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 sautéing. Stocks are traditionally made using mostly bones and some scraps from the kitchen or whatever one can find in the freezer.
Stocks are also typically cooked for relatively shorter lengths of time 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 (not bone broths) are simply meat simmered in water. Broths take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to cook and some cultures or ethnicities cook basic broths for much longer.
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 all that in mind, how do you get the best of both worlds? The nutritional punch of stock and the flavor of broth? Enter bone broth.
The paleo community’s adopted stepchild, bone broth has received a ton of attention in the paleo world 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.
We can’t speak for all bone broth producers, but our goal is to create broths that taste great and bring nutritional value. We think of Pure Bone Broth as affordable health insurance.
The gradual conversion of collagen into gelatin imparts most of the nutrients. The tricky part is this collagen extraction takes a long time which 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 Pure Bone Broth, our beef bone broth is simmered for 35 hours. The chicken bone broth is simmered for 24 hours. This ensures that all the vitamins, minerals and collagen is leached from the bones into the remaining broth.
You might ask why we use difference cook times? Chicken bone broth doesn’t require as long a simmer due to the bone 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 to add some great flavour to your cooking. We soak and cook our grains, stir fry’s 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 its 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 its 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 tasted.
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.
Don’t worry about the semantics, just try making your own bone broth and see how it instantly changes your body and mind!
If all this sounds like way too much work but you’d still like to give premium quality bone broth a try visit www.purebonebroth.co to order direct or for a list of our retail partners.
About the Author:
Connor is a mountain sport enthusiast and the founder of Pure Bone Broth. Based out of Vancouver, B.C., he’s passionate about environmental sustainability, cooking and mountain travel.