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blbst36

Homemade Broth/Stock lasts how long?

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I made some homemade stock/broth a couple weeks ago.  I didn't think it lasted more than a weekish, so I dumped it, but it smelled perfectly fine.  How long would you say that homemade broth/stock keeps?  I try to make it, but I don't use it fast enough all the time.  If I could keep it a bit longer in the fridge, I might be able to use it exclusively

 

(And yes, I could freeze it, but my freezer is a piece of *&^# so everything HAS to be vacuumed packed or it will get freezer burn in under a week.  Yes, I have complained.  Yes, more than once.  No, they aren't going to do anything about it).

 

Thanks in advance!

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I make stock all the time. I am also blessed (and cursed) with a very sensitive nose. Sorry for your freezer issues, since that is definitely the best way to store stock. Offhand I would say a week is pushing it, even if your fridge is very cold, but I can smell and taste a change after about four days, so I don't keep stock in the fridge longer than that.

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22 minutes ago, blbst36 said:

I made some homemade stock/broth a couple weeks ago.  I didn't think it lasted more than a weekish, so I dumped it, but it smelled perfectly fine.  How long would you say that homemade broth/stock keeps?  I try to make it, but I don't use it fast enough all the time.  If I could keep it a bit longer in the fridge, I might be able to use it exclusively

 

(And yes, I could freeze it, but my freezer is a piece of *&^# so everything HAS to be vacuumed packed or it will get freezer burn in under a week.  Yes, I have complained.  Yes, more than once.  No, they aren't going to do anything about it).

 

Thanks in advance!

There is hardly a better medium to grow nasties than stock!   It is simply not worth taking a chance. 

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My answer assumes you cooled your stock promptly and stored it in a sufficiently cold fridge -- 36°F or thereabouts. My package of Costco/Kirkland Organic Chicken Stock says that once opened, a max of seven days is OK. That's also my guideline for homemade stock. It's never caused a problem, except for that one time I ran around in circles for an hour or so, flapping my arms and singing Surfin' Bird at the top of my lungs..

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Thanks all.  Good to know I didn't waste it needlessly.  I am going to freeze the carcasses and make the broth this weekend to use for soup.  I guess I can always use the broth to make rice or some other grain and freeze that.  At least it won't go bad then.

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That's a big reason why I don't make my own stock anymore...it takes up too much valuable space in the freezer that I need for other items .

However, if I cleaned out those freezers I'd have lots of extra room, but I can't talk about that.


Edited by lindag (log)
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I've come to terms with my smallish freezer and admit to a moderate case of OCD when it comes to stocks and broths. I get nervous if my my supply dwindles too much and feel compelled to make more. I don't want to get a separate freezer which would have to be kept in the basement, so I basically am resigned to a freezer that contains the following and not much else, ever: stocks of various kinds, roasted chiles, neck or other bones and the occasional carcass (chicken or turkey), home made tomato and pizza sauces, and a supply of grits. Once in a great while some leftover soup gets in there, but typically we are two people who are just as happy to eat the same meal two days in a row, so there aren't a lot of leftovers that get frozen.

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How about boiling it down to a demiglace sort of consistency and freezing ice cubes of it?  That is how I deal with keeping stock I've made.  Dilute it to whatever strength you think you need.  Great flavor boost to chuck  a cube of demiglace into most things you find yourself cooking.

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15 hours ago, cdh said:

How about boiling it down to a demiglace sort of consistency and freezing ice cubes of it?  That is how I deal with keeping stock I've made.  Dilute it to whatever strength you think you need.  Great flavor boost to chuck  a cube of demiglace into most things you find yourself cooking.

When we freeze stock, we almost always boil it to concentrate it. That way, it takes up less freezer space, and it's simple to add water to restore whatever consistency or strength you need.

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19 hours ago, cdh said:

How about boiling it down to a demiglace sort of consistency and freezing ice cubes of it?  That is how I deal with keeping stock I've made.  Dilute it to whatever strength you think you need.  Great flavor boost to chuck  a cube of demiglace into most things you find yourself cooking.

 

Anything remotely liquid like doesn't do well in the freezer, sadly.  Even ice cubes melt.  My stock usually ends up a jiggly gel like consistency as it is, though.

 

1 hour ago, dcarch said:

One of the factors, how salty is it?

 

dcarch

 

Not very?  I mean, it's from store roasted chicken carcasses, so it's probably a bit more salty than a homemade roasted chicken

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 I think if you are making stock from store roasted chicken you would want to be very careful about reducing it.  Yes, of course you will dilute the saltiness when you use it by adding water but I wonder how much of the flavour will remain.  Anyway it doesn't sound like much of an option given your freezer woes. 

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36 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 I think if you are making stock from store roasted chicken you would want to be very careful about reducing it.  Yes, of course you will dilute the saltiness when you use it by adding water but I wonder how much of the flavour will remain.  Anyway it doesn't sound like much of an option given your freezer woes. 

I have great success with making stock this way.  It is very flavorful, but not too salty.  I add water, celery, carrots, onions, bay leaves, sometimes thyme if I'm feeling froggy.  I don't think I reduce it.  It just gets jellyfish like when chilled on it's own.

 

Funny story - the first time I ever made stock from scratch (turkey from thanksgiving), I thought I messed it up because it gelled up when it was chilled.  I threw part of it away!  

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45 minutes ago, blbst36 said:

I have great success with making stock this way.  It is very flavorful, but not too salty.  I add water, celery, carrots, onions, bay leaves, sometimes thyme if I'm feeling froggy.  I don't think I reduce it.  It just gets jellyfish like when chilled on it's own.

 

Funny story - the first time I ever made stock from scratch (turkey from thanksgiving), I thought I messed it up because it gelled up when it was chilled.  I threw part of it away!  

I am only saying that if you were going to reduce it as recommended in a couple of posts then you need to be careful because then you will really concentrate the salt. 

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Okay, I don't even know if this is a dumb question. I've been making stocks and broths for a zillion years and can do it in my sleep, although I don't. One of the first things I remember learning was never to let the stock come to a boil, always keep it at a gentle simmer. The above advocates of reduction for storage benefits talk about boiling to reduce the stock. How does that affect the final flavor or quality? Or is no-boiling just an old wives' tale? And how much reduction are we talking about? Do you turn a quart in to an ice cube? If so, I really could do it in my sleep, since who wants to babysit a pot of disappearing chicken soup for hours and hours? I just don't think I could stand to watch all my loving patience go up in steam!

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I usually keep a 2lt bottle in the fridge and use what I need at any given time.  It sits in the fridge for weeks, never had any problems.   I freeze the rest.  Some I put into plastic zip lock bags to freeze as that make a good portion size.

Never boil for making stock but will reduce stock for use in a sauce etc. 

My 2c.

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1 hour ago, Katie Meadow said:

Okay, I don't even know if this is a dumb question. I've been making stocks and broths for a zillion years and can do it in my sleep, although I don't. One of the first things I remember learning was never to let the stock come to a boil, always keep it at a gentle simmer. The above advocates of reduction for storage benefits talk about boiling to reduce the stock. How does that affect the final flavor or quality? Or is no-boiling just an old wives' tale? And how much reduction are we talking about? Do you turn a quart in to an ice cube? If so, I really could do it in my sleep, since who wants to babysit a pot of disappearing chicken soup for hours and hours? I just don't think I could stand to watch all my loving patience go up in steam!

 

The reason you're not supposed to let stock boil is mainly to keep it clear, although there is some evidence that flavor extraction is better at temperatures slightly less than a boil. 

 

Reduction should take place after the stock is finished and strained, so you've already gotten the flavor and gelatin out of your ingredients, and there are no solids left to cloud your stock. At this point, you can boil away. As for how much to reduce it, it's up to you. We sometimes just reduce by half and freeze it in ziplocks like @Captain, so one pouch is reconstituted with an equal amount of water to make it stock-strength. Sometimes we do an 8:1 reduction and, like @cdh, freeze it. We have silicone ice trays that have compartments that are one ounce (or close enough); once it's frozen, we pop it out into ziplocks and use as necessary. We reconstitute it by putting a cube in a one-cup measure and filling the cup with water (this is technically 7:1, but again, close enough). It's also nice to have the ice-cubed concentrate around, as @cdh says, for adding some body and umami to a sauce or soup.

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1 hour ago, Captain said:

I usually keep a 2lt bottle in the fridge and use what I need at any given time.  It sits in the fridge for weeks, never had any problems.   I freeze the rest.  Some I put into plastic zip lock bags to freeze as that make a good portion size.

Never boil for making stock but will reduce stock for use in a sauce etc. 

My 2c.

 Then I'm much more interested in your immune system than your stock. xD  I'd also be wondering if you suffer from anosmia. xD

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My preferred method is to make stock that has enough dissolved gelatin that when chilled turns to a solid mass. Typically, simmered til reduced by at least 1/3. If looser than that, I hold it for 4 - 6 days, and add more bones and scraps to improve. Sometimes add some vinegar to dissolve some of the bone, and usually add a moderate amount of salt.

I try not to boil to keep it as clear as I can. Have to admit it usually a little cloudy.

I strain it into quart jars, and hand seal while hot. Then into cold water, or briefly into the freezer so that the jar seals better. Usually I use it within 10 days. Have never had bad odors, even from a jar that went to the back of the fridge for I don't know how long. That I pitched, but even then no odor or any fuzzy stuff on top.

I suppose if I added as much salt as used in commercially made, it might be held chilled for quite a while longer.

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I cook all kinds of scraps (corn cobs, bones, trimmings) in instant pot using stock that I have on hand instead of water.  Re cooking it frequently prevents spoiling.  Sometimes I run out of stock and use water.  Sometimes I have too much stock and freeze it.  Sometimes I make risotto just to use the stock.  It pains me to throw things away.

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6 hours ago, blbst36 said:

 

Anything remotely liquid like doesn't do well in the freezer, sadly.  Even ice cubes melt.  My stock usually ends up a jiggly gel like consistency as it is, though.

 

 

Not very?  I mean, it's from store roasted chicken carcasses, so it's probably a bit more salty than a homemade roasted chicken

 

If the stock is in a ziplock it won't freezer burn or Melt.  Zip locks frozen lying flat can then be stacked and keep forever. 


Edited by gfweb (log)
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I save chinese takeout soup containers and freeze my homemade stock in them. They never get freezer burnt. As a matter of fact, i have pork stock thats over 2 years old that doesnt have a bit of frost in it. Maybe a few ice crystals but there crystal clear.

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52 minutes ago, FeChef said:

I save chinese takeout soup containers and freeze my homemade stock in them. They never get freezer burnt. As a matter of fact, i have pork stock thats over 2 years old that doesnt have a bit of frost in it. Maybe a few ice crystals but there crystal clear.

Yup. i buy them, "deli containers", on amazon. Great for stock or leftovers or giving guests stuff to take home. Dirt cheap and last forever.

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I do like the Chinese takeout-style soup containers for freezing some things. Since I tend to use smaller amounts of stock at a time, though, I save 8 oz. Daisy sour cream containers. These are excellent for freezing the drippings from roasting chicken along with the fat on top. This is enough to make a generous gravy or sauce for two or more. Just be sure to leave a little headroom for expansion upon freezing. I take a Sharpie and write the contents on the lid. I have some pork drippings from ribs in a couple of Daisy containers for ramen broth, single servings of spaghetti or pizza sauce, whatever you have. I have crappy freezers too! but these thick plastic containers keep stuff fine anyway.

 

The containers last for years and can be recycled when they finally give out. Just make sure you don't get impatient and try to pry the lid off straight out of the freezer. I've cracked a few lids that way, because the plastic is too stiff when that cold to have enough give to release without breaking. The sealed containers are waterproof so you can run them under warm water for a little bit to get the lid pliable enough to release to say break some chicken fat off the top layer to start the roux for your gravy. Grapefruit spoon works great to get frozen chix fat off the top of the frozen broth.

 

@blbst36,

 

Sorry about your freezer issues, and welcome to renting in North Carolina. The government and the law are in cahoots, I think, with big property owners and management companies. You need to buy or find a private landlord with a sense of ethics. They exist. I rented from a wonderful individual in Raleigh near NC State for a year or two when I first moved here. Nicest person you could ask for. Unfortunately, I nested 28 years ago in a property owned by Tar Heel Companies

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