What is stock in cooking?

Uses of stock in cooking

Cooking stock is a basic ingredient in many dishes. It is usually made from bones, meat, and vegetables that have been boiled down until they are reduced to a thick liquid. Cooking stock can be used to make soups, stews, and sauces.

The primary purpose of stock is to add flavor and moisture to dishes. There are many types of stock, each with its own unique flavor and properties.

4 Common types of stock in cooking

  1. Vegetable stock
  2. Fish stock
  3. Chicken stock
  4. Meat stock

The primary source of protein or meat is used for naming the types of cooking stocks. They can be named based on their color also. There are many different types of stock in cooking. The commonly used cooking stocks have been listed above and would be explained below.

Chicken broth, a type of stock in cooking
Chicken broth is a type of stock in cooking used for making various recipes such as soups and stews. Below is a video showing how to use chicken broth for making chicken soup.

Vegetable stock

Vegetable stock is made from vegetables such as onions, celery, carrots, and garlic that have been simmered in water or broth. The resulting stock is light and has a delicate flavor. Vegetable stock can be used in place of chicken or beef stock in many recipes.

Fish stock

Fish stock is made from fish carcasses, bones, and cartilage that have been simmered in water or broth. Fish stock has a robust flavor and can be used to make sauces, soups, stews, and gravies. An example of fish stock is Dashi. Dashi is a type of stock made from fish flakes and kelp; it originated in Japan. Another example of cooking stock made of fish is the Korean Myeolchi yuksu, made by cooking dried anchovies and kelp.

Meat stock

Meat stock can be beef or chicken stock, and it is made from the beef or chicken carcasses that have been simmered in water or broth. Chicken of beef stock has a deeper flavor than vegetable or fish stock and can be used to make sauces, soups, stews, and gravies. Other forms of meat such as lamb can also be used for making meat stock. For example, Glace viande is a highly concentrated meat stock made from veal; other meat stocks are Ham stock (made from ham hocks). Ham stock is common in Cajun recipes.

Chicken broth can be used for making soups such as Chicken Soup. In this video, chicken broth was made and reused for making chicken soup.

White stock and Brown stock

Cooking stock can also be classified into two main classes: brown stock and white stock. White stock is made from bones or vegetables that are blanched and seasoned with seasonings that are not colored. White stock is used for cooking soups or recipes such as white soups (in which the stock used for the cooking shouldn’t alter the color of the soup).

Brown stock is made from the same ingredients, but the bones and meat have been browned by roasting; the seasonings and other ingredients added can be colored.

Both stocks are used in many different types of recipes, such as chicken soup and vegetable soup. Additional uses for white stock include making gravy and sauces, while brown stock is perfect for making beef, chicken, or vegetable soup.

Other types of cooking stocks

  1. Prawn stock
  2. Bran stock
  3. Master sauce or master stock

Prawn stock is common in places such as Brunei, Cambodia, etc. This type of cooking stock is made of prawn shells and is commonly used for cooking noodles recipes such as Laksa.

Master sauce is a Chinese cooking stock made of meat and bones, simmered in rice wine and water together with some ingredients such as soy sauce, rock sugar, scallions, and lots of spices and herbs. It is often used for continuously pouching all kinds of meat with the main aim of adding flavor to the meat. Each meat pouching adds its own flavor to the master stock, which also adds flavor to the meat.

How to make cooking stock

Cooking stock is made by simmering the ingredients in either water or wine; this way the flavor and nutrients of the ingredients get released into the liquid. The simmering is over a long time to ensure the deliciousness and flavor of the ingredients are released. A pressure cooker can be used to speed up the process.

Ingredients commonly used for making cooking stock

  1. Bones
  2. Seafood
  3. Mirepoix
  4. Herbs
  5. Spices

Cooking the bones for a very long time releases the collagen of the connective tissues of the bones; the collagen is then converted to gelatin which thickens the stock. Breaking the bones before simmering ensures the flavor of the marrow is also extracted. Therefore, broken bones containing the marrow together with some meat attached to the bones make a very rich and flavorful stock in cooking.

Mirepoix base is a combination of chopped colorful and flavorful vegetables such as onions, celery, and carrot that are cooked slowly in oil or butter. It is a very good source of flavor to the stock.

Herbs and spices such as fresh sprigs of thyme, parsley, oregano, bay leaves, etc. can be added to stock in cooking. Using fresh herbs and spices increases the flavor more than dried herbs, though both can do.

What is the difference between stock and broth?

There is no difference between stock and broth; in fact, you will confuse yourself the more you try to differentiate both. Both stock and broth are used interchangeably and refer to the same thing. Many chefs and cookbooks used them interchangeably.

Some people try to differentiate broth and stock that stock is the concentrated essence of a piece of meat, poultry, or seafood that has been boiled and then reduced to a thickened liquid while broth is made from any kind of boiling animal or vegetable juice, water, or other liquid mixture.

Reasons why stock and broth are the same

  • No one can clearly differentiate between broth and stock; whether in terms of ingredients, method of cooking, or consistency.
  • There is meat stock, so also meat broth
  • There is vegetable stock, same with vegetable broth
  • All types of stock in cooking are also available for broth as well.

In fact, in some countries such as Scotland and the UK, broth may refer to the liquid in a soup that contains some solid pieces of fish, vegetables, or meat. Unless there is an organization or agency made to be in charge of nomenclature for some culinary terms, these types of confusion are bound to continue. Therefore, there is no difference between stock and broth.

FAQs on “What is stock in cooking?”

Why is stock important in culinary?

Stock is an important ingredient in cooking. It provides flavor, body, and nutrients to recipes; stock also helps improve texture and makes food more appetizing. 

What kind of stock is commonly used in cooking?

There are many different types of stock that can be used in cooking. The most common type is chicken stock. Chicken stock is made from boiling chicken bones with some other ingredients.

What are 3 uses for stock?

Stock is used for providing flavor, texture, and color to the food.

What is cooking stock made of?

Cooking stock is a type of liquid that is made of meat, bones, vegetables, or fish together with spices and other ingredients for flavoring.

What are the main stocks used in cooking?

There are many different stocks used in cooking, but the three most common are chicken, beef, and vegetable stocks. These cooking stocks can be made from a variety of different meats and vegetables, and they are used to create many different types of dishes. Beef stock is most commonly used in soups and stews, chicken stock is ideal for soup base and sauces, while vegetable stock is often used in creamy dishes like risotto or mashed potatoes.

Is stock and soup same?

Stock and soup are not the same; stock is a liquid preparation that is made from meat, bones, and other parts of meat that have been cooked down to add flavor to recipes. Soup is a type of dish that is made from water and stock; Soups are a more complex version of stock that usually contains more ingredients than just meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables.

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