Get ready for all your broth questions answered: stock vs broth plus 19+ other bone broth FAQs.

It was 2009 the first time I ever made my own bone broth. In fact, because I kept a detailed journal back then, I know that the very first day I ate my own bone broth was on Monday, August 3, 2009.

Had I not gotten sick, then stumbled upon the GAPS Diet, I would have never made it on my own.


I mean, I likely would not have even ventured much outside boxed meals paired with veggies. 

But I digress.

Because I am an OG broth bum, I am constantly asked all the questions. And I’d say I have an answer for those questions 8/10 times.

So I finally decided it was high and mighty time I put together the master bone broth FAQ. We will start with stock vs broth because that’s a question I’m not sure I’ve ever addressed yet.

Stock vs Broth {Plus 19+ Other Bone Broth FAQs}

Click HERE to save this stock vs broth post for later.

Stock vs Broth #stock #broth #bonebroth #guthealth

According to Jeff Potter’s book, Cooking for Geeks

Stock and broth are both liquids made by simmering vegetable and/or animal matter. Traditionally, stocks are made with bones, which have collagen. Most of this collagen breaks down and converts to gelatin, which gives the stock a lubricious mouth-feel and, at sufficient concentrations, causes the stock to turn into a gel when cooled. 

He also notes that,

  • Stocks are generally more of an ingredient; broth is a finished product
  • Bones are used to make stocks; but broths are made without them
  • A stock is thicker than a broth, due to the bone
  • Stocks have gelatin; broths do not

Think of the basic stock vs broth recipe formula as such:


  • bones
  • meat
  • vegetables


  • meat
  • vegetables

But after understanding this, it almost seems more confusing, right?

Then why do we call it Bone broth? And how does Vegetable broth fit in to that equation?

Seems like this is more than just stock vs broth, yes?!

Well, bone broth is, essentially, stock. Chef Marco Canora states, 

The confusion comes from the traditional definition for stock, which is more viscous due to the collagen that seeps out of joints and bones during long-term cooking, and broth, which is thinner and is made with more actual meat (versus meat-stripped bones used for stock).

As for Vegetable broth? Honestly, it’s just sort of an oxymoron in my opinion. It’s the broth equation minus the meat. And in that instance, it’s not true “broth.”

But it doesn’t matter.

After understanding all of that, here are the takeaways I want for you when asking should I use stock vs broth for this recipe?

Stock vs Broth for a Recipe

  1. Do you want to use bones?
  2. Are you interested in bone + meat from the bone or just the bone?
  3. Should it be thicker or thinner?
  4. Are you Vegan?
  5. Do you want this to act as an ingredient or part of ingredient(s)?! See how that works? Spoiler alert: stock is part of the ingredient(s); broth is the ingredient.

Write those questions down in your journal (NOTES section at the end), answer them, then make the broth that aligns with the answers and ultimate goal.

Now that we have that clear, let’s move on. There are so many more questions to address beyond stock vs broth.

Keep in mind when I answer these questions below that this is how they are commonly asked. Just because I’m using the word(s) bone broth doesn’t mean the person isn’t actually referring to stock. The truth is that people have replaced stock with bone broth as the common, contemporary term.

How do you make Instant Pot Bone Broth?

There isn’t too much difference in the way you make Instant Pot Bone Broth and regular bone broth. You can get my recipe for Chicken Bone Broth. In the recipe, you’ll see these Instant Pot Bone Broth directions:

Make ahead: If you have an 8-quart multi-cooker (such as an Instant Pot), you can really speed up this process. Combine all the ingredients in the pot, cover, and seal. Using the “Manual” function, cook on High for 30 minutes. Leave the broth to sit for 1½ to 2 hours. Strain the broth into another pot or a storage container, and discard the solids. Season with salt.

What is the bone broth diet?

There are many different definitions floating around out there for the bone broth diet (just as there are for almost every other diet).

At its core, though, the bone broth diet combines bone broth, low-carb, and intermittent fasting for a length of time. 

I wrote about it in detail via What is a Bone Broth Fast? [HERE]

The bone broth fast is usually done for 3-4 days and most do it for calculated reasons. The bone broth diet, though, is done for more like 21 days.

Is Kettle and Fire bone broth a good packaged broth?

Yes, I love Kettle and Fire. I have been a fan for many years already; even when they were first getting started.

Kettle & Fire uses pasture-raised marrow bones that are 100% grass-fed. They don’t use carcass (i.e. “leftover”) bones; they use the best bones. And if you remember from above on our conversation around stocks and bones and collagen, you know how important this is.

In fact…..

Stock vs broth #kettlefire #stock #beefbroth

What is the best packaged bone broth?

Yes, I did write an entire post on the best packaged bone broth HERE. And, ding-ding-ding, it is Kettle & Fire.

There are so many packaged bone broths on the market these days. And quite honestly, if you read my post on why I think Kettle & Fire is the best, you can take the information and apply it to other packaged bone broths to see if they might work for you.

In addition to the high-quality bone broth Kettle & Fire produces, they also have some incredible flavors. This keeps mealtime healing and interesting!

Is there a bone broth for dogs?

I’m not a vet nor am I a dog nutritionist, but I have been giving our dogs my homemade bone broth for years

I first gave it to my old Peekepoo, Fiona and Great Dane, Reagan. They have since passed (bless their sweet souls!)

Today I give it to the new Peek, Georgie and Great Danes – yes, plural – Harley and Bailey.

Since it’s just liquid, I’ll pour it over their food and they love it. 

Because my homemade broths are just bone, sometimes meat, and veggies, then strained, I am 100% confident in giving it to all the dogs. 

What is a chicken broth substitute?

This really depends on what you’re using it for and why you’re needing a substitute. 

If you need a chicken broth substitute because you’re Vegan, then make a Vegetable broth. Just know that the flavor and mouthfeel will not be the same. 

But if you simply don’t have access to chicken broth and/or don’t like chicken, try beef bone broth or turkey bone broth.

Have you ever made turkey broth?

Yes, and it’s super good! “Tastes like chicken,” but pretty accurate. 

My favorite time of year to do this is Thanksgiving because you already have all the pieces you need to make a powerful and flavorful broth. Just save the bones, some meat, and any veggies from the Thanksgiving meal. Then, make your broth. 

In fact, I have also made pork broth and fish broth as well.

What do you think about bone broth protein powder?

Like all my other thoughts really, it depends. That said, I will say this:

  1. If I had to choose between bone broth protein powder and drinking homemade bone broth, it’s an easy decision. 100%, hands down, I will recommend you choose the homemade bone broth.
  2. Bone broth protein powder, IMO, isn’t inherently super delicious. You have to dress it up to taste better.
  3. If you’re going to do the bone broth protein powder, make sure you choose a high-quality one. Check out the Perfect Organic Bone Broth HERE. To address the “dressing it up” point I just made, you might also choose the 5 Minute Bone Broth & Kale Kit. By the way, my code for anything from Perfect Supplements is GUTSY10 (to save 10%), so use it if you want to try their powders.
  4. Choose a high-quality gelatin if that’s what you’re getting the bone broth protein powder for anyways. It’s flavorless, and you can do many different things with it.

How do you make low sodium chicken broth?

The best way to do this while still getting the full chicken flavor is by simply not adding any salt to the broth. Many broth recipes call for “x” amount of salt during the simmering process.

I have never done this because, like most other cooking projects I take on, I don’t want to guess how much salt someone does or does not like. Therefore, I leave out the salt from a quantity standpoint and advise just adding it in, while serving, to taste.

This allows someone to make the chicken broth as low sodium as they want.

Chicken broth nutrition {what are the facts}

This is highly dependent upon the recipe you use and/or brand you buy.

For sake of numbers, though, the Chicken Bone Broth recipe on this site contains:

  • Calories: 24 
  • Fat: 0g 
  • Saturated fat: 0g 
  • Carbohydrates: 1g 
  • Sugar: 0g 
  • Sodium: 340mg 
  • Fiber: 0g 
  • Protein: 4g

Since this recipe is in The Leaky Gut Meal Plan, the book publisher put together those numbers. You might be wondering about the sodium? I think it’s only that amount because they guesstimated on how much salt one might put in at the end. 

How do you use your chicken broth?

The better question here is perhaps, “How don’t I use it?”

Here are some super simple things we do with it to easily incorporate it throughout the week:

  1. Just drink it. I like to squeeze fresh lemon in mine for a soothing beverage.
  2. Soup base. I made a recipe the other night for Chicken Tortilla Soup. It called for chicken broth, so I just swapped in mine for whatever chicken broth was called for. So much better!
  3. Au Jus. Use the broth in a dipping base like au jus. 
  4. Gluten-Free Chicken Dumpling Soup. It’s so easy, and I should make a YouTube video soon for this one. The chicken broth is the base, then I add gluten-free noodles and make homemade gluten-free dumplings with some shredded chicken. So incredibly delicious.

Does bone broth break a fast?

“Technically,” yes. Bone broth contains calories and therefore it does break a fast. 

However, the better question might be: Why is it important to me?

What is the reason you would not want a bone broth to break a fast? If it’s because you don’t want to get out of ketosis, then that is not likely to happen with bone broth.

In fact, when I practice fasting from 5/6pm at night until sometime between 7-9am the next day, I’m always drinking things before consuming food. 

My intention for the nightly fast and to not let breakfast break it prior to 12 hours is to let my digestive system rest as much as possible. If this is where you’re coming from, too, then it won’t likely matter. The digestive system has a much easier time with liquids than solids.

Have you ever made miso broth?

I have, and I love it. 

In fact, I used to make a ton of miso broths. 

HERE you’ll find a Vegan Gluten Free Miso Soup recipe. I wrote and created that back in 2012. 

The way I used to make miso broth was just with the miso paste and water, for the most part. But you could do so much with it due to its delicious flavor. I have never added it to bone broth – maybe soon?!

How to make a low histamine bone broth?

In Phoebe Alpine’s new book, SIBO Made Simple, she states,

One healing food that can be problematic for histamine intolerance is bone broth. Since it’s simmered over low heat for many hours, bacteria can form. More collagen is also coaxed from the bones, which can exacerbate histamine symptoms. Focus on dishes with quicker cooking times versus all-day soups and stews. Cook your broth for 2 hours max per the guidelines on page 142. Instant Pots and pressure cookers are great tools for histamine peeps. The slow cooker is not your friend.

All my bone broth recipes share how to make it in the Instant Pot, too. 

If you’re looking for another one, check out p. 71 of Dr. Becky’s 4-Phase Histamine Reset Plan. There is a Low-Histamine Chicken Broth recipe (which basically just uses the Instant Pot, as noted above).

What should I do if broth hurts me due to histamines?

You should either:

  1. See the suggestion above.
  2. Don’t drink it; choose something else that is soothing and healing.

And by the way, while I whole-heartedly believe in bone broth, I don’t think anyone should stress if they absolutely cannot tolerate it. It doesn’t mean you can’t heal.

Where do you buy your bones?

Great question! I get my bones from one of two places:

  1. In a town about 15 minutes from where we live there is an organic farm. They sell frozen, packaged, organic bones. And they are super delicious.
  2. Wherever I get my whole chicken/turkey/etc. I always use the whole bird. So, if we roast a whole chicken, I’ll then use the bones and other bits and pieces for making broth. But again, when I buy whole, it’s always organic. 

Do you have to prep bones before dumping them in?

The reason for prepping the bones prior to adding them in is flavor extraction. You can just toss the bones in your pot and simmer away. However, if you want the best bone broth with full flavor, consider roasting them prior to and/or chopping them up into smaller pieces.

If you’re going to spend the time and money to make broth, might as well make it the best ever.

My Beef Bone Broth roasts the bones prior to cooking, and I’m telling you there is a clear difference.

Why do I get hives when I have broth?

Most likely you are having a histamine reaction. 

Since the topic of histamine and broth comes up a lot, I wrote a whole post on histamine intolerance [HERE].

What stage of gut healing do you need to be in to incorporate broth?

Whatever stage you are at today is the right stage to start. 

As always, if you have special circumstances, you’ll want to check with your medical provider.

But I started making and drinking bone broth on Day 1 of the gut healing journey that would ultimately lead me on the right path.

I literally cannot recommend Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book, The GAPS Diet enough. It changed my life. The book has a heavy discussion and emphasis on the art of broths.

How can you make broth more healing?

“Healing” is a loaded term because everyone has unique circumstances. That said, here are 10 gut healing boosts for bone broth:

  1. collagen
  2. gelatin
  3. l-glutamine
  4. probiotic
  5. turmeric
  6. moringa
  7. liquid coconut or olive oil with garlic infused
  8. ginger
  9. shallot-infused olive oil
  10. nutritional yeast

If you want to read about all 10 in detail, check out the full post HERE.

Clearly you have more questions, yes?! Leave them in the comments below.

If you liked stock vs broth, you might also enjoy:

  1. What is the best gut healing diet?
  2. Master Gutsy Resource Guide
  3. Bone Broth Benefits

Stock vs Broth #stock #broth #bonebroth #guthealing


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