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Broth & Stock. What’s the difference?

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Broth & Stock. What’s the difference?


Different kinds of stocks and broths are widely used in cooking. You might think: what’s the fuss about? Just cover the ingredients with water and simmer! But proper broths and stocks define the taste of a dish, so let’s briefly look at their kinds and differences, and how to make them.

This post explains both meat and vegetable stocks and broths.

As you already know, stock and broth are not the same things. There’s also another confusing French word, bouillon. So, what’s the difference? Or they mean the same thing?

Let’s start with the easiest one, bouillon. In English, the world ‘bouillon’ (the French for ‘broth’) is used in a word combination ‘bouillon cube’ which is a term for dehydrated broth or stock formed into a small cube.

Now let’s move to stocks & broths and how they are made.

We’ll start with meat stocks & broths, but first a plan:

Stock (made from bones) – base for other dishes

                White stock – base for white sauces and soups

                Brown stock – base for dark sauces, soups, and stews

Short stock (quick stock made from bones and meat) – is a quick stock and versatile base for other dishes

Broth (made from meat and/or bones) – can be eaten alone or used in other dishes

Stock is made from bones and used as a base for soups, cream of soups, sauces, and stews etc. It forms a basis for other dishes and isn’t eaten alone.

Stock can be of two kinds:  white stock and brown stock. White stock is made from bones or vegetables, while brown stock uses roasted bones and sometimes tomato paste. The former is richer in both color and flavor. White stock is a basis for white sauces and soups, and brown stock makes a great basis for brown sauces, stews, and brown coups.

Here you can find a recipe for chicken stock.

There’s also short stock or quick-to-make stock. It’s made bones and meat cut into small chunks and roasted with vegetables in vegetable oil resulting in rich and very quick stock, a wonderful base for soups.

Here’s the recipe for short chicken stock.

Broth is very rich and made from meat and/or bones. Meat is usually removed when done, and bones continue to simmer to achieve a reach flavor. Broth is very hearty and can be eaten alone. It also makes a base for transparent soups – you only need to add a few carrots, pasta or rice and soup is ready.

The recipe for chicken broth is here.

Vegetable stocks are made the same way. It uses either roasted vegetables to achieve brown stock or raw ones for white stock.

How to make vegetable stock you can find out here.

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