The secret to any dish relies on the stock. Almost any dish that you eat at a restaurant relies on their stock. It is the base for soups, sauces and dishes in general. However, in most household, having a pot of ready made beef or chicken stock is impractical. It takes hours just to make a good batch of stock. The best alternative to this is to get either Chicken or Beef Bouillon Cubes.
Best Chicken and Beef Bouillon Cubes List
There are many different forms and types for Chicken and Beef Bouillon. They come in cubes, granules or paste. You can even get the hydrated version. All will work well, but they tend to have different flavor or method of reconsituting. You can find a list of some of the Best Chicken and Beef Bouillon Cubes, Granules and Paste below.
Knorr Chicken Bouillon Granulated, Beef Bouillon, Tomato Bouillon with Chicken Flavor (Best Overall)
Knorr is one of the oldest manufacturer of Chicken and Beef Bouillon. Their granules powder is often used in Chinese Cooking to add flavor and complexity. Their three packs give you the option of Chicken, Beef or Tomato. I would use it when you are finishing sauces or if you just want to make a quick soup. This version comes in a granule form and dissolve relatively quickly.
Better Than Bouillon Premium Roasted Beef Base (Best Beef Stock Paste)
Better Than Bouillon is one of the best stock paste out there. All you need is a small scoop for a liter for stock. It will last months in your fridge. On a flavor scale, its one of the best out there. They come in both Beef and Chicken flavor, however, I recommend you get both. Its truly a fantastic product.
Badia Beef Bouillon Powdered Cubes (Best Buy)
If either of the other two brands are two expensive. Badia is a great budget option. Their cubes are individually wrapped and dissolve quickly in water. The only problem I have with them is unwrapping them. They get a little cumbersome if you need more than one.
What are Bouillon Cubes
Bouillon cube are stock that is dehydrated to powder form. They can be stored for long periods of time and dehydrated when needed. When its reconstituted, it retains much of its original flavor. Their shelf life tends to be much longer than other forms of stock. At its powder form, there is little to no moisture in it. Things like Bacteria and mold cannot live in this state.
Stock vs Chicken and Beef Bouillon
If you work in a professional kitchen, made stock is always better. They have the skills, resources, and space to keep huge vats of stock. They can keep the flavor consistent and its ready to go during service time. The flavor tends to be better as well, they can keep more of the gelatin that is extracted from the bones.
However, most home cooks are not professional chef. While they might follow a recipe, their stock flavor is rarely consistent. Not only that, space and time constraint does not really warranty making fresh stock. This usually results in cooks omitting it all together. Having Bouillon Cubes on hand solves a lot of this issue. All you need to do is pop it in the pan while making sauces or soups. Most will be surprised at the difference in flavor that a stock cube can do.
How Much Cubes Should you Use?
That really depends on you and the dish. Generally, I would add one cube per sauce, this save time in the overall reduction. As for reconstituting for soups, they often recommend 1 quart per cube, but I recommend you adjust based on taste and the instructions. I taste as I go and adjust it as necessary.
Bouillon Cubes Health and Nutrition
The health and Nutrition of Bouillon Cubes will depend on the manufacturer. On average, they are high in sodium. However, compared to other types of food that most people eat, its quite mild. You are also diluting it in huge vats of water. Other ingredients that might be used will be MSG. Which has a bad reputation but is harmless. Their notoriety was a result of misguided information by the media. You can read more about how this occurred in Wikipedia’s Article.
A good Chicken and Beef Bouillon Cube is a essential ingredient for any home cook. It saves you time making stocks and its transforms your food. Having these stock cubes at hand will literally change your food. Dont rely on water as the base of your dish. There are many options to choose from, I personally thing Knorr is the best and most affordable options out there. However, other manufacturer such a Better than Bouillon is a great option. Just pick one that best suits your needs.
Think stock make a great impact on your cooking? Wait till you master the use of salt? Check out our article on the Best Salt for Cooking.