Written by Dr Kellyann Petrucci
The other day, someone online called me “pretentious” for using the term bone broth instead of simply saying stock or broth.
I have to say, it made me laugh. Opinionated, I may be. Stubborn, sure. And sometimes I’m even a little crazy.
But pretentious? Uh uh. I don’t call green beans haricots verts, or say courgettes when I mean zucchini. I don’t refer to my pot roast recipe as rustic instead of saying that it’s simple. And I don’t call myself a locavore just because I buy tomatoes at the vegetable stand down the road.
I’m a plain-talking Italian girl, and I don’t do pretentious. I’m not even sure I’d know where to start.
However, I do understand where the commenter was coming from. If you’re not completely familiar with the terms broth, stock, and bone broth, they may sound interchangeable. However, they’re not.
But don’t take it from me—take it from Epicurious, one of the most authoritative food sites on the planet. Here’s how they explain the difference:
- Broth is water simmered with meat, vegetables, aromatics, and sometimes bones. It’s cooked for only a short time—about two hours.
- Stock is water simmered with bones, vegetables, and aromatics. It’s cooked for a medium amount of time—usually four to six hours.
- Bone broth is made from bones, with or without meat. It’s cooked for a very long time—around eight hours for chicken, and 24 hours or even more for beef.
The key to the power of bone broth is that long, long cooking time. That’s what pulls the nutrition right out of the bones. Regular broth has only a fraction of the nutrients, and little or no gelatin. Stock has more gelatin, but not as much as bone broth—and it doesn’t cook long enough to extract as many bone-deep nutrients.
So bone broth isn’t the same as stock or broth. It has more gut-healing gelatin, more anti-inflammatory nutrients, and more building blocks of skin-smoothing collagen. It even has more flavor, because it simmers for a longer time. This means that it’s more filling and satisfying, so it can quell your cravings and help you stick to a diet.
In short, bone broth isn’t a pretentious term at all. It’s a good, honest name that means just what it says.
Of course, if I really wanted to, I could be pretentious and call it brodo d'osso instead. Hmmm... it does sound fancier in Italian, doesn’t it?