Do Bouillon Cubes Expire? How Long Do They Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 3rd, 2022

Don’t have time to prepare chicken stock? You can create it in minutes with bouillon cubes. Though they come in packs, you’ll eventually run out of old cubes. Do bouillon cubes spoil?

Perhaps your beef cubes are reaching the end of their shelf life, and you’re seeking for ways to extend their life.

Bouillon Cubes

In any case, it’s time to brush up on your knowledge of bouillon cubes. Sounds intriguing, right? Let’s get started straight now.

What exactly are Bouillon cubes?

The French phrase for excellent soup made from broth, bouillon, is difficult to spell. For French speakers, the word is derived from the verb “bouillir,” which means “to boil.” A bouillon cube can be used to produce broth for soups, stews, and sauces.

A bouillon cube is a delicious block of dried and seasoned stock that contains a trace of fat. Bouillon from scratch is a clear, seasoned broth of cooked meat, chicken, fish, or vegetables that contain no stew sediments. Bouillon is a fragrant herb and spice mix. Carrots, celery, onions, and parsley may be used as seasonings.

While bouillon can be produced from chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, you may also find it in lamb, ham, or fish stock. There are several bouillon brands on the market, some saltier than others. They are available in bulk or packs of eight.

What Is the Shelf Life of Bouillon Cubes?

The shelf life of bouillon cubes varies depending on the manufacturer. If you’ve thrown away the packaging (with the date) and are solely left with the cubes, you may presume they’ll survive at least a year.

The recommended storage term is often between a year and 18 or even 24 months. And it makes little difference whether the package has been opened or not.

What if your Knorr cubes or Better Than Bouillon paste have passed their expiration date? One thing is certain: they will not go bad immediately away. The flavor will fade and get duller with time, but unless you mess up the storage, they should be good for another couple of months at the very least.

If your old bouillon cubes are flavorless, consider adding extra cubes to compensate.

Best-by date + 1 – 3 months for the best quality

However, bouillon cubes can become bad. Let’s look at some of the warning indicators.

What Does the Package Date Indicate?

The date on the packaging is usually the date it was packed, the date by which it should be used for the greatest flavor, or an expiration date beyond which a manufacturer states the product should not be used.

Bouillon cubes may be used long after the packaging date since it frequently relates to the date during which the taste is at its finest. After that date, the flavor may begin to fade or alter.

Even if the date on the bouillon cube packaging is an expiry date, because of the numerous factors that impact its shelf life, such as storage circumstances, if the cubes appear and smell great, they are usually still safe to use.

When should bouillon, broth, and stock be discarded?

According to this FDA food label page, “consumers may wish to avoid consuming the items if the color, consistency, or texture has altered dramatically.”

Are canned bouillon, broth, and stock more shelf stable than boxed varieties?

Yes. According to the use-by dates I’ve noticed in my region, the cans last around 10 months longer than the boxes.

How Can You Tell If Your Bouillon Cubes Are Bad?

Testing to see if your instant broth cubes are still edible is similar to checking other dry items. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

  • Mold or any other color changes. Any white flecks are a dead giveaway that the cube should be discarded.
  • The smell has changed. If it smells off, it’s gone, just like practically any other meal.
  • Unappealing. If your cubes are over their expiration date, prepare half a cup of broth as a test. A half cup of boiling water and one-fourth of a bouillon cube are all you need. Get rid of it if it tastes terrible.

Want to use those old cubes to create a huge pot of soup? Make sure you perform the taste mentioned above test. It only takes a few minutes and might save you from a culinary disaster.

If your cubes readily break apart, this might indicate that they are fairly old, and the quality of the broth prepared with them may be lacking. But you won’t know unless you put it to the test. Again, if the taste is weak, add extra cubes to compensate.

How Should Bouillon Cubes Be Stored?

Bouillon cubes are useful not only because they allow you to produce a pot of soup in minutes, but they also don’t require much storage space.

The cubes are shelf-stable; all they require is a cold, dry environment. A kitchen or pantry cabinet is ideal. You may also do what I do and keep the cubes in the same spot where I keep spices.

I’m sure you already know this, but I wanted to clarify that the stock you produced with the cubes should be refrigerated, exactly as handcrafted or open chicken stock or vegetable broth.

Now that we’ve addressed storage let’s look at the shelf life of dehydrated broth.

Repackaging for Extended Storage

Many individuals store food for longer, believing that such food storage is a vital aspect of disaster preparedness. Repackaging bouillon cubes can help increase their storage duration.

Bouillon cubes often have a high salt content, contributing to their long shelf life. They can be part of a long-term food storage plan if they are securely secured against moisture. Taking the cubes out of the container or carton they came in and repackaging them with a food sealer or Mylar bags provides more protection.


Editorial Staff

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