Pros: dissolves easily in hot water; versatile; good taste; easy to use
Cons: needs refrigeration; short shelf life; may harden
Tones Chicken Base was one of those ingredients that I ended up with because several beloved recipes I used quite often called for chicken broth. Rather than buy cans of chicken broth, I thought it would be more economical if I would just buy instant bouillon cubes and make my own. But when I was shopping for the bouillon cubes the silver and red 16oz plastic Tones Chicken Base jar caught my eye.
Im a sucker for trying most anything, so I thought Id give this product an attempt. Besides, the product claimed that it is a moist paste of chicken, spices, and salt that dissolves quickly in hot water. It can be used anywhere chicken broth or stock is needed or wherever chicken broth or consume is called for in a recipe.. Plus, just1 teaspoon is equivalent to 1 bouillon cube, but is supposed to be more flavorful. The product also claims to be as delicious as a plain broth, it enhances the flavors of soups, stews, gravies or casseroles.
Recipes I used the chicken base for ranged from soups and vegetables to noodle side dishes. What I found when I opened the jar was a golden paste which had a strong chicken and spice odor. If a recipe called for 1 bouillon cube I simply measured 1 teaspoon of chicken base and added it to hot water to dissolve. To give other dishes a chicken/spice flavor but didnt want such a strong flavor, I would simply decrease the amount.
Tones Chicken Base must be stored in the refrigerator once it is opened and it should be used within 6 months after opening. It can be stored in the freezer for longer shelf life of up to 18 months but in order to use it you have to let it sit out for about 10 minutes until it has softened enough to scoop out the desired amount. Then you must return it to the freezer.
I kept my jar in the refrigerator. Something I found was that my jar of Tones Chicken Base hardened well before the end of the 6 month time frame. I had a difficult time scooping the chicken base from the jar and eventually threw the remaining amount in the garbage.
For the most part, I enjoyed the flavor Tones Chicken Base added to the dishes I prepared. However, since chicken broth isnt something I cook with on a frequent basis, then Tones Chicken Base didnt end up being as cost effective as I had originally thought, especially since the product has to be used within a 6 month time frame.
What I have found is that instant bouillon cubes work the best for me because of long shelf life. Although the bouillon cubes season dishes nicely, I dont think they are as flavorful as Tones Chicken Base.
Other Flavors and Where to Buy
You can also find a beef base by Tones. Also, I purchased my jar of chicken base at our local Kroger grocery store for much less than what Ive seen it listed online.
Mechanically Separated Chicken, Salt, Maltodextrin, Food Starch - Modified, Sugar, Dried Acid Whey, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Hydroloyzed Corn Gluten, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Turmeric, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Natural Flavoring, Oleoresin Paprika
Serving Size: 1 teaspoon
Servings Per Jar: About 76
Calories from Fat: 5
Total Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrate: 2g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Vitamin A: 0%
Vitamin C: 0%
If you use chicken broth often then I would recommend giving Tones Chicken Base a try. It does have a wonderful flavor and is easy to measure and mix. It dissolves easily in hot water too. However, since it is only on rare occasion that I need chicken broth then it doesnt benefit me to have this product on hand mainly due to its short shelf life. Also, it has fairly high sodium content. Other than those couple of issues, I give it one thumb up on ease of use and taste.
As a note, you can visit www.tones.com for recipes that utilizes chicken base or bouillon.
Thanks for reading!!