Bone Broth vs Meat Stock

Being a GAPS Practitioner has meant promoting and using lots of meat stocks and bone broths as part of the healing process. The one thing I’ve come to realise very quickly has been the confusion between what the two are and when is the best time to use them. Today I thought I’d cover off the difference between bone broth and meat stock to try to make it a little easier for you all.

The first thing I’ve noticed is it seems to depend on where you live in the world as to what you interpret as being a broth or a stock as in the USA they tend to use the word broth for what we call stock so no wonder everyone’s confused.

The below explanations are given based on The GAPS Diet and the way we use meat stocks and bone broths to support gut health, healing and sealing as well as ongoing health maintenance.

Bone Broth:

From a GAPS point of view, bone broth doesn’t normally get introduced until The Full GAPS Diet due to it being cooked for much longer than a meat stock (36-48 hours). It’s great for health maintenance but is too strong to heal and seal leaky gut which is generally what we’re starting with when doing gut healing.

To make the bone broth we tend to use bones only (I use mainly beef or lamb as the bones are stronger and don’t disintegrate during such a long cooking process) and generally can be a combination of fresh bones and ones that may have been previously cooked.

Below, you’ll find I’ve got a couple of bone broth recipe options for you to try. My roasted bone broth is my favourite in winter as it makes a fabulous hot drink thanks to the roasting some additional flavours.

If I want to have the option of using the bone broth in different recipes I tend to use the simple recipe which is pretty much unflavoured making it more versatile. As you’ll see from the above image this is me making the simple bone broth in my slow cooker and the basic ingredients I tend to use.

Meat Stock:

From a GAPS point of view, meat stock is used right from the start of the healing process due to its gentle nature and ability to address and heal intestinal permeability.

Like a bone broth you can use any type of protein you like ensuring you’re using cuts that are close to the joints as well as bones (not just bones). I tend to make a lot of either turkey, chicken or fish stock and use the beef or lamb bones for my bone broths.

The meat stocks are cooked for less time, on the stove and can range from 60 minutes (for those that may have histamine issues and highly sensitive digestive systems) through to around 4 hours.

If I’m using my slow cooker (I don’t advise using the slow cooker if you have histamine issues) then I tend to do my meat stocks for around 8 hours on low or overnight.

You’ll generally find both come out lovely and gelatinous, but when you have a sensitive digestive system you’ll find that a bone broth can actually irritate your system initially which is why we start with the more gentle meat stock.

So this is the difference between the two, hope that clears things up a little for you.

For more information and some free recipes click here.

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