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How long can refrigerated broth remain fresh/drinkable?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 27, 2012 at 4:28 AM

Does anyone have a guideline? Out of eight quart containers that I got out of my first batch of broth, only two were freezable containers, the other six are in glass mason jars in my fridge. I'm not sure how quickly I will drink them. Also,I have saved the bones and a lot of the gel-like gunk that was left over in the event that it can be re-used. The marrow bones are completely emptied out, but the cow's feet are still in a gel-like state. Also, the skin is semi-intact. I wondered if it could be boiled down FURTHER, in a second batch with more added bones? What do y'all say? (It was interesting how the red marrow and white marrow just slid out when I lifted the bones with tongs. It remained in semi-formed state floating on top; I used a hand mixer to break it down! I am looking forward to drinking it, and hopefully see improvements in hair and nails.)

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on May 28, 2012
at 03:59 PM

Lucky you! Getting into my 9 year old is going to be quite a challenge. My 19-yo won't look at it!

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on May 27, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Keep in mind that the "safety rules" say no more than 4 days. I tend to look at those rules as fine for restaurants, but a little overboard for the home. If I have any doubts during those two weeks, I trash it.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on May 27, 2012
at 02:11 PM

Good answers and good article--thanks!

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on May 27, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I should add that the number of times you can reuse bones varies with the type of bone. The best advice I've heard is to reuse bones until you get tired of them. I'll reuse bones, with fresh water and some fresh vinegar to pull minerals out. Even the really hard bones will soften after several 12-hour rounds in the crockpot.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 27, 2012
at 12:49 PM

I cook my stock for 12-24 hours. Cool it at room temp for maybe 2-3 hours. I then refrigerate it for 12 hours. This will make the fat rise and solidify. Skim this off and discard (it may be unhealthy but it's just gross tasting). After this point I will keep it in the refrigerator, taking bits out once or twice per day, for up to 7 days. I've never had a problem. I find that I'll finish it by then, no need for freezing.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on May 27, 2012
at 12:49 PM

You can certainly reuse bones, lots of times. This woman used the same set of beef feet 12 times, getting gelatin even through the 12 time! http://www.traditional-foods.com/bone-broth/

E687b5eb51456c9a0205aff406f44ca3

on May 27, 2012
at 07:20 AM

You should leave the layer of solidified fat that forms on the surface, as a protective seal. This person (http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/articles/joys_of_stock.shtml) apparently has stored broth with an intact seal in the fridge for months. If there isn't enough fat in a portion to form a seal, I will just use it first or freeze...

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on May 27, 2012
at 04:58 AM

I freeze broth in glass Mason jars all the time. Just leave an inch or two of space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion when the jar freezes.

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8 Answers

4
A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

on May 27, 2012
at 04:32 AM

To be safe, I go no more than two weeks. If your broth was more acidic (did you add a bunch of vinegar?), you might get four.

That's the problem with fresh-made broths: no preservatives leads to a short shelf life.

EDIT: I'd never heard of the "re-boil" trick, but that makes a lot of sense. Keep with the 3 to 4 day re-boil rule and it should be good.

Essentially, you're pasteurizing the broth over and over which will handle about 95% of problematic stuff. As long as you're not getting contaminated with botulinum toxin (extremely rare, but it happens) boiling will kill the bacteria. It won't, however, get rid of the bacterial byproducts, so if your stock starts getting sour or off tastes, you can be pretty sure it was a bacterial playground for a while.

2
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 27, 2012
at 01:09 PM

GAPS recommends if you keep refrigerated to reboil it every 4 days and then put back in the refrigerator. This kills anything that might decide to grow, and allows you to keep it long term for multiple uses.

2
D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on May 27, 2012
at 12:58 PM

In Mark Bittman's "How to cook everything" he says you can keep it almost indefinitely if you re-boil it every third day. Also, I found this but haven't tried it: http://nourishedkitchen.com/homemade-bouillon-portable-soup/

2
8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on May 27, 2012
at 10:11 AM

I've gone 8 days without issue.

2
956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on May 27, 2012
at 06:40 AM

I was told not to keep it longer than 5 days in the fridge. But if Blitherakt is correct, I'd be happy to know so although it doesn't make any difference since my meat pudding has a very short lifespan.

And you sure can use it again. Take a look at this: http://www.traditional-foods.com/bone-broth/

Enjoy how-long-can-refrigerated-broth-remain-fresh/drinkable?

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on May 27, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Keep in mind that the "safety rules" say no more than 4 days. I tend to look at those rules as fine for restaurants, but a little overboard for the home. If I have any doubts during those two weeks, I trash it.

1
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:44 PM

I have gone as long as 4 weeks but average 2 weeks, without issues, but it rarely lasts that long anyway as we all love it.

Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on May 28, 2012
at 03:59 PM

Lucky you! Getting into my 9 year old is going to be quite a challenge. My 19-yo won't look at it!

1
Eea6a68f5a7190d13c60e1c72417a581

(1376)

on May 27, 2012
at 11:03 AM

My rule is 2 weeks max if the protective fat cap has been on and it has been treated in the correct food safety protocol, ie cooled quickly and put in sterilized (w boiling water) mason jars. Near the end of that period I would boil it for 20 min just in case.

0
4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on May 28, 2012
at 04:10 PM

I keep mine about a week, if the fat cap on top is intact.

If you have a lot, and aren't going to use it, turn it into concentrate and freeze that. Let the broth boil until it has reduced to 1/2 or 1/4th it's original. Use it as a glaze or flavoring, or add back water to make "normal strength broth."

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