Homemade Stock vs Store Bought

Discussion in 'Soups, Stews and Casseroles' started by The Late Night Gourmet, Jun 12, 2019 at 4:25 PM.

  1. I've gotten to the point where I virtually never buy stock anymore: it's so easy to make, and I find that it tastes better than anything I can buy. Plus, I can control the sodium content.

    My basic stock consists of onion, carrots, celery, rosemary, salt, and water. Then, strain the solids out.

    From there, it's very easy to turn it into:
    • a beef, chicken, or pork stock - add some bones with a bit of flesh on them to the basic stock. Whenever I get barbecued ribs, I wash off the leftover ribs and use these in a stock. If making a stock with a fatty piece of meat, allow the stock to cool, the scoop the fat off the top of the jar. I once made a chicken stock with the skin...never again! There was so much fat that I don't think I ever got all of it out.
    • a seafood stock - add the carcass of the fish, or shells of the shrimp, lobster, or crab, to the basic stock.
    • other stocks - when making a mushroom soup, I scoop the veins out of the portabella mushrooms and add the scooping to the stock. When making an asparagus soup, the woody ends of the asparagus go into the stock.
    I do like having a carton of chicken stock on-hand, in case I don't want to spend 4 hours making a stock. This is also useful if I want to use stock in some limited way (my light light pesto recipe uses 1/2 cup of stock...hardly worth cooking a whole pot of stock if I have some already handy).
    rascal, Shermie and morning glory like this.
  2. medtran49

    medtran49 Über Member

    SE Florida
    We do keep the Kitchen Basics stock on hand, chicken and beef, low/no sodium as it supposedly is made with "real" ingredients versus chemicals. I like the chicken a lot, the beef not as much as it still seems to have that aftertaste found in most commercial beef stocks, but I will use it if it's not a front and center use (like soup or pho), then I make the beef stock.

    I make seafood stock from the shells and/or fish bones when needed.

    Vege, I'll either buy the Kitchen Basics or make it myself depending on how it's used and whether I feel like messing with making stock. I'll also substitute chicken stock if it's a small amount and/or a dish not being made for a vegan/vegetarian.

    When I make stock, I don't use salt at all.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 4:39 PM
  3. I used to do that, but I find that I like to be able to taste what the overall flavor of the stock is. I have a hard time doing that without salt to bring the flavor out. I don't use much - maybe a teaspoon for 6 cups - but I find it makes a difference. I then don't end up using much salt - if any - for the finished product that uses the stock.

    I think one reason I also went away from commercial stocks is what you said about the beef stock: it doesn't taste quite right. Here are the ingredients found in Swanson Beef Stock:

    Contains Less than 2% of the Following: Yeast Extract, Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Caramel Color, Maltodextrin, Glycerine, Onion Juice Concentrate, Beef Extract, Flavoring, Gum Arabic, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Triglycerides, Vegetable Oil, Xanthan Gum, Soy Lecithin.

    Shermie likes this.
  4. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    I make my own chicken stock and sometimes vegetable stock - but making beef stock is a whole other game. A really rich beef sock made classically demands roasting the bones first for at least 40 mins to a hour in the oven followed by simmering with vegetables - and when do I ever have beef bones?

    We are lucky in the UK to have some excellent products which are additive free - and beef stock is one of them.

    Some examples:

    Ingredients: Beef Bones (47%), Water, Onion Extract, Carrot Extract, Celery Extract, Tomato Purée, White Pepper, Bay Leaf


    Ingredients: Beef Stock (96%) (Water, Beef Bones and Meat, Tomato Paste, Carrot, Onion, Leek, Herbs), Beef Fat, Salt, Yeast Extract, Sugar, Tomato Powder, Cornflour

    I also keep these in the store cupboard - they aren't cubes but jellied concentrated stock:

  5. CraigC

    CraigC Über Member

    SE Florida
    How about homemade beef demi.
  6. Shermie

    Shermie Über Member

    Brighton, MA.
    When I do a chicken veggie soup, it is usually stock made from a chicken or turkey skeleton. When I make veggie beef soup I use a beef shank, which helps to provide enough meat & stock for the dish. :wink:
  7. medtran49

    medtran49 Über Member

    SE Florida
    Asian markets here have beef and pig bones/parts. They'll even cut them for you on a band saw. And, they are even cheaper than at the butcher type grocery where we get most of our meat.
  8. I know what you meant, of course, but I couldn't resist:

  9. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    Oops! :laugh:
    rascal likes this.
  10. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

  11. Elawin

    Elawin Über Member

    I can't remember the last time I ever bought stock of any type, mainly because if they don't have ordinary salt in them, they have celery salt or extract (another one of my allergies!).
    Most of my meals are veggie based, so I keep the vegetable water in the fridge. If I'm making a soup or stew, I don't bother to add stock - there's enough flavour in them for me from cooking the veg without adding vegetable stock as well, like so many recipes state. Can't see the point.
    Seeing as I'm usually only cooking for me, I tend to cheat as far as chicken stock is concerned if I want "stand alone" chicken. I simmer a couple of chicken legs in water and brown the pieces under the grill or in a pan and either use the liquid to make gravy or store it in the freezer. For pork, I usually have chops so I make a cassoulet and brown the meat in a pan. I dish up the veggies with the pork and use the liquid as a base for gravy.
    The last time I made proper stock was about 7 or 8 years ago at Christmas time. My then boyfriend offered to do the washing up after dinner. When he came back into the living room, I went into the kitchen to see how my stock was doing. The huge pan of stock had gone. He had thrown it all away. He said he thought it was washing up water. I ask you! A pan full of bones, and a selection of whole and chopped veggies. And he wondered why he suddenly became an ex!
    I did go out with him again about 5 1/2 years ago - once. He didn't like my greyhound.... Bye!
  12. rascal

    rascal Über Member

    I normally retain chicken stock after meat has been removed. I store in freezers for chicken n corn soup. My wife's and kids fave soup. I use the powdered beef and vegetable stock. Also have powdered chicken stock if I'm in a rush
    Freezer space is normally full so stock is minimal.

  13. epicuric

    epicuric Über Member Staff Member

    Shropshire, UK
    Whilst I applaud @The Late Night Gourmet for effort, I confess that this is one area I am happy to take short cuts. As @morning glory says, we have a ready supply of good quality, additive free stocks and demi-glace here in the UK. The exception is decent fish stock, which can be tricky to find.
  14. Elawin

    Elawin Über Member

    If I could find a decent salt-, celery salt-, or anything else I'm intolerant to or allergic to-free stock, I'd probably buy it
    rascal likes this.
  15. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    rascal likes this.

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