Bouillon seasonings are concentrated cubes, powders, or pastes that are made from meat, vegetables, and herbs. They are used to add flavor and depth to soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes.
Bouillon seasonings can be a convenient and affordable way to add flavor to your cooking. They are also a good way to reduce food waste, as you can flavor leftovers or make broth from scratch.
However, bouillon seasonings can also be high in sodium and MSG. It is important to read the label carefully and to choose a bouillon seasoning that is low in these ingredients.
Over the years, I have tried several bouillon seasonings, and finding one favorite bouillon product is very challenging. The challenge comes with the type of diet you are following and food allergies. A couple of years ago, I decided to stop using many of these cooking flavor enhancers for health reasons. I mostly cook with fresh and dried herbs or seasoning blends.
Why are bouillons so popular?
On MarthaStewart.com, the definition is exactly what it is.” “Bouillon is often used synonymously with broth. The term also pertains to the condensed-cube and powder forms of broth used to add a burst of flavor to some recipes.”
Same as spices and herbs, bouillon cubes and powder are cooking aids. These types of cooking aids, when used properly, help you create delicious meals, as mentioned in all the websites reviewed.
I decided to review three different types of Bouillon that are easily found in most supermarkets. If you are curious about why Bouillon in Haitian Caribbean Cuisine signifies something else, read it here: What is Bouillon? Seasoning, Broth, or Soup?
Here is a review of the pros and cons of using bouillon seasonings as a cooking aid:
- Convenient and affordable
- Can be used to add flavor and depth to a variety of dishes
- It can be used to reduce food waste.
- It can be high in sodium and MSG.
- It may not taste as good as homemade broth.
Overall, bouillon seasonings can be a useful cooking aid, but it is important to use them in moderation and to choose a low-sodium, MSG-free variety.
Here are some tips for using bouillon seasonings:
- Use a small amount of bouillon seasoning at first and add more to taste.
- Dissolve bouillon seasoning in hot water before adding it to your dish.
- Be aware of the sodium content of bouillon seasonings and use them in moderation.
- Choose a low-sodium, MSG-free variety of bouillon seasoning.
3 Popular Bouillon Seasonings to Know About
Osem Chicken Style Consomme Soup & Seasoning Mix
Osem Chicken Style Consomme Soup and Seasoning Mix are suitable for seasoning several dishes. Founded in Israel, Osem Investments Ltd, the company that manufactures the seasoning mix, is now owned by Nestlé S.A. of Switzerland.
The seasoning mix is a kosher product. Kosher means that the product was manufactured on the premise that it satisfied the requirements of Jewish law. The Pros and Cons below are only for the Chicken Seasoning Mix.
Here are a few key points about Osem Chicken Style Consomme Soup
- Soup & Seasoning Mix
- No food coloring. No preservatives
- Suitable for vegetarians
- Powder Form
- Contains Corn Starch
- Contains Maltodextrin
- For the chicken consomme only: Serving Size: 1 tsp; Serving per container: 67 – Sodium: 830 mg
Knorr has been bringing flavors from around the world to our kitchens for many years. Founded in 1838 in Germany, Knorr has become an international brand offering a wide range of bouillons, soups, stocks, seasonings, sauces, soupy snacks, dressings, and gravies.
Knorr products are easy to use, quickly dissolve, and add tons of flavor to soups, stews, sauces, and gravies. Knorr also has a variety of products from bouillon cubes, powder, and broths.
Here are a few points about Knorr Bouillon products:
- Soup & Seasoning Mix
- Powder Form
- Cubes Form
- Some cooking aids contain dehydrated, mechanically separated cooked chicken and dehydrated chicken meat.
- Some of the products contain hydrolyzed soy/corn protein
- Not sure what they mean by Colour ??? as an ingredient.
- Chicken Bouillon Salt content 1130 MG – per Serving Size Per ½ CUBE (5.75 G) | About 1 Cup 250 ML) Prepared
Maggi Cubes Seasoning, a bouillon seasoning?
Founded in 1872 in Switzerland, Maggi continues to make cooking aids that are tasty and accessible for easy cooking. The company manufactures a variety of products such as noodle soups, soup mixes, and sauces.
Maggi’s cubes have been a staple cooking aid for many years in many cuisines. In the Caribbean, African and Asian cooking, Maggi is very popular and one of the first cooking aids.
A few important points about Maggi Cubes
- Flavor Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Inosinate
- Maize Starch
- Color (Ammonia Caramel)
- MAGGI® Chicken Stock and Vegetable Stock cubes manufactured in Egypt are Halal certified and contain no animal product.
- For a box of 16 cubes, or Serving Size 6.00 g; Servings Per Container 16 – Sodium 1280mg
Most seasoning (cubes and powder form) contains corn to start, which is not good because of the numerous food allergies. Corn allergy is slowly becoming more popular, and many food manufacturers have used tapioca or rice starch.
Many seasonings products contain many additives and chemicals. It is highly recommended to read the labels to ensure you understand what you use as cooking aids.
If you are looking for a more flavorful and authentic way to add flavor to your cooking, you may want to consider making your own broth from scratch. However, bouillon seasonings can be a convenient and affordable way to add flavor to your cooking, especially if you are short on time.
These cooking aids may not have any short-term effects. The long-term result is usually associated with the level of sodium and MSG. So be aware!
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Originally published on October 31, 2019. Revised and updated.