Feb 13, 2023

Soups, sauces, casseroles, and anything else that needs a delicious, umami-rich burst of spice have been seasoned with bouillon cubes for almost a century. These little cubes have a rugged and square appearance, yet their wholesome ingredients include stock and dried meats and vegetables. Instant broth may be made by dissolving them in water, and their rich taste can be amplified by melting them into a curry.

Precisely What Do Bouillon Cubes Consist Of?

Dehydrated stock is the basis for bouillon cubes, which come in a convenient block shape. This meal is typically made from dried meat and vegetables, MSG, salt, and spices. Maggi, Knorr, and OXO are some of the best-known brands of bouillon cubes, which have been popular since the early 1900s and have a variety of different spices, depending on the manufacturer.

A bouillon cube can be used in place of stock in sauces and soups and can also be used to thicken and spice up a curry. In 1908, Swiss food maker Julius Maggi invented a bouillon cube he named bouillonwürfel.

British business OXO and German food maker Carl Heinrich Theodor Knorr began making their versions of the bouillon cube shortly after Maggi introduced the bouillonwürfel in 1910 and 1912, respectively.

Bone Broth vs. Bouillon Cubes

Bone broth and stock need a lot of time and room to manufacture. Thus bouillon cubes were developed as a convenient alternative. Meat and bones are used extensively in bone broth. The dried stock or meat used to make bouillon cubes yields a tasty broth in the time it takes to boil water.

In addition, you may keep a package of bouillon cubes in the back of the cupboard, whereas bone broth requires refrigeration or freezing. Bone broth, while time-consuming and labor-intensive, has fewer components than bouillon cubes, which are typically quite salty due to the addition of MSG and seasonings.

Bone broth is preferable when you want greater control over the flavor of a meal since it contains more fat but is often blander than bouillon cubes. Depending on the kind and taste of the bouillon, the cubes will transfer the spices placed into the square. The collagen in bone broth is something you won't find in bouillon cubes.


There are several kinds of bouillon cubes, and each brand adds a special touch with its blend of spices. Dehydrated chicken, beef, or lamb is combined with dehydrated vegetables, seasonings, and monosodium glutamate to create chicken, beef, or lamb bouillon. Vegetable bouillon uses food, such as carrots, onions, and celery, instead of animal proteins.

Benefits of Bouillon Cubes

The umami and spice levels of dishes like curry, soup, stew, rice, and sauces like BBQ sauce can all benefit from the addition of bouillon cubes. Broth may be made by dissolving these cubes in water. Some people grind the cubes to get a fine powder that may be used in place of salt. In truth, the powder found in a can of instant ramen or a cup of noodle soup is just a bouillon cube that has been crushed.

Bouillon Cubes: How to Use Them in the Kitchen

Special care is taken in the creation of each bouillon cube. The amount of MSG and salt and the types of meat utilized might vary widely from brand to brand. Any bouillon cube will dissolve in the same manner in hot water or sauces, regardless of brand. To produce one cup of broth, just add one bouillon cube to one cup of boiling water.

Meaty, umami-rich tastes may be added to a sauce in two ways: by melting a bouillon cube straight into the sauce or making a broth and then adding it. You may also make a powder out of bouillon cubes and use it in place of salt.

What Are They Like to Taste?

By and large, bouillon is a block of intense saltiness and savory umami flavor. The subtleties of flavor are affected by the bouillon's brand and variety. Chicken bouillon has a fowl flavor, beef bouillon has a deep red meat flavor, and veggie bouillon is lighter and brings out the spices more.

Substitute for Bouillon Cubes

Bouillon cubes are commonly used to produce fast stock, thus the best alternative is broth or stock. Indeed, the name bouillon itself means "broth" in French. You may replace chicken bouillon cubes with chicken stock, beef bouillon cubes with beef stock, and vegetable bouillon cubes with vegetable stock.

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