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Q: Differences between broth, bouillion, and stock? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Differences between broth, bouillion, and stock?
Category: Family and Home > Food and Cooking
Asked by: nautico-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 03 Aug 2004 11:22 PDT
Expires: 02 Sep 2004 11:22 PDT
Question ID: 383025
Some recipes call for chicken broth, others for chicken stock. I have
seen both specifically labeled as such in some markets, but the stock
version is hard to find. The last I found came in a box with a pouring
spout. What are the specific differences between chicken stock, broth,
and bouillion that are packaged for sale in markets?
Subject: Re: Differences between broth, bouillion, and stock?
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 03 Aug 2004 12:12 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Ahoy, Nautico!

These are very nebulous terms. When I took a cooking class (many moons
ago) we were taught that the main difference (when referring to canned
or prepackaged products) is the amount of salt. Stock contains no
added salt, broth contains some, and bouillon contains a hefty amount.
Canned bouillon may be more highly concentrated, with a more intense
flavor than stock or broth. Bouillon is more likely to be made from
mixed sources (for instance, essences of both meat and vegetables in
one product).

However, these days the terms are so loosely used in commercial
preparations that they are relatively meaningless. The FDA doesn't
enforce any standards in relation to these terms, so a packager is
free to describe a product as he sees fit. The old guideline regarding
saltiness is confounded by the fact that bouillon now comes in
"low-sodium" versions. I have no idea whether these are palatable;
since I am one of the rare persons who is on a high-sodium diet, I
seldom buy reduced-sodium products.

Here are some online references to stir the pot:

"The basic difference between a stock and a broth is this: a broth is
seasoned (with salt) and a stock is not. A stock is never served on
it's own, a broth may be. Really a stock is an unfinished product that
is waiting to be transformed into a soup or sauce by a talented chef."

Essortment: Stocks and broths recipes

"One of the most important things you can have in your larder at all
times is an ample supply of stock, broth or bouillon.  What?s the
difference?  They  are virtually the same however, the food processing
industry has sort of sorted them out.  Stock usually refers to what
you have made at home.  Broth usually refers to a canned product you
can buy and bouillon usually refers to the powder or little
concentrated cubes you can buy.  They are all made by cooking bits and
pieces of animal or vegetable together until the liquid is flavorful."

Mexican Cuisine: Basic Instructions for Making Stock 

"Stock is the liquid extracted from foods slowly cooked in water
and/or wine and used as a foundation for soup and other things; broth
is an English term for the liquid extracted from meat cooked slowly
with water, which is then concentrated and used either as a foundation
for soup or as a simple soup itself (pretty much like the French
bouillon and the Italian brodo; consommé is a double-strength stock
'finished' into a clear soup; and double consommé is a consommé that
has been clarified... When the stock is boiled down further, it
becomes, progressively, a flavoring, essence, and glaze."

Soup Basics: It's a Question of Stocks

"Q. What is the difference between broth, bouillon, stock and consommé?

 A. Broth is any liquid that results from cooking meat or vegetables
in water. Bouillon is another word for broth and is also the most
common name for the dehydrated broth cubes or granules that you can
buy ready-made from the grocery and which dissolve in water in a few
minutes, and serve as a substitute for cooking meat or vegetables for
several hours. Stock refers to the liquid from cooking meat or
vegetables and seasonings in water. And consommé is clarified meat or
fish broth."

Oriental Web: Frequently Asked Questions about Soup

"Difference between a stock, broth, bouillon and consommé: All begin
as a stock and as we now know, stocks are divided into white, brown,
fish and game and go on to receive further cooking and become
incorporated into sauces and soups. Broths or bouillons (same) are
simply stocks which are strained then and served as clear soups, with
or without a garnish. Consommés are stocks which have been carefully
stained and then clarified usually, but not always by the use of egg
whites. Consommés are also often enriched (double consommé) during the
clarification process by using lean chopped beef."

The Mars Cafe: How to Use the Ingredients

"Bouillon, Broth, Stock: Used interchangeably, all three terms mean
the rich, savory liquid made by simmering meat, fish, or poultry with
vegetables and seasonings in water. Bouillon, from the French verb
'bouillir' [to boil] is sometimes made of a combination of meats;
broths and stocks, however, are usually made of one meat only. Brown
stocks are brewed from beef and beef bones and white stocks from

Tom Saaristo: More Soup

Here's an article that's worth reading in its entirety:

California BBQ Association: Bouillon, broth, consommé and stock

Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: broth bouillon stock difference

I hope this helps! Please don't dock my points for giving a "stock response." ;-)

nautico-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Wow! Now I know more about this subject than anyone else on my block! Thanks, Pink.

Subject: Re: Differences between broth, bouillion, and stock?
From: pinkfreud-ga on 03 Aug 2004 12:25 PDT
Many thanks for the five stars and the nice tip! It's always "souper"
to work for you. I do love a customer who won't smack me upside the
head if I can't resist making a bad pun. ;-)


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