What's in store-bought chicken and vegetable stock?

We’ve researched a large number of cooking stock varieties to reveal which ones contain less salt. We also include some great home recipes that allow you to make your own.

We’d love to hear which stock you prefer, and if you make your own, please share your recipe below.

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When the price per litre varies from 10c to $12 I have to wonder if the products are actually comparable in composition, quality and flavour, that is are they all a substance that we would recognise as stock? Many cheaper offerings have little acquaintance with any part of a chicken. Some ‘chicken stock’ is vegan, that’s really having two bob each way. Some don’t say.

It looks to me that there is a fair bit of misleading advertising going on here but the chances of a court case being mounted over mislabelled stock are not as good as for Grange Hermitage.

I also wonder at the way that labelling laws are applied, any experts please step in and save me. If the label says x% chicken does that mean that much chicken tissue can be identified in the final product or does it also include hydrolysed protein that was derived from chicken but is no longer identifiable as tissue?

I am going to repeat my call for the suffix ‘ish’ to be introduced into labelling as with strawberryish desserts that have no strawberry, you could have chickenish stock.

In searching for Choice for reviews of ‘chicken stock’ I got 7 hits that comprised: hair dryers, supermarket satisfaction, benchtop toasters, air fryers, cat food and two for yer actual stock. Why?

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Interesting on the “Reduced” definition…only has to be 25% less than the normal product (which can be saltier than a kipper sitting in brine). So consumers need to ensure they read the labels to get the real answer about how low in salt a product really is. Thankfully we have nutrition panels to help us decide the right choice.

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Some aren’t actaully meat stocks and use the term ‘flavour’ or ‘style’. I wonder why one would buy a stock with a meat name which doesn’t contain meat. It is a bit like buying a meat style pie, only to find out it has no meat.

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There are many examples of just that type of thing, bacon flavoured chips from McCormicks called Bac’n Pieces, Meat tasting meatless pies, meatless hotdog sausages and so on it goes.

There is a whole topic devoted to meat substitutes Would you try meat substitues?. I guess even if vegan, or vegetarian there is sometimes a desire for the taste or texture similarities that meat would otherwise provide.

I tried the vegetarian Tuna style tinned product which I wouldn’t describe as Tuna tasting or even texture but it was ok as a meat free alternative.

Having a broth/stock that adds a taste difference to a dish that while not a perfect or even close replacement of the real thing is at least an option to those who seek to be a little more meat adverse.

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notwithstanding consumers apparent love for all sorts of flavours except the flavour of what they buy. Just one of so many.

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We have never bought liquid stock. The wife woman makes stock from chicken carcasses, and also uses the water from cooking vegetables to add flavour to foods.

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You could take it to mean “use this chicken-style/beef-style vegan stock where you might otherwise have used chicken/beef stock”.

I assume the big-brand and home-brand reconstituted stocks are full of salt and made from the least saleable remnants of the saddest 10% of the chickens in the factory.

You can make tasty risotto with “chicken-style” stock. You can even even add real chicken to it! That way you have some idea of where the meat came from.

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I’m afraid I use those dried things (cubes or containers of a powdery substance) not because I think they actually have elements of the chicken, beef or veg in them but just because they add flavour. I don’t make my own, I have no capacity for long term storage and I would not use it in the short term. The not-meat stuff is OK as long as you arent expecting it to be meatful.

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