If you love Better Than Bouillon for quickly making flavorful broths and sauces, you’ll want to pay attention to signs of spoilage. Nothing can ruin a dish faster than using rancid or spoiled stock paste.
While unopened jars can last around 2 years past the printed expiration date, Better Than Bouillon has a relatively short shelf life once opened. Exposure to air and microbes sharply reduces freshness.
With a few simple checks, you can easily determine if your Better Than Bouillon has gone bad before potentially ruining your recipes.
Check the Expiration Date on the Jar
The first and easiest check is to note the expiration date printed on the Better Than Bouillon jar. When properly stored unopened in a cool, dry pantry, it will stay fresh for about 2 years past this date.
However, once you break the seal and open the jar, the countdown to spoilage begins. The paste inside will only last between 1-2 months in the refrigerator before going bad.
So if your jar is past the expiration date, or if it’s been open for longer than 2 months, it’s best to discard and purchase a fresh jar. Don’t take risks with old product.
Inspect the Appearance and Texture
Next, take a close look at the appearance of the Better Than Bouillon paste. Fresh, unspoiled product will have a smooth, uniform consistency.
Watch out for these visual signs of spoilage:
- Mold growth
- Curdling, separation, wateriness
- Clumps or chunks of paste
- Excess liquid or moisture
The paste should have a uniform color throughout. Any mold, strange discoloration, curdling, or separation means toss it out.
The paste may also develop clumps or an excessively watery texture if it has spoiled. If you see anything amiss with the look or texture, you’re better off discarding the jar.
Smell for Off Odors
Your nose is an important tool for determining freshness. Give the paste a good sniff test. Fresh Better Than Bouillon should have an aroma consistent with the type you purchased.
Watch for these unpleasant scents that signal spoilage:
- Rancid, sour smell
- Very pungent, strong odor
- Ammonia-like smell
- Rotten or sulfurous odor
- Anything “off” or unpleasant
If you detect a rancid, sour, pungent, or generally unpleasant smell, bacteria growth has caused the paste to turn. Any kind of “off” odor means you shouldn’t risk tasting or using the product.
Evaluate the Taste
If the Better Than Bouillon passes the sight and scent tests, the final step is to incorporate a small amount into hot water and evaluate the taste. You’ll be able to detect spoilage issues through the flavor.
Here’s what to watch out for:
- Bitter, unpleasant taste
- Very bland, weak taste
- Rancid or “off” aftertaste
- Anything unusual
An unpleasant, bitter, rancid, or “off” taste clearly signals it has gone bad. But also note if the paste seems very bland or weak. Loss of flavor can mean the vitamins and taste compounds have broken down over time.
Any changes in expected flavor means it’s time to discard the jar. Don’t compromise on taste.
When in Doubt, Throw it Out
To quickly recap, here are the signs your Better Than Bouillon has spoiled:
- Expiration date passed
- Opened for more than 2 months
- Mold, discoloration, curdling, separation
- Clumping texture or excess moisture
- Rancid, strong, or unpleasant smell
- Bitter, “off,” or weak taste
My recommendation is that if you have any doubts at all, don’t second guess – just toss it out. Better Than Bouillon is inexpensive enough to replace regularly.
It’s not worth the risk of foodborne illness to try salvaging a questionable jar of Better Than Bouillon. If there are any abnormalities in the look, smell, or taste – discard it.
Being vigilant against using spoiled stock paste ensures your dishes will stay delicious and safe to eat. With a few quick checks, you can determine if your Better Than Bouillon is still good or ready for the trash. Trust your senses, and stay wary of old product.
Keeping an eye on Better Than Bouillon’s expiration date and carefully inspecting the appearance, smell, and taste will allow you to catch signs of spoilage. Don’t take risks with old product that may have developed bacteria.
Tossing out a spoiled jar is a small price to pay to avoid ruining your recipes or risking foodborne illness. With Better Than Bouillon’s long shelf life when sealed, and quick visual, scent, and taste checks, you can always keep fresh paste on hand to whip up flavorful dishes.
Hi, I’m Ben Holland. I love cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes, travel tips, and stories about my adventures with my wife and kids.