Stock…Broth…or Bone Broth…what’s the difference?
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I recently was at a local grocery store and stared at the shelf containing chicken stock, broth and bone broth. The variety amazed me (as well as the prices). This led me down a “rabbit hole” of researching these items.
Broth is liquid in which meat and vegetables have been cooked for a short period of
time. It is light color and flavor and can be used in many dishes to give a little more
flavor than water. Broth is sometimes eaten as soup either alone or with other
ingredients added. It typically is not seasoned with herbs or spices, but may have salt added.
Stock is thicker than broth. It is made by simmering the meat bones along with herbs, spices and vegetables for a longer time. It will be thicker and richer than broth because of gelatin/collagen that comes from the bones. Since it is primarily used as an ingredient in recipes, traditionally, salt is not added when making stock (but you need to check the sodium content on the grocery store labels). Note: you can’t have vegetable stock because vegetables don’t have bones.
Bone broth (despite the higher price tags) is basically another name for stock. It is thick and contains collagen. Some chefs say that to make really good bone broth the bones need to have been cooked for a long period of time for more collagen and flavor. No guarantee of this with grocery store bone broth. Some folks think that using or drinking bone broth can help strengthen bones and have other health benefits, but there has been no research to prove this is true.
You can make them yourself. The folks at the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less
website at NC State recently shared a recipe for making stock quickly with the carcass of a store-bought rotisserie chicken in an electric pressure cooker.
Instant Electric Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock
1 rotisserie chicken carcass
1 large onion
2 celery stalks
2-4 cloves garlic
8 sprigs of fresh parsley
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
10 whole peppercorns or fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
8 cups water
1. The carrots do not need to be peeled and the onion skin can be left on. Chop
scrubbed vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Peel the garlic.
2. Turn the electric pressure cooker on to the low sauté mode. Add the chicken
carcass pieces and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until browned and pieces begin to
stick to the bottom of the pot. Press the cancel button to turn off the heat.
3. Add the chopped vegetables, garlic cloves, and herbs to the pot. Pour 8 cups
of cool water over the contents of the pot. Do not fill more than 2/3 to the
4. Lock the lid into place, close the steam release valve, and press the “manual”
button. Adjust the cooking time to say 30 minutes if that is not the default.
The display will turn to “ON” indicating that it is heating and pressure is
5. After the pot reaches high pressure (this takes about 10-15 minutes), the
display will count down 30 minutes. When 30 minutes is up, it will beep and
switch to “keep warm” mode. Press the cancel button and allow the pressure
in the pot to reduce naturally (this varies but expect at least 15 minutes).
6. Strain the stock using a fine wire mesh strainer and discard all bones, spices,
herbs, and vegetable scraps. Taste the stock and add salt if desired.
7. Place the stock in air-tight containers and refrigerate until completely cool.
When the stock chills it will likely turn gelatinous because the collagen will be
suspended throughout the liquid. If there is a layer on the top that can be
skimmed off, you can skim this off if you want.
8. Keep the stock refrigerated and use it within three days, or freeze it for longer
For complete details, check out the blog post at esmmweighless.com website.
If you don’t have an electric pressure cooker, all is not lost, you can make it on top of the stove. IFAS Extension published a similar recipe in which a leftover turkey carcass was simmered from four to 24 hours to make stock.
It just takes time, but could be worth it when you have control.
Sources: Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less; Penn State Extension, University of Florida IFAS Extension
Cheryle Syracuse wrote these articles and similar ones for the Family and Consumer Sciences Column in the Brunswick Beacon. Syracuse is an FCS team member and can be reached at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center, 910-253-2610. or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.