If you are a gastronomic geek like we are, then chances are you are probably aware that there is a mountain of difference between homemade and store-bought food.
This does not mean however that there is nothing good that can be bought at the store. On the contrary, there are quality products out there, you just need to know where to look.
That also goes for beef broth.
If you simply do not have the time to spend hours upon hours roasting bones, caramelizing vegetables, and simmering the broth until every bit of collagen and nutrient is extracted from the ingredients, then this guide is for you.
After all, sometimes you have to go with the more convenient option.
So what are the best store-bought beef broths? The best store-bought beef broths have a strong, but not over-powering, beef flavor, and don’t depend on salt for flavoring. They have a rich and thick texture, are versatile, and have a reasonably long shelf-life.
In this article, we’ll help you find a product that is hearty and sumptuous. We’ll be going over quite a lot of them as we look for the best store-bought beef broth in the market today.
Store-Bought Beef Broth: Things to Consider
As we looked at the different brands of beef broth on the market today, we wanted to look back and remember our ideal bowl of beef broth.
What separates the great broths from the bad ones? To answer that, we took into account several crucial factors that we think play an important role in determining the quality of the broths in question.
1. Hearty Beefy Flavor: This is a no-brainer. Of course, we want our beef broth to taste great. However, to qualify as a contender for the best store-bought beef broth, the hearty flavor of the beef must be the main draw.
While additional flavors and aromatics like onions, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and herbs make for a welcome addition, you wouldn’t want them to overpower the beef.
2. Rich and Thick Texture: Another important element of any decent beef broth is texture. Since it is infused with the potent flavors of beef and a wide array of other ingredients, you’d expect it to have a rich and viscous texture.
When chilled, they should be gelatinous. If the broth is watery, then that is a major red flag as you want your broth to be filled with collagen and proteins.
3. Reasonable Salt Levels: As a general rule, you need to watch the amount of salt you consume.
This also one of the most common complaints people have when it comes to store-bought broths. (We made sure that none of the broths presented here are too salty.)
4. Versatility: You want your broth to be as versatile as possible. After all, most broths aren’t made to be drunk straight.
More often than not, they are used as the flavor base of a dish that you will cook later on. To do this, the broth must have the right balance.
5. Shelf-life: You need to find a beef broth that can stand the test of time. After all, longevity and shelf-life play a major role in terms of the level of convenience a particular product can provide.
These are just a few of the things that we took into account as we looked for the best store-bought beef broth in the market today. Think of this as your virtual checklist when looking at the different options available to you.
5 Store-Bought Beef Broths You Need to Try
Here are some of the best beef broths on the market today:
|Pacific Foods Organic Beef Broth
|Kitchen Basics Original Beef Bone Broth
|Bare Bones Beef Bone Broth
|Kitchen Basics Beef Bone Broth
|Drink or cook
|Swanson Natural Unsalted Beef Broth
While these are no perfect substitute for the real thing, they give you a bit of hope. So be sure to give these broths a try.
1. Pacific Foods Organic Beef Broth
The Pacific Foods Organic Beef Broth is perhaps the most well-known product here. In terms of consistency, we loved the fact that it is gelatinous when chilled but turns into a rich and deep broth when heated.
It gives off velvety undertones with the right amount garlic, onion, and sea salt.
Most people recommend this as a heat-and-drink type of broth. While we appreciate why people would do that, especially with the resurgence of broth drinks, we just think that almost a waste of such a fine cooking broth.
You could do so much more with it. This is because it has myriads of flavors that come at you in waves. Drinking it straight robs you of the opportunity to bring out the things it can do.
The broth’s incredible versatility simply cannot be overstated. For instance, you can use it for classics like French onion soup. The Pacific Foods Organic Beef Broth also does well as the liquid base for ramen or even pho.
2. Kitchen Basics Original Beef Bone Broth
If you are looking for a more straightforward broth then you need to try this next one.
There is certainly no denying that the Kitchen Basics broth is made from beef.
Its flavor profile is characterized by that taste dominant taste of roasted beef and a fatty richness that is simply irresistible.
The lush flavor certainly came as a surprise for us. This is because looks can be deceiving. At first glance, you would think that this light, clear, and golden broth would give off a fairly tame flavor.
This is certainly not the case, its thin texture notwithstanding. There’s a well-rounded beefy essence with hints of spices including thyme, pepper, onion, carrot, and garlic.
That said, this broth is best for cooking, but you can also heat up a mug of it for a nutritious and filling drink.
3. Bare Bones Beef Bone Broth
Upon tasting the Bare Bones Beef Broth Taste, you could quickly tell from its rich and savory flavors that a lot of time and care went into this product.
We found that this was easily the best beef broth to drink on this list.
It has a pleasant and well-rounded flavor that gives off hints of beef bones, herbs, tomatoes, and organic vegetables. The subtle taste simply reels you in and makes you come back again and again.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that it is not without its faults. Despite being slow-cooked and simmered for over 20 hours, the texture can be a bit thin. The broth could also use a bit more richness to it.
However, it is also worth mentioning that this broth has an extremely long shelf-life. Despite being made with no preservatives, it can last as long as 60 days. You could always keep this on hand as a base and add to it when cooking.
4. Kitchen Basics Original Beef Bone Broth
This Bone Broth certainly has a lot of things going for it.
Its hearty flavor brings to mind the thick beef bones coupled with a wide array of herbs, spices, and organic vegetables – the essence of which has been effectively condensed, concentrated, and infused into the broth that everyone will enjoy.
It is also nice to know that the flavor isn’t just empty calories. The broth itself is especially light on those as it only packs a mere 50 calories per serving.
In addition to this, the broth also has 10 grams of protein per serving, which is at least 20% of the recommended daily intake. Needless to say, these nutritional data make us extremely happy with the Kitchen Basics Beef Broth.
If you are looking to go on a liquid fast, then this beef broth should be of great help. This broth is made to drink or cook with. So if you’re a beef broth fan, go ahead and open one up and enjoy.
5. Swanson Natural Unsalted Beef Broth
Another well-crafted beef broth, the Swanson Natural Unsalted Beef Broth gives a refreshing take on healthy food. Tasting the broth, you will notice its sophisticated and broad range of flavors.
However, it would come as a surprise to most that Swanson can do this without having to incorporate any additional salt into their recipe.
Needless to say, if you are health-conscious and trying to watch your sodium intake, this is the broth for you.
It is also worth stating here that this approach to the recipe makes this beef broth incredibly versatile and adaptable. Aside from being a great soup base, we also found it adds dramatic flavor to vegetables and otherwise boring cuts of meat.
If you are looking to transition into a low sodium diet, then this broth should help make your journey that much easier.
It provides an unparalleled level of convenience as you no longer have to go through the trouble of straining ingredients for their sodium levels.
That said, we recommend that you try incorporating this into your dishes to let you ease into your new diet. Soon, you will notice that your palate will slowly adapt and become comfortable with the lower sodium intake.
Needless to say, we are happy with all of these beef broths and we believe that they are certainly worth using for your next recipe.
While we must reiterate that homemade is always the best way to go when it comes to any recipe, the items presented here provide worthy alternatives for situations when you simply do not have the time to make your beef broth.
We hope that you give them a try!