Yeah, I should be making stock. And sometimes I do. Chicken, mostly, and occasionally duck. Sometimes I buy a whole chicken when it’s on sale, and sometimes I buy chicken backs and necks.

But when I check the freezer and find no little Ziplocs of stock, I used canned. Canned stock is expensive and a pain to use, and it’s not as good as homemade.

Now, however, I’ve got something better. And when I say better, I mean “cheaper and more convenient,” not actually better. Probably I’m going down the road of the frog who got slowly boiled (thereby making frog stock), but if I’m going to be using canned stock anyway, I’d rather have…

Better Than Bouillon. Silly name, great product. It’s a paste that comes in a jar that keeps for months in the fridge. One jar is $5 and makes 38 cups of stock (1 teaspoon reconstitutes to 1 cup). It’s also organic and contains no weird ingredients. I got it at Madison Market.

For recipes like Ants on a Tree, where I need half a cup of liquid with a little salt and protein in it, BTB is perfect. It does taste a little more like bouillon than canned stock, so it’s probably not best for soup, but that’s where the stock police come after you for not using homemade, right?

And when I say “the stock police,” I mean the SEC.

9 thoughts on “Boo-ya

  1. Lauren

    Have you tried Penzy’s Chicken Soup Base? I like it better than BTB because it’s less salty. Actually, I love salt. It’s less sodium-y.

  2. Melissa

    I second the Penzey’s rec. They now have four flavors, including veggie, it lasts forever, and I use it all the time. Being a single gal, it takes me a while to run out of anything from Penzey’s, but I’m on my second jar.

  3. Lore

    I’ll look for the Penzey’s too, but in the meantime I’ll second the motion for Better than Boullion. I’ve been using it for years, and have never had a problem with it tasting too boullion-y. My only “problem” is that I bought a jar of lobster flavored Better than Boullion just because it sounded cool and now I’m not sure what to do with it!

  4. dave glasser

    Interesting. Have you tried any of the vegetable ones? I wonder if any of the ones that don’t have “vegan” in their name are vegetarian.

    I make a lot of soups for 35 people, and I’m far too lazy to make my own broth (well, except for konbu dashi) in that quantity. I used to use some super-MSGy bouillon cubes, but a bunch of my housemates can’t handle MSG. Maybe this can be a good alternative…

    Anyone seen this in Boston/Camberville?

  5. Lore

    I’ve used the vegetable BTB and it was fine. Kind of soy-saucy in flavor, but in a pureed vegetable soup or something like that it was good. Don’t know if it’s vegan or not.

  6. mamster Post author

    Lore, make chowder. I’ll bet fish chowder with lobster bouillon would be great. Dglasser, I’m confident the vegetable ones are vegetarian, since it’s a health food store kind of product.

  7. Lore

    Actually, I’ve seen BTB in the most average of grocery stores in Austin and here in Amarillo. If they’re selling it in a regular grocery store in Amarillo they’re selling it EVERYWHERE.

    Chowdah sounds like a good idea. I’ll see if I can find any non-scary fish this far inland. :-)

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