavoring, mirepoix (carrots, celery, onions), yeast extract (barley), sugars (dextrose), canola or soybean oil.

How Long Can You Store Boxed Chicken Broth in a Pantry?

Chicken broth can be stored in a cupboard or pantry for months at a time. Boxed chicken broth is a popular and reliable pantry staple for good reason!

An unopened box of chicken broth lasts up to one year past the printed date. If the unopened box of broth is stored properly — in a dry and cool place — and the marked sell-by date is within the year, your box is safe to use.

How Long Does Boxed Chicken Broth Stay Good in the Fridge?

Once the box of broth is opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator. Make sure the seal or cap is replaced correctly, creating an airtight container to keep it fresh for the next use.

An opened box of chicken broth has a limited amount of time when it is considered to be fresh and ready-to-use. A box of chicken broth is good for 4-5 days (after opening) when stored in the refrigerator. This is the guideline used by the US Department of Agriculture and applies to most brands.

You can store the broth in the same airtight packaging it came in to prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the fridge and to keep it fresh for as long as possible. Just be sure the original box is still in good condition and hasn't been damaged or torn while it was being handled in the cooking process.

If you don't intend to use the opened box of chicken broth within a few days, you are better off storing the leftover broth in the freezer for later use.

An opened container of store-bought chicken broth is much like homemade chicken broth in that it will keep for several days in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer. You can freeze chicken broth in plastic, zip-top bags (freeze flat for convenient storing) or ice cube trays, and then defrost portions when needed.


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