Stock Or Broth, What Is The Difference?
There are many opinions by top chefs and culinary professionals whether there is a difference between stock vs broth, so I have decided to do some of my own research and found that yes there is a difference.
Stock is mostly bones, a little meat and basic vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions and parsley that are placed in water and simmered uncovered for up to 12 hours or more which is what intensifies the flavour and tastes meaty. When stock is cooled it becomes thicker like gelatin, because by simmering bones for many hours the collagen is extracted from the bones and tissues which when cooled becomes jello like. There are no spices, salt or herbs added because stock is mostly used as base for many dishes such as soups, stews, gravy, casseroles, fish, where you will add specific spices and adjust salt as needed. Stock is also always clear.
Broth is similar with few exceptions, it is mostly meat and some bones, basic vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions, leeks and parsley but you can also add some basic spices such as pepper, bay leaves, cloves and sea salt, this will add more to the flavour and can be used for soups or vegetable casseroles because it will intensify the flavour, but it can be used for any recipe since it will maximize the taste.
Making stock or broth is a long process with very little work, see my chicken stock recipe, when I make it I use a 12 quart stock pot which will make 4 quarts of stock, I will keep some in the fridge and freeze the balance in small freezer bags ½ quart in each, this way I will always have my stock ready when needed.
Home made stock is not only fresher but I find it has better flavour then bought stock and it is also budget friendly, and if you are gluten free you will know that there is no gluten in your stock or broth.
Chicken stock is what I make mostly, but I will also make vegetable stock which I use in my vegetarian dishes and fish. See my vegetable stock recipe.
Beef stock I make slightly different, I use it mostly in stews, beef gravy and meat sauces for pasta. See my beef stock recipe
In conclusion making your own stock is cost effective, tastes fresher and certainly has more flavour. I prefer making stock oppose to making broth because I am not using salt, herbs and spices, this way I can use it in most of my recipes and add the flavours I need, but if I feel like a nice cup of hot broth I will heat up some stock, add some water, herbs, spices and some minced garlic and my healthy broth is ready.
So back to the original question, is there a difference between stock and broth? The answer in my opinion is yes.