How To Make Bouillon Cubes


How to make bouillon cubes

If you read my last post about chicken stock, you know that I make a LOT of stock.

I use it to cook all kinds of things, from rice, to soup, and even a couple of savory bread recipes!

However, our stock consumption is a bit lower during the hot summer months, which results in a bit of a build up in my freezer. In theory, this is awesome, because once the weather cools down, we use up stock in the blink of an eye. In reality, it’s a bit trickier than that though. Late summer is when our freezer fills up to the brim with garden produce, and it is also when we usually get our beef share. So, I don’t really have much room to store all this lovely extra stock.

After a little research and experimenting, I found this awesome little solution that makes my life easier on SO many fronts!

Bouillon cubes!

Storing my stock as bouillon cubes is better for 3 huge reasons:

  1. As I said above, it takes up SO much less room. You can fit the stock made from an entire chicken carcass into a pint jar when you use this method! Talk about saving freezer space!
  2. It eliminates the need to use yucky plastic ziplock bags, or multiple bulky mason jars for storage.
  3. Last but not least, this was an unexpected benefit. You don’t have to thaw out the stock for hours before you plan to use it! You just grab a couple of bouillon cubes from the freezer (or the pantry), add them to some hot water, and you are good to go!

Here is how you do it:

Take your completed and strained stock (Chicken, Fish, or Beef), and place it in a large pot. I always just put it back into the pot I just finished making the stock in.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Bring to a rolling boil and boil it until it has reduced to 1/3 of the original amount. It will become a light tan color and boil with tiny little bubbles like this:

How to make bouillon cubes

Once it has reduced, lower the heat, and simmer until it becomes thick and syrup like. The bubbles will become much larger, and it will also be a slightly darker color. Keep a good eye on it, and make sure it doesn’t scorch at this point.

How to make bouillon cubes

How To Make Bouillon Cubes |

Once you have a thick syrupy liquid, let it cool for 30 minutes in the pot.

At this point, you can either chill the bouillon, and cut into cubes for the freezer, or dehydrate it and store at room temperature.

If you are making cubes for the freezer, pour the bouillon onto a baking sheet with raised edges.

How to make bouillon cubes

Let cool in the refrigerator for around 1-2 hours, or until hardened.

Depending on exactly how much you boiled it down, the bouillon consistency will be anywhere from a really tough jello, or a slightly harder taffy like feel. Either one is perfectly fine.

Cut into 1 inch cubes.

To freeze, place the cubes on a baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Transfer to a mason jar and store in the freezer.

To dehydrate the bouillon, pour the syrupy liquid onto non-stick dehydrator sheets and dry until all dampness is gone.

Store in an airtight mason jar as chunks or grind in a food processor to make a powder.

Here is some dehydrated bouillon in small chunks that I broke up by hand.

How to make bouillon |

How to make bouillon cubes

To reconstitute: Add cubes or powder to hot water. Approximately 1 cube to 2 cups of water. Feel free to add more or less water as you desire. You may want different strengths of stock for different recipes.

This method has totally revolutionized my freezer and my meal planning!

No more taking up an entire shelf with bags or jars of stock, and no more thawing for a couple hours in advance of cooking. (I swear that 50% of the time, the jar would break, or the bag would have a hole in it, and make an enormous mess while thawing.)

Happy bouillon making!

How to make bouillon cubes

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52 responses to “How To Make Bouillon Cubes”

  1. I have been trying to figure out a way to get away from store bought cubes…this is perfect and I can bet it is so much healthy than the salt laden ones you buy in a jar!

  2. Jacqueline says:

    No way! I’ve never thought of this before. I could do this!

  3. JES says:

    This is an excellent idea!! I love this, thank you for sharing at the Art of Home-Making Mondays! I am pinning 🙂

  4. Brilliant! And you can control the salt this way. Thank you 🙂

  5. lorinda says:

    Could one then dehydrate these in a food dehydrator to make them even more concentrated as the store bought ones are? Anybody ever done this with success so they do not mold outside freezer?

  6. JES says:

    Good morning! This wonderful post was featured on the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week! Please join us again this week as our new link up is now up and running 🙂 Happy Monday!

  7. Toni says:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely post on making stock cubes. I make stock all the time, but I never once thought to reduce it to one-inch cubes. That. was. brilliant. 🙂
    Have a great week!

  8. This is brilliant! Thanks so much. Pinning it now. Trying it soon.

  9. Amy says:

    Good Afternoon! What a great idea! I love that you can make these yourself versus buying the ones at the store that are loaded with MSG.

    I hope you have a wonderful day!

  10. Heather says:

    Take your completed and strained stock (Chicken, Fish, or Beef) – Hi, can you please explain what you mean by that? How do I make the completed and strained stock? Is there a secret recipe I’m missing? Thanks, and cheers

  11. Kristy says:

    Hey, Ang!

    So I made stock. Then I attempted making the boullion. I boiled it down to less than 1/3 the original amount, then It simmered for HOURS. I don’t understand why it never thickened up. I finally gave up because all my stock was evaporating, and soon there would’ve been nothing left but an empty pan. How come mine did not thicken at all? Any tips? I’m sure you’ve done it successfully many times.
    Btw, I’ve enjoyed your blog and have used several of your tips!!


    • Angi says:

      Kristy- it doesn’t thinken up a ton- think like maple syrup consistency. I would just pour it into a cookie sheet, stick it in the fridge, and see how much it jells up once it’s chilled. If its doesn’t turn out like a really tough jello, then you can just warm it back up and try boiling it down a bit more. You definitely end up with a LOT less liquid by the time it’s done.

      • Kristy says:

        Well, it thickened up, and I poured it onto the cookie sheet and chilled it. Still gooey. So I tried freezing it. Still just goo. So I just put the goo in a jar in the freezer, and I’ll just scoop it out a teaspoon at a time. It tastes good, it’s not burned or anything. I think it’ll work in soups and stuff, it’s just not in cubes. Thanks a lot, Angi!

    • MommaMary says:

      Did you break the bones or have the butcher cut the bones so you would be able to utilize the marrow? I think this would help you get the consistency that you are looking for. I have dozens of jars of pork, chicken and beef broth that I have canned. I may take a jar of chicken broth and just open it and try out this recipe. I will use the dehydrator and grind to powder. Angi, did you add any chicken seasoning when you made the chicken bullion or was it just broth from bones and vegetables? I wondered if it would bring the flavor up another level?

      • Angi says:

        My beef bones come cut from the butcher, so the marrow is readily accessible. I don’t usually add any seasoning other than the bones, veggies, a splash of vinegar, and some salt and pepper. I use the bouillon for all different kinds of recipes, and prefer to season once I reconstitute it, but you could totally pre-season it if you wanted to!

  12. Kristy says:

    Ok. It’s a new day and I’ve regained some patience

  13. Laurel says:

    I found this on Pinterest and tried it today with some turkey bone broth I made a couple of days ago. I haven’t tried adding the cube back to water yet, but I was really pleased how well it jelled! I’m not sure I boiled it down quite enough (thanks to a screaming 6 month old), but I’m encouraged that this seemed to have worked. Thanks for posting it!

  14. Carol says:

    Just wondering if you could add some unflavored gelatin like Great Lakes to help with the jelling?

  15. Sami says:

    I made it and used mini ice cube trays to freeze, then popped them out and stored them in a bag in the freezer.

  16. Linda Wagner says:

    Thank you for the bullion idea. I am getting ready for bariatric surgery and have to drink only clear liquids for a week or two. I don’t like the canned broths, and regular bullion cubes are to salty. This way I can control what is in them and take out when I need and just add hot water. I am always cooking and saving the broth in the freezer. this will also save a lot of space.

  17. Susan says:

    This is a great idea. I am in the process of following the directions now. The only comment I have is this is a very long process. Do not do this unless you have PLENTY of time. Like an entire afternoon.

    • Angi says:

      Hi Susan! It usually takes me 45 min -1 hour to convert the stock into bouillon. But, making the stock is definitely a longer process.

  18. Mary Cochrane says:

    I gave it a try, used just a pint jar of beef broth that I canned. I wish you could smell the most intense, wonderful beef aroma of this dehydrated bouillon. This will be perfect for when you need flavor but no extra liquid. I will continue to can broth but this will be part of process from now on. I will pull a gallon of broth for bouillon. Thanks so much for the idea of making bouillon. I wish I could share my photo of it.

  19. Deanna says:

    Do you put it in the fridge and then remove the top fat layer like you do for canning or do you leave all the fat that comes to the top right in the stock? I made some stock a few days ago and have another smaller batch going- I’d love to make these into cubes but didn’t know if I should remove the white fat layer or keep it all in there 🙂 Thanks for your time and help 🙂

  20. Lars says:

    Great idea, Angi. I hate the super oversodiumed broths and bouillon cubes from the store. QUESTION: Once dehydrated, how long will these last in food storage, unrefrigerated?

    • Angi says:

      Honestly, I am not sure. I have kept mine successfully for several months, but I am constantly using it all up and making more, so I haven’t had a chance to test exactly how long they will last dehydrated. I would think they would last 6-12 months at the least.

  21. This is so cool. Planning to try this with some turkey stock I’m making next week. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  22. Gentle Joy says:

    We also make these and they are a great way to get more nutrition from our food…and save money. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this.

  23. Jennifer S. says:

    I just made stock last week. I found this a week too late. Oh well, I’m definitely going to do this next time I make stock because it sure is whole lot less messy. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Heather says:

    What a great idea! I never thought to make my own and so much better for you than the ones you buy at the store which are loaded with sodium and preservatives. Thank you, Heather

  25. yoda says:

    Wow. I have two big bowls of stock in the fridge, from last night’s turkey. I may HAVE to try this, as I hate having the stock in big plastic bags, which always seem to break,, or at least leak. Thanks!

  26. Anthony says:

    I’ve done something similar for 20 years with venison. After processing a deer, all the bones go in a pot and get cooked until the few remaining shreds of meat are dull and flavorless. The bones get removed and the broth gets reduced until it feels sticky on a spoon dipped in it. Once to that point, it gets poured into a rectangle pan or two to a depth of 1 inch. Let it cool on the counter till it sets up. Cut it into one inch squares and cover with a towel and let it set on the counter over night. Take the squares out and let them dry on a rack or in a dehydrator. They will make hard little cubes that don’t require refrigeration. 1 – 2 cubes per cup of boiling water and you end up with some tasty venison broth. I came by this from 18th century preservation techniques. The gelatin from the cartilage is what helps it set up.

  27. pat says:

    For those of us that are multitaskers cod we use a slow cooker to reduce the broth? Easier to keep from scorching maybe.

    • Angi says:

      You could give it a try Pat, but I don’t think it would work very well. The slow cookers don’t get hot enough to reduce it much, and they rely on the lid being shut to get as much heat as they do. This doesn’t allow for much evaporation. However, that being said, I would love for someone to give it a try and let me know how it works for them!

      • pat says:

        I did yesterday with some poaching liquid my daughter used to cook a bunch og chicken. It took awhile but it did reduce, i skimmed gunk off the top a few times and there is a concentrated mass at tge bottom. I just need to store and attempt to use.

  28. Jeanette Schutz says:

    Ok, so I made this and mine turned out more like the tough jello, which I understand is an ok thing, and I have it freezing right now. But what I’m wondering is how do you know how much to use for your recipes when you want to use this? One 1″ cube = 1 regular boullion cube? I think I might have overcooked mine because I started out with quite a bit of stock and ended up with not so much. Reduced down more than the 1/3 you recommended, more like 2/3, but I’ll learn for next time if this works out well. Thanks!!

  29. Brittany says:

    Could you make the cubes then dehydrate them instead of dehydrating the liquid? I don’t have the Silicon liners for my trays.

  30. Amy L. says:

    Hi. Just an FYI when defrosting anything I place it in a 2 gallon zip lock bag. I purchase them from Cash and Carry. These bags contain any leais that happen from damaged freezer bags. This is a great post. I just got a dehydrator for Christmas and can’t wait to start using it!

  31. Laura says:

    I make a fall off the bone Teriyaki chicken with a whole cut up chicken with no skin. There is so much liquid left I usually boil rice in it the next day for a great side dish. I would love to make bouillon cubes with the leftover liquid. I plan to try it. Any tips?

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