Bone broth, broths and stocks all share the same foundation: bones, meat scraps and vegetables simmered in a pot of water.
However, differences lie in the preparation, timing, and specific ingredients used. And since variety is the spice of life, it's worth briefly explaining the differences.
Chefs use stock as a base for sauces and other dishes or in place of fat for sauteeing. Stocks are traditionally made using mostly bones - scraps mainly from the kitchen or whatever is in the freezer.
Stocks also typically cook for relatively shorter times than bone broths. They can be simmered for 2-5 hours, although some chefs prefer a longer simmer. Some will even leave them over night.
On the other hand, traditional broths are simply meat simmered in water. Broths take between 45 minutes to two hours to cook. Again, there is a huge range in time between cultures historically.
This is meant to give you an idea of the difference.
Since no bones are used, broths lack the nutritional punch and gelatin quality found in some stocks.
But what they lack in nutritional quality, they more than make up for in taste. Broths are delicious! You'll most likely prefer drinking a broth over a stock. Broths tend to impart a more recognizable flavour to our pallets.
Your typical stock has more gelatin and nutrients but slightly less flavour. The gelatin is produced via the gentle breakdown of collagen from the bones during a long simmer at low heat.
The gelatin quality and strong flavour is what makes stocks great for cooking!
So with that, how do you get the best of stock and broth? Funny you should ask!
Enter Bone Broth
The paleo communities’ adopted stepchild, bone broth has gotten a ton of attention in paleo and mainstream media. And for good reason. Bone broth is a potent beverage that boasts a serious nutritional punch.
But how does one make bone broth? High quality meaty bones make for the perfect base for any bone broth. This will make sure that your bone broth has both the familiar taste of the broths you were raised on as well as the nutritional benefits of the bones.
Try the best bone broth recipe!
We can't speak for all bone broth producers, but our goal is to create broths that taste great and also bring nutritional value. We think of our bone broth as affordable health insurance.
The gradual conversion of collagen into gelatin imparts the majority of the nutrients. The tricky part is that collagen extraction takes a long time: that is why we recommend that you simmer your bone broth for at least 24 hours on a very low heat. You want it low enough so that bubbles come to the surface every 10-15 seconds.
If you have high quality bones and the right ratio of water to bones, your broth will gel once cooled. This is the holy grail of bone broth making. You want your broth to resemble one of your favourite childhood lunch snacks.
Here at Bluebird Provisions our beef bones broth is simmered for 25 hours. The chicken bone broth is simmered for 20 hours. This will ensure that all of the vitamins, minerals and collagen is leached from the bones into the remaining broth.
You might ask why we use difference cook times. The answer is that chicken bone broth doesn’t require long simmer due to the bones size and structure. They are not as dense and thick as beef bones. Thus, collagen extraction happens quicker.
Bone broths represent a wonderfully soothing liquid. They nourish your body from the inside out. There is particularly compelling data showing that bone broth helps fix common digestive issues.
Using Bone Broth
Bone broth can be used in place of any liquid in any recipe or aspect of cooking. It’s an easy and efficient way way add some great flavour to your cooking. We soak and cook our grains, stir frys and steamed vegetables all using bone broth!
Bone broth also makes for the perfect base for any soup.
Or if cooking is not your thing, it's wonderful to sip on it's own. In that case, we recommend drinking 1-2 cups per day for nutritional benefits.
If you are suffering from chronic joint pain or any digestion or food intolerance issues, you'll want to drink 2 cups per day to restart the healing process of your joints and gut.
Swap out your afternoon coffee with a cup of bone broth and you'll notice the instant relaxing feeling as you wrap your hands around the cup.
Bone broth tastes great on it's own, however you can add even more flavour and nutrients by sprinkling some turmeric or grating a teaspoon of ginger on top of your hot broth, then gently stirring it in.
We even use beef bone broth to concoct the most amazing salad dressing you’ve ever tried. You’ll have to check our recipe section soon for it!
So there you have it! Since traditional chefs, home cooks and the paleo community seem to be at odds with this whole broth-stock situation, I hope this article clarifies things up for you!
Don't worry about the semantics, just try making your own bone broth and see how it instantly changes your body and mind!
I would like to know if you get the same benefits by consuming broth like swanson’s.
There is no effective difference between a well-made stock and so-called “bone broth,” except the trendster sobriquet.
Great question Stephanie!
In your case it sounds like the remaining liquid in your crock pot is broth. Does the liquid turn into Gel when in the fridge? This is a great test to see the protein content of the finished broth or bone broth. If it fully gels then you can expect it to have at least 6 grams of protein per 250ml. More if it is very thick.
hope this helps!
I wouldn’t recommend Campbell’s broth as it has very low protein content (1 gram per serving) compared to most bone broths which should have at least 7 grams per serving. Without the protein you are getting none of the collagen and gelatin which is the majority of the healing properties of bone broth.
I can’t speak to where Campbell’s sources any of there ingredients. So best to check with them on that.
Thanks for your comment!
I’m glad to hear that bone broth is helping your herniated disc. It’s best to consume bone broth with vitamin c before movement or exercise. This will increase collagen synthesis around your injured disc.
Unfortunately Pure Bone Broth is not sold in New York yet. However I’m sure whole foods has a couple of great broths to try. Make sure they are organic, grass fed and use organic vegetables, herbs and spices. Good Luck!
I appreciate the explanation, but I’m still a little confused. If I use a crock pot to cook a whole chicken (no head or feet) and add NO water, there is always 2-3 cups of liquid after it’s done cooking. Is this broth or stock? All definitions I’ve seen start with simmering meat or bones in water. Since I’m not starting with water and it has all the meat and bones of one chicken, I’m not sure what my liquid is. I do understand that it is not bone broth and doesn’t have the same nutrient content as bone broth due to the cooking time, but is it still healthy to drink? Thanks in advance for any clarification.
Can I just buy Campbell beef broth instead of making bone broth. Thanks
I greatly appreciate the detail difference of explaining bone broth vs stock.
I have been drinking bone broth for 4 months now and I love it because of its benefits to assist with the healing of my herniated disc.. Upon reading the pure natural ingredients of your brand, I wanted to buy Pure Broth brand. I have a Whole Foods in my area of Brooklyn, New York.
What designated area would I be able to locate it: shelf or refrigerated area? I can ask a store clerk. Thank you so much. I look forward to trying your brand.
Luckily our bone broth has zero fat per serving so you do not need to worry about any of the fat causing high cholesterol.
We remove all of the fat before we package our bone broth. It is pure protein with 8 grams per 250ml serving. No carbs and no fat.
Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions about bone broth.
ps i am only speaking for our bone broth. Some others may not remove the fat and as such there may be some in the finished bone broth. Best to look at the nutrition labels before buying anything if you are concerned.
I’m interested in bone broth but concerned that the high fat will cause cholesterol problems. Any advice?
Hi Marion, I’m so glad you found our bone broth and were able to get it at Whole Foods!
Yes we are doing a demo at Whole Foods Cambie this coming Saturday Dec 11 from 2-6pm. Our demo lead (Calvin) will be able to answer all of your broth related questions.
Hello Connor: I went to Whole Foods expressly to pick up some bone broth. I’d called ahead to make sure they had plenty. When I was looking for the freezer case I ran into your Dad who was ever so proud to show me where I’d find it! He mentioned that you’d be doing a talk / demonstration this coming weekend – is that right? And where/ when exactly will this be?? Would you let me know? I have checked with Whole Foods but they don’t seem to know unless it will be with the butcher Sat 10 Dec 2016 between 12N and 3:00 pm?
Thanks for your comment H. Wordhouse! My simple response as to “why bone broth instead of calling it stock” is that it sounds more appetizing to the consumer.
We are talking about semantics here in the food industry for which there is a lot of precedent for with respect the naming and terms at the consumer level. For example: we call it calamari instead of octopus, foie gras instead of force fed duck cooked a certain way, etc. I could go on, this is what happens in the consumer driven food industry.
Hope this further clarifies where I’m personally coming from.
So, by ‘bone broth’, you mean Stock?
Boiling fresh bones in clean water for hours (and sometimes days) is Stock and has been stock since bones first hit water. I personally boil my stock for two or three days, leaving it to simmer on low (sometimes on the wood stove.) All the nutritional benefits are available to anyone who puts a bone in some water and, well, boils it then drinks the liquid that results.
Let’s call it what it is, STOCK, and stop overcharging people for a fancier name, eh?
Why call it something fancy when it’s simply stock?
If you have the time and enjoy cooking then I’d recommend trying to make a batch of bone broth yourself.
Just make sure you go to your local butcher to get the best quality bones. Ask your butcher for grass fed and finished bones from pasture raised animals. These tend to be more expensive than your regular soup or marrow bones, but well worth it.
For beef broth you want to ask for mostly mostly knuckle bones as they have the most collagen and gelatin. For chicken you want to ask for chicken frames and also chicken feet.
The bone the water ratio is a bit tricky to nail. Most recipes will give you a decent ballpark estimate. I’d recommend that if you make beef bone broth to simmer it for at least 24 hours. For chicken bone broth you can simmer it overnight for 12-16 hours.
2 cups is a great amount for someone in your position to heal your body and keep it nimble and strong! If you live in Vancouver we have lots of retailers your can find. Or we also deliver. If not, we’d be happy to ship you some broth as well!
Thanks for your comment and best of luck.
-Connor at Pure Bone Broth
I am intrigued by the nutritional benefits of grass feed beef, chicken and turkey Bone Broth. I have Acid Reflux, Arthritis and Joint pain and I am 74½ years young.
I want to keep my body as healthy and nimble as long as possible. I am a lone and live on a fixed income. So, I am wondering if it would be cheaper to buy your broth or make it and freeze it (if it doesn’t lose the nutrient’s?) Also are 2 cups enough to rev-up ones body. And would it raise cholesterol levels? Thank you for all the information on your website. Looking forward to some nutritional menus’. Please NO PORK recipes. Thank you. pe