Most store-bought stock/broth packaging contains some claim like "refrigerate after opening, and use within 7-10 days". My bottle of clam juice makes no claims whatsoever about refrigeration or shelf life. I know it contains some salt, but I doubt it's enough to preserve it indefinitely.

Since it's basically a stock/broth, I assume it would last about as long as an opened container of chicken stock - just long enough for bacteria to establish their own civilization, complete with a "Salmonella Starbucks" on every suspended particle.

Does anyone know for sure? Can I put an opened bottle back in the cabinet? Will it last a week in the fridge? Should I just pour out any unused juice, because it will spoil so quickly?

  • I originally thought the bottle was resealable, which is why I expected some statement of shelf life. On closer inspection, it isn't. Clearly, it's not meant to last a long time after opening. This should have been obvious. I need more sleep. – Bob Dec 3 '10 at 16:30

It should keep in the fridge for a week or two- and you should be able to smell it if it goes bad. However, you can just freeze any unused juice in 1 or 2 Tablespoon portions (in an ice cube tray) and keep it around for the next time you need it. Just transfer the frozen cubes into a labelled freezer bag so they don't get lost or thrown out. Waste not, want not, right?

  • I should have thought of that . . . I just froze a lot of turkey stock. – Bob Dec 3 '10 at 16:32

Let's use Mott's Clamato as a guideline here. From the Clamato FAQ:

13. What is the shelf life of Mott's* Clamato*?

Before opening, Mott's* Clamato* will last up to 12 months time from the production code date. After opening, Mott's* Clamato* should be refrigerated and used within a 2 to 3 week period.

You say you've got pure clam juice (i.e. stock/broth). Clamato has a ton of acidic tomato concentrate as well as sugar (corn syrup) that acts as a natural preservative, and it only claims to last a few weeks in the fridge. If you've got pure clam juice, which means no artificial or natural preservatives, then there's no way I'd keep it around for more than a week. I would treat it as stock and either freeze it or throw it out after a few days.

  • I've got pure clam juice (stock). No tomato. – Bob Dec 1 '10 at 21:27
  • barharborfoods.com/clam-juice.php – Bob Dec 1 '10 at 21:28
  • @Bob: People actually sell that? Well, I certainly wouldn't keep it around longer than a week. – Aaronut Dec 1 '10 at 21:28
  • Wow, yeah. I agree with Aaronut. – Mrs. Garden Dec 1 '10 at 22:07

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