Week old beef broth safe to use?
April 29, 2012 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Week old beef broth, kept in the refrigerator. Safe to use? I'm making a slow cooker recipe with it.

I am in the middle of making a beef brisket in the slow cooker. The recipe calls for beef broth. I bought some last week, opened it and used half, and the remainder has been sitting in the refrigerator for 7-8 days. Is it ok to use? As you can tell from this question, I have no idea how long most foods keep.
posted by bchaplin to Food & Drink (13 answers total)
 
The chicken broth I usually use says to use within 14 days after opening. Check the package if you still have it.
posted by mollweide at 11:16 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The nose is a wonderfully sensitive testing device for "offness." If it passes the sniff test it's pretty hard to imagine that it won't be safe to use. One thing you could do to be doubly sure is boil it separately for five minutes before you add it to your brisket--that should knock anything that might be growing on the head.

IANA food scientist, but IA a person who regularly keeps leftovers in the fridge for a week with no bad side effects.
posted by yoink at 11:23 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


http://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16482
posted by rr at 11:36 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


If it passes the sniff test it's pretty hard to imagine that it won't be safe to use

This is not correct. The bacteria that cause food poisoning do not smell.

boil it separately for five minutes before you add it to your brisket--that should knock anything that might be growing on the head

This is true but misleading. Some of the bacteria that cause food poisoning do it by producing toxins which are not destroyed by heating.

I would not use week old meat broth.
posted by emilyw at 11:37 AM on April 29, 2012


Thanks!
The answers seems to be mixed, and I am not particularly sensitive to bad smells, whether or not that method works.
I'm going to err on the side of caution. I added some red wine into the pot in place of the broth, along with some other sauces. Hope it works out.
posted by bchaplin at 11:42 AM on April 29, 2012


I wouldn't use it, personally, but check the packet. I'd go for a stock cube/concentrate as a substitute if there was no alternative, but what I'd probably do is make up a vegetable stock (this is a recipe, but you could use lots less ingredients, the only really key ones are carrot, onion and celery) and add a beef stock cube to it at half the concentration indicated on the packet.
posted by howfar at 11:45 AM on April 29, 2012


I've used 7 day beef stock from the fridge and it was fine - suggest giving it a good boil in case.
posted by laukf at 11:48 AM on April 29, 2012


I'd use it. I have used it. Since this was commercially prepared broth as opposed to homemade broth, odds are even greater that it's still fine. Too late now, I guess, but for future reference.

For future future reference, we keep Better Than Bouillon concentrates around (refrigerate after opening), which allows for the making of just the amount you need as you need it. I've used the beer and the vegetable ones, and they're both fine.
posted by rtha at 12:12 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks again!
I need to start keeping some just-in-case basics; those bouillon cubes sound like a smart thing to have.
posted by bchaplin at 12:27 PM on April 29, 2012


I've used the beer

Er, that should say "beef". Not that I haven't put beer in stews, but Better than Bouillon does not, to my knowledge, make a beer concentrate!
posted by rtha at 12:29 PM on April 29, 2012


I'd use commercial broth after a week but not homemade. It's usually saltier than homemade, has smaller amounts of things in it that bacteria like to eat like gelatin, and often has some preservatives in it.
posted by TungstenChef at 1:53 PM on April 29, 2012


For the future, Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything) says that if you boil your homemade stock every 3 days or so, it can keep indefinitely. I am told that there are restaurants in Asia that have kept and added to the same stock for years, and I bet it tastes awesome!
It also freezes well.
posted by jander03 at 4:31 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've used open cartons of broth that were over a month old without problems many times, usually in a pressure cooker.

The carton will say something about being 'best' within 1 week of opening -- it's still safe to consume.
posted by imagineerit at 5:22 PM on April 29, 2012


« Older Powerpoint's acting like Photoshop   |   What other cars should I look out for? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.