The Easiest Way To Fix Watered Down Broth

There's nothing as comforting as putting on a big pot of stock or broth, whether it's beef, chicken, or vegetable. Plus, broth is a fantastic way to make use of veggie, bone, and meat scraps, which will add more flavor to soups, stews, sauces, and even pasta noodles. What isn't great is when you take a slurp off your tasting spoon and you have little more than water and the taste of flavors past. This is an exceptionally common problem when it comes to making broth, because while you don't want your ingredients to dry out or burn while you let the stock simmer for hours to properly extract the flavors of the bones and veg, you may overdo it when it comes to adding water in.  

But no need to lose heart, because there's a simple solution to watered-down broth and stock. It just requires a little bit of time and extra time on the stovetop — reducing the broth with heat will pack more flavor by volume, says The Guardian. This trick also works beautifully if you've got more stock than you have storage containers and fridge space. 

Reduce, reduce, reduce

If your broth is tasting too watery, it's probably because, well, you've added too much water. Luckily, fixing this is super easy — just keep the heat on and if you've had a lid on your stock pot, take it off now. This will allow water vapors to escape the broth as it simmers away, leaving you with a more concentrated flavor. Home Ec 101 also advises to leave the heat up a bit higher so the broth is at a constant rolling simmer, but still not boiling. This process is known as reduction and will leave you with less liquid in your broth. Don't worry about overdoing it — you can add water to the broth when you're ready to use it in a recipe. The Seattle Times says that you can chill the broth for about four days in the fridge, but you can also freeze a container if you can't work through your stock of stock in just a few days. 

To avoid watery broth in the future, consider using store-bought broth instead of water. Then the bones and veggies will be used to fortify this stock for even more flavor with less water dilution. The stock will still count as homemade, but with a little less headache.