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Can You Mix Chicken and Beef Broth? The Honest Truth!

Can You Mix Chicken and Beef Broth? The Honest Truth!

Can You Mix Chicken and Beef Broth?  Broth has many uses and is a staple in most kitchens, especially in the USA. From soups to stews, with gravy and poaching of foods, broth remains useful and popular. Broth can come in cartons, cans, or condensed cubes, and each cook has their favorite type. 

Cubes of broth are called boullion but last longer, although they do need to be disintegrated in water for use.

These are dehydrated and particularly popular in the USA, Canada, and Australia as they last for years although the cubes might become gummy and discolored if kept for a long period. 

Whether liquid broth or bullion cubes, the three most accessible flavors are beef, chicken, and vegetable. Personal preference is what drives most cooks to choose one over the other, or sometimes a necessity when running low on different varieties. 

When cooks run low, the average cook will become “creative” and mix broths together when short on one or the other as often happens. Home cooks generally will not run out to find the broth they want when several are on hand already. 

The most common mixture is chicken and beef broth. These flavors even outsell vegetable broth and the elusive veal, duck, turkey, and fish broths that do exist. 

All in all though, according to Global Market Insights, as of 2019, beef broth sales dominated worldwide, and the growth predictions of sales were stronger than either chicken broth, vegetable broth, or veal broth.

Broth can be called stock by most cooks but there are differences as stock is heartier and has chunks of meat and vegetables in it while the broth is clear. 

Turkey broth is also available but generally only around the holiday seasons in the USA. After cooking some ingredients such as rice or noodles can be added.

Turkey broth is used generally in making holiday “dressings” which is sometimes called “stuffing” in the USA.  

Can You Mix Chicken and Beef Broth? 

You can mix chicken and beef broth. For your most standard uses such as soups and stews, the mixing of chicken and beef broths will only modify the flavors somewhat. Poaching foods may need a specific broth based on what is being poached. 

Can You Mix Chicken and Beef Broth?
Can You Mix Chicken and Beef Broth?

The broth is made by simmering the bones and parts of an animal and then straining out particles.

It is also called bouillion but that term is generally reserved for the dehydrated cubes in the USA although the French use broth and bouillion terms synonymously. 

The liquid broth in carton containers is more sustainable and usually comes in 32-ounce containers. The canned broth is also 32 ounces or a mere 8 ounces depending upon the quantity needed and how much will be used at once.

The broth that is purchased does not need refrigeration until after it is opened. 

Mixing chicken and beef broth occur quite frequently by home cooks. In restaurants, there can be restrictions as flavors become different when mixing.

Broth is made by simmering bones and straining particles out.
Broth is made by simmering bones and straining particles out.

Chicken broth is lighter tasting, whereas beef broth has a heartier taste. Depending upon the flavors wanted any quantities of both can be used. 

Certain recipes should not have mixed beef and chicken broth. Certain consumme’ and primavera sauces and veal sauces must have a broth that is in tune with the overall flavor of these recipes.

Asian cooking might require only fish or duck broth. These recipes require a clarified broth so mixing ruins the recipe. 

Primavera means vegetable in Italian and needs a vegetable-only stock or broth generally although some chicken stock can be added.

Beef can make it too heavy tasting. Lightly using beef broth can be done though. 

Chicken broth is lighter tasting and beef broth is heartier.
Chicken broth is lighter tasting and beef broth is heartier.

5 Reasons Why You Might Mix Chicken and Beef Broth

1. You Have Run Out of Either Beef or Chicken Broth

Most home cooks have experienced this and do mix both chicken and beef broth as well as vegetable broth routinely. I mean, who is watching– chances are your family or guests will not notice!

2. You Want to Add Lightness via the Chicken Broth or Depth via the Beef Broth

Again, all home cooks have a style and taste they seek in dishes, and mixing broths can assist in getting just the right flavor. The vegetable broth might also be added which will lighten the taste of any soups and stews. 

Vegetarians do not have to give up broth or stock as vegetable stock can be quite delicious and is easy to make even at home. 

3. You May Want to Cut Back on Salt

While both beef and chicken stock come in low sodium and no sodium varieties it can be easier to find low or no-sodium chicken broth in many supermarkets.

Bouillion cubes being condensed generally have more salt than either and never need refrigeration as the salt stabilizes them. 

It is best to read the labels for sodium content—sodium is added more to canned goods to ensure shelf life and can have up to 800 mg of salt per one-cup serving while having only 38 calories. 

If your family adores beef broth but all you can find in no-sodium broth is chicken you can cut back on salt by adding half chicken no salt broth and your family might not notice that the flavor is not as hearty. 

Bouillion cubes have more sodium and are more shelf stable.
Bouillion cubes have more sodium and are more shelf stable.

4. You Might Want to Cut Back on Calories in Your Broths

While broth itself is mainly water, and not really calorie-heavy, beef and chicken are not as low calorie as vegetables therefore the calorie counts in broths are different. 

Beef can have 47 percent more calories than chicken and almost double the calories as vegetable broth. 

5. You are Serving People with Different Tastes

Let’s face it, beef eaters will want beef stock while chicken lovers will want chicken. You can please both by mixing these two broth flavors in equal parts chicken and beef

Conclusion To Can You Mix Chicken and Beef Broth

There are no hard and fast rules in making broths or using broths in recipes. Stocks and broths are similar and only differ in consistency but have the same cooking techniques. 

Making homemade broth is simple and you can control the flavors, calories, and salt quantities better than purchased varieties. 

Cooking requires some creativity, so do not be afraid of creativity and do what you feel is best. Mixing broths very seldom ruin any recipe. Everyone will “dig in” happily no matter what concoction you have used! 

Part of being in the kitchen is exercising your creativity. Mixing broths rarely ruins recipes.
Part of being in the kitchen is exercising your creativity. Mixing broths rarely ruins recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Can You Mix Chicken and Beef Broth?

Can I Make My Own Broth? 

Broth is made simply by simmering bones and then straining out particles. You can control the fat, the calories, and the salt in this manner and many home cooks only use homemade broth. You can purchase what is called broth bones in supermarkets for a few cents usually.

I Hear Others Call Broth “Stock” And Vice Versa. Is There A Difference?  

There is what we consider a “slight” difference as it comes down to simmering times and what is simmered. Stock is a bit heartier and uses whole parts of meat and takes longer to simmer.  However, that is quite technical, as you can simmer both bones, vegetables, and meat parts together, take the liquid out after two hours, and have broth. Add more liquid and simmer again longer and you have stock. It is only a timing issue. Broth is also typically seasoned while stock is not.

I Have Heard of Overnight Simmerings. Is This Truly Done? 

It is not well known but is done by some on low heat overnight. You do need to use caution as if the liquid evaporates you will have a flaming burning pot. Personally, we do not recommend this unless you are practiced and adept at it.