This Week in America's Test Kitchen: Best Vegetable Broth

We're excited to bring you the first in a series of exclusive weekly posts that will appear on SE as part of a partnership with America's Test Kitchen. We've long been fans of ATK and the Cook's Illustrated universe, where everything is rigorously tested so that it just works, and we're happy to be able to share these nuggets with SE'rs. These videos typically live only on the ATK site, but you can watch them here on SE every Tuesday. We hope you like them as much as we do. —The Mgmt.

Admit it. You don't always make homemade stock and instead rely on store-bought broths. Of course, commercial broths are never very good--and some are downright awful. And vegetable broths seem especially problematic. Some are opaque, others are clear, and flavors range from salty to sweet to oddly sour.

To find the best option, America's Test Kitchen rated 10 top-selling brands, tasting them straight from the package and in several recipes. Organic and natural brands made with nothing more than vegetables and water didn't fare well in this taste-test. In fact, moderate sodium content and the lack of flavor-enhancing additives helped land nearly all of the organic brands at the bottom of the rankings. These broths shared lackluster--even off-putting--flavors that tasters likened variously to "weak V8," "musky socks," and "brackish celery water." Tasters did find one decent vegetable broth, but it was loaded with sodium and chemical flavor potentiators.

Watch the video above for more about these picks, or read the full comparison on America's Test Kitchen (free registration required) »