Vegetable stock is the most versatile and healthiest ingredient used in many recipes. It can be made at home or purchased from the market. But how long does vegetable stock last?
The shelf life of unopened vegetable stock is longer than an opened bottle. An unopened vegetable stock can last for up to a year in the freezer. Whereas, an opened bottle can last for 3 months in the freezer and 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
Vegetable stock is a flavorful liquid commonly used as a base for soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes. It is made with various vegetables, herbs, and aromatics simmered in water.
Vegetable stock adds delicious flavors to our food and increases the overall nutritional value. If you have some leftover store-bought or homemade vegetable stock, this article will help you learn about its shelf life, storage methods, and signs that indicate it has gone bad.
How Long Does Vegetable Stock Last?
|Vegetable Broth Type||Pantry||Fridge||Freezer|
|Store-bought (unopened)||Best-by + 1 – 3 months||–||1 Year or more|
|Store-bought (opened)||–||4 – 5 days||3 Months|
|Homemade||–||4 – 5 days||3 Months|
The shelf life of vegetable stock depends on how it is stored. Typically, homemade vegetable stock can last up to 5 days if stored properly in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer bag or an airtight container.
On the other hand, the shelf life of store-bought vegetable stock is longer due to the presence of preservatives. An unopened bottle of vegetable stock can last for months even after its best-by-day if stored properly. However, an opened bottle should be used within five days.
So, that was a rough estimate of how long vegetable stock can last. Let’s further explore how to check the quality of vegetable stock.
Does Vegetable Stock Go Bad Easily?
Vegetable stock is a flavorful liquid that can be refrigerated or frozen to extend its shelf life. However, like any food item, vegetable stock can go bad if it is not stored properly or kept for too long.
It is easy to check the quality of vegetable stock by looking for some signs. Let’s look at all the signs indicating that vegetable stock has gone bad.
How To Tell If Vegetable Stock Has Gone Bad Or Spoiled?
Not sure if your vegetable stock is in good condition to use? Don’t worry; there are several ways to tell if the vegetable stock has gone bad or spoiled. Here are some signs of spoilage to look out for:
- Smell: The first sign that vegetable stock has gone bad is a change in smell. If you detect a sour or unpleasant odor or the stock smells off or rancid, it is likely no longer safe to consume.
- Appearance: A change in appearance is the easiest way to tell if the vegetable stock has gone bad. If the stock becomes cloudy or has developed mold, it should be discarded immediately.
- Taste: If smell and appearance show no sign of spoilage, an unusual, sour, or bitter taste is a clear sign that vegetable stock has gone bad. Such a stock should not be consumed.
How Long Is Vegetable Stock Good After The Expiration Date?
Vegetable stock doesn’t come with an expiration date, but it comes with a best-by date that indicates the date till which it is considered safe to consume. It’s best to use the stock before this date.
Additionally, vegetable stock can also go bad before the best-by date if not stored properly. Thus, you should always look for all signs of spoilage before consuming leftover stock.
How To Store Vegetable Stock?
Look at how to store vegetable stock to make its best use.
If you plan to use your vegetable stock within the next 5 days, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
But before you place it in the refrigerator, make sure to let the stock come to room temperature. Homemade vegetable stock can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
To extend the shelf of vegetable stock, you can also freeze it. To do so, allow the vegetable stock to cool down.
Once it comes to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag. Label the container with the date of storage. Vegetable stock can be frozen for up to 3 months.
3. Ice cube Tray
Another way of storing vegetable stock is by freezing it in an ice cube tray. Pour the leftover vegetable stock into an ice cube tray once it comes down to room temperature.
Transfer the cubes to an airtight container or freezer bag once frozen. Storing vegetable stock in an ice cube tray is a great way to have small portions of vegetable stock on hand for adding to soups, stews, or sauces.
While storing vegetable stock, make sure to use clean utensils and containers to prevent contamination. Moreover, make sure it is stored in an airtight container.
Tips To Extend The Shelf Life Of Vegetable Stock
You have learned how to store vegetable stock and what signs you should look out for to ensure its quality. However, take a look at some tips that can help extend the shelf life of your vegetable stock.
- Storage: Storing vegetable stock in an airtight container prevents it from coming in touch with bacteria. If you plan to refrigerate or freeze it, let it come to room temperature first. Once cooled, place it in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Maintain temperature: The shelf life of vegetable stock extends when stored at a constant temperature. Thus, if you have an unopened can of vegetable stock stored in the pantry, avoid changing its place from pantry to refrigerator and back again. Placing vegetable stock at a different temperature will affect its shelf life and put it at risk of spoilage before its expiration.
- Label your stock: Before storing your vegetable stock, always label it with the date it was made and the contents. This will help you keep track of how long it has been stored.
- Use it on time: Despite storing it correctly, vegetable stock is best to use within 5 days. This will ensure that you are consuming the best quality vegetable stock.
- Freeze in small portions: If you plan to freeze your vegetable stock, consider freezing it in small portions. This will make it easy to defrost it, and you can use only the amount needed without wasting it.
- Use clean utensils: Always use clean utensils when handling vegetable stock. This will help prevent contamination and extend the shelf life.
Vegetable broth is a flavorful ingredient to make delicious food. It also comes with many health benefits. It can be brought from the store or made at home. However, it has a short shelf life once opened.
A homemade or opened bottle of vegetable stock has a shelf life of 4-5 days unless frozen. But the shelf life also depends on how you store it. Thus, it’s always best to make or buy vegetable stock as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a vegetable stock made of?
Vegetable stock is made with onions, celery, carrots, and other leftover vegetable bits and pieces simmered in water.
How long does vegetable stock last?
A homemade or opened vegetable stock bottle lasts 4-5 days in the refrigerator. An unopened bottle or can of vegetable stock can last till its best-by date or more.
Can we freeze vegetable stock?
Yes, vegetable stock can be frozen.
Does canned vegetable stock last longer than homemade?
Yes, canned or store-bought vegetable stock lasts longer than homemade stock.