4

I have some dehydrated store-bought broth mix (chicken and vegetable) that has clumped into a large solid block. I haven't been able to find any information on the Internet about how to fix this.

I suspect it is a matter of hydration (too hydrated or too dehydrated). I could experiment by adding drying agents/water, but I figured I should ask first before making my broth go funky.

  • 1
    This product is a powder when you first purchase it? Did it clump inside its original packaging, or only after you opened it? How long has it been after the package was opened? – John Feltz Jan 12 '17 at 2:12
  • Your question asks about how to prevent dehydrated broth from clumping; the details ask how to fix broth that has clumped. Those are two separate questions. – verbose Jan 12 '17 at 9:04
  • @verbose: good point – Alan Trick Jan 13 '17 at 6:25
  • @JohnFeltz In one case was originally powder, came in a can, and it clumped after using it while camping. I don't think significant moisture would have entered, but I'm not sure. In another case it clumped after it was moved into a plastic container. – Alan Trick Jan 13 '17 at 6:27
  • @AlanTrick : I know this sounds strange, but if it's a cardboard 'can' (like baking powder comes in), it might be better to leave it in the can -- the cardboard helps to regulate the moisture a bit. The exception to that is when you only have a little bit left, and you're in a humid place ... as every time you open the can, moist air moves in. – Joe Jan 13 '17 at 12:58
3

The clumping is a result of air and moisture entering the container with the substance. This especially happens if you pour the mix directly from the container over a hot dish - the steam enters and immediately clumps the spices. What you can do is to transfer your mix into a new dry and airtight container. Hope this helps :)

| improve this answer | |
  • A truly "airtight container" sounds like a great idea, but the jars I use, moisture still gets in. This stuff (broth powder, or bouillon powder) just sucks moisture out of the air. I don't even think you need to open the jar; over time it will cake up. Maybe putting in some of those dessicant or silica gel packets might help. – Lorel C. Jan 13 '17 at 18:39
  • 1
    You can always disolve it and portion it in an ice cube tray, then freeze. After it's frozen, transfer into freezer bag to optimize space and take a broth cube to flavor as you need it. – Adelina Jan 13 '17 at 20:15
2

To break the clumps up, just use physical force.

Put the stuff in a sealed, heavy-duty plastic bag and whack on it with a rolling pin or a heavy bottle until it is in smaller lumps, then use your hands to break them down into the original powder.

| improve this answer | |
1

As Adeline says, this is as a result of moisture (most likely steam) getting into the dry ingredients!

There is nothing wrong with the powder, if I were you I'd just crumble it into your food/gravy jug as and when you need it.

In future (to answer the question in the title) there are a few things you can do to avoid this happening:

  • Store in an airtight container
  • Ensure you open said container away from running water and hot food and for as little time as possible
  • Add something to the container to absorb excess moisture. Rice is traditionally used in salt shakers, but it's probably a bit small for stock powder so I'd suggest dried beans.

(FYI stock = broth and by gravy I mean the British kind)


I would not recommend using the silicon gel pads as someone else has unless they are certified as safe with food. Most contain toxic chemicals that may leach into the powder over time.

| improve this answer | |
1

THE PROBLEM IS NOT BEING TOO MOIST, IT'S TOO DRY !! Easy to fix & no need to resort to hammers, dissolving in water & freezing cubes etc.
To prove this I took 2 chunks of hardened stock powder (broken up & prised out of the container with a knife). One chunk I put in the oven for a few minutes to dry out - it went harder than ever & was difficult to break up. The other chunk I did what I would do for rock hard brown sugar & put it in a dish, covered with moist paper towel & a lid, then microwaved for 10-15 second intervals & stirred with a spoon in between - it soon softened up & returned to a flowing mixture. Yay !!
If you don't have a microwave or can't get the hard powder out of one of those cardboard & metal containers (that shouldn't be microwaved anyway) then try the following method (I know it works for brown sugar) Cover the container with a damp cloth & a lid & leave several hours or overnight, stir with a spoon & repeat if necessary - it will take longer but it should gradually soften up & be usable again.

solid, dried out stock powder

cover with damp cloth or paper towel

cover with lid & microwave in  10-15 sec bursts, stirring in between

Voilà!!  Perfect, flowing stock powder restored

| improve this answer | |
0

Easy fix. In a dry climate, uncap jar for a few days. Then use handle of teaspoon to unclump. If that didn't work, my next step was going to uncap and place in slightly warm oven first; then use spoon handle.

| improve this answer | |
0

My stock is in a plastic shaker but had gone all hard. I just softened it and dissolved it with a little bit of hot water in the microwave, it went to a smooth liquid. I poured this liquid into about an ice cube tray and now have 8 lovely cubes to use when needed! Yum.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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