Better Than Bouillon Review

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Bottom Line

"Better Than Bouillon" is a line of soup bases - concentrated pastes intended to be used instead of bouillon cubes or canned/boxed broth. Though not nearly as good as homemade broths, the ones I tried more than live up to their name.


  • Good flavor - stands up to other broths on the market
  • Allows you to control the concentration of the flavor
  • Less expensive than broth in can or carton
  • Don't have to boil down liquid to concentrate flavor


  • Quite salty
  • Not as tasty as homemade broth


  • These soup bases are pastes that come in 8 oz jars.
  • Available in nine flavors, including chicken, beef, vegetable, mushroom, turkey, and ham.
  • Each jar will make 38 cups of broth at the recommended concentration.
  • Must be refrigerated after opening.
  • All flavors are gluten-free.
  • I have seen prices ranging from $2.99 to $7.99 per jar.

Guide Review - Better Than Bouillon Soup Bases

I have tried the chicken, beef, vegetable, and mushroom bases.

Ingredients: Although the labels say they contain some flavorings, the main ingredients come from the chicken, cow, etc. Low carbers should note that they do contain sugar and corn syrup solids, providing one gram of carbohydrate per teaspoon. However, a teaspoon of this stuff goes a long way.

Flavor: The broth made with 1 teaspoon per cup of water is salty, though somewhat less so than bouillon cubes. The taste is “true” – I don’t detect off-flavors, as I sometimes do with packaged broths. Two of these products have been tested by Cooks Illustrated in the past, and both times came out quite well. In 2003, the vegetable base came in second among the packaged broths tested. In 1998, the beef flavor was second only to homemade beef broth (though a distant second).

Uses: I have used these products in many recipes with good results. The advantage they have over broths (besides being far less expensive) is that you can control the concentration of the flavor – no boiling down, just put the concentrate right into the pot and dilute as necessary. The only caveat is that you must usually reduce or eliminate other sources of salt in the recipe.

Price: Better than Bouillon is $2.99 per jar at Trader Joes (chicken flavor only). I generally see it for $5-6 in the regular grocery stores. On the Web site, they sell it for $7.99 per jar.

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