Some people use the words stock and broth interchangeably but there is a difference. Raw stock is not meant to be eaten on its own; instead it is used as a base for soups, sauces, or, indeed, broth. That's because stock usually does not have salt or other spices to add flavor. When such flavoring is added, the resulting "seasoned stock" is sometimes called broth.

Comparison chart

Broth versus Stock comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartBrothStock
Consumed raw Can be consumed raw Usually cannot be consumed raw because it has no flavors or seasoning
Chef "Tee" Terrell Darnley discusses the difference between stock and broth.

Both stock and broth are essentially liquids prepared by simmering their ingredients - vegetables, meat, bones or fish. Both are used as the base for other food like gravy, risotto, soups or sauces but broth may also be consumed independently.

Traditionally, broth contains some form of meat or fish. However, these days it is acceptable to refer to a strictly vegetable soup as a broth if it contains salt, spices and vegetables.


Stock is made by simmering meat, bones, vegetables and herbs in water, and then it is strained to remove the solids. No salt or spice is added to it while cooking it.

Lobster dumpling broth
Lobster dumpling broth

Traditional broth is made by boiling bones in a cooking pot for a long time to extract the flavor and nutrients. The bones may or may not have meat on them. There is a significant difference in the ingredients, particularly the meat, used while making broth in different countries. In the U.S. broth is usually made from animal meat and stock is made from vegetable scraps and bones. In Britain broth is called a soup in which solid pieces of meat or fish are added along with some vegetables. In the East broths are usually made with poultry and pork or beef in which spices and herbs are added.


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"Broth vs Stock." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 22 Feb 2019. < >