If you’ve ever set your foot in a kitchen, or if you’ve ever had a hearty meal made by someone that knows what they’re doing, chances are – you’ve probably heard of Kitchen Bouquet. This product has been a staple of every American kitchen ever since it was first introduced into the market in the year 1873.
The reason why so many people adore this thing is because it’s delicious AND it represents a one-of-a-kind multi-tool around the kitchen. Since it’s made out of caramel and some vegetable ingredients, you can use it to spice up your meals all year round.
Of course, it’s not all about spices, either. Many cooks regularly use Kitchen Bouquet as a caramelizing agent, so to speak. Otherwise, it can also work as a thickener in stews and as a colorizer.
That said, there are those times where you simply cannot find the Kitchen Bouquet on the shelves of your local store. So, what do you do then?
Well, you get a Kitchen Bouquet substitute, of course. As you will see, these tiny bottles (or their contents, to be precise) can do wonders for ensuring your meal will be just as flavored up and thick as if you had used some Kitchen Bouquet.
So, here are our suggestions for Kitchen Bouquet substitutes.
Great Substitutes for Kitchen Bouquet
1) Worcestershire Sauce
As we’ve mentioned in the introduction, the Kitchen Bouquet is sort of a fix-all in the world of cooking. Now, when it comes to Worcestershire sauce, you get roughly the same capabilities as the KB thing, minus the thickening part.
You see, Worcestershire sauce can be a great solution for folks who need a sauce for adding flavor to your soups, meat, and other dishes. Since it’s full of different vegetable pieces and essences, you’ll be able to use this thing as a seasoning on a wide variety of meals.
That said, it doesn’t work as well as a thickening agent. As it is, Worcestershire sauce is often sold diluted, because it would be too strong otherwise. So, great for seasoning, not so much for thickening liquid dishes. (Also, this thing is great for browning meat, partly thanks to its color.)
2) Maggi Seasoning
Now, if you’re looking for a browning agent that also adds flavor to your meat and other non-meat-based dishes, Maggi can be just the thing for you.
Thanks to its dark color, which it gets from caramelized vegetables, you can comfortably use it as a browning agent and cover the meat with it. On the other hand, if you just want to spice up your meals with a seasoning agent, this thing can also do wonders.
The tricky part about Maggi is that it’s full of salt, so you have to be careful about how much of it you’re putting in your food. Also, it can’t be used to thicken stews and other liquid meals because it’s way too thin for that purpose.
3) Bragg Liquid
Another great entry for a Kitchen Bouquet substitute comes in the shape of this Bragg liquid product. The most notable thing about it is that it carries a coveted non-GMO food certificate, which means that you’re dealing with an all-natural liquid.
When it comes to its multi-purpose merit, this thing has got it all except the thickening part. If you want to use it as a taste enhancer, go straight ahead, because its natural soy flavor combined with the salt that comes with it will improve the taste of any dish. (It can be particularly useful in Asian cuisines.)
Also, another great way to use this thing would be to add it to the meat you’re about to roast because it can act great as a browning agent.
4) Parisian Browning Essence
Here’s a cooking additive that fulfills two crucial roles in the kitchen – browning, and thickening.
Its appeal among the pro chefs can be attributed to the fact that this sauce is quite simple – it’s pretty much caramel and some water added to dilute it. This also means that this thing is 100% gluten-free, soy-free, peanut-free, and egg-free, so if you happen to be allergic to any of these ingredients, you can rest assured you won’t have an anaphylactic shock if you use this browning essence on your food.
Also, if you’re looking for a solid thickening agent, the Parisian browning essence is where it’s at!
5) Soy Sauce
Sometimes the best course of action is the simplest one.
In case you can’t find any Kitchen Bouquet at your local store, how about you get yourself some soy sauce instead?
The thing is, a well-made soy sauce will have many of the properties of Kitchen Bouquet, so whether you’re after browning, flavor, or caramelizing properties, you’ve got it all with a bit of soy sauce.
About the only trouble with soy sauce would be the fact that you have to be careful about how much of it you’re using in your food preparation. Get too much of it into your bisque or roast beef, and you probably won’t be able to handle the saltiness.
6) Instant Coffee
This one is a bit of a cheeky solution and not a proper substitute for Kitchen Bouquet, but we’ve put it on this list for a specific reason.
Namely, if you need some Kitchen Bouquet to get some color in the otherwise colorless stew or something similar you’re making, instant coffee can produce the same effect. But, on the other hand, the taste will differ radically, so you have to be careful about the dosing of the coffee.
Put too much of it in your stew and you’re not going to sleep for two days after you eat a bowl or two!
In conclusion, even though Kitchen Bouquet does hold the title as the best and the most well-rounded sauce out there, there are several substitutes that can also do a good job when you run out of KB. Hope these suggestions helped you figure out what to use in your kitchen when the good ole KB is not around!