I've heard that some Chinese Master stocks are 100 years old. If so, how did they store their master stock before the refrigerator was invented?

  • 1
    Are you sure that we are talking about a real time span? 100 yo eggs are fermented for just a few weeks...
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 10:47
  • Yup, it's the actual timespan. If you research about Chinese master stock, you'll be surprised to learn that. You can look up Master stock on YouTube. Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 11:29
  • 5
    I don't know, but my theory would center around salt content, boiling, and continuous use.
    – moscafj
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 11:47
  • 2
    Different standards and the factors moscafj mentions are you likely keys, but also realize, refrigeration existed long before electricity and refrigerators. There were ice boxes, ice houses, etc. There are evaporation coolers still in use in many places. Not as effective or as safe as modern appliances, but they were known and used and still are in many places.
    – dlb
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 16:41
  • 1
    Possibly related cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/37243/… Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


The thing here is to use the stock often. Add to it often with other juices. Keep it at or above 160f. Filter often to keep impurities out. At 160f bacteria does not form in it. If let set bring to boil. Skim & filter. The cook stoves or heat never shut off. If stoves ovens cooled to fast they could crack. So were always kept warm. Then came refrigeration. Modern ovens & stoves. Brick & stone stoves are like that. It takes 3 days to bank down the heat before you can cool them or they crack or fall apart. Fire clay. Turn of the heat cool fast. The clay will turn to powder. So to use the banked down heat. overnight sauces could be kept warm. Meat slow cooked in them at night. To use that heat.

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