What’s the Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth?

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Chicken stock is made with chicken bones, while chicken broth is made from chicken meat and vegetables. Stock will have a thicker, cloudy texture, while broth will be thin and less cloudy.

Have you ever found yourself in the grocery store’s soup aisle, with a recipe in hand, stumped by choice between chicken stock and broth? 

Learn the difference between chicken stock and broth to know which one to choose.

What is Chicken Stock?

Chicken stock is made by simmering bones from the chicken carcass in water for two to six hours. The process infuses bone marrow and collagen into the water. It produces a thick, nutritious, and flavorful gelatinous liquid when strained. Also known as ‘Fond,’ the stock is left unseasoned, forming the base for soups and sauces.


Uses of Chicken Stock

The rich, jelly-like consistency from the long-simmered bones makes stock the preferred choice as base food. You can use chicken stock for sautéing vegetables, preparing soups, sauces, rich flavored stews, gravies, or drinking on its own.

How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

Here is a straightforward chicken stock recipe.

Simple Chicken Stock Recipe

Step 1: Roast the chicken (optional). Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the bones from the chicken carcass over a large pan and roast for approximately 30 minutes.  

Step 2: Transfer the bones to a large stockpot and fill the pot with enough cold water to entirely submerge the bones.

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Step 3: Cover the pot and set it over high heat. On reaching a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer.

Step 4: Allow the stock to boil for at least 2-6 hours. Add more water if needed to ensure the bones remain fully submerged.

Step 5: Carefully strain your cooked stock into a clean pot.

What Is Chicken Broth?

Chicken broth, also called bouillon, has a shorter simmering time of 45 minutes to two hours and is prepared using chicken meat, mirepoix, and aromatics. Unlike stock, the broth is typically seasoned and yields a thin, saporous liquid on being strained that does not gel when making soups and braises.

You can also use bouillon cubes, which are often high in salt. Still, you can find low-sodium and fat-free varieties in stores or on Amazon that are more like homemade broth.


Uses of Chicken Broth

Those sick with a cold or the flu often consume this savory-flavored seasoned liquid as a clear soup. It is used as the base for soups, blanching, making gravies, cooking rice or grains, and braising.

How To Make Homemade Chicken Broth

Now that you know what makes broth different from stock let’s jump straight to its rich, flavorful, and simple-to-make recipe.

Simple Chicken Broth Recipe

Step 1: Transfer your chicken meat to a large stockpot and fill the pot with enough cold water.

Step 2: Add celery, onions, carrots, bay leaves, salt, spices, and herbs.

Step 3: Cover the stockpot with a tight-fitting lid and set it over high heat. On reaching a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer.

Step 4: Cover and leave for 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Step 5: Carefully strain your cooked broth into a clean pot.

Tip: You can add ginger, lemongrass, chili, and other flavoring agents during the broth’s hours-long simmer.

Chicken Stock vs. Chicken Broth

The terms stock and broth are often used interchangeably by the most educated of chefs and people worldwide. But are they really the same thing? 

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Similarities Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth

The difference between broth and stock in the food world is hazy since they can often be used interchangeably in recipes. Though different from each other, they share certain similarities. 

  • Stock and broth refer to the flavorful liquid obtained from straining out the solid bits after simmering chicken parts in water for a specific time.
  • Stock and broth are foundation ingredients for stews, gravies, soups, and sauces.
  • They are often used as a substitute for water to add rich flavor.
  • A whole chicken is called bone broth when prepared with a mixture of sautéed chopped vegetables and spices.

Can you use broth in place of stock?

In most recipes, broth and stock are interchangeable – making soup, gravy, sauce, or a saporous pot of rice. However, knowing the difference between the two and choosing the correct item can give you intense flavor and better results.

Differences Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth

Though stock and broth share similarities, the difference between the two terms arises from the context in which they are used. Let us look at the dissimilarities between the two:

  • Stock is derived from simmering bones in water. The broth is a product of water’s simmering meat, mirepoix, and aromatics.
  • Stock is rich in collagen and serves as the base for soups and stews, adding a savory twist. The broth is used for blanching or as a flavorsome substitute for water.
  • Stock is comparatively darker and thicker than broth.

Is stock the same as broth?

Consider stock and broth variants from the same universe. Three essential factors differentiate stock and broth:

Ingredients used

The stock results from simmering bones in water for an extended period, releasing gelatin, making the resulting liquid deep in color and thick textured. On the other hand, the broth results from simmering meat, raw vegetables, and other legumes, which gives the final product its ultimate flavor.

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Cook time

Stock takes a longer preparation time than broth since it takes a reasonable amount of time to release all the gelatin in the bones.


One of the critical differences between broth and stock is that stock is left unseasoned. In contrast, the broth gets a lot of its flavor from seasoning as it goes through the process of adding salts and herbs, making it delicious. Seasoning makes it possible for you to enjoy chicken broth on its own.

Another difference between broth and stock is their distinct nutritional and calorie composition. It is worth noting that stock contains more nutrients resulting from marrow, amino acids, and minerals.

A cup of stock contains approximately 86 grams of calories on the calorie front. In contrast, a cup of broth contains about 38 grams of calories.

Key differences between stock and broth

While stock and broth share the exact origin and are used interchangeably with most dishes, they are unique. Listed below are aspects that make them different from each other:

Spotting the Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth

Can one only distinguish broth and stock with a brief look? Yes! Stock is usually darker and cloudier, while the broth is often lighter, more transparent, and thinner than the stock.

Chicken Stock vs. Chicken Broth
Chicken bones, and water Recipe Chicken meat, mirepoix, aromatics, and water
Not seasoned Seasoning Seasoned
2 – 6 hours of cook time Cook Time 45 mins. – 2 hours of cook time
Thick and rich soup, stew or gravy, sautéing vegetables, steaming vegetables for a stir fry, cooking porridge for a savory, drinking on its own Uses Making gravy or soup, cooking rice or grains, deglazing pan when cooking vegetables, making stuffing, braising
High amount of calories Calories Low amount of calories

Chicken Stock vs. Chicken broth: Which is healthier?

Stock and broth are pretty similar in terms of nutritional value. Still, the stock gets a slight edge on the health front as it comprises more carbohydrates, fat, protein, and vitamins/minerals. It also has a higher concentration of nutrients and contains collagen, beneficial for the immune system.

While stock and broth refer to the liquid you get after simmering chicken parts in water for hours and straining out the solid bits, they differ. The stock is thicker and darker and uses chicken bones, while the broth uses meat. It has a more watery texture, usually calling for seasoning and spices.

Happy simmering!


Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

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