HomeFood on a budgetMeat Stock or Bone Broth – which do you make?

Chicken stockI just read an interesting article by Kim Schuette in the latest Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Journal about bone broth, or is it stock?  Kim begins by explaining that the French term for stock and broth is fonds de cuisine, the foundation of the kitchen.  Yes, stocks and broths have traditionally been the foundation of many of the most delicious dishes and sauces in the best kitchens.  The terms broth and stock are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing, but Kim, in her article Meat Stock and Bone Broth, distinguishes between the two.  I make both types, but I had always used the terms to mean about the same thing. She defines meat stock as made “with meat on the bone and is cooked just long enough to completely cook the meat.”  Bone broth is “made from bones with the meat removed and is cooked longer to extract more of the nutrients.”  Sounds good to me. Here’s more about each type of broth and why we need both.

Meat Stock

Stock made with the meat on the bones is very nutritious.  It is “rich in gelatin and free amino acids, such as proline and glycine.”  These are good for healing and strengthening our bones and joints.  Meat stock also supports good digestion and helps regulate our hydrochloric acid, which is essential for proper digestion of proteins.  That wonderful gelatin that we all want from our broth is a product of making meat stock.  Why is that gelatin so wonderful?  Although it is “not a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, it acts as a protein sparer, helping the poor stretch a few morsels of meat into a complete meal.” (Broth is Beautiful, WAPF)  GAPS diet followers will use meat stock, with the shorter cooking time, to help heal the gut and then will be able to have bone broth later when then gut has begun to heal.

Kim provides recipes for three different types of meat stock based on Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

Bone Broth

If meat stock is so good, why make bone broth?  Well, bone broth provides an excellent source of minerals and other nutrients, such as glucosamine.  These minerals are necessary for healthy teeth and bones which are especially important for growing children. However, Kim explains why bone broth may not be beneficial to people with gut problems, who may have leaky gut syndrome “(excessive permeability of the gut lining, potentially leading to food allergies and intolerances and autoimmune conditions) .”  Bone broth can contain free glutamates from the longer cooking time.  Free glutamates can encourage inflammation; however, the formation of free glutamates can be minimized by a very low temperature slow simmer.  People with leaky gut syndrome should wait until healing the gut has begun with meat stock before adding bone broth to their diet.

Kim recommends simmering fish bone broth for 4 hours, chicken or turkey for 12 to 24 hours, and beef or lamb for 36 to 48 hours.

Make both meat stock and bone broth using the same bones

You can make both stock and broth with the same bones.  Just cook the meat stock until the meat is done, remove the meat and the stock,return the bones to the pot, add fresh water and some apple cider vinegar, then cook the bones longer to extract the minerals and other nutrients.  See below for recommended cooking times.  To increase the nutrients in the bone broth, you might want to add bones saved from other uses such as roasted chicken or beef.  Any bones will do.  I put the bones in the freezer for later use whenever we roast chicken, beef, or even pork.  Add them to the bone broth water for a truly mineral-rich broth.

Both stock and broth have important nutrients, but they are not only healthy, they also are very easy on the budget.  There aren’t many foods where the nutrition is so great at so reasonable a cost as stock and broth.  Stocks and broths are not only good for long term health, they are excellent remedies for healing when suffering from colds, flu, and temporary digestive upset.  My family are true believers in the healing benefits of stock and broth.  As always, broth from the meat and bones of pastured animals will be the best for your health.

Other definitions of broth and stock

Wikipedia defines stock and broth somewhat differently.  Stock is “the thin liquid produced by simmering raw ingredients: solids are removed, leaving a thin, highly-flavoured liquid.”  Broth is “a basic soup where the solid pieces of flavouring meat or fish, along with some vegetables, remain.”  Whatever you call them, these broths and stocks should become regular additions to your diet.


Stock vs Broth – Are You Confused? (This is Kim Schuette’s article published on the Healthy Home Economist blog)
Difference between bone broth and meat broth or stock, Loving Our Guts
Traditional Foods 101: Bone Broth, Broth & Stocks, The Nourished Kitchen
Broth is Beautiful, The Weston A. Price Foundation
Broth, Wikipedia
Stock (food), Wikipedia

There are many other posts on the subject of bone broths and stocks.  Just do a Google search to find them.


Meat Stock or Bone Broth – which do you make? — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Homemade Cream Gravy – you don’t need to avoid gravy! | Real Food Houston

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