Double-boil chicken stock?
October 8, 2008 5:23 PM   Subscribe

Boiled some stock on Monday, stock sat out for 2 days. Can I salvage it?

I bought a BBQ chicken on Monday night. After picking it to pieces, i threw the bones, skin, and whatever else was left in a pot with some hot water and boiled it to make stock. I forgot about it. Yesterday (tuesday) came and went, and it is still sitting on the stove. Today is Wednesday. If I boil it again for a bit of time, will it be ok to eat? Have I waited too long to salvage it?
posted by nitor to Food & Drink (16 answers total)
I'm usually on the "just eat it, already" side of the fence Dear god, no.
posted by handful of rain at 5:29 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Pitch it, sorry. Broth is the perfect thing for growing bacteria. It doesn't matter if you kill the bacteria by boiling it again, because they've already produced the endotoxins, which is what is going to make you sick. The endotoxins aren't going to be inactivated by boiling either.
posted by Good Brain at 5:33 PM on October 8, 2008

Bacteria love broth. Yummers. And they divide pretty quickly at room temperature. So I'd throw it out.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:37 PM on October 8, 2008

Boiled some stock on Monday, stock sat out for 2 days. Can I salvage it?

And here I thought this was going to be a Bernanke quote.

And I agree with handful of rain on this one. Both on the "just eat it" part, and the "Dear god, no" part, and I am an atheist.

You're talking about the parts you would have pitched anyway. What are you out? Get rid of it!

But if you do decide to eat it, let us know how that goes, ok?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:38 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

My advice is definitely "throw it out" but I also know, in my heart of hearts, that unless it already had green fuzzy things, I'd just boil it again and use it.
posted by rokusan at 5:48 PM on October 8, 2008

Get rid of it. Do not eat it.

Repeating what Good Brain said. It is full of bugs. The bugs have made lots of poison. Heat will not destroy the poison, even if it kills the bugs.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:59 PM on October 8, 2008

Less than all you want to know about heat stable enterotoxins here. Your broth may be full of them, and may not be full of them. But it's only bonewater for f*&k's sake. Why risk it? Throw it out.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:29 PM on October 8, 2008

Wait a sec. Throw it out? Depends. I keep my house cold, and if I made that stock and then never took the lid off to let any air and bacteria in, that is if the last thing before forgetting was that the stock pot boiled for 5-10 minutes without the lid on, then, yeah, I'd boil it up again, and see if it smells okay. I have a sensitive smeller though. And I trust it. If you're not sure the lid is tight or contents might have been exposed to air, or if you kitchen is very warm (like tropics, e.g.) then I would chuck it. Open it up and see if it seems funky. If not, there's a good chance it's okay in a cool kitchen.

I'm not a biologist though. :) But rereading your question, it looks like it sat for ONE day. I imagine it's fine. I do that all the time. (In a cool kitchen. Not in the heat of summer.)
posted by Listener at 6:47 PM on October 8, 2008

Ah, damn, blush, it IS two days. Still, it could be good. As I stated above.
posted by Listener at 6:48 PM on October 8, 2008

I eat candy I find on the ground and I would not even think about eating that. The combination of chicken + warm and not being rare and/or irreplacable all point to hell no.
posted by jessamyn at 6:58 PM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

No way, no how.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:35 PM on October 8, 2008

I wouldn't go anywhere near this stuff.
posted by The Monkey at 7:36 PM on October 8, 2008

Please please PLEASE don't follow Listener's advice. Most bacteria that will make you sick cause no discernable difference in the food. After 2 days in a good growth medium like broth, even at a relatively chilly room temp of 60 degrees, those bacteria are having an orgy of Caligulan proportions.

It's probably a food quality at this point too, whenever I throw stock bones away they smell like death the next day if I don't take the trash out right away.
posted by TungstenChef at 8:24 PM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

This stock was sterile when you were done boiling it, and there shouldn't have been any heat-stable toxins in it before then, because it hadn't been sitting out before that.

The question is what happened after you were done boiling it. If you feel quite certain that not even 1 bacterium could have gotten in, then the stock is still sterile and probably safe to eat.

Unfortunately, even in a lidded pot it is possible for a bacterium to settle out of the air right next to a crevice in the lid and sneak in via capillary action. If it was a nasty bacterium, then your stock is now a nasty case of food poisoning waiting to happen, because stock is just exactly the kind of stuff that bacteria thrive upon.

I wouldn't chance it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:28 PM on October 8, 2008

2 whole days even in a cool kitchen with a lid on. I would not risk it.

I think my limit is the morning after cooking it the night before.
posted by mary8nne at 2:47 AM on October 9, 2008

Pitch it. My dear sainted Mom thought that a microwave oven had the same food storage properties as a refrigerator and would let things sit there for a day or two before nuking them back up. Perhaps her system was used to it, perhaps growing up in the 1930's Depression era she ahd eaten for more questionable stuff, but on one visit home, she served us some soup that had been stored like this (of course unbeknown to us) and the food poisoning was just barely shy of hospitalization.

Moms: "Oh, I do that all the time!"

Us: "Hey Mom, let us cook tonight!"
posted by beelzbubba at 12:38 PM on October 9, 2008

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