I was making a beefstew, but didn't have any beef broth, so I used some chicken broth I had in the fridge. It smelled bad and thought it must be old. I rinsed the meat and potatoes.... 3 times. Do you think I washed out all the bad broth, or should I just toss it? It's in my slow cooker right now.

  • 3
    Toss it, unfortunately it's not worth the risk. Once something smells bad it very definitely is. Even with the rinsing there's every-chance some of that naughty bacteria and toxins are stuck somewhere.
    – Doug
    Dec 11, 2014 at 16:47
  • That's an answer @Doug
    – GdD
    Dec 11, 2014 at 16:55

2 Answers 2


Toss it.

Old chicken is risky business. What with salmonella and other bacteria.

Next time

Note if this happens again, or for anyone else, that you don't need beef or any other kind of broth to make stew. I use plain old water, and some seasoning, salt, pepper etc. And a bay leaf or two. Always tastes great.

  • 3
    I agree with the actual answer, but have to disagree about not using broth. Sure, if you've got enough flavorful ingredients that you're effectively making broth in the process of making your stew, that's fine. But in a lot of recipes, the broth is providing an important flavor component. You can cheat a bit (boullion paste, for example) but you can't necessarily just leave it out.
    – Cascabel
    Dec 11, 2014 at 17:57
  • Totally agree with Jefromi, you just can't get enough flavour :-)
    – Doug
    Dec 11, 2014 at 18:00
  • In the end I feel it's all a matter of taste, but I just wanted to point out it's quite possible to do without :)
    – Phrancis
    Dec 11, 2014 at 18:03
  • I thought Salmonella only applies to uncooked chicken.
    – Huangism
    Dec 11, 2014 at 18:19
  • According to the CDC, cooked poultry also needs to be maintained to high enough temperature, and promptly refrigerated, which hints that cooked poultry can also be risky, though likely a lesser risk. See the link I posted in my answer.
    – Phrancis
    Dec 11, 2014 at 18:31

I agree with all comments that the chicken broth would undoubtedly be off if it smells funny. That being said, if you were desperate and starving and facing off chicken - I dare say you could make it edible if you sustained it on the heat until boiling point and beyond. So if you had a pressure cooker and could force a high temp, say 180 degrees c for over 20 mins, you would probably kill any nasties. However, it might taste terrible after that, but might make an interesting stock when strained. All in all, I don't think poultry is at all tasty when nearly off ( or very off for tht matter) - assuming it was safe (which it is not) whereas red meat you can run closer to the edge and get away with it.

On topic, a beef stew is easy to season with ingredients at hand. A dark beer, sweet red wine, pepper, Vegemite, onions, carrots, roast meat juice, potato flour, etc .... Just one of these can help alot

  • 1
    I'm assuming you meant something else when you said "180 degrees c for over 20 mins". Most standard pressure cookers add about an extra atmosphere of pressure, allowing a cooking temp around 120 C. To achieve 180 C, you'd need a pressure of roughly 10 atmospheres, which is WAY beyond what any cooking equipment could produce. You're right that pressure cooking could kill off some things not killed in normal boiling, but it could still leave behind some persistent toxins in something that was quite spoiled.
    – Athanasius
    Dec 18, 2014 at 21:47
  • Thanks @Athanasius - quite right. I exaggerated a little so that no one would actually do it :)
    – Grantly
    Dec 19, 2014 at 1:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.