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Bonnie Klemm @ABondGirl2

What the h*ll is the difference between stock and broth?

4 min read
The perfect thanksgiving turkey

Test turkey #3

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The perfect thanksgiving turkey
Ok, now what do I do with all these bones?

As a private chef (check out my street cred on, I’m frequently asked this question. Quite honestly, most people (including commercial producers) use the terms interchangeable. IMHO, the only relevant difference (including my favorite variation bone broth) is the amount of time you spend simmering stuff on your stove.

Note: I’m going to use the terms broth and stock interchangeably from here on out—cuz, IRL it doesn’t matter.

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If you have two hours before you have to leave for your yoga class:

Let’s make it easy, if you’re just interested in making some chicken, turkey or any other poultry soup, throw the bones in a pot with any combination of onion, celery, garlic, salt, black pepper or peppercorns and a bay leaf if you have one (don’t worry if you don’t have all of the ingredients, I only buy bay leaves once a year, and generally prefer to use different spice combinations during the summer.) Bring everything to a boil, reduce to a simmer, after a couple hours, let the stock cool and strain. Do not use a cheesecloth, this will remove all of the healthy fats. Also, never skim the weird looking bubbly stuff that comes to the top. Although funky looking—removing the fat and collagen from the stock actually makes it less healthy. Your body (and especially your brain) needs real food fats to function. Don’t rob yourself of flavor and fat loss. Yep, you heard me right, if you eat fat, your body doesn’t think it has to hoard it around your stomach or on your thighs.


Tip: If you have are using chicken soup to help combat any kind of winter cold/flu or sinus allergy,  you should consider adding some hot peppers (crushed red peppers will work in a pinch), and ginger (fresh or dry) which will help soothe a sore throat. Actually, if you can tolerate it, I suggest you always add some heat. It adds a little kick of fun and flavor and I’m always a fan of anything that adds capsaicin to my diet. (Promoting detoxification and reduced inflammation are always good things…but especially when you’re sick.)


If you need time to watch a football game:

Start with any kind of bones and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Because beef bones break down slower than poultry ones, I wouldn’t suggest using beef bones if you don’t have at least five hours. (Trust me, you’ll be unhappy with the bland and weakly flavored results.) At halftime, add the rest of the ingredients and if necessary, more water. The longer you cook the stock, the more “gelatinous” it will be at the end of the process (read: after cooling.) That’s good. The more the stock acts like jello when cold, the more collagen is in the final product. (Yes, it’s that anti-aging super miracle collagen—yeah healthy skin!)


If your husband’s watching the playoffs, or you have another reason to hang out in the kitchen all day and night:

Make bone broth with beef bones. My favorite is oxtails, but don’t use poultry, the gentle structure of these delicate bones doesn’t hold up to the long cook time, nor is it necessary. For a deeper/richer flavor roast or sear the meat on the bones. (Roasting the bones and vegetables for any broth is not necessary—it’s just a flavor bonus…if you have the time, don’t mind the effort and if you’re into that kind of thing.) Add water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let sit on the stovetop for the next day, adding water as needed. I generally wait until the water level is ½ to ⅔ of the pot capacity before adding additional water. I’ve discovered that constantly adding water reduces the temperature and increases the cook time. (As if overnight isn’t long enough.) BTW you can easily (children and pets notwithstanding), leave the pot on the stovetop overnight.

If you want tips on making a turkey (because turkey bones make super tasty broth) Check out the “How to turkey like a Pro” tips at the end of our Thanksgiving planning blog.

Don’t forget to read the chef’s tip. I’ll raise a cup of broth to toast your new skill—and to your health!


Chef’s tip:

For years I’ve advised my friends, family, and clients to save bones in freezer bags rather than making stock or broth immediately after Thanksgiving, I mean who wants to cook for another four weeks anyway? Plus, bones take up a lot less space than broth once it’s made. As for the other ingredients in stock, I hold back from composting some of the the extra “garbage” parts of onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in a freezer bag until I need to make stock. As a professional chef, I learned to be a planner, otherwise each of the five plus unique meals I created daily would have been an overwhelmingly difficult task. As a single girl, I still need to plan, just for different reasons (cuz the cats don’t eat leftovers.)

In addition to my blogs here at, you can find my articles on, or follow me on ‘The Gram’ @goodcrafty where I share inspirational quotes and motivational tips on a variety of subjects. I also ghostwrite for several well known sites but…confidentiality.


Bonnie Klemm



Note: we may receive a commission on purchases made through our affiliates. (the FCC makes me say this.)

2 thoughts on “What the h*ll is the difference between stock and broth?

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