The terms stock and broth are often used interchangeably, and you can substitute one for the other within recipes, there is a slight difference in preparation!
While stock vs broth is similar, there are a few key differences to how they are made, and what you use them for. Both are very easy to make and extremely versatile.
I like to use both chicken broth and chicken stock in my pasta dishes, sauces, and of course, to make delicious chicken soups!
Essentially, the stock is made from simmering the bones from your meat for a long period of time to extract the flavours from them. This can result in a more flavorful and well-rounded stock that is great to use in many dishes such as sauces and soups. We have a wide range of bone broth benefits at Bone Broth
The broth is made from using the meatier parts of your bird to flavour it. You can make a broth out of poultry, fish, beef, and even vegetables! The broth is often lighter than its stock counterpart, which makes it great for using to boil pasta, steaming vegetables and of course as a base for soups!
Broth Is Lighter and More Flavorful
Broth, on the other hand, is a flavorful liquid prepared by simmering meat and vegetables, but no bones. (The term “bone broth” might lead to some confusion here, but bone broth is just a fancy name for stock.)
Indeed, the term vegetable stock is a misnomer, since vegetables don’t have bones. Anything called vegetable stock is really just vegetable broth.
Again, the distinction is more than just about a name. The key difference is that a stock will be rich with gelatin, whereas a broth will not. And because there’s no collagen to extract, the simmering broth takes far less time than stock—usually no more than 30 minutes.
The broth is traditionally made by simmering meat in water, often with vegetables and herbs. This flavoured liquid is then used for a variety of culinary purposes.
In the past, the term “broth” was only used to refer to meat-based liquids. Today, however, vegetable broth has become very common.
The most common flavours of broth are chicken, beef and vegetable, though nearly any type of meat can be used.
Bone broth has also become extremely popular in the past few years and is made by simmering bones, vegetables and herbs in water for up to 24 hours.
Though it is frequently called a broth, bone broth is technically stock because it requires the addition of bones.
In order to avoid confusion, the rest of this article will refer to bone broth as stock.
Because of the rich flavour of broth that comes from meat, vegetables and herbs, you can drink broth plain. People often do this to remedy a cold or the flu.
Drinking warm, steaming broth is an effective way to loosen up mucus when you have a stuffy nose. It is even more effective in the form of chicken soup (2Trusted Source).
The broth is cooked for a relatively short amount of time since the meat will become tough if you cook it for too long. Therefore, if you’re making broth, remove the meat as soon as it is fully cooked, after no longer than an hour.
The meat can then be used for another recipe, or chopped and added back to the finished broth to create a chicken soup, for example.
The broth is thinner than stock and more flavorful than water. Therefore, it is most commonly used as a base for soups or as a cooking liquid.
Here are some of the most common dishes broth is used in:
- Cream sauces
- Cooked grains and legumes
- Sautéed or stir-fried dishes
Stock Is Thicker and Takes Longer to Make
Stock is a flavorful liquid made by simmering bones, along with aromatic vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions, plus seasonings and spices like black pepper and fresh herbs.
The main ingredient is bones, and the goal of simmering them is to extract the collagen, which is a protein in connective tissues and cartilage, and break them down into gelatin.
Gelatin is a key characteristic of good stock, and you’ll know it by the fact that it will jell when you cool it. A gelatin-rich stock will add richness and body to sauces and soups that are made from it. Looking for bone broth benefits ? Look no further! Bone Broth has you covered.
The key here is that stock is generally an ingredient in some other dish, as opposed to something that is served on its own. This is why the seasonings named above do not include salt. Salt is not typically added to a stock, but rather, it’s added to whatever the final dish is.
Unlike broth, the stock is based on bones rather than meat.
It is made by boiling bones or cartilage in water for many hours, which allows the bone marrow and collagen to be released.
This gives the stock a thicker, more gelatinous consistency than broth.
Because it’s made with bones and cartilage, not meat, the stock is cooked for much longer than broth, typically for at least 6–8 hours. This allows the stock time to thicken and become more concentrated as the collagen is released.
You can make stock with many types of bones, including chicken, beef, pork and even fish.
Traditionally, the stock is meant to be used as a neutral base for recipes. It’s intended to add mouthfeel but not an overwhelming flavour.
Before you use bones to make stock, clean them of all meat. If you want to make a neutral stock, do not add other seasonings or aromatic ingredients.
However, if you want more flavour, add meat, vegetables and herbs. Traditional additions include onions, carrots, parsley, thyme and bones with meat left on.
This results in a liquid that is just as flavorful as a broth but with an added thickness.
Whether you choose a plain stock made from just bones, or a flavorful stock made with meat and vegetables depends on how you will use it.
Here are some of the most common dishes stock is used in:
- Sauces, including cream sauces, au jus and tomato sauce
- Braising liquid
- Stews or soups
- Cooked grains and legumes
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is stock with an added bonus! It’s simmered for a much longer period of time–our recipes call for 8 to 24 hours–and some cooks recommend up to 48 hours. The goal is to release all the nutritious things like glucosamine, amino acids, electrolytes and more. It’s strained, stored and can be used in recipes that call for stock and/or bone broth. You might also heat up and drink the bone broth to help keep pesky colds at bay.
Can they be used interchangeably?
Yep! In a pinch, you can substitute most stocks for broths and vice versa. You can also use bone broth when your recipe calls for stock. So easy!
Can you Substitute Broth and Stock?
Yes, broth and stock are interchangeable in most recipes. Because stock is made from the bones and cartilage, it contains more collagen which results in a slightly richer texture than broth.
If you need to substitute broth for the stock, keep in mind that if your broth is store-bought, it may be salted which can affect the way your dish turns out.
It is not uncommon for people to use chicken stock and broth to substitute for beef. If you need to do this, your soup or dish will have a slightly different flavour.
How To Add Bone Broth to Your Diet?
As you can guess, bone broth is palatable enough to be sipped on its own. If you are planning to drink bone broth plain, you may want to add a few veggie scraps, herbs and spices to your broth for flavour.
You can use bone broth as a base for your soups, risottos and stews like you would a regular stock, or use it in place of oil to cook your eggs and saute your veggies.
Bone broth is also dog-friendly (as long as it doesn’t contain onions, garlic or other veggies off-limits to dogs), so don’t forget to let Max have a few slurps to reap the benefits, too.
How To Make Bone Broth?
Bone broth is easy to make at home. All you need are roasted bones* (any bones will do: wings, tails, feet, legs, knuckles or necks), a large pot, your favourite herbs, veggies and seasonings, and a little bit of patience during the simmering process. You’ll also need roughly 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to help draw out the nutrients from the bones.
- Throw your bones and apple cider vinegar into a large pot (a slow cooker will also work) and cover with water. Allow your bones to soak with the ACV for approximately one hour before boiling your water.
- Once your water has boiled, add veggies, herbs and seasonings, and bring the heat down to a simmer.
- Simmer for as long as possible. We recommend at least 12 hours, but if you can do 24-72 hours, your bone broth will be even more nutritious and will contain higher amounts of collagen and gelatin.
- Once you’ve simmered your bones, remove your bones and veggie scraps from the stock. Allow the bone broth to cool and store it in an airtight glass container. Your bone broth should have a jelly-like texture once it cools, which means your bone broth is rich in gelatin.
Roasting your bones before making a bone broth is key for enhancing the flavour. You can roast your bones for 25-30 minutes, or until crispy, at 425°F on a baking sheet.
You can use leftover bones from your meals to make bone broth or purchase them at your local butcher. Many health food stores also have bags of grass-fed bones for sale for less than $5.00. We recommend using bones from grass-fed meat whenever possible, to avoid the growth hormones and antibiotics used to raise factory-farmed meat.
As you can see, the benefits of a normal stock pale in comparison to a bone broth while normal stock is ideal for cooking and flavouring dishes, bone broth doubles as a recipe flavour enhancer and a nutrient-containing elixir.
Is There a Difference in How They’re Used?
You may have noticed that many of the uses for stock are also listed as uses for broth.
The two are very often used interchangeably, and it’s fine if you substitute broth for stock in most recipes, and vice versa.
Yet, if you have a choice between the two, use broth when a dish is largely based on the flavour of the liquid, such as in a broth-based soup.
On the other hand, you can use stock when the dish gets plenty of flavour from other ingredients, such as in a stew flavoured with the drippings of a roast.
What About Bouillon, Consommé and Bone Broth?
In addition to broth and stock, here are a few related terms worth discussing.
Bouillon is simply the French word for broth. However, it is often used in place of broth, especially in the case of bouillon cubes.
Bouillon cubes are simply broth that has been dehydrated and shaped into small blocks. They must then be mixed with water and rehydrated before use.
Consommé is a stock that has been further concentrated and refined by a process involving simmering the stock with egg whites, meat and vegetables.
Impurities are then skimmed from the surface.
Bone broth is gaining a reputation as a superfood. However, as mentioned previously, bone broth is simply a new term for a very traditional food: stock.
Bone broth differs from stock in that it may be cooked longer. It may also include an acidic component like vinegar to aid in breaking down connective tissue.
Aside from these distinctions, stock and bone broth are essentially the same thing.
How Is Chicken Stock Made?
Chicken stock is prepared by simmering chicken bones, along with aromatics and seasonings. Typically the bones are first blanched, then transferred to a fresh pot of cold water which is gradually heated to a simmer.
While there will almost always be at least some meat still on the bones, the main ingredient is the bones. You can make chicken stock by simmering a whole chicken carcass leftover from roasting a chicken. While you’ll obtain more gelatin from a carcass that hasn’t been cooked once already, chickens are so rich in collagen that even simmering a cooked carcass will yield plenty of gelatin.
Note that commercial products labelled “chicken stock” don’t usually jell, which means that even if some bones are used in their preparation, they are essentially chicken broth.
How Is Chicken Broth Made?
Chicken broth is a flavorful liquid made by simmering chicken meat along with aromatics and seasonings. One consideration with making chicken broth is the fact that the cook must balance the desire to extract flavour from the chicken with the fact that extended simmering causes the chicken itself to become tough and grainy.
This effect might not be important if the meat is going to be strained out, although this is an extravagant use of chicken meat. If the meat is to be left in the broth, simmering it gently and for a short time is best. Bone Broth has a wide range of best bone broth benefits in Melbourne
When to Use Each One?
Whether to use chicken broth or chicken stock depends on what recipe you’re preparing. If you’re making a simple soup like chicken noodle soup and the liquid is going to be consumed as is, then you can use chicken broth.
If you’re performing additional steps to your liquid, like thickening it because you’re using it as the starting point for making a velouté sauce, then you’ll want the extra body that comes from the gelatin, and thus chicken stock is the way to go.
What is the Difference Between Brown and Light Stock?
The difference between brown and clear stock is how the meat or bones are handled.
A lot of people associate beef stock as being much darker than chicken stock, but it is not a result of the bones themselves.
When you are creating a stock, it will almost always come out the same colour you would see chicken soup.
To achieve a brown stock, roast or brown your bones or meat before adding to your stockpot. The colour from the browning will leech into your stock, creating a colourful and flavorful stock! Additionally, red wine or tomato paste is sometimes added to beef stock for flavour, which will also change the colour.
I also always leave my onion skins on to add extra colour to my broth.
How do I Make A Broth or Stock?
Stock and broth are easy to make and don’t require a lot of prep work. Because they are so versatile, you can make stock and broth easily to match your dish.
To make either stock or broth, fill your stockpot with water and add what you’d like below:
- Add vegetables such as carrots, onions, garlic, and celery
- For the broth, add your meat. For stock, add your bones
- Add fresh herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, peppercorns, lemons
Next, simmer your stock on low or in a slow cooker for at least 6 hours. The longer, the better!
Once simmered, strain the broth (I use cheesecloth or even a coffee filter to help remove residue). Cool, skim any fat once cooled.
A Note on Store-Bought Broth and Stock
When buying shelf-stable cartons or cans at the store, there is no real difference between what is labelled broth vs. stock. The stock might have a slightly deeper flavour and lower sodium, depending on the manufacturer. So feel free to use store-bought stock in recipes calling for broth (you might have to add a little salt), and store-bought broth for stock (you might have to dilute the broth a little if you are cooking it down, so the liquid does not become over-seasoned). No matter which one you choose, we always recommend buying low-sodium versions so you can control the seasoning of your dish.
The terms “broth” and “stock” are often used interchangeably. Though their ingredients are largely the same, there is a difference between them.
Stock is made from bones, while the broth is made mostly from meat or vegetables.
Using bones in stock creates a thicker liquid, while broth tends to be thinner and more flavorful. Check out our Melbourne best bone broth benefits here.
Though broth and stock do have small differences, many people use them for the same purposes.