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Know the Difference Between Broth and Stock

Although the primary ingredients of broth and stock are the same, however, their flavour profile, taste, appearance, and nutritional values aren’t. In this article, we will learn how to distinguish them.

Aarushi Chadha
Chicken Soup
Broth vs Stock - know the difference

Broth and stock are indispensable pantry staples that play a vital role in many cuisines. Both stock and broth are often used interchangeably in cooking books, recipes, and cooking shows, however, beyond their common uses and ingredients they have very different tastes, appearance, and nutritional values.

What is broth made of?

The broth is a liquid that is made from bones that still have meat on them. Broth spends less time on the stove than stock and gets ready in less than 2 hours. Its short cooking period gives it a significantly lighter appearance than most stocks. Usually, a flavourful broth includes animal bones with some meat on them, mirepoix (a mixture of onion, celery, and carrots), and aromatics such as bay leaves, parsley, star anise, and peppercorns.

Unlike stock, salt is added to the broth during its cooking process. When a broth has finished cooking, you’ll be left with a thin and flavourful liquid. Even though broth is made with bones, it doesn’t have a gelatinous texture like a stock does after it’s chilled. Unfortunately, the broth is not suitable for vegetarians because its main ingredient is meat. 

What is a stock made of?

Stock is a flavourful liquid that is made by cooking several ingredients for 10 to 12 hours. Stock is made primarily from animal bones that don’t have any meat on them. To make your stock more flavourful, animal bones are roasted before cooking it with vegetables, aromatics, onions, and garlic. Unlike broth, the stock is left unseasoned. Also, stock develops a gelatinous texture as it cools down over time. People can substitute meat for vegetables if they want a vegetarian stock.

Nutritional value of broth and stock

Broth- A cup of broth has 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 7% of phosphorous, 16% of Niacin, 6% of potassium, and 6% of copper. In many cultures, steaming broth is considered a remedy for cold and stuffy noses because it loosens up the mucus. The broth is also lower in calories. Therefore, people who are trying to lose weight can use broth instead of stock while cooking to limit their calorie intake.

Stock- A cup of stock has 8.5 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein, 12% of riboflavin, 19% of niacin, 6% of thiamine, 7% of potassium, 6% of copper, and 8% of selenium. Overall, the stock is more nutritious than broth because it contains more collagen, marrow, and amino acids. All of these things protect our gut, improves our metabolism, improve our sleep schedule, and support joint health.

Vegetables, herbs, and aromatics used to make broth and stock increase the vitamin and mineral content and even add aromatic plant compounds. Some of the aromatics used to make broth and stock, such as parsley, oregano, and thyme, along with onions and garlic exhibit antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting properties. 

How broth and stock are used in cooking

Both broth and stock are very flavourful liquids commonly used to make soup, stews, and sauces. They can even be consumed on their own. Since broth is seasoned, very flavourful, and liquidy they are commonly used to make stir-fried dishes, soups, dumplings, pasta, and gravy. Stock usually has a thicker consistency than broth, although it is not as flavourful.

Stocks are used to making gravies, sauces, stews, dips, braises, soups, and noodles. However, it is also possible to substitute stock for broth or broth for stock, unless the recipe is specific about using either one of them for consistency purposes. If you plan on using stock instead of broth in a recipe that calls for broth, then remember to season your dish accordingly because the stock is not seasoned with salt.


Both stock and broth are made from the same ingredients. However, the broth takes a lot less time to be made and stock can take upwards of an entire day to make. And the collagen present in the bones, breakdown over the long cooking period gives the stock its trademark gelatinous consistency. Other than these differences, stock and broth are used to make soups, stews, and sauces, and can even be consumed on their own.

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