Stock vs. Broth: What’s the Difference?

Stock vs. Broth: What’s the Difference?

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Feeling a little fuzzy when it comes to understanding what makes something a stock – and what makes it a broth? We don’t blame you! Most of us use them interchangeably but don't know the differences.  The traditional definitions of stock and broth have evolved in recent years as wellness and paleo trends have skyrocketed bone broth into the spotlight, gaining quick popularity for its noted health benefits.  

What is Stock?

Stock is a rich, savory liquid prepared by simmering bones and vegetables in water for hours with herbs and spices until the flavor is extracted. Stock derives its flavor primarily from the protein, not from heavy sodium. As a result, stock is usually a healthier product, delivering a richer mouth feel and deeper flavor than broth.

Stock is a versatile culinary tool that can deliver taste to any number of dishes. Darker in color and more concentrated in flavor than broth, it's ideal for use in soups, rice, sauces and more. Customize it to your preference by adding salt and seasonings as needed.

3 Recipes Starring Stock

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Loaded with tender veggies, chicken, egg noodles, and the robust flavor of chicken stock, this hearty, homemade soup can be prepared on the stove top, or in your slow cooker or Instant Pot® … whichever you’ve got!

 2. Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

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Surprise! Stock adds rich, delicious flavor to more than just soups. Perfect for Thanksgiving or a neighborhood potluck, these potatoes are slow simmered in stock and bay leaves, then whipped to perfection with butter, milk, and garlic.

3. Kale, Bacon and Pistachio Pasta

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In this fresh pasta sauce, kale, avocado and pistachios are pureed with chicken stock, garlic, and Italian Seasoning for an easy, wholesome dish that’s packed with flavor.

What is Broth?

Broth is stock's cousin but has some key differences. Although both stock and broth involve simmering in water, broth uses meat while stock uses bones. As a result, broth contains very little protein, a key ingredient in building flavor.

Additionally, broth often does not contain vegetables or herbs, thereby requiring higher sodium levels to impart flavor. The notable exception to this is bone broth, which is made like a stock but commonly referred to as a broth.

 bone-broth

How to use broth or bone broth:

  1. Warm in a mug, mix in your favorite herbs, and sip as a snack

  2. Use in a soup – any recipe that calls for stock can be upgraded with broth

  3. Add to your favorite stuffing recipe to infuse moisture and flavor

  4. Mix into homemade tomato sauces, smoothies, scrambled eggs, and more