Which Beef Broth Tastes Better?

Beef Broth Taste Test Shawna Coronado

Several weeks ago I published one of my favorite Chicken Marsala recipes of all time. I placed a photo on the post of Campbell’s Beef Broth and there was a general outcry that I should be using an organic or non-gmo broth instead. I am not an extremist and try to use organic and non-gmo whenever I can, but don’t always, so this put a bee in my bonnet to perhaps take a new look at broth as a healthier possibility in my cooking.

With my fans cheering me on I have decided to cover some alternative beef broths to Campbell’s in a taste test review to see which broth tastes better.  I found all these brands at the Meijer’s Grocery Store near my home. Also, you’ll see the ingredients listed below and notice there are a couple clear winners on the lower chemical front and two of them have no-gmo’s as a key feature.

Swanson Cooking Stock Beef

Taste Test: Strong beefy taste with hints of a stronger bitter flavor behind the taste (I’m thinking this was the cabbage). Deep brown color. Lightly salted. Easy to pour and use. Would taste good in a soup or stew.

On the container cover this says “100% Natural, No MSG Added”. This is made and distributed by Campbell Soup Company. There is 500 mg of sodium per serving. Swanson does have 100% organic vegetable and chicken broth, but not beef broth (I will review these at another time).

Ingredients: Beef stock, contains less than 2% of: yeast extract, sea salt, natural flavoring, honey, salt, onion juice concentrate, tomato paste, beef fat, carrots, cabbage, beef extract, onions, celery, celery leaves, parsley.

Meijer Naturals Beef Flavor Stock – THE WINNER!!!!

Taste Test: Darkest of all the stocks. Taste is of a strong rich beef flavor and I loved the color – very appealing. This broth has the least salty taste with very little flavor of other vegetables. I’d be most likely to buy this stock due to its healthier nature and consider it the best choice of the four for flavor without additives.

On the container cover this says “All Natural Gluten free, no artificial preservatives, no GMO’s, No Bioengineered Ingredients”. There is 530 mg of sodium per serving.

Ingredients: Beef stock, veal stock, sea salt, mirepoix stock (made of carrot, celery and onion stocks), spices.

Meijer Natural Beef Flavor All Natural Broth Concentrate

Taste Test: This broth was the lightest in color. I’ve determined it’s more a flavoring additive rather than a strong broth because the taste was virtually cardboard. Although I DO like that this concentrate has no GMO’s. I did not like the flavor, look, or consistency. Too thin with a thin layer of fat floating on top. Yuck.

On the container cover this says “Gluten free. No MSG. No GMO’s, No Bioengineered Ingredients”. There is 770 mg of sodium per serving.

Ingredients: Beef stock, natural flavor, salt, beef fat, sugar, maltodextrin, yeast extract and xanthan gum.

Knorr Homestyle Stock Concentrated Stock Beef

Taste Test: This broth mix was the most flavorful, but I’m concerned about all the ingredients. Strong flavors of other vegetables and garlic. This broth had to have boiling water to dissolve and I found it a pain in the neck to stir, stir, stir to do the dissolving process. If you like xanthan gum and disodium inosinate, then this is the broth for you.

On the container cover this says “beef flavor with other natural flavor”. This poduct contains no added monosodium glutamate beyond small amounts naturally occurring in autolyzed yeast extract and soy sauce. There is 700 mg of sodium per serving.

Ingredients: Water, salt, modified palm oil, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, sugar, carrots, beef extract, spinach, leeks, xanthan gum, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, citric acid, garlic powder, onion powder, locust bean gum, soy sauce powder, lactic acid, beef fat, caramel color, natural flavor, spice, betacarotene.

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This taste test was a fantastic experience – I plan on comparing organic broths in an upcoming story!

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  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Wow- I love this feature! Not that we have a Meijer nearby, but still good to know on the other brands…

    • Reply
      January 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      Naomi – I was TOTALLY surprised. Had no clue about the non-gmo broths. I can’t wait to taste test the organics now!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Wondering if you have ever tried “Better Than Bouillon ” ? Meijer carries it. I use the beef and the chicken. It’s the same consistency as the concentrate. It comes organic and nonorganic.

    • Reply
      January 22, 2013 at 7:34 am

      I’ve never tried it – I remember bouillon being this horrible tasting thing from my childhood. Maybe they’ve improve it over the years?

  • Reply
    Deborah Aldridge
    January 22, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Since I’m not a big beef eater (mostly steak or ground beef with an occasional roast), I don’t use much beef stock. I like the Swanson’s chicken stock most of all I’ve tried, though.

    • Reply
      January 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Swanson’s definitely not the healthiest choice.

  • Reply
    Robyn McIntyre
    January 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    In Santa Cruz, CA we’re blessed with a lot of organic choices. I’ll be tuning in to find out how your organic taste test goes.

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