I want to make a barbecue sauce which has chicken stock in its recipe.
This is the first time I needed chicken stock for cooking; somehow, I didn't come by it up until now.

Anyway, neither me or any of my roommates ever buy chickens with bones; we always buy clean chickens or clean wings (nothing to create stock with).

I understand I could buy a chicken with bones for the sake of making chicken stock, but I was wondering whether there is an easier, alternative solution that could substitute for chicken stock in my sauce. Think of "chicken stock for students."

  • 5
    Well, I'm not going to discourage you from making chicken stock, homemade stock is great...but is there a reason you can't just buy some stock?
    – rfusca
    Aug 15, 2011 at 2:29

5 Answers 5


Considering the sheer number of rather strong ingredients in that recipe - if it were me and I didn't have stock and didn't want to make or buy any...I'd substitute broth as a first option and salted water as a second option.


Rule number one with sauces: don't miss an opportunity to add some flavor. The worst thing you can make is a bland sauce, and while I doubt a little water or watery store-bought broth would bland this one up, I'd use whiskey myself. It's liquid, the flavor should be compatible, and I've never seen a college student who couldn't lay his hands on a bottle.

Bullion cubes/granules are fine, but, again, I'd probably add booze instead of water to hydrate them.

  • +1 - I can't not upvote a recommendation for whiskey in bbq sauce. But stock is a bit salty, so you'd need to account for that.
    – rfusca
    Aug 15, 2011 at 23:06
  • 1
    YES! you do kno what you'r talking about! In the end I add a cube dissolve instead of chicken stock, but I added half a cut of Jack Daniel's. Boy did it add some flavor into that sauce...
    – hizki
    Aug 15, 2011 at 23:49

Sometimes it's okay to use store-bought chicken stock/broth. To get a little extra flavor in it, chop up some mirepoix (carrots, celery, onions in a 1:1:2 ratio) and boil the stock with the vegetables for an hour or so.

Yes, store-bought stock is pretty awful compared to homemade, but there are so many flavorings in that recipe that you can get away with it. In a pinch, vegetable stock with a few bouillon cubes in could even work.


If I don't have any stock ready or chicken bones to hand then I just reach to the cupboard and open a stock cube or granules.

On a side point, stock freezes very easily so if in future you buy whole chickens, you can make stock with the bones and then pop it in the freezer for later use.


In that recipe, I'd substitute water, or omit entirely. There's plenty of flavor in the other ingredients, and it doesn't seem to be for texture. (If it was, a little gelatin would do the trick.)

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