Tips and techniques

What’s the difference between bone broth and stock?

You've probably heard of the latest 'superfood' trend of drinking bone broth as a health elixir, and using homemade stocks and broths for flavouring risotto dishes, but are they all the same thing?

Well, not exactly… Although the individual recipes for these three savoury liquids uses similar ingredients and cooking styles, the intention behind each practice is entirely different. And, in theory, so is the nutritional value.

Bone broth

Bone broth is made by boiling down roasted meat bones – a process which can take up to 72 hours. The aim is to release gelatine and nutritious minerals from inside the bones, which advocates say has been linked to a healthy gut and improvement in protein levels.

Once cooked, the broth is then strained and seasoned, and can be drunk on its own as a clear soup, or used like a stock as a base for other dishes.


Don’t confuse regular broth with bone broth, although it may sometimes contain bones. The idea of broth is not to extract minerals or gelatine, but rather create a light, flavoursome liquid to enjoy on its own as a clear soup, or as an accompaniment to other seafood or meat dishes.

A simple broth is made by simmering meat, veggies, herbs and spices with water for a short period of time, usually around 45 minutes to two hours.

When stored in the fridge, broth generally holds its liquid consistency.


Similar to both bone broth and regular meat or vegetable broths, homemade stock is made by simmering water with vegetables, animal bones, fresh herbs and spices for around four to six hours.

Stock is used as a base for many recipes including soups and stews, but also included in risottos, polenta, sauces and some stir-fries. Similar to bone broth, homemade stock needs to extract collagen from the connective tissues and bones, producing a gelatinous texture. When kept in the fridge, stocks usually have a similar body and jiggle to that of jelly.

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