What Are the Differences Between Stock and Broth?

Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2022
What Are the Differences Between Stock and Broth
Learn about stocks vs. broths, nutritional comparisons, and how to make each at home

Stock and broth are terms that are often used interchangeably. However, there are a few key differences between the two.

Learn about stocks vs. broths, nutritional comparisons, and how to make each at home.

What is a stock?

Traditionally, stock is made from animal bones instead of meat. The bones are the most crucial component of the stock, which is usually cooked for 2-6 hours to release the bone marrow and cartilage from the bones.

Bone broth is technically a stock, since it is made from animal bones. Bone broth is highly nutritious and takes even longer to cook, up to 12-48 hours.

What is a broth?

Broth is lighter than stock and made from simmering meat in water and vegetables. Although bones may be added, it is not necessary.

Broth takes less time to prepare; it can be cooked for under 2 hours.

Stock vs. broth: comparison chart

Table 1. Differences between stocks and broths
Stock Broth
Main ingredients Bones, cartilage, or vegetables Meat, fish, or vegetables
Other ingredients Water, wine, or spices Water, vegetables, salt, fat, and spices
Taste Rich Savory
Texture Thicker because collagen and cartilage are released into the water Lighter and thinner
Clarity Usually clear Cloudy
Cooking duration 2-6 hours or up to 18 hours 2-5 hours
Uses Added to soups, sauces, curries, and gravies to add texture and flavor Added to gravies, cream sauces, and casseroles to enhance the flavor of the dish
Shelf life Lasts for 4 days when refrigerated and turns into a gel because of the cartilage Can be frozen for 2-3 months

What are the nutritional contents of chicken stock vs. chicken broth?

Table 2. Nutritional facts of 1 cup of chicken stock vs. 1 cup of chicken broth (DV = Daily Value)
Nutrient 1 cup (240 mL) of chicken stock 1 cup (245 grams) of chicken broth
Calories 19.2 19.6
Carbohydrates 1.01 grams 1 gram
Protein 4.01 grams 1 gram
Total fat 0 grams 1 gram, 2% of the DV
Fatty acids, total saturated 0 grams 0.49 gram, 3% of the DV
Cholesterol 0 mg 4.9 mg, 1% of the DV
Sodium 490 mg, 20% of the DV 1,040 mg, 43% of the DV


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

How to make chicken stock at home


  • 1-2 pounds of chicken bones and parts
  • 2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch each parsley and thyme
  • 6-8 peppercorns
  • 12 cups water


  • Add the chicken bones to a large pot and add water until they are covered.
  • Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns, and salt.
  • Cover the pot and bring it to a boil.
  • Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to a simmer.
  • Add more water if necessary so that bones are immersed in water.
  • Simmer for 2-4 hours or more.
  • Remove fat that collects on top of the water.
  • Drain the stock to remove all bones and solid pieces.
  • Refrigerate or freeze to store.

How to make chicken broth at home


  • 2-3 pounds of chicken
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 8 parsley sprigs
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8-12 cups of water


  • Place the chicken into a large pot.
  • Add water to cover the meat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the fat that collects on the top.
  • Add vegetables and simmer the broth for another 2 hours.
  • Add herbs and spices and simmer for another 30 minutes to allow the flavors to be infused into the broth.
  • Strain the broth and remove all meat and vegetables.
  • Store in a jar and refrigerate, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Chicken Stock. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/497080/nutrients

Chicken Broth. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/499347/nutrients

Differences Between Broth and Stock. http://www.differencebetween.net/object/comparisons-of-food-items/differences-between-broth-and-stock/

Stock vs. Broth – What’s the Difference? https://writingexplained.org/stock-vs-broth-difference