Do Bouillon Cubes Go Bad? How Long Do Bouillon Cubes Last?

Bouillon cubes are used to boost the flavor in stocks, soups, and gravies.  They are also used for marinating turkey, sauteing vegetables, and boiling grains.  But can bouillon cubes go bad?  There are a few factors that determine the longevity of bouillon cubes.

Quick Answer

Yes, bouillon cubes can go bad.  The average shelf life of bouillon cubes is 18-24 months, but they can generally be used up to 3 months past their expiration date.  Because of their high salt content, bouillon can last a long time before going bad.  How long bouillon cubes last before going bad also depends on how they are stored.


Knowing how to store bouillon cubes properly can help you make your bouillon cubes last beyond their expiration date if needed.  Read on to find out the best methods for storing bouillon cubes to get the most out of them before they go bad.

Do Bouillon Cubes Go Bad? How Long Do Bouillon Cubes Last?

Bouillon cubes can go bad in time, especially if they are stored in specific conditions that can make them go bad prior to their expiration date.

How Long Do Bouillon Cubes Last Outside?

Bouillon cubes still in the package will last as long as 18-24 months when stored at room temperature.  They are best stored in a cool, dry place, which helps them maintain their flavor.

If you have discarded the package the bouillon cubes came in, their shelf life drops down to about 12 months.

Bouillon cubes that have gotten wet or contaminated by another liquid also have a reduced shelf life, and depending on how much liquid contaminated the cubes, they may no longer be useful.

How Long Does Bouillon Cubes Last in the Fridge?

While you can store bouillon cubes in the refrigerator, it is not recommended.  Because of the high salt content contained in bouillon cubes, it is best to store them in a cool, dry place.

In some cases, storing bouillon cubes in the refrigerator may reduce their shelf life down to about 12 months.  If you do choose to store bouillon cubes in the refrigerator, always do so keeping them in a tightly sealed package.

The original package the bouillon cubes were purchased in is best to use when storing them, but if the original package has been discarded, a tightly sealed container or plastic bag will suffice.

How Long Do Bouillon Cubes Last in the Freezer?

Bouillon cubes can last in the freezer for years if stored properly.  You can use the original packaging so long as it is tightly sealed.

If the original packaging has been discarded, the shelf life of your bouillon cubes may be reduced, even being stored in the freezer.

When storing in the freezer, put your bouillon cubes in a vacuum-sealed bag or mylar bag.  If using a bag, make sure all the air is pushed out of the bag before being sealed off.


Bouillon cubes can last you as long as two years, and even longer in some cases when stored properly in the freezer.  The high salt content contained in bouillon cubes helps them last a long time before going bad.

How To Tell If Bouillon Cubes Have Gone Bad / How To Know Bouillon Cubes Are Fresh

After storing your bouillon cubes for some time, you’ll want to check to ensure they haven’t lost their quality and freshness.  Luckily, there are some ways you can check to see if your bouillon cubes are still edible.

Appearance: If you notice mold growth or white specks, your bouillon cubes have gone bad and you should discard them.  They are no longer edible.

Smell: You may notice a smell or odor that is off from what you’d normally smell from a bouillon cube.  If this is the case, you should discard the product.

Taste: If, after using your bouillon cubes, you notice an off taste, the cubes are likely their expiration date and they have lost their flavor.  When using bouillon cubes past their expiration date, do a small taste test on a half-cup of water before going further.  If it tastes bad, don’t use it. 

How to Store Bouillon Cubes?

After opening a package of bouillon cubes, there are different ways you can store them to ensure they last their maximum lifespan.

Original Package: If possible, save the original packaging your bouillon cubes came in, and store them at room temperature in a cool, dry place.  Just make sure the package is tightly sealed.

Vacuum-Sealed Bag: If you’re storing your bouillon cubes in the freezer, a vacuum-sealed bag can help preserve them for a few years before they start to lose their flavor.

Mylar Bag: Another way you can store your bouillon cubes in the freezer is by using a mylar bag.  This also works to store them at room temperature if the original packaging was discarded or damaged.

Can You Freeze Bouillon Cubes? How?

It is possible to freeze bouillon cubes.  When done well, frozen bouillon cubes can last several years before losing their flavor.

Storing: Using the original package the bouillon cubes came in, make sure the package is sealed tightly.  At this point, you can additionally put them in a vacuum-sealed bag or mylar bag that is tightly sealed off.  The key is to seal off any air and ensure the bouillon cubes stay dry.

Time: Depending on the storage used, bouillon cubes can last in the freezer anywhere from one year to a few years and still maintain their freshness and flavor.

How to Thaw Bouillon Cubes?

To thaw bouillon cubes, take them out of the freezer and the package they were frozen in.  Then, if you’re using them immediately for soups, stews, or other liquids being cooked on the stove, just drop them into the hot liquid cooking.

You can also put them in the microwave for 30 seconds to help them dethaw, if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bouillon Cubes’ Shelf Life

Can You Get Sick From Expired Bouillon Cubes?

Bouillon cubes are generally safe to consume indefinitely, they just lose their flavor.  However, if you have had bouillon cubes stored at room temperature for over two years or notice a change in their appearance, smell, or flavor, you should dispose of them to be safe.

How Do You Store Bouillon Cubes Long-term?

Vacuum-sealing is the best method to store bouillon cubes long-term.  The high salt content in bouillon cubes helps them last a long time before going bad, but there are fats and oils in the cubes that can go rancid in time.  Vacuum-sealing and freezer storage can help to prevent this, as the cubes cannot go rancid without oxygen or humidity.

Wrap Up

Bouillon cubes are great to have on hand to make your favorite soups, stews, marinades, and more.  Knowing how to store your bouillon cubes will help you keep them in good standing for months, and in some cases, years to come.

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