Chicken stock concentrate is a critical ingredient in various popular comfort foods (like warm chicken noodle soup.). So when you find yourself low or out, it can halt your dinner plans unless you have bouillon. But is chicken stock concentrate the same as bouillon?
Before swapping out one ingredient for the other, you should know a few essential details. This information will help you decide which option is best for your next meal.
What is Chicken Stock Concentrate?
Chicken stock concentrate comes from the leftovers of a chicken carcass. You can collect these parts after removing the meat and other food chunks.
It is the thick jelly substance found at the bottom of the pan. It is extremely flavorful. And it gives your recipes a strong chicken flavor without the chunky chicken pieces.
How is it Made?
Chicken stock concentrate comes from the remaining liquid left over from cooking chicken. It forms at the bottom of the pan, collecting the most potent liquid parts of the bird. (*)
Another way to get the same robust taste is by boiling chicken meat and bones in water. The chicken flavor releases from each part into the pan during this process. After you drain and reduce the liquid, a thick stock concentrate is all that remains.
What is Chicken Bullion?
Chicken bullion comes from chicken stock. Chicken stock, not to be confused with chicken stock concentrate, is a thinner liquid. This ingredient is often sitting on store shelves in tin foil wrapping.
Chicken bullion is the granular remains of chicken bone and meat after boiling. This option comes in a variety of forms, including,
How is it Made?
Chicken bullion comes from simmering chicken meat and bones in water for 20-25 minutes. When the time is up, you want to remove the pot from the heat source and leave it to cool down.
After the liquid cools, it goes through a dehydration process to remove all the water. Once the liquid is gone and the remains are dry, you are left with a powder. Then you collect the powder and for it into cubes. Salt is added for flavor and to prolong shelf life.
Chicken Stock Concentrate Vs. Chicken Bouillon
Comparing Chicken Stock Concentrate and Bouillon Table
|Ingredient||Chicken Stock Concentrate||Bouillon|
|Taste||Rich and full-bodied flavor||Saltier, less intense taste as compared to concentrate|
|Texture||Thick, liquid consistency||A granulated powder or cube form that may easily be dissolved in hot water|
|Ingredients||Made from slow-cooked, real chicken bones and other vegetables and herbs for a natural flavor. No preservatives or MSG added.||Typically made from dehydrated broth with added salt, sugar, monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed vegetable proteins (HVPs) like wheat flour and soybeans, artificial flavors and colorings. May also contain preservatives and additives.|
As you can see, both of the ingredients come from similar beginnings. However, chicken stock concentrate is much more potent than chicken bouillon. This is because you never remove the natural juices or flavors from the water it boils in.
Chicken bouillon has more salt in its makeup to help persevere the powder longer. Yet both products often include the same ingredients, such as vegetables, herbs, and spices. And, of course, the chicken meat and bones.
Storage for Both Options
Many people like using chicken stock concentrate because of its bold rich taste. But it will not last as long as bouillon. Once the packaging is open, you must keep the stock in the refrigerator.
After opening, chicken stock concentrate is only good for two weeks in the refrigerator. You can extend the life of your ingredients by freezing them. This gives you up to three months before it starts to lose its flavor.
Pour the liquid into ice cube trays, forming cubes to store stock concentrate. Place the cubes into air tight baggies and place them on your freezer shelves.
Storing chicken bouillon is much easier to use, which is why so many people prefer this product. Because bouillon is a dried granular substance with no liquid, it lasts up to two years. However, the flavor will start to deteriorate after around one.
How to Use Each Option
Stock concentrate is quicker and easier to use because you add the ingredient directly to the pot. This is already in liquid form, so measurements are straightforward.
Recipes that call for bouillon typically require you first to put the cube into water or another liquid. This allows the powder to dissolve, releasing the flavor.
There is no specific way to use either option or a particular dish they would work best in. Since the two end up tasting very similar, they can easily be interchanged in any dish.
Which Option is Healthier?
Both stock concentrate and bouillon are made from the same meat and veggies. These ingredients contain the same nutritional value, even if they are in different forms.
Both products have many healthy nutrients (depending on the ingredients,) including,
- Vitamins (A, K, B, E)
- Minerals (Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus)
- And more.
These nutrients offer incredible health benefits, including,
- Improved digestion
- and better sleep.
These are all indicators that both are great options for almost anyone to enjoy.
There is more salt content in bouillon, but it isn’t enough to make a significant difference in your health.
Chicken stock concentrate might be easier to use and lighter than bouillon. But the latter has a longer shelf life and a bold flavor. Both are perfect for various recipes like soups, stews, broths, and more.
If you have ever wondered if chicken stock concentrate is the same as bouillon, hopefully, we answered your question. Feel free to ask if you have any other questions we haven’t addressed here. Our experts are always on hand, waiting to help.
Learn more: Chicken Stock Concentrate Substitute