Written by MasterHealth Staff
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- Making Chicken Stock, Chicken Broth, Chicken Bone Broth: What’s the Difference?
- Which is Healthier: Chicken Stock or Chicken Broth?
- A Slow Cooker is Perfect for Stocks and Broths
- Raw or Cooked Chicken Bones, Meat and Skin
- Can You Add Salt to Chicken Stock? What About Spices?
- Why You Should Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Bone Broths
- Dr. Frank Lipman’s Recipe for Making Chicken Stock
- 3 Great Reasons to Make Chicken Stock at Home
- Explore Dr. Frank Lipman’s How To Be Well Health Program
The key difference is that chicken stock includes bones, and broth does not include bones unless expressly stated, such as in a “chicken bone broth recipe”.
Let’s break it down for easy reference:
Chicken stock uses the chicken bones and cartilage as key inputs, which when boiled results in a thicker, more gelatinous consistency from the collagen and gelatin that is released.
To add more flavor (and nutrition) beyond the bones, make chicken stock recipes with chicken meat and skin (raw, roasted, or previously cooked in some way) as well as vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs like dill, parsley and thyme, and spices.
Stocks are better used for making sauces, au jus, stews, soups, or something thicker, like gravy.
Chicken broth is made from just the meat (and vegetables), and does not include the bones. This results in a thinner liquid that is less gelatinous. And less nutritious.
Broths made from chicken (or beef, other animal meats, or fish) are ideal for making bases for soups. Because broths tend to be lighter and have a more mild taste, it tends to be used when cooking with other foods that have stronger flavor profiles.
Chicken Bone Broth
Though this sounds like it would fall into the broth category (no bones), by specifically calling for bones, a chicken bone broth is more like an upgraded chicken stock than a broth.
A chicken bone broth includes the bones, cartilage, meat, and skin of the chicken, and often includes added veggies, herbs, and spices to deliver a rich taste and dose of nutrition to boot!
It depends on your health, health goals, and what you’re looking to optimize.
Comparing chicken stock to chicken broth on macros, vitamins, and minerals – chicken stock is more nutrient-dense in virtually every category, and also includes more protein, fat, and carbs.
If you have a health goal to lose weight, you may want to first reach for a cup of chicken broth as it only includes 38 calories per cup versus the 86 calories per cup of chicken stock.
However, if you find chicken stock more satiating, and that prevents you from eating a Big Mac, it may be a better strategy for you to get more calories from these healthier fats and proteins.
Heal the Gut
If you have digestive issues or are working to fix your gut, you should absolutely go for the chicken stock because you’ll want the collagen, bone marrow, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to heal the gut and digestive tract.
Stocks and broths can certainly be made in a pot on the stove on its low (or simmer) setting, but we suggest using a slow cooker if you have access to one.
Slow cookers maintain a consistent cooking temperature from batch to batch, trap in liquids to prevent evaporation, and can be set to cook for a specified period of time before turning off automatically.
Our CEO, Josh Sookman, has been making chicken bone broth for a while now. He likes using a Crock-Pot (the original slow cooker, pictured above) set to low for 12 hours – often preparing the veggies with dinner, and leaving it to cook overnight.
There is a small-time commitment to prep the veggies (10 min) and squish out the nutrient-rich juices from them after each batch is made (another 10 min), but it’s so worth it.
You can make chicken stock with raw or cooked chicken bones, but raw bones, meat, and skin provide a richer taste and feel.
The process of roasting or cooking chicken will often remove much of the fat. So when you go to use these “leftovers” or “scraps” in your chicken broth, you’ll see less fat (oils) and a thinner, less gelatinous consistency.
If you’re looking to increase the fat profile in your chicken broth, try adding more raw chicken skin into your liquid gold elixir.
You certainly can, and it varies from recipe to recipe. In Dr. Lipman’s chicken stock recipe, you’ll see it calls for sea salt, but marked optional.
If you have any health conditions that require you to limit salt or sodium, you may opt to limit how much you put in; conversely if you’re on a ketogenic diet or often enjoy sweaty workouts, steams or saunas, you may want to add salt much more liberally.
Chicken stock or broth is considered a base ingredient, so it can adapted into quite the list of recipes.
The flavors in the stock should come from the bones and meat and other herbs or vegetables you might choose to add. Ultimately, it’s your choice, but it’s better to season to taste when you’re cooking with it.
Try experimenting with adding fresh ginger, turmeric, or garlic when simmering the broth, and you’ll see how they contribute to the overall flavor profile.
Ginger adds a warm, peppery flavor that works extremely well with meats and it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help your upset stomach (Altman & Marcussen, 2001).
Turmeric is earthy and bitter with a rich yellow color, and it lessens inflammation and pain, lowers the risk of heart disease, and improves liver function.
Garlic has amazing medicinal properties along with a raw nutty taste. It lowers blood pressure along with lowering cholesterol levels.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is the active ingredient that draws out and breaks down the collagen and minerals from the chicken bones.
You’ll only need a small amount, roughly 3-4 tablespoons of ACV per gallon of water. As an added benefit, apple cider vinegar doesn’t add any lingering flavors after being cooked.
Collagen is great for your body for a number of reasons. It is effective at improving joint pains, stiffness, and joint function in people with osteoarthritis (Shaw et al., 2017).
Collagen is what gives your skin structure, keeps you looking great into old age, and prevents wrinkles from forming (most noticeably in your face).
Chicken Stock (Slow Cooker Bone Broth)
- Mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Large (8-12 quart) pot or slow cooker
- 2-4 lbs chicken bones or fish, shellfish, beef, lamb
- 1 gallon water or enough to cover the bones by a few inches
- 3-4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- vegetables optional: carrots, onions, garlic
- sea salt optional
- herbs optional
- Place the bones in your pot or slow cooker and cover it with water by a few inches. Add the vinegar and let it sit for 30-60 minutes. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
- While it simmers, you can use a spoon to skim off any scum that rises to the top. Reduce the heat, cover, and allow the broth to simmer very gently. Cook on low heat for at least 6 hours or overnight, to extract the most gelatin and nutrients from the bones. A few hours before it is done, throw in the vegetables, sea salt, and herbs, if you are using them.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool. Pick out the heavy bones and discard them, then strain the broth through the mesh or cheesecloth over another pot. When the broth is cool, ladle it into glass mason jars with 2 inches of space left at the top.
- When the stock is cooled down, it should wiggle like jelly because of the high gelatin content from the collagen. Don't worry! When you warm it up, it will liquefy again.
If making soups or sauces are common for you, making your own chicken stock or broth will be a breeze – and you’ll enjoy these 3 extra benefits!
Less Waste: Put your meal and veggie scraps and leftovers to good use. Try experimenting with some other ingredients to see how you enjoy their unique flavor profiles:
- Seaweed & ginger
- Coconut milk & ginger
- Garlic puree & thyme
- Parsley & fresh lemon juice
- Cilantro & lime juice
Confidence in Quality: You can be more confident that your homemade slow cooker bone broth is healthier vs. store-bought since you can choose the quality of the ingredients, and be certain that there are no preservatives added.
You can choose whether your ingredients are organic, healthy, frozen, or fresh. We recommend organic, especially for meat, and for those veggies found in the dirty dozen.
Cost-effective: Since stock and broth can be made from scraps and bones of the chicken, you don’t have to buy anything specific to make it, unless you choose to use certain types of ingredients.
If you choose to buy chicken bones (and other animal bones), you’ll be shocked at the low prices these go for at your local butcher!