General Question

2davidc8's avatar

What's the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock?

Asked by 2davidc8 (10189points) November 18th, 2016

Are they pretty much the same? Can be used interchangeably?

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16 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not any sort of chef, amateur or otherwise, but I would say now in America most people use the two interchangeably. Technically, I think stock is cooked more from bones with more gelatin in it, but I don’t think people really concern themselves with that detail. I’d say boullion and consomme also can be used synonymously with broth and stock. I tend to use the term boullion to refer to powder or cubes, and I say broth usually to refer to the soup. I think of stock for making gravies, but even then gravies are usually made from drippings.

That’s my opinion, I’m no expert though.

Pachy's avatar

This, from a quick Google search, would seem to indicate that @JLeslie is right on.

Chicken stock tends to be made more from bony parts, whereas chicken broth is made more out of meat. Chicken stock tends to have a fuller mouth feel and richer flavor, due to the gelatin released by long-simmering bones.

BellaB's avatar

Stock is richer and deeper than broth. I rarely use broth for anything these days. It’s all about homemade stock for me (unless it’s a cooking time emergency – then I will use boxed broth).

janbb's avatar

Oh – I see them differently. If they are both homemade, I see stock as less rich and as a building block in cooking whereas broth has more flavor and can be used as the basic element in a chicken soup. This makes more sense if @Pachy‘s definition is correct. If you are talking about canned broth @BellaB then I understand where you are coming from. However, one would rarely serve just chicken stock to an invalid whereas one might serve broth.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Stock as less rich? I think the definition of it having been made from more bone and containing more gelatin makes it richer than broth. Interesting that you use the words very differently.

Do you mean you see broth as something ready to be served and consumed, and stock as an ingredient?

janbb's avatar

Yes – that’s what I see. I’ll have to check some standard cookbooks to see how they differentiate.

filmfann's avatar

If you are buying it from a store, broth is watered down stock. Just look at the ingredients.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb The more I think about it, I see what you mean. I don’t serve stock, and stock is not on a menu. Usually, on a menu, I think it’s consomm√© if it’s just clear with nothing else in it. Or, broth too I guess. I touched on the same thing in my first answer.

I’ll be curious to see what you find when you check your cookbooks.

marinelife's avatar

@janbb You have it backwards, honey. Stock is the richer and more fully-flavored, highly to be prized in soups.

I am with @BellaB. For cooking emergencies, I keep frozen stock around.

Broth can be substituted for stock (if using commercially prepared, go for low sodium), but it will never be as good.

2davidc8's avatar

Ah, I see. So I’ve been making stock all these years. What I do is I save the large bones from the Costco rotisserie chicken, and boil them. This makes great stock.
I asked the question because I usually see that broth is more readily available than stock, and stock is a bit more expensive.

janbb's avatar

Actually not totally backwards according to this article. Maybe I wasn’t wording it right in terms of richness, the distinction being that stock is always made with bones but according to the article – and my understanding – the broth is usually seasoned while the stock is a flavorful component of the finished product.

But I think we all had aspects of the truth.

In terms of commercial broth, yeah, it is a pretty diluted product and the stock probably has more flavor and body from being made with bones.

BellaB's avatar

@2davidc8 , roast the carcass bones before you boil them. You’ll get the best, richest stock from that. It makes a huge difference in the flavour and mouth feel.

@janbb , broth needs to be seasoned as it has so much less flavour. A good stock doesn’t need to be seasoned.

They’ve got different uses, but a good cook can create a broth from stock. You can’t work backwards on that – broth will never become stock. Stock can be diluted into broth.

2davidc8's avatar

@BellaB Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll try that!

marinelife's avatar

@2davidc8 and @BellaB In addition to the bones, I leave the little bits of meat that are clinging to them and use the skin. The I put in half an onion, one or two ribs of celery (depending on how much I’m making) and one or two carrots. I also like celery leaves in there. Really, though, you can add almost any leftover veggies. Also, I use pepper and a little salt. Once you use the stock to make soup, you will probably have to add more salt.

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