Table of Contents Hide
- What’s The Best Beef Broth?
- What to look for while purchasing bone broth?
- Bone broth should simmer enough but not for too long.
- Bone broth has high protein content
- Things to avoid when purchasing bone broth
- Top Beef Stock Brands
Do you want to have the best beef stock but don’t have several hours for roasting the bones and simmering it for 6 to 24 hours? You are at the right place as we have got a detailed guide on how to buy the best beef stock.
However, homemade stock is indeed the best as you can make it the right way yourself, but there are still options to buy beef stock from the store. The best beef stock is a result of patience and love as it requires spending hours roasting bones, caramelizing vegetables, and simmering aromatics to get a collagen-filled liquid. Lucky are those who live close to a gourmet shop selling beef stock prepared correctly.
But for all those who don’t, we have a list of the top beef stock brands offering high-quality beef broth, tasting just like the one made at home with love. A lot of commercial brands use the words beef broth and beef stock interchangeably, but these two do not mean the same. The major difference between the two is that beef stock is made with clean beef bones while the beef broth is made with beef bones still having meat on them. Beef broth is also known as beef bouillon and is more refined and clear in appearance. However, the terminology does not matter much as what matters, in the end, is that we get the delicious beefy liquid for cooking.
We have tasted quite a number of beef broths and have made the list keeping the taste and cost in mind. Keep reading ahead for stock brands offering high quality. The article also talks about things to keep in mind while purchasing beef stock.
What’s The Best Beef Broth?
The best beef stock is the one that tastes homemade. They should taste beefy and should be well simmered. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has set the standard for ‘beef broth’ or ‘beef stock’ to contain 135 parts of moisture to just 1 part of the protein. However, homemade broth made with beef meat and bones can have over 4 parts of the protein.
Beef stock should also have actual meat content rather than just added flavors. It is common for most commercial beef broth brands to add natural or synthetic flavors in place of actual meat. The beef broth made in small batches also gives a better taste, which is more like the homemade ones.
Mineral-rich beef broth or beef stock helps in building strengthening bones. Drinking bone broth daily also helps in reducing inflammation to improving gut health and digestion. The collagen in the beef broth is also great for health. The other benefits of consuming beef broth include better immunity, joint health, help in getting better sleep, etc. It is also a source of amino acids that are good for the body.
However, all these benefits can be utilized only from beef stock that is prepared correctly. Beef stocks prepared in a hurry or through chemicals may not be able to lead to all these healthy changes in your body.
What to look for while purchasing bone broth?
The first thing to keep in mind while purchasing bone broth is not to pick up the first product you find. Anything that says ‘bone broth’ on the packaging cannot be considered good for health and great in taste. You should be aware of what to look for in the package to buy quality bone broths. Read ahead for a guide on how to buy beef stock:
- The trick to getting the best bone stock is to get something as close to homemade as possible. Always check the label of ingredients on the package.
- Bones used must be certified organic. In case the cattle whose banes are used in making the broth is fed an unnatural diet and given antibiotics, it will do more harm to you. The bones hold all the toxins from such treatments and this will be coming into you through the bone broth. So it is always advisable to consume bone broth made with organic ingredients.
- If you find any harmful ingredients in the list of ingredients, then it is a big NO. However, harmful ingredients are often hidden behind innocent-sounding ingredients. One example of such an ingredient is yeast which is another name for MSG or monosodium glutamate. It is used as a taste enhancer but is certainly harmful to health.
- Also, check if the product contains added additives like flavors and colors. The best beef stock should be made with no additives.
- A perfectly prepared bone broth will also turn to gelatin on refrigerating. This method can be used to check if the bone broth is full of collagen or not.
Bone broth should simmer enough but not for too long.
For the broths to be flavorful and healthy with high amounts of protein and other nutrients, it should be simmered for a long time over low heat. Your cooking time enhances the nutritional value of the beef broth majorly. Simmering the broth for a long time will also give it a complex and rich flavor.
Nutrients and proteins will be released from the beef bones when it is simmered for long enough. This will leave your beef broth full of collagen. Collagen is good for our body as almost 25% of the human body is made up of collagen, including the gut lining, connective tissues, and joints. Bone broth is a perfect way to get gelatin and collagen in your body.
Getting adequate intake of collagen has numerous health benefits for the gut and digestive system, skin, hair, and more. Bone broths should be simmered for long enough to release all the good nutrients but should not be overcooked. Overcooked bone broth can taste dull with increased content of glutamine, which is formed by breaking down gelatin.
The commercial brands that prepare bone broths through this long and slow process of simmering usually mention the simmering time on the packaging. Beef bone broth should be simmered for at least 12 hours and not longer than 24 hours. So check the packaging and look for brands that simmer the beef broth for the given time period.
The best beef stock is made from the bones of pasture-fed cattle only. This ensures that no environmental toxins have entered the body of the cattle and thus will make the beef broth healthy to consume. The cattle whose bones are used while making the broth will also influence the nutrient density of the final beef broth.
The bones and meat of pasture-raised cattle will also have lesser content of hard metals like lead. This will make the beef broth rich in only helpful nutrients and your broth will contain a minimum amount of harmful metals.
If the cattle are raised organically plus have been fed good food items, their bones and meat will be more nutritious as compared to the cattle fed an unnatural diet. However, most commercial brands do not care much about the quality of the broth and are only interested in maximizing profits. You should always keep this in mind while buying beef stock and only purchase the ones made from bones of pasture-raised cattle.
Bone broth has high protein content
If you want to get maximum benefits from the beef bone broth, then your beef bone broth should have high contents of protein. Protein content in the beef stock is influenced by the simmering time. If the stock is simmered long enough for the beef bones to release all the protein plus collagen content, then the resultant beef broth is healthy and rich in protein.
A good amount of protein in the beef broth is also an indication of the broth being simmered for adequate time and prepared in the right way. Always check the amount of protein in the beef broth before purchasing it. This is because the high protein amount indicates that the brand has not tried to hurry up the process of preparing the beef broth.
The gelatin present in beef bone broth breaks down into collagen in the human body. This is an important source for the joints. The protein and other nutrient content in beef bone broth helps protects the joints from unnecessary stress and also helps in fighting osteoarthritis. Thus, consuming beef bone broth is a good way to add gelatin to your diet and protect yourself from joint problems.
Other benefits of bone broth include inducing sleep and helping in weight loss while providing the required nutrients to the body.
Things to avoid when purchasing bone broth
The main criteria to follow while purchasing beef stock is to identify if the manufacturer has tried to cut short the process of making the stock. This can be done by checking the ingredients of the beef stock. You should be well aware of the ingredients that need to be avoided and the ones that are a must for preparing beef stock.
Any beef broth brand that uses additives for enhancing favor while preparing the beef broth is a big no. Many cheap brands use yeast extract, hydrolyzed proteins, disodium guanylate, and added sugar to enhance the taste of their beef broth. Beware of such brands! Consuming certain ingredients like yeast extracts can do more harm than good to you. Avoid any brand mentioning any sort of taste enhancers as the ingredients for the beef broth.
Remember that brands that use short cuts to prepare the beef broth and do not follow the real and elaborate procedure are not worth the money.
Check for taste enhancers and additives
Some cheap beef stock brands add taste enhancers and unnatural flavors to their beef broth. Some of the taste enhancers include yeast extract, hydrolyzed proteins, and disodium guanylate. Remember to not go after brands using such ingredients. These flavors might be able to enhance the taste of the beef stock to some extent but will not make it the best beef stock.
No added flavors are required for preparing beef stock, so simply avoid buying the beef stock from such brands. Any sort of additives or fillers is a NO when it comes to buying beef stock.
Be wary of sugar
Some brands also add extra sugar to the beef bone broth to achieve a savory flavor. However, in the traditional process of making beef broth, that flavor comes through simmering for a long time. So if the brands have added sugars and other taste enhancers on their list of ingredients, then know that they have used shortcuts. Rather than simmering the broth for the required time, they have just added sugars to enhance the taste.
While purchasing beef stock, you should also keep in mind that brands selling it for a lower price usually do not prepare it in the traditional way.
If you see any added taste enhancers in the list of ingredients on the package, know that the manufacturer has taken short cuts. Do not invest in such products if you want to experience something like homemade beef stock.
Top Beef Stock Brands
Some of the top beef stock brands are listed below.[amazon bestseller=”Beef Stock” items=”6″ template=”list”]
Bonafide Provisions Beef Bone Soup
The first brand in the list of top beef stock brands is Bonafide Provisions Beef Bone Broth Soup. It can be used as a drink, as a base for smoothies, or as a broth for soups. It has a very clean and light aroma. Bonafide beef broths are cooked for around 24 hours and then frozen to preserve the nutrients. They are available in frozen forms. However, it tastes a little bland to some but is perfect to cook with. They are rich in protein content with 12-24 grams of protein per 8oz. It is also prepared without any added flavors, sugar, MSG, and colors.
Brodo Beef Bone Broth
Next is the Brodo Beef Bone Broth. It offers a deep beefy flavor. It becomes gelatinous on freezing, which indicates that it is a good choice for the beef broth. Brodo beef bone broth also has a hint of ginger in its flavor, which makes it stand out from other beef stocks. Its flavor also includes a hint of tomato with a warm black peppery spice. Brodo beef bone broth is the best option for the ready to go drink. It costs around $13 for a 22-ounce container.
Bare Bones Beef Bone Broth
Bare Bones beef bone broth is our next option. It is prepared with organic ingredients, and the bones used are of grass-fed animals. Fresh herbs and spices are added for flavor, and it is rich in collagen. It has a thinner texture and is perfect for drinking. It has a subtle taste. It has a longer shelf life and has eco-friendly packaging.
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