What’s the difference between broth and stock?

And why you shouldn't confuse the two!

By Team Triple White • 3 years ago • HEALTH & FITNESS


Broth, stock – same, same. Well at least that’s what many of us may think. However, despite the terms often being used interchangeably, they are in fact two very distinct products. Here, Melissa Morphet, CEO & Founder of Be Wellbeing Broth helps us decipher the difference.

First thing’s first, what’s the difference between broth and stock

Firstly, broth is a finished, clean and nutritious product, which can be consumed on its own. Stock is a liquid that is left unseasoned for cooking and is commonly packed with added preservatives to enhance flavour and lifespan. Secondly, broth has considerably stronger nutrition properties that supports general health and wellness. Given broths longer cooking time (up to 24 hours), it allows for a heightened release of nutritious minerals – whereas stock is often considered a base for food only. The extract of collagen from the connective tissues gives broth its thick, gelatinous quality. Stock is commonly sold as a watery, thin liquid whereas broth takes much longer to cook whereby a long, gentle cooking time leads to a rich liquid packed with easily digestible protein. Thus, broth tends to have a fuller, richer flavour due to the gelatin released by long-simmering bones.

Is bone broth and broth different as well? Please explain.

Bone Broth and Broth are definitely related – both soothing and nutrient-dense to consume. However, it is important to note that there are some slight differences and the main being the cooking time and added meaty bones!

In determining the main differences between the two:

  • Broth is water simmered with vegetables, aromatics, and can include some bones but they generally aren’t too meaty. It is cooked for a short period of time, usually between 2-6 hours, then strained and seasoned. The goal of broth is to use a combination of ingredients to create a light, flavourful liquid that can be enjoyed on it’s own as a soup (or soup base along with other ingredients). Broth usually stays fluid when chilled vs. a jelly formation.
  • Bone broth is usually made from meaty bones. It is cooked for a long period of time, often between 12-24 hours, and the goal is to not only extract the gelatin from the bones, but also release the nutritious minerals. It is then strained and seasoned to be enjoyed on its own, like broth. Bone broth can turn into a jelly formation when chilled.

What should we be looking out for when distinguishing between broth and stock?

You usually will find nutritious broth stored in the fridge – this is because the cooling temperature reserves the beneficial nutrients! Stock is located on supermarket shelves in tetropacs and has a lot longer life span due to the added preservatives. Stock found in supermarkets usually contains sodium and salt whereas broth contains very small traces of salt. Another key difference is that broth can turn into a jelly when in the fridge. Stock is always a thin liquid.

How is broth usually made? 

The recipe for a typical Bone Broth is quite simple with few ingredients: bones, vegetables, a little apple cider vinegar and water. What is challenging is the time is takes to make broth. Once you have allowed the mixture to sit and cook for an hour, the best bone broths are reduced to simmer and cooked between 12-24 hours. It is also important to let the broth cool slowly before you store it in the fridge.

What are some disadvantages of general store-bought stock?

The main disadvantage associated with stock is the added preservatives to enhance flavour and lifespan. In Australia, the stock that we generally see on our supermarket shelves are packed with added preservatives or MSG.

Can you explain in details some of the major health benefits of broth? 

  • Paleo: bone broths are good source of protein! A great supporter of the paleo diet – a filling, dairy and gluten-free snack that will keep you going between lunch and dinner.
  • Aids digestion: The gelatine in the bone broth aids in the protection and healing of the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and aids in the digestion of nutrients.
  • Builds immunity: Broth is known to help fight infections such as cold and flu. A study published in the journal, Chest, highlighted that by eating chicken broth during a respiratory infection, it will reduce the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms.
  • Reduce inflammation: The glucosamine in broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Supports healthy skin, hair and nails: The collagen and gelatin in broth supports hair growth and helps to keep your nails strong.

For further information: http://bebroth.com.au/

Be Broth is available from selected Woolworths stores for a RRP of $6.50.

Image: iStock



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