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Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:26 pm UTC
by sardia
I've noticed that broths are much cheaper than Stocks, but I'm biased towards stocks. However, considering the difference in them(stocks made from bone, with gelatin, broths are mostly meat based soup), I think I can cheap out safely if the resulting recipe is really thick/mouthfeel/unctuous that it doesn't need help from stock. Has anyone tried this, desperately or not?

Note: I use chicken stock/broth only because chicken stock has the most protein/particulate matter per unit sold. I'm not paying extra for glorified water in the beef stock/veggie stock. It doesn't affect the flavor of beef/veggie dishes except for the vegetarians who I promptly chase out of my house.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:19 am UTC
by PAstrychef
You use stock when the flavor of the soup/sauce is not that of the broth itself. You make broth from stock when the end result is a broth, like chicken soup with motzah balls, or minestrone. This means that the labels are switched from what I learned in food school, but it doesn't really matter. Stock is a building block, broth is a finished product. "Bone broth" is simply stock with a hip new name.
You can improve any boxed stock/broth by simmering some of the relevant ingredient in it. I get chicken thighs on sale and freeze them, then I add one or two to the stock as I'm cooking with it.
The liquids being marketed as stock are unsalted, and cost more because they sound more "culinary". I use the lower sodium broth without worrying about it.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:20 pm UTC
by doogly
I always just start with water. If the recipe you are using actually has the things in it, this should be fine as well.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:11 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
Just found this linky from epicurios about their favorite boxed broth/stock, which has its own link to an article about the differences.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:06 pm UTC
by sardia
doogly wrote:I always just start with water. If the recipe you are using actually has the things in it, this should be fine as well.

So if I made potato leek soup, you'd use water? Or are you referring to something complex like making beef stew, add water to that?

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:12 pm UTC
by freezeblade
I keep bones/fat/gristle trimmed from everyday meals in freezer bags, frozen until I gather up enough for a batch of stock, which I then freeze in 2-cup portions. Next to them is a bag of onion/leek tops that I save for a similar purpose.

When I'm in a pinch I use "Better Than Bouillon" brand concentrate, which comes as a paste in a jar, pretty decent for what it is, and beats the pants off a cubed or powdered bouillon like herbox or the like.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:21 am UTC
by Liri
sardia wrote:
doogly wrote:I always just start with water. If the recipe you are using actually has the things in it, this should be fine as well.

So if I made potato leek soup, you'd use water? Or are you referring to something complex like making beef stew, add water to that?

I, too, always start with water when making soups. I believe doogly means he begins with a pot of water and adds ingredients to it as desired.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:27 am UTC
by poxic
I usually use water as the base, if only because proper stock is problematic. (Allergies and other restrictions argh.) Proper stock does add depth and character, for sure.

In lieu of stock, I'll fry up the initial garlic/onion/spices/tough veggies in the same pot that will be cooking the soup. It'll pick up some of the caramelised bits that way.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:52 am UTC
by doogly
sardia wrote:
doogly wrote:I always just start with water. If the recipe you are using actually has the things in it, this should be fine as well.

So if I made potato leek soup, you'd use water? Or are you referring to something complex like making beef stew, add water to that?

Yup, potato leek works great! I mean it's not just potatoes and leeks though, you probably have another green, maybe an onion and a whole bunch of garlic sauteed in olive oil, and I'd sneak in barley. Carrots too, probably a parsnip.

If your soup did only have the two things in it then it might need something from somewhere else.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:02 am UTC
by Bakemaster
When I make chicken soup I put four leg quarters in a stock pot with a bunch of smashed-up celery, a quartered onion, a sliced carrot, a couple cloves of garlic and a mix of whole spices. I preferentially choose older or less attractive bits of veg for this step. You can use whatever veg you want the flavor of in your soup. Which spices varies, but usually includes a star anise and some peppercorns. Simmer it gently for a couple hours, or until the meat's ready to fall off the bone, then careful remove the leg quarters to a dish and let cool enough to handle, putting the rest through a chinois in the meantime. Discard the veg pulp and spices, which have been Bunnicula'd into the water to produce broth or stock or soup juice or whatever. Cut your fresher, more attractive veg into the soup juice and simmer while picking out the meat from the leg quarters. If you want to add rice, barley, or pasta, give the veg a bit of a head start first; add the chicken back in last. Season it along the way. Salt, thyme, whatever; I always use at least a little turmeric for color.

You can do this with any pieces that have at least a little fat on them. Leg quarters are the most economical, but sometimes render too much fat into the soup juice; you can skim it and store it in the fridge or freezer to make matzo balls with.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:57 pm UTC
by sardia
Bakemaster wrote:When I make chicken soup I put four leg quarters in a stock pot with a bunch of smashed-up celery, a quartered onion, a sliced carrot, a couple cloves of garlic and a mix of whole spices. I preferentially choose older or less attractive bits of veg for this step. You can use whatever veg you want the flavor of in your soup. Which spices varies, but usually includes a star anise and some peppercorns. Simmer it gently for a couple hours, or until the meat's ready to fall off the bone, then careful remove the leg quarters to a dish and let cool enough to handle, putting the rest through a chinois in the meantime. Discard the veg pulp and spices, which have been Bunnicula'd into the water to produce broth or stock or soup juice or whatever. Cut your fresher, more attractive veg into the soup juice and simmer while picking out the meat from the leg quarters. If you want to add rice, barley, or pasta, give the veg a bit of a head start first; add the chicken back in last. Season it along the way. Salt, thyme, whatever; I always use at least a little turmeric for color.

You can do this with any pieces that have at least a little fat on them. Leg quarters are the most economical, but sometimes render too much fat into the soup juice; you can skim it and store it in the fridge or freezer to make matzo balls with.

Have you ever considered joining the pressure cooker revolution? You put all the ingredients into a pressure cooker, cook for an hour, and then cook what you actually wanted. Unless you're making one of those 16+ quart stock pots, it should suffice for most families or singles.

~From a harried, rushed home chef.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:51 pm UTC
by Bakemaster
I have two pressure cookers, and have used the electric for this recipe when I have less time for the first step. Doesn't make it one step, though, when using bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces.

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm UTC
by sardia
Bakemaster wrote:I have two pressure cookers, and have used the electric for this recipe when I have less time for the first step. Doesn't make it one step, though, when using bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces.

So you don't or you do use pressure cookers to make stock? Like I never got around to it because I don't have spare chicken parts. (I really ought to buy a whole chicken for me to butcher.)

Re: Stocks vs Broths

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:39 am UTC
by Bakemaster
I usually make stock over the course of an afternoon, meaning no need to use the pressure cooker, which has more parts to wash than a regular stock pot. But I've used it on occasion when time constraints demanded it.