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How Long Can You Stock Chicken Stock

How long does home-made chicken stock keep in the refrigerator? In the freezer?

The government giveth and the government taketh away.

On the taketh away side, the US Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Hotline (888-674-6854) says you can keep homemade chicken stock in the refrigerator for only about four days.

On the other side of the equation, the department says you can keep stock in the freezer "essentially forever." Bacteria won't grow in the freezer, so the stock will remain safe. At some point, as history marches on, the harsh environment of the freezer will cause the flavor and quality of the stock to degrade somewhat, so you should probably use it before too much time passes.

The manufacturers of canned and boxed stock also say you can keep their products in the refrigerator once opened for only about four days. They suggest that 60 days is the freezer limit.

We are ashamed to say we have kept and used refrigerated stock past the four-day mark, but our refrigerators are very cold and we have boiled the stock like mad before using it. But we are not going to do it anymore!

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