Holding Broth without diluting it. I NEED HELP!!!!

Joined Sep 19, 2014
Hello Pro Chef,

I need help and a better suggestion to do this for my restaurant. It doesn't have to be for my specific broth type because it It very similar to any other Broth. Your knowledge about this would be appreciated if you can share.

I served Vietnamese Pho broth that is made from scratched. I have three type of broth. Beef (made with beef bone), Chicken (made with chicken bone) and Vegetarian (made with mushroom).

My problem is holding the broth throughout the day. I usually place it on my stock range and have the fire turn on to Med-low. The problem is, it dilute my broth and make it taste different. I want to know if there is a way to not dilute my broth and keep the taste consistent?

One of my friend suggest investing in an induction range top that I can put on the counter to keep the broth at a right temp. Then when some one order, I just take what I need and heat it on a separate range to make it piping hot for services. 

What else can I do to keep my broth at a safe temp without diluting it?

Your help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

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Joined Jan 20, 2013
I'm very surprised that you say it dilutes the broth, holding at temp would cause the broth to evaporate off some of the water and make it less dilute, more concentrated, but heat would also change the flavor profile over time, but in most cases, that would make the profile more developed, not less.
IF for some reason you're getting a diluted broth, you might want to purposely over concentrate the broth so that as it dilutes, it approaches the profile you were originally after.
Your friend is wrong about induction. A lower temp won't make it less diltute over time. It would drive off less water through evaporation making it more less concentrated than if you used higher temperature.

A lower temp can be had just as easily with gas as with electric, ceramic or induction. Induction will only give you a little more control. Another thing to consider is that induction requires magnetic bases on the pots. This is considerably more expensive initially. And even pots and pans you thought were stainless steel, might not work. Most Cuisinart pans aren't induction ready even though they're stainless. Commercial size aluminum posts are pretty cheap and are "ok" for meat and chicken. Of course I'd prefer stainless, but cost is a factor. I general would use stainless for veggie broth.

I DO recommend induction for very very small businesses that feature broths. But NOT because you're going to get a flavor difference. You won't. A broth held at the same temp will taste the same no matter what the heat source. The reason to go induction is to save energy bills and possibly lower insurance rates.

IF you go induction, make sure it's NSF certified if possible and professional grade to limit liability. Do NOT get one of those crummy ones on infomercials under any circumstances. Waring Professional makes great ones and if you need less expensive and a little less long lasting, Max Burton makes a good cheap professional model as well as their consumer models.

It's great to hear that you're making real pho broth!!!!!! Too many places are using liquid concentrate now.

chúc may mắn
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Joined Sep 19, 2014
Thank you so much for your input. I think I must have used the wrong terminology.

What can do to keep the water from being evaporated? Can I hold the broth cold and heat it up per order? Can I use a steam table to hold the broth and heat it up per order?

I am looking for different ways I can hold the broth for service. Just want to know my options so that I can save money when planning my kitchen build out during construction and to calculate my equipment cost. I have been testing my food at fairs and night market. Things have been positive and now I want to turn it into a restaurant.
Joined Aug 15, 2003
Heat up smaller amounts more often throughout service. 

Heat it to order. 

Use a lid. 

You can also add small amounts of water throughout service to account for the loss of water. Basically add back what is evaporating. Just be careful not to add too much or you can lose TOO much flavor. 
Joined Jan 20, 2013
yeah, I think you mean that holding on heat concentrates the flavor.

I do not know about the volume of sale you produce. Most Pho places by me move a lot of broth so they don't really get a chance to concentrate and change flavor but basically what "someday" told you is good info. Pho broth is SO, SO GOOD when made with love from scratch! too many places use a concentrate. yuck

jus add more water if you think it's getting too concentrated, a good chef is either going to know or can use a tasting spoon to ensure quality and uniformity. or have a weaker concentration as the "fluid" you "add"

1 purposely concentrate it too much and then add liquid water to maximize square footage on your stove,
2 use a lid (but heat can still change the profile, not even counting the evaporation issue
3 low flame, not medium of high flame. You only need to hold it at 140 then microwave or simmer individual bowls to order. this will cut down on evaporation and other flavor changes.
4 as you mentioned steam table
5 only bring out smaller portions at a time, and keep them at temp

6 you can use a induction as you mentioned before, hold at 140, then quick heat with your second burner. It only takes a little over a minute to a full boil on an induction stove. And it's SO fast, that you could even keep it refrigerated and bring one or two bowls to serving temp in a little over a minute.

BUT you need induction ready pots, and get a GOOD induction unit, NOT one you see on TV. It might even cut your utility bills 9both for heating and for air conditioner) and lower your insurance rates, too.

good luck!
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Joined Jan 20, 2013
if you're using gas or standard electric, another though might be to use a "simmering mat" "cast iron or stainless steel" plate that goes between the burner and the pot. his will lower the temp that goes in to the pot. This would be especially good if you're using a thin bottom pot.
 Make sure you keep it in safe food handling temp
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