How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)

KJ Barber
By KJ Barber June 19, 2020 10:24

How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)

Normally when I think of making homemade broth, I think of the fall or winter months. The main reason is that it often requires a lot of heat, not only for cooking the broth, but also canning it. Or, I just don’t have room in the freezer for everything I want to do. Sounds familiar?

However, I have some good news! If you are looking for a really good broth, but don’t feel like canning or don’t have room in the freezer to store it, those steps are completely unnecessary. This particular method doesn’t make a large batch. But, because it’s so easy to do, you can make a small batch each time you cook up a chicken, or other poultry or meat of your choice.

While you can use this method for other poultry and meats, I am going to focus on chicken for this article. Not only do I love a good chicken broth, but there are many added benefits to it, other than flavor.

Chicken Broth – Good for the Soul and Body

I’m sure you all have heard someone recommend a bowl of chicken soup when you are not feeling well. Or, perhaps you are the one often suggesting it to others when they are sick. Turns out, it’s not just a myth or a kind gesture.

Chicken is filled with necessary nutrients and health benefits, including helping to build the immune system. The fat in chicken is also a big part of the healthy benefits, not just the bones and meat.

So, when some of you might naturally want to cut off the fat before cooking it, don’t. You will find out later in the article, that the fat plays another very important role for this method of preserving homemade broth. But, for now let’s look closer at the healthy benefits of a good bone broth.

Bone broths are broths made from poultry or meat with the bones left in while cooking. They are dense with nutrients, steeped with rich flavor, easy to digest, and have natural healing elements instilled. In addition to the bones, the skin, marrow, ligaments, and tendons, they also contain nutrients, such as collagen, glycine, proline and glutamine.

Minerals that are in a good homemade bone-in broth include Magnesium, Calcium and Phosphorus.

They also contain glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which are compounds found in expensive supplements that help to reduce pain and inflammation from ailments, such as arthritis and respiratory issues, such as asthma.

So, imagine all the nutrients that are simmering into a healthy broth when you cook a whole chicken.

But, enough about all the healthy benefits. Let’s get to making a delicious, easy, and beneficial broth that can be stored for up to 6 months without the work of canning or freezing.

Related: How To Make Calcium Supplements from Eggshells

Supplies Needed

The actual supplies you will need can vary, depending on personal choices. But the list is fairly simple:

  • Whole Chicken – pieces also can be used, as long as the skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments are still in place. The fattier the bird, the better.
  • Seasonings – I used my go-to favorite, which is basic salt, pepper, and garlic (about 2 large cloves). Garlic is also healthy, by the way.
  • Veggies – Carrots, celery, and onion are a good addition for flavor. I used just onion this time.
  • Cooking vessel – I used a slow cooker and let it cook all day. But, you could also cook it in a traditional oven.
  • Water – This is optional, but will provide more broth. I used about 1 cup.
  • Strainer
  • Jars with lids.How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)

The Process

The process is just about as easy as making the list above.

I placed the whole chicken into the slow cooker. I didn’t even clean it. That might be controversial still for some of you. But studies now show that cleaning a chicken is less healthy than not cleaning it.

Of course, if you are using a chicken from your own backyard, do as you normally would for prep. I just bought one from the store. If you are adding veggies, place the chicken on top of them in the cooking vessel.How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)Season the bird as you like. I happen to like a lot of black pepper and garlic, in addition to salt.How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)If you are using a slow cooker, set it on low and let it cook until it’s done and tender. I typically let it go for 5-6 hours.How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)Once the chicken is done, remove it carefully from the pot, and put it aside to use as you please. If it’s anything like mine, you will have to remove it in pieces as it falls apart!How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)Pour the juices left in the pot through a strainer, including the rendered fat.How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)After it has been strained, start pouring the broth into jars, again, including the rendered fat.

Let the jars sit, and the fat will rise to the top.

After it cools, there should be a good ½” of fat that has settled at the top and firmed up. DON’T REMOVE IT.How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)

After it cools, place the jars in the refrigerator.How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)The layer of fat you see sitting at the top will act as a sealant for the broth, and will prevent air from getting in, as long as it remains undisturbed. And, if it remains undisturbed, it should last in the refrigerator for about 6 months.

If the layer of fat is broken at any point, it should still stay good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.How to Safely Store Homemade Broth for 6 Months (No Canning or Freezing Required!)When it comes to using the broth, you can carefully remove the layer of fat, and can set that fat aside for future use in frying foods such as potatoes or other veggies.

My broth won’t last 6 months though, because I use it quite often. But, that’s OK, because I cook chicken quite often too, and this is so easy to do!

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KJ Barber
By KJ Barber June 19, 2020 10:24
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18 Comments

  1. Bj June 19, 16:22

    You do cover the chicken in water?

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jared June 19, 17:16

    Wow, just leaving the thick layer of fat will let the broth last up to 6 months in the fridge?
    That’s good to know 👍😁

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck June 19, 19:26

      Stored in a dark, cool place, not in your garage in Arizona or Mississippi in July.

      Duck confit is cooked duck stored in duck fat. The French used to preserve duck that way from long ago. This list ran an article on how to preserve foods in fat some time back.

      Reply to this comment
      • red June 19, 22:24

        Chuck: I hope that wasn’t a crack about Arizona, even if it is true 🙂 niio

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck June 20, 15:46

          My folks lived in Sun City outside Phoenix for almost twenty years. One could bake bread in their garage in the summertime. The fat on top of the chicken broth would melt and while the chicken broth wouldn’t actually boil, it would be warm enough to be palatable for a little while until it started to develop nasty little critters.

          Reply to this comment
          • red June 21, 03:37

            chuck: It still hasn’t gotten warm enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk. Our garage is on the west side of the house. Open the doors early, before sunrise, and it cools off and stays cool most of the day. Fountain roses keep the sun off. this winter, I hope to plant a cutting from the pomegranate between them.
            I know what you’re talking about.Phoenix gets up to 120 F in summer. If we hit 112 F, that’s a little excessive. Oracle, if it hits 100 F they’re in shock.
            Bighorn Park lost 37,000 acres to a brush fire. The forestry folks started backfires or I’d be looking for a temporary bugout. the problem is, the land is too steep to run even goats, so dead brush accumulates. Down in Mammoth, the ranchers run cattle so none were very worried about losing pasture. It’s more proof eco-freaks are nuts. No cattle and the land suffers. They break down dead brush and push it into the ground where native termites get it, and take it deep into the soil. niio

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  3. Running stumps June 19, 18:18

    Well if you cook the chicken with no onions and no garlic you can use the broth for your dogs and cats. Esp since garlic and onions are supposed to be bad for Dogs and Cats. Just an idea!

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  4. Electrocool June 19, 20:01

    What if you were to have bits of chicken and veg in there with it instead of sieving it out? Would it store for the same amount of time? Would the chicken be ok, or is this just for stock/broth

    Reply to this comment
  5. red June 19, 22:29

    Garlic to get the best benefit from it should be added close to the end of cooking. the oil is very volatile and evaporates fast in high heat.

    If you have a good food dryer, when the broth cools, mix in starch enough for a soft dough and make starch noodles. Or, if tolerant of gluten, flour. But starch noodles are a snap to cook, just pour boiling water over them. If done with beef or any non-poultry meat, the solids can be strained out and dried to make sopa seca, dried soup, which then only needs to be soaked to re-hydrate. niio

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck June 20, 15:48

      Red: Isn’t that commercially called Bullion?

      Reply to this comment
      • red June 21, 03:42

        chuck: without the salt, no. Add a lot of salt and yes, then it’s bullion. Sopa seca would have the meat and veggies in it. Hey, the koji is fermenting nice. It’s been 2 weeks–only 168 days to go! 🙂 We toasted rice instead of wheat fore gluten free.Pinto beans instead of soy. So, I’m a little nervous about it. Ran out of hoisin sauce, and we had to make that, as well. niio

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  6. IvyMike June 21, 00:04

    No need to add water, the slow cooker traps the water in the chicken and vegetables. You can add a cup of water but the chicken will be crispier if it is not covered by liquid. This is even better slow cooked in a ceramic coated dutch oven like a Le Creuset (400.00) or Lodge (60.00). The fat is called shmaltz and is so nutritious and useful and tasty it should be skimmed from the liquid and stored for a long term fat supply, add a thickener to the liquid and it’s gravy! Gravy is good way to add flavor and calories to a meal.

    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty June 21, 03:03

      True, but in this case the fat helps to seal the broth and keep it from going bad in the fridge.
      If you want crispy skin, tender pieces of chicken and loads of fat for cooking, I would suggest buying chicken backs or packages of chicken skins. There is quite a bit of meat on these, and the back bones are good for soup. Some markets either have them already packaged or will pack some for you if you ask one of the meat clerks. You can also ask for other “scrap meats” and organ meat. Try using rendered chicken fat for baking, too. Excellent in pie crust and biscuits.

      Reply to this comment
      • IvyMike June 21, 23:55

        As the grill chef I am in charge of the chicken backs, the best meat and the crispiest skin, when I’m parting out a whole grilled chicken my 1st move is to separate the back and immediately eat all edible bits. They used to sell a dang chicken with all the guts and neck, you could boil them separately with onion, celery, garlic and make a great broth, chop the cooked organs and neck meat finely and have giblet gravy. Where have all the chicken guts gone, and why can’t I buy fresh leg/thigh quarters anymore?

        Reply to this comment
      • red June 22, 17:20

        Miz Kitty and Mike: It’s not hard to find poultry feet, gizzards, hearts around, but skins? Backs and so on? We would need to go to a butcher to special order, and forget getting just skins. Viva chicharones! Crispy fried chicken and turkey skins are great eating.
        Agreed, the back is the best eating. Ever deep fry them, then stew later? Leftover meat becomes ‘fried soup.’
        that reminds me, we’re down to 35 lbs pintos and ten in rice, but well up on shell corn for meal and posole (grits and cornflour, Miz Kitty). niio

        Reply to this comment
    • red June 21, 03:45

      Mike: You cook like Mom and my grandmothers. “Add what to my stew? where’s the baseball bat!” 🙂

      Slow cookers keep the house from heating up, as well. Schmaltz, yeah, very good, but it doesn’t keep well here thanks to the heat. It freezes well, tho. niio

      Reply to this comment
  7. www.emailmeform.com July 3, 09:26

    Very nice pattern and great articles, nothing else we require :D.

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