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Difference Between Stock and Broth

Stock vs Broth

Stock is a liquid made by cooking bones, meat, fish, or vegetables slowly in water, used as a base for the preparation of soup, gravy, or sauces; Broth is a soup consisting of meat or vegetables cooked in stock. (Ref: Oxford Dictionary)

The two words stock and broth might appear similar in sense, but they have some differences between them. The difference between stock and broth can be attributed to the factor of discerning palates.

The main ingredient of stock is the animal bones in food items such as beef, chicken and fish. Broth on the contrary is made mostly of meat. Stock and broth differ in their cooking process too.

Stock involves gradual heating over a low flame for several hours. The heating process in the case of stock should ensure that the water used is not boiled. Broth should be cooked in such a way that it forms a softer texture.

Stock is preferred as a base for several soups and sauces. Broth is not used as a base in the soups and sauces. Broth is more subdued in its making. Stock is not subdued in its making.

Stock is characterized by different texture. The collagen of the bones adds to the flavor of the preparation. Broth on the contrary is semi-solid and jelly in appearance and has mouth feel as well.

Broth is defined by noted chefs as the liquid that is left behind in the pot after boiling meat, fish or vegetables. It can also be a combination of fish and vegetables or meat and vegetables for that matter. Stock refers to the same liquid after straining. Chefs say that trimmings of meat, fish and vegetables can be used along with bones in the preparation of stock.

In all the differences that are mentioned above, one thing is quite common. It is the use of bones. Bones are used in the preparation of stock whereas bones are not used usually in the preparation of broth. Only meat is used in the preparation of broth.

Animal protein is used mostly in the preparation of broth whereas in the making of stock animal protein is not used. Broth is considered by chefs as a finished product where as stock is not considered by them as a finished product. In fact stock is used only for the making of sauce and soups. These are the main differences between stock and broth.


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