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What’s the Difference Between Stock, Broth, Bouillon and Fond?

When cooking, you may run across the terms stock, broth, bouillon, and fond. Each is a type of liquid and each typically has a word in front of it describing what the liquid is made from.

But what is the difference between the stock and broth? Or bouillon or fond?



The truth is, the difference between stock, broth, bouillon, and fond isn’t always precise. Very often, cookbooks and cooks use the terms interchangeably. Technically, however, there are several important differences. One is that stock should have no added salt. Broth can contain some salt, and bouillon should have a considerable amount of salt.

However, when you’re dealing with commercially sold liquids, the traditional salt rule many not apply. Manufacturers can generally call the liquid anything they like, which is why you’ll now see “low-sodium” bouillon on store shelves.


Stock Broth Bouillon


Served Alone

The only one of these liquids that’s ever served alone is broth. Stock, bouillon, and fond are never served like a soup; they are only used as ingredients for something else.



Stock is liquid extracted from foods (meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables). To create stock, chefs cook the food in water (or sometimes wine), then remove the food from the liquid.

Broth is created from stock by straining the liquid until it is perfectly clear. Bouillon is created from stock by straining and seasoning it.


Fond of Fond

Fond is considerably different from stock, broth, or bouillon. Fond is simply the stuck-on, carmelized bits of food (vegetables, poultry, meat, or fish) left in the pan after the food is seared.

Water, wine, or sometimes stock or broth is added to make the fond a liquid.


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What's the Difference Between Stock, Broth, Bouillon and Fond?


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