Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Better Than Bouillon Organic Low-Sodium Chicken Base

Better Than Bouillon Organic Low-Sodium Chicken BaseThere are people who love making homemade chicken stock, and then there are people who think homemade stock is just too much trouble. If you've looked around my blog at all, you know I'm one of those stock-making kinds of cooks. I love the way making stock leaves the whole house smelling great, and think homemade chicken stock really makes a difference in many recipes.

However, I'm not a stock purist. I'll add a bit of chicken soup base to my bubbling stock if I don't have enough chicken scraps, and sometimes if I just need a bit of chicken flavor I'll even use a little chicken soup base in a recipe. I've tried a lot of different brands of chicken base, and there are plenty that are not bad, but this new organic and low sodium variety made by Better Than Bouillon is my hands-down favorite. I've been loving this product ever since I discovered it at Costco about a year ago, so I decided it's time to officially add it to my list of Kalyn's Kitchen Picks, the food and kitchen products I like so much that I'd happily buy them over and over.

I like everything about this product. It comes in a large jar that lasts forever, and a small amount adds a lot of real chicken flavor. I love that it's lower in sodium that most chicken soup base, which is loaded with salt, and it's even organic (which I guess must mean it's made from chicken that's raised on organic grain, not a high priority for me but certainly something that let's you know it's a well-produced product.)

Recipes I've Loved that Use Chicken Stock:
Thai Chicken Soup
South Beach Diet Friendly Chicken Noodle Soup with Thyme
Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi
Chicken Picatta with Fried Capers
Chicken with Asparagus and Three Cheeses
Barley Risotto with Mushrooms and Thyme

So what's your personal philosophy about chicken stock? Do you like to make the homemade version, or are you someone who thinks canned broth or stock made with chicken soup base is just as good? Please share your thoughts on the chicken stock debate in the comments! If anyone else has tried this product, I'd love to hear how you liked it as well.

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31 comments:

  1. I LOVE this product. It's so much more cost effective to use this base over buying cans of chicken broth - not to mention it taste a million times better. I had to buy an "off" brand the last time and it doesn't come close to the flavor of this product!

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  2. Sounds like we're on the same page. I too love to make stock, but then I have to have enough freezer space to store it, and sometimes when I just need a small amount I don't want to thaw out a large batch. This is when the BTB really comes in handy! I also use the BTB Vegetable base exclusively when a recipe calls for vegetable broth. Living in Italy means that I have to make sure I stock up when I visit the states, but BTB is always on my list!

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  3. I love Better than Bouillon too. I always have their mushroom stock on hand (I don't eat meat) and find that it adds wonderful flavor wherever vegetable stock is called for.

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  4. Thanks for the product suggestion, Kalyn! Will have to look for it. Does it contain MSG?

    I'm a student, so organic boullion cubes are the only way to go for me! It'd be great to get into broth making someday. Such a nourishing, frugal practice!

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  5. I always keep a quart or two of homemade chicken stock in my freezer in the basement. But, there's always a couple of cartons of Kitchen Basics no-salt chicken stock in the pantry as well. I'm like you, Kalyn, and I'll "boost" the flavor of a homemade stock, if I think it needs it. I have used Penzey's Chicken Base for that purpose. I have to watch sodium content like a hawk, though, so I don't go overboard with these kinds of products.

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  6. Kalyn, thanks for this review. I haven't spotted this at Costco, but will definitely keep an eye out for it. Is it in the aisle with the canned soups? As for stock, I make homemade stock whenever I can. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen nearly as often as I would like.

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  7. Jeannette, I agree, this is the best tasting chicken base I've found.

    Barbara, I need to find the vegetable base made by BTB. I don't think I've tried that. (BTW, how lovely to be living in Italy!)

    Nupur, I have the mushroom base too, and love it! Such a great way to add a bit of flavor to so many things.

    Lauren, there is no MSG in this. It's made with all natural ingredients, all certified organic.

    Bert, I've used the Penzeys soup base and do think they have good flavor. (I especially like their turkey base!) But Penzeys has 630mg sodium in 3/4 tsp., while this product has only 350mg sodium in a full tsp. so the difference is considerable.

    Dara, it's on the spice aisle in Costco. I've seen it in the Bountiful Costco and also the one on 1800 South 300 West where I usually shop.

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  8. I just bought some of this {at Costco} but I haven't cracked the lid yet.

    I make my own when ever I spatchcock a chicken or turkey but I do need to supplement the homemade stuff.

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  9. I haven't used this product but hope its available in Costco Canada. A lot of you have given it the thumbs up, so I have to try it!

    Like Kalyn, I will make a chicken stock from scratch, but many times I need to get from A to B as quickly as possible and will use chicken soup base products.

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  10. Thanks for mentioning this. I usually make my own stock but like to have some cans of organic chicken stock on hand. I freeze some of my homemade stock in ice cube trays and then empty them into a plastic bag for the freezer. No need to thaw a quart when you only want a small amount. As for organic chicken....since I had to interview a contract chicken farmer for a health study I have never eaten a non organic chicken. The factory farmed chickens (yes, even those delicious ones ay Costco) are full of growth hormones and antibiotics which are necessary so the chickens don't become ill in their crowded, horrid conditions. I live alone so I will spend a bit more for organic chicken. Ditto for pork. Janet

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  11. Greg, I'm betting you'll like it!

    YVRMike, I don't know if Costco in Canada will have it, but Better Than Bouillon products are pretty widely available on the web.

    Janet, thanks for the report on organic chicken, I have no doubt that they're better.

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  12. I love the McCormick's chicken base and have been using it regularly, especially in my Mexican dishes. I don't like the high sodium. I was excited to see this new chicken base in Costco, but was discouraged by the price!

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  13. Frieda, I used to buy the McCormicks brand too, but this is so much better tasting! It's more expensive, true, but there's no comparison on the flavor. Maybe I don't care as much about the cost, because I usually make my own stock, so I'm only using a bit of this in each batch.

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  14. I tried this product and now buy it all the time. I like it a lot.

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  15. Helene, thanks for sharing. (Me too!)

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  16. I love to make stock, but also use this if I just need a little bit and don't want to make/thaw out a whole batch. I haven't seen the low-sodium kind, so I'll have to look for that. I buy mine at Safeway, near the canned chicken broth.

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  17. I personally like making my own. I will admit that I have never added soup base to my broths, but if you are going to add one I guess an organic one would be the one to use! I don't think I've seen this brand, i will have to keep my eyes open for it.

    On another note, I recently needed to use up several beef scraps and some very fatty beef short ribs as I'm picking up my side of beef today (needed room in the freezer). For the second time now I followed your instructions for making beef broth. I have 31 cups of beef stock in the freezer now LOL I was happy to find your instructions as I have always known how to make chicken stock but hadn't done beef until many months ago when I found that post :)

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  18. Amanda, so glad to hear that the instructions for making beef stock are helpful for you. I actually had the idea to post that after my brother Dave told me he wanted to make beef stock and he asked me how I did it!

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  19. So glad to hear there's a lower-sodium version of this. I've been using it for years and love it, but lately have not used much because the regular BTB is high in sodium. I'll look for this next time I shop.

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  20. According to McCormicks website McCormick's chicken base has a shelf life of 3 years if stored in the refrigerator properly. Do we know the shelf life of Kalys's? Thanks

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  21. Luana, if you're wanting less sodium, I think you will really like it.

    Carrie if you're asking whether I know the shelf life of Better Than Buillon (Kalyn is my name, not the name of the product), no I don't. I don't see a lot of preservatives in the ingredients list though, and it does need refrigeration. (And I almost want to laugh because a jar of this would last me a few months, if that.)

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  22. How lovely to find a review of this---thank you! I haven't yet found it locally (Minnesota), so I must purchase on-line just to give it a try. :)

    Thank you!

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  23. Rebecca, I'd definitely buy this online if my Costco stopped carrying it; love this product.

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  24. I've used this product for years and just now realized it has sugar and corn syrup in it. I realize it's probably just trace amounts, but I'm trying to eat low carb so this is a bit of a concern. Do you have a recommendation for a chicken stock that doesn't contain any sugar? Thanks!

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  25. Sorry but no idea on that since I use this brand. I would check the labels.

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  26. People who don't think this is a healthy product certainly shouldn't use it, but I'm not going to publish comments criticizing my food choices.

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  27. I went to my local produce store and found the BTB chicken base, but they didn't have the "reduced sodium"...I went ahead and bought it because I am sure it's better then the stuff I have been using. I will definitely order the "reduced sodium" online next time if I still can't find it locally.

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  28. I've been using this same chicken base for a while now too Kalyn! I love it - and so cost effective with that Costco size. I'm linking to this great review in a soup recipe I'm posting today. Thanks :)

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  29. Are you sure there is no MSG in this product? The label says it contains "yeast extract" which I think is just another name for MSG.

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  30. I honestly don't know, so if you are sensitive to MSG maybe you can find that information on their website.

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