If you’ve ever wandered through the soup aisle or scrolled through a recipe, you’ve probably seen them listed. When do you use chicken stock vs chicken bouillon in a recipe? Can you use broth instead of stock? Or vice versa? Sometimes, terms like chicken stock, chicken broth, and chicken bouillon are even used interchangeably. Eeek!

Can you make broth from chicken bouillon? What exactly are these, and what sets them apart from one another? It’s a world of chicken that can feel a little overwhelming, to say the least! Get to grips with the different chicken flavor enhancers with our help – and cruise through your next chicken soup recipe without batting an eyelid.

Chicken Stock vs Chicken Broth: The Difference

Chicken stock and chicken broth must be basically the same, right? The truth is, they’re fairly similar. But there are some differences which you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re cooking and want to substitute chicken stock with chicken broth, or vice versa.

Chicken stock in a dutch oven pan

Chicken Stock

Let’s start with chicken stock. Imagine simmering a pot filled with chicken bones, aromatic vegetables, herbs, and spices. Well, that’s precisely what chicken stock is. It’s a flavorful liquid made by simmering chicken bones and sometimes meat with added aromatics – like onions or carrots.

Chicken stock is the backbone of many recipes. It adds a rich, deep flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. It’s usually unsalted. This is because it lets you control the level of seasoning in your dishes more easily. With its thick, creamy texture texture when chilled, chicken stock adds a velvety mouthfeel. Because of the gelatin in bones, you’ll also notice that stock is solid and jelly-like when it’s cold. That’s also why good stock often uses cuts like chicken back, neck, or wings with plenty of bone and skin.

Bone broth is made the same way, but typically doesn’t add vegetables. On top of that, bone broth is normally made by choosing bones with lots of connective tissue for the added collagen.

Chicken Broth

Moving on to the chicken broth side of things, what’s the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock? Well, think of chicken broth as a lighter, more versatile cousin of chicken stock. Unlike stock, chicken broth is typically made by simmering meat rather than bones. This gives a lighter flavor and thinner consistency. You can even do it in a crock pot if you want, for minimal effort and maximum flavor.

What can be confusing is the trend for ‘bone broth’ as well as things like tonkotsu ramen being referred to as noodles in broth – even though in technical terms, they’re made with bones and are stock.

Chicken broth is a valuable ingredient for a wide range of recipes. It serves as a base for soups, acts as a cooking liquid for rice and grains, and can be sipped on its own when you’re feeling under the weather. It often comes seasoned with salt, making it convenient for quick and easy cooking.

bowl of chicken broth

What About Chicken Broth vs Chicken Bouillon?

So, we’ve discussed chicken stock vs chicken broth and the differences. But we’re not done yet! There’s another contender too. Chicken bouillon vs chicken broth vs chicken stock adds yet another layer of ‘OMG, what one do I buy?’

If you’re not American, you might not even have heard of chicken bouillon. But we’ve got you covered.

Plan ahead and say goodbye to meal time madness


Chicken Bouillon: The Basics

Chicken bouillon is a concentrated flavor enhancer available in both powdered and cube form. Think of it as chicken stock condensed into a convenient package. Chicken bouillon is made by dehydrating chicken stock. It gives you a concentrated product that can be easily stored and used when needed. If you live outside of North America, you might be confused now. And it’s not surprising – because in many countries, these concentrated cubes or powders are also known as chicken stock or stock cubes. But Oxo cubes are what is also known as chicken bouillon.

Chicken bouillon powder and cubes are amazing pantry staples. They’re a quick way to add a burst of flavor to your dishes. They dissolve in hot water, packing in flavor quickly and conveniently. While they are convenient and add a good umami kick, it’s essential to note that they often contain higher levels of salt than other options. So, moderation is key when using chicken bouillon in your cooking.

Now, can you use one to make the other? Yep! Here’s how.

How to Make Chicken Broth from Bouillon

Making chicken broth from bouillon is simple. Start by dissolving the desired amount of chicken bouillon powder or cubes in hot water, following the package instructions. Adjust the concentration according to your taste preferences. Once dissolved, you have a flavorful chicken broth ready to be used in your favorite recipes, like chicken soup or chicken pie.

The Final Verdict

There you have it. Chicken stock, chicken broth, and chicken bouillon are all unique ingredients with their own purposes in the culinary world. Whether you’re looking for a robust base or a quick flavor boost, understanding the differences will help you refine your cooking skills even more.