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Broth or Stock…There’s A Difference?

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I’ve been making homemade chicken and beef broth for a while now. It’s very easy and so good for you. It’s the foundation of GAPS, so I eat it a lot. But after doing a little reading yesterday I realized that broth and stock are not the same. And they have different functions. I generally make broth, based on the Nourishing Traditions method…lots of bones, etc. and long cooking. You get all the vitamins, minerals and gelatin out of the bones. It is nourishing, healing and easy to digest. But…it’s not how the GAPS book tells you to make broth. Or should I say stock. Turns out there is a difference between bone broth and stock.

I’ll use chicken as an example while explaining. But it’s the same for all meats. To make stock you put a whole chicken in a pot and cover it with water (and add seasoning). Then simmer for a couple hours. That’s all. Strain the stock and take the meat off the bones. This is about as easy as it gets. And it’s the recipe in the GAPS book.

To make broth you don’t need a whole chicken/chicken meat. You mostly need bones. You put bones/scraps in a pot and add water (you can add vinegar as well to pull more nutrients out) (and seasoning). Then cook this for 24 hours. This will pull all of the nutrients out of the bones. Chicken necks and feet work especially well for this.

They are both very nutritious and healing. And are both important. So, after reading about this yesterday I experimented and realized I can really get my money’s worth out of chicken and make both. I cooked our chicken in the crockpot, mostly filled with water. I strained that and got 2 quarts of stock. Then after deboning the chicken I put all the bones/parts back in the pot and made broth…got another 2 quarts. Not bad.

Coincidentally after writing this post I saw a post on The Nourishing Gourmet about using your bones multiple times. So I guess I could have gotten even more out of my one chicken. I’ll have to try that next time.

Here is what the GAPS site says about the broth and stock:

“In the GAPS book I have described how to make meat stock. There is a difference between meat stock and bone broth. Meat stock is made with raw meat on a bone and it needs to be cooked just long enough to cook the meat thoroughly (2-3 hours), so it can be eaten, and so the bone marrow can be taken out of the bone and consumed. The meat stock made this way is usually clear and delicious, with an excellent nutritional value: it is particularly rich in amino acids. Bone broth is made out of bones which can be raw or cooked or a mixture (many people collect cooked bones from their meals, keep them in the freezer and use them for making the broth). In order to leach minerals out of the bones we add vinegar to the water. It is not necessary to add vinegar to the meat stock unless you need it for a particular taste. Bone broth may have quite a different nutritional composition from the meat stock and a different taste. Both are beneficial and should be used in GAPS diet.”

I now try to make and use both. I like to use the broth in addition to the stock since I generally do not eat the marrow out of the bone. That’s why the broth is important. So, what do you usually consume…broth or stock? I think I’ll be trying to do both now.

One comment

  1. Sara says:

    I knew there was supposed to be a difference between stock and broth, but never really knew what it was… and I always used the names interchangably. Thanks for the info! I always keep my stock before I make broth, too. Mmm… after so many days of eating food that isn’t what I am used to (though most has been homemade, at least… just not what I am used to… ). I am looking forward to having some nice brothy soups when I get home. 🙂

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