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Is it broth or stock?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
There are supposed to be some difference between broth and stock, I hear it is broth when you have meat in the mixture when it is brewing and stock is in its pure form just from cart-ledge ( cant spell it why try).

For the purposes of cooking are there times when I cannot use a broth when a stock is called for or vice-versa. They would think them to be the same except of some flavor difference in perhaps the way they interact with other substances.

I have been buying a whole chicken, using the breast, cooking the rest of the bird w/ veggies and pulling of whatever meat comes off easily in an hour and cooking it another hour.

I suppose this is broth then? Could we call it a super stock? Is it lacking in anyway, could it be too rich?

I am using this in the risotto I am making for the first time tonight.
post #2 of 13
For all practical purposes, in the home kitchen, they are exactly the same, Kevin.

So, yes. Use it in your risotto.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 13

Stock or Broth?

I get this question quite often, and in the home kitchen, stock and broth are interchangeable.

You're correct, stock is made from the cartilage and bones of animals. Under heat the cartilage is broken into gelatin and water. Stock is made by this low and slow process. Once de-greased properly, stock should be gelatinous, it should shimmy like jello.

Stock should have a much more intense flavor and heavier mouth-feel than broth.

The simple answer: You MAKE stock, you BUY broth. I generally think of broth as watered down stock.
post #4 of 13
Great answer.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #5 of 13
Stock or broth?

It's more a matter of linguisitc and semantic English language issues than an actual cooking question. For instance, there's no way of differentiating stock and broth in French.

FWIW:

All stocks are broths. Not all broths are stocks.

Stocks are generally made to highlight a specific protein, or a specific combination of proteins and/or vegetables. A partial catalogue of examples includes: fish stock, shrimp stock, lobster stock, beef stock, white chicken stock (blanc), regular chicken stock, roast chicken stock (brun), brown stock (mixed veal and beef stock), veal stock, and vegetable stock.

Stocks are not meant to be "finished" dishes, or dishes at all. They are a primary (or intermediate if you count the stock making itself) step to a different end; a soup -- whether brothlike or something thicker and/or more complex -- or a sauce, e.g. As another for instance, you could call the liquid in a thin stew a broth, but you couldn't call it a stock.

A broth may be presented with things (aka stuff) in it -- for instance vegetables, meat, etc. A stock is never presented, it is used. Moreover, it is used strained, sieved, and/or filtered; and it is used free of stuff and things or vice versa.

Stocks are at most very lightly seasoned, and usually free of salt.

There is not necessarily any difference in strength in a stock or a broth. It's not just that "all stocks are broths." Well, okay, as a matter of logic, it actually is; but let's not get too deeply into the nature of definitional tautology. What I mean is that either may be served or used light, thin, rich, or concentrated.

You can make stock and seasoned broths from scratch or buy either ready made. I'm not sure I see Chef Todd's distinction. To the extent there is a difference, the amount of salt in most canned, concentrated, and boxed "stocks" you see in the super pushes them over into the "broth," category. Maybe that's what he meant.

BDL
post #6 of 13
The simple answer: You MAKE stock, you BUY broth.

Huh?

I don't begin to understand this.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 13
I think chef t's make/buy distinction refers to marketing practice. "Broth" must be considered a nicer word, as that's invariably what it's called if it's sold commercially. I can't recall ever seeing a can of "stock" in the supermarket.

It's a matter of usage. It's not a matter of two words which refer to distinctly different things - cf bake/roast - you bake a ham, but the same cut of meat, uncured, is a pork roast. A roast chicken is whole; baked chicken is parts.

English isn't strictly logical - no natural language is.
The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks broth posters

Thanks again to all for the great help. Please let me know if these thank you posts are a nuisance to the forum. I like to express my gratitude.
post #9 of 13
A potato cut into cubes and put in the oven is "roasted", while the whole potato is "baked". You're right, so much of it is semantics.
post #10 of 13
By and large, commercial stock is boxed and not canned.

Swanson is one major manufacturer making and selling stock under their own label. If you like, you can check on the net.

The Trader Joe's chain sells "stock," and so does Whole Foods.

While I'm not endorsing everything the author says, including her definition of the difference between "stock" and "broth," here's a link to an article that shows a few "stocks," labeled as such, and a few "broths" as well, found in supers: Store-Bought Chicken Stocks, Reviewed: Which Are the Best? | Serious Eats

Yes and no; but not really. In the first place, all language is like that. That is, it's "definitional" and the definitions are subject to change through use. However, while use sometimes does not dictate a distinction sometimes it does.

"Broth" is a slightly more inclusive term than "stock," at least in American English. Stock is made (and sold) with the idea that it will be used to create something else; and therefore is not seasoned -- especially with salt -- to palatable levels. Broth, on the other hand, is seasoned -- again, especially with salt -- so as to be "table ready."

If you go the Swanson website you can look at their Broth/Stock compare and contrast chart and it will tell you much the same thing, only with advertising language and graphics. Swanson® Broth - Broth vs. Stock

English isn't strictly logical, that's true. Curious, though. What do you mean by a "natural language?" And, in what sense do you use "logical?"

BDL
post #11 of 13
You're right, so much of it is semantics.

Yes, but that's not a reason to confuse totally different concepts.

At base, "baking" and "roasting" are defined as cooking surrounded by dry heat. So a tendency to use them as synonyms is understandable. "Stock" and "broth," particularly in general usage, are also easy to use interchangeably, even though there are technical differences.

However, the words "make" and "buy," and the linguistic concepts behind them, are totally unrelated except as opposites.

To "make" something in the kitchen means you assemble the necessary ingredients, and combine them, using various techniques, to arrive at the final product.

To "buy" something means to exchange money (or something else of value) for the final product.

To even imply that broth is only available by exchanging money for it is silly at best. Not when thousands of people make their own broths.

How would it be if I told people, "I wouldn't eat in Chef Todd's restaurant, because they don't make anything in the kitchen. They buy it all?" I wonder if you'd forgive that comment as just being semantics?

To be sure, English, like any language, is a living, evolving thing. But to assign arbitrary meanings to words just leads to confusion and lack of communication.

"Broth" must be considered a nicer word, as that's invariably what it's called if it's sold commercially. I can't recall ever seeing a can of "stock" in the supermarket.

I don't know where you shop, but every supermarket I've been in, in at least the past five years, carries both stock and broth. Although stock tends to be packaged in boxes, and broth tends to be in cans, I've seen them both packaged both ways; as well as in bottles.

Stock, thanks, no doubt to the influence of TV cooks, is packaged by at least a half dozen companies, as well as with private labels from the same folks.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 13
Actually I believe there is. In France we have Fond (Stock) and Bouillon (Broth). If you go to culinary school you may hear of "Fond de volaille" (fowl stock), but if you just talk to your neighbour you'll more probably use the term "Bouillon de poule" (Hen Broth). They are the same, or about as different as stock and broth are in english, where broth (or Bouillon in France) can be many, many other things (pretty much any savory liquid that has been boiled or simmered for a while).
post #13 of 13
I didn't actually go to "culinary school," I pretty much learned to cook on the line in two kitchens, one of which was multi-lingual -- mostly German and French -- and another which required enough French to read cookbooks on the fly, since we had to come up with an original menu nightly.

Anyway, know enough heap plenty French to know the words fond and buillon and am embarassed to have made the mistake. Whoops.

That said, the point survives in other seminal, Imperial cooking languages with longstanding traditions of stock made sauces. For instance, there's no distinction in Spanish ("both" are caldo or sopa, but if I were telling a Spanish speaking employee to get me something from the stock pot and not from the soup pot, I'd say something like caldo de cucina); or in Italian (where they're equally brodo, but if you had to make the distinction you'd refer to the stock as something like brodo per cucinare).

Fortunately, it's not a very important point in and of itself. Perhaps not even as important as the difference between "semantics" and "linguistics."

Not that any of it is very important. As several have already said, the difference is more about language than cooking. As long as you know where the salt goes, and where the salt doesn't -- a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

BDL
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