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I Switched from Homemade Stock to ‘Better Than Bouillon’ and I’m Not Going Back

A shopper holding up a container of Better than Bouillon in a grocery store.
TonelsonProductions/Shutterstock.com

It’s fair to say many of us don’t bother making homemade stock (or broth); it is a lengthy process, and buying it already made is just so much easier, but your dish tends to lack the authentic flavor that way. That’s where Better Than Bouillon comes to play.

We don’t want to completely steer you away from making that delicious flavor-infused liquid, as it’s one of those basic skills every novice cook or home chef should understand.

It’s quite simple to make a broth or stock; it just takes several hours to achieve a rich and distinct flavor and for the simmering stockpot to work its magic.

Even if you make stock on the reg, we recommend giving Better Than Bouillon a try, as it does more than making a hot liquid for soups and stews.

So, what exactly is Better than Bouillon?

What Is Better Than Bouillon?

Better than Bouillon is a concentrated food base made from cooked vegetables and meats and can be used in several ways. A teaspoon of the base combined with eight ounces of water is equivalent to one bouillon cube or one eight-ounce can of broth.

However, you’ll notice the label on the jar provides instructions for making stock, but the conversion calculator provided on their site refers to making stock or bouillon using the product.

So, that leads to our next question; is there a difference between stock and broth, and where does bouillon come in?

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

Similar to how Better Than Bouillon brand markets their product, you’ll find the terms are often used interchangeably, which is understandable because they are pretty darn similar. I mean, they’re all words used to describe the liquid part of a soup, right?  Well, yes, but let us explain.

While both stock and broth are flavorful liquids, they use different ingredients, which gives them their own unique taste and quality. Stock is the leftover liquid made from simmering bones, and broth is made from simmering meat or vegetables.

So, where does bouillon come into play? This one gets a little tricky because bouillon can mean more than one thing.

Some use the word bouillon to describe a dehydrated powder (often in the form of a cube). Others use the word to describe the liquid once the powder is added to water.

So, there you have it!

Why I Prefer It Over Homemade Stock and Other Products

If I had the time for simmering stockpots full of aromatics and roasted bones, I’d be all about making homemade stock. You know it’s authentic because, well, you made it. But we live busy lives, and battling to get dinner on the table is a struggle sometimes.

Better Than Bouillon ensures quality flavor to so many dishes beyond soup, and it lasts months after being opened. That’s much longer than the average week or so that your carton of stock will last.

Most bouillon cubes are loaded with monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is great for that umami flavor we all adore, but some people get sick from consuming MSG.

Better Than bouillon prides itself on not using MSG in their product, and they don’t need to because their bases are loaded with savory flavor without it.

The product is reasonably priced and will work to enhance so many dishes. It’s as simple as swirling it into hot water or mixing it into a dish that just needs a touch of oomph.

Our Favorite Flavors and How We Use Them

'Two jars of lobster base by Better than Bouillon with two crocks and a small bowl of lobster in teh background.
Emilee Unterkoefler

We’ve told you several times how well these flavored bases work in various dishes, so now we’ll give you the inside scoop on exactly that.

Keep in mind that because you are substituting this with homemade stock or broth, you can easily make any recipe like you normally would. If it calls for two cups of stock, substitute it with Better Than Bouillon using the instructions on the jar.

Here are five of my favorite flavors and how I like to use them in cooking

Roasted Beef

Roasted beef base enhances so many dishes. Swirl it into rice, or combine it with mushrooms and potatoes before roasting them to perfection. We also love using it to create the liquid for a beef stew.

We always use this flavor to make homemade gravy for poutine, Salisbury steaks, Swedish meatballs, and anything that needs a beefy sauce or broth.

Roasted Chicken

We use roasted chicken often too! Swirl a spoonful into some bechamel sauce, add cooked veggies and chopped rotisserie chicken, fill a pie crust, and call it pot pie. It’s also the liquid I use to make my rice, and I always use it to add flavor to cooked veggies.

Roasted chicken also tastes really nice when added to mashed potatoes and will create a fine broth for chicken noodle soup.

Lobster

Oh, how we love the rich flavor of this lobster base! This one is probably our favorite, mainly because we eat lots of lobster and seafood living so close to the coast.

A couple of teaspoons of this lobster base is exactly what transforms a mediocre casserole into a lusciously rich and delicious lobster macaroni and cheese. We also use this one for making seafood chowders and lobster bisque, and anytime we need a creamy sauce to top a seafood-filled pasta dinner.

Roasted Garlic

Add a touch of roasted garlic to softened unsalted butter, add some herbs like parsley or chives, then roll it up into parchment and cool it down in the fridge to create a garlic compound butter.

Otherwise, this base is great when added to roasted potatoes or other veggies, added to the water for rice, or swirled into sauces and soups.

Seasoned Vegetable

The seasoned vegetable is a dream ingredient for vegetarians. Make with blended aromatics (like carrots, onion, celery, and tomato); the flavor is just fantastic.

It’s perfect for creating vegetarian pot pies, marinating hearty veggies before throwing on the grill, or making things squash soups or chunky vegetable stews.

Remember that because Better Than Bouillon is concentrated, which means sodium levels are high in the product. Always taste-test your meal before considering adding salt if you are working with Better Than Bouillon.


It’s fair to say we love this product for its versatility and its ability to transform bland into bright and flavorful! But, just like we have our favorite products, there are plenty of tools we couldn’t live (ahem, cook) without either! 

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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