Understanding the Difference Between Bone Broth, Broth and Stock

One of the latest health trends is drinking freshly made bone broth. Some people may be wondering just how this type of broth is different from other types of broth or stock and why it may be more likely to provide health benefits. Understanding the differences between these three liquids may make this a bit clearer.

Bone Broth Versus Regular Broth

Regular broth is often made with meat rather than bones, so it won’t provide the collagen that’s one of the more potentially beneficial nutrients found in benefits of bone broth, which is actually technically more of a stock rather than a broth. The bones used may contain some meat on them since it’s hard to get bones that have absolutely no meat still attached to them. It’s usually more full of body because of this collagen, while broths are typically rather thin but flavorful.

Stock Versus Bone Broth

Now that it’s clear that bone broth is actually a stock, you might be wondering just how it’s different than other stocks. There are two main differences between these two liquids — ingredients and cooking times. While both of these liquids are made through simmering bones in water, bone broth is usually made with an acid, such as apple cider vinegar, to increase the amount of nutrients that are leached from the bones as well as other seasonings and vegetables to add flavor, while stock is often made without any additional flavoring agents so it’s more of a neutral substance. As for cooking times, stocks and regular broths typically are cooked for just a few hours, if that long, at high temperatures. Bone broth is made by simmering the ingredients for much longer times, sometimes as much as 48 hours, while at low temperatures. This longer simmering time results in more collagen in the broth. It is typically considered done when it gels at room temperature or cooler. If it doesn’t gel, it may be because the ratio of bones to water wasn’t high enough, the cooking time wasn’t long enough or there weren’t enough larger, collagen-rich bones included in the mix. Small bones contain less cartilage and thus less collagen.

Potential Benefits

Long-simmered broths made out of bones that are rich in collagen contain certain amino acids that aren’t typically found in meat. While these aren’t necessarily essential because your body can make them, your body may not make them in sufficient amounts and they may be good for improving digestion, immune function and joint pain.

Those who don’t want to make their own bone broth can opt to purchase it from a delivery service, such as Au Bon Broth.