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When to discard Chicken stock???

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
OK, I have grown up with the general rule of thumb that food last between 3-5 days after cooking. What are your thoughts on chicken stock? I usually use stock before the three day mark, so I never had to worry about it. But I now have two quarts that have been sitting for about two weeks in my fridge.

Some of my stock I highly reduce so it is gelatinous when chilled. But these two quarts are just standard stock. Ideas?
post #2 of 9
IF IN DOUBT? THROW IT OUT 2 WEEKS QUITE A LONG TIME, WHY DIDN'T YOU FREEZE IT?:confused:
CHEFED
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post #3 of 9
Agree with Ed on the first two propositions:

1. When in doubt, throw it out.

2. Two weeks is "quite a long time," especially for chicken stock which is a capital medium for sustaining all sorts of life -- including bacterial.

3. Unlike Ed, I'm not going to nag you about not freezing it. Darn it. Yes I am. Why didn't you freeze it?

BDL
post #4 of 9
If you're a culinary student, think back to your ServSafe class on sanitation.

Remember that bacteria is capable of exponential growth rates. Under optimal nutrient conditions (as with the protein, nitorgen, sodium, and moisture afforded by chicken broth), they can double their population every 20-30 minutes.

Refrigeration will slow the growth rate of most bacteria but not stop it. Some bacteria like the cold loving psychrophiles can grow at temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit.

What does this mean?

The broth should be discarded. Two weeks is way too long for the refrigerated storage of this product.
post #5 of 9
I'm just going to throw a monkey-wrench in and say that if it is a boxed stock....most of the boxed ones I've used say that 2 week is the limit.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info everyone! I usually do throw most things after the 3-5 day mark, but I was just curious whether stock had any extra life or not. I couldn't find any special rules that applied to it. And so, thanks! And out it will go today!

oh, and as for freezing it...I actually moved it from the freezer to my fridge a few weeks back to make room for a new batch of fresh stock I had made. Sadly, I never got around to using it. Ugh, I hate that! But thankfully, I at least have more stock sitting at the ready. :smiles:
post #7 of 9
Just to add my 2 cents. If there's a storage problem, as in not having enough freezer space, you can extend the life of the stock by reheating it every few days. Bring up to just below the boiling point and let is simmer at least ten minutes. Then cool and refrigerate as usual.

In my own case, where there's more than ample freezer room, I put the stock up in quantities I expect to use. Often that means 1 1/2 cup packages, for making sauces. But there are always several larger sizes (quarts, etc.) to use as soup base.

By the way, if you have a pressure canner, stock can be canned. Use the time/pressure figures for chicken (or beef as the case may be), and you can then store it unrefrigerated for two days longer than forever.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 9
Call me crazy but how about when its smells bad and has stuff floating in it....:eek:
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #9 of 9
In that case, get rid of it. Nothing is going to return the quality of stock that's gone bad. And using it could be dangerous.

The reheat-every-few-days is a preventative, not a cure.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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