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Jul 12, 2012 01:12 PM

Chicken broth vs stock Info??

Can anyone please tell me the difference between chicken broth, chicken boullion, & chicken stock? This has had me puzzled for years & no clear answer.

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  1. Which are you talking about, home made stuff, or store bought? If store, canned, boxed, or cubes?

    Or can you give examples that use or refer to each of these?

    1. Chicken broth, I believe, is like a clarified version of stock. Basically, it's clear, while stock isn't. In my opinion, stock has more flavor. From my experience, boullion is just broth in powdered form.

      Also, stock is used as an ingredient, broth can be consumed as-is.

      1. Also, stock usually isn't salted, hence its use as an ingredient. Broth is usually salted.

        1. Here's what Alton Brown writes in "I'm Just Here for the Food" (p. 214 of 2nd ed):

          "A stock is a liquid in which collagen from animal bones and connective tissue has been dissolved and converted into a protein matrix called gelatin. Broth and stock are not the same thing. A broth is essentially any liquid that's had food cooked in it, be it meat or vegetables. Bones are not required for a broth, but they are for a stock. Thus, there is no such thing as vegetable stock."

          I think bouillon (not to be confused with bouillon cubes) is stock that has been strained.

          Edit: I looked in McGee's "On Food and Cooking" as a more authoritative source than Alton Brown, and his terminology is not consistent with Brown's -- e.g. McGee writes about vegetable stock. So I look forward to other responses to this thread!

          1. I am a great fan of McGee's and have a great deal of respect for Alton Brown (as a food scientist, not as a comedian). IMO, Alton Brown's definition is both accurate and simple to understand. If it isn't derived from an animal source protein that produces a gelatinous liquid, it isn't stock.
            Allow me to add - the stuff that comes from cubes shouldn't even be labeled bouillon. It's little more than flavored salt.