Stock vs Bouillon vs Broth

Question:

What is chicken stock?? What is chicken stock? What is chicken bouillon? Chicken stock vs broth? What is the difference between stock, broth and bouillon?

Answer:

They all can be used to make soup, they all taste like chicken and they are all a golden liquid. But, they also have several differences, most of them having to do with salt. Basically, the amount of salt and chicken flavor differentiates these three words.

Going from most flavor least salt (stock) to least flavor most salt (bouillon), the most common broth stands right in the middle.

Background Info

Chicken Broth

What is Chicken Stock

Production Qualities
Stock Homemade Rich & flavorful
Broth Added Salt Easiest to use, less flavor than stock but more than bouillon
Bouillon Condensed Heavily Salted & other additives


STOCK: Stock is produced by simmering vegetables, aromatics (like herbs), bones and sometimes meat scraps. This is the best choice and is used mostly as a base for sauces, stews and soups. It’s flavor is rich and robust and it enhances recipes. It usually has no (or little) salt. Often hard to find at grocery stores, but chicken stock is worthwhile and rewarding to make at home. If you buy a rotisserie chicken, boil the carcass with some chopped onion and celery for a flavorful chicken stock.

BROTH: Chicken broth is sold in all stores, it is usually salty so the low-sodium option is a smart option to purchase. It is basically stock with salt added and can be used like homemade stock but is less flavorful and lacks complexity.

BOUILLON: Bouillon is dehydrated stock that is formed into either cubes or granules. These are full of salt and often MSG too and/or other additives. The liquid that is produced when boiling water is added to the bouillon is weak and basically has a salty taste and not a lot of other flavor. Although it is easier to keep on your shelves, we suggest you use it only if necessary.

More Information

For more information on salt see our types of salt page.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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