Chia's House of Stirfry header image 2

Kitchen Bouquet

October 16th, 2007 · 28 Comments

kbjpg.jpgI was making Beef and Noodles the other day when I ran out of Kitchen Bouquet. I consider KB a must have for this recipe not only for the bit of flavor that it adds but for the nice brown color that it provides. The noodles just look a little anemic without it.

I asked my son to run over to the store and pick up a bottle for me. I told him that he would be able to find it in the seasoning section. Our closest grocery store is just across the street from our development so I expected this to be a quick trip and I was surprised when he phoned home almost 15 minutes later. He had searched the spice section and the barbecue sauce section and he couldn’t find it. I told him to go back to the spice section (Silly boy, it isn’t really a sauce) and look at the lower shelves again. I was sure it would be there, it was always there.

He still couldn’t find it so Recliner Man put on his shoes and headed to the grocery store a mile down the road to get me a bottle of KB. I was waiting at home with a dinner that was now done cooking and I hadn’t heard from or seen either one of them in quite a while. If I didn’t know how much they love Beef and Noodles I would have suspected that they gave up and went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.


Recliner Man and The Boy had run into each other at the larger store down the road and had been searching all the isles for Kitchen Bouquet. Aren’t they sweet? I doubt I would have worked that hard to find them a package of #2 screws. After checking all the isles they started asking employees and no one had even heard of Kitchen Bouquet. Finally they were sent off to ask an older female employee and she knew where to find it. Can you guess where it was? Yep, near the barbecue sauce.

I guess I don’t have enough turmoil in my life because I can’t get this off my mind. I’ve used KB for as long as I can remember and always thought of it as a kitchen staple, like salt and pepper. It’s bad enough that almost no one knew what it was, but the barbecue section? Come on kids, it’s a seasoning product! Once again I find myself feeling older than dirt.

This really has me wondering, have you ever heard of Kitchen Bouquet? Do you use it? Do you know where your grocery store stocks it?

Oh, and another sign of time’s passing. It no longer comes in a glass bottle packaged in a cardboard box. It’s in a brown plastic bottle now. Older than dirt…

Tags: Cooking · Ramblings

StumbleUpon Icon Stumble it!

28 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Wendy // Oct 16, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Yummmmmm… do you make your noodles or buy the frozen ones. I’ve used KB from time to time, not enough to consider it a staple. As I’m thinking about it, KB could be the missing “something” when a dish just falls a bit flat. Now, I’ll have to try and see. I think liquid smoke is one of those mystery essentials.

  • 2 chia // Oct 16, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Frozen noodles? *GASP* Never! :) A big part of what makes this dish special is all the love that goes into homemade noodles. Remember that old commercial where the mom tosses a little flour on her face before she leaves the kitchen? Yep, make a big flour mess and the family will know for sure how special their mom is! Really, other than the mess making noodles is so easy I don’t see any reason not to make my own.

    Liquid Smoke is another must have. I can’t imagine making baked beans without it.

  • 3 Shannon // Oct 16, 2007 at 9:24 am

    I know about KB, but only because of you in the first place. I’m pretty sure my bottle will outlast eternity, though, because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it besides put it in beef and noodles. And even I make the real noodles. So good! :)

  • 4 chia // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Shannon, use a little when making a beef gravy or stew. It gives it a little richer color. It doesn’t add a whole lot of flavor so if you aren’t worried about how the food looks you are probably better off without it. I’m sure like so many other things in the cupboard that it has too much salt in it so you don’t use very much at a time.

    And three cheers for you making your own noodles!

  • 5 Suzanne // Oct 16, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    I have heard of it and my grandmother used to keep a bottle in the spice cabinet, but I have never ever used it.

  • 6 Judy B. // Oct 17, 2007 at 5:02 am

    I still have a bottle, but I don’t cook much anymore. I used it for gravy that I made from scratch. It gave it a nice brown color and a great taste.

  • 7 Charlotte // Oct 17, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Since I am 3 days older then dirt I had the same search the last time I got my KB. Use it in stew too. Where on earth do you hang your noodles to dry?

  • 8 chia // Oct 17, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    For this dish I don’t bother to dry the noodles. Just cut them and toss them right into the boiling pot. Other times when I’ve dried noodles I didn’t hang them, I just spread them out on wire cooling racks and stacked them up.

  • 9 Chris // Oct 17, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    I use KB all the time when making gravy no matter what kind, chicken, pork, turkey, beef. I always use it in mythanksgiving gravy. I use it in Goulash, stirfry, even when I put chicken parts in the oven I add it to the broth I baste the chicken with. And good gravy Chia, it hasn’t come in a box in a long time. How old was that bottle? I do have to admit I always have to ask someone where it is when I go to buy it because I can never find it. Back in NJ I used Gravy Master, used the same way.

  • 10 Judy // Nov 5, 2007 at 10:26 am

    I was trying find it yesterday at my local Kroger store….could not find it..thought it might not be on the shelves anymore…now I know to find it with the sauces rather than the spices….thanks

  • 11 Carole // Feb 8, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    My mother used to make “Swiss Steak” using Kitchen Bouquet. She passed away five years ago at age 90 (I am 71) and I have been searching for a recipe for this, but all of the recipes I find use tomato sauce. I remember her pounding round steak with flour and that’s all I remember. It was delicious. Do you happen to use the KB this way, and if so would you send me your recipe? Thank you.

  • 12 Ellen // Feb 21, 2008 at 11:56 am

    I have used Kitchen Bouquest once for a fish recipe that was topped with carmelized onions. The KB was used in the carmelization process. The end result was delicious!

    I have two questions regarding this product: How long does it keep? Does it need to be refrigerated?

    It seems like a bottle of this stuff will last a long time, so I’d like to know when it’s time to throw it out and buy another one. There doesn’t seem to be any information regarding shelf life on the bottle.

  • 13 chia // Feb 21, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Here is some info I tracked down:

    Storage Temperature: 70F
    Shelf Life: 2 YEARS

    Benefits Of Using This Product

    # For more than 100 years Kitchen Bouquet has added natural flavor and rich color to classic dishes and new favorites.
    # This vegetable-based sauce has no meat, meat juices, MSG, or artificial flavors. Also contains no saturated fat or cholesterol & is low in sodium.
    # Speed scratch alternative for chefs.
    # High quality product
    # Versatile for all applications.
    # Shelf-stable

    Serving Suggestions

    # Traditional soups, sauces and gravies.
    # Vegetarian and low sodium recipes.
    # Rub oil and sauce mixture on potatoes before baking.
    # Pour on top of meatloaf before baking for a nice glaze – mix Kitchen Bouquet with catsup and brown sugar.
    # Herb-Crusted Prime Rib with Mushroom Pan Sauce
    # Use kitchen Bouquet to spice up Black Bean Soup
    # Add a splash of Kitchen Bouquet to Bloody Mary drinks for rich color.

    Visit http://WWW.HIDDENVALLEY.COM for great recipes and recipe ideas!

    Preparation and Cooking Instructions

    # Gravy: Pour 1 gal. meat stock and drippings into large kettle. Heat thoroughly. Add 2 c. Brown Roux (see following recipe) and stir vigorously until gravy thickens. Makes about 3 qts. medium gravy. For thicker gravy, use 2.5 c. Brown Roux, thinner gravy use 1.5 c. Roux.

    # Brown Roux: Blend together 2 qts. (4 lbs.) shortening, 2 qts. (2 lbs.) flour, 1 c. Kitchen Bouquet and 1/4 c. salt. If desired, add seasonings such as herbs, spices, onion or garlic. Makes 2.5 qts. Brown Roux, enough to make 5 gal. medium gravy.

    I Googled it and found a place called Profile showcase but the link didn’t work because they had removed the page. I was still able to access the Google cache and get the info though.

  • 14 YVONNE ROMERO // May 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm


  • 15 chia // May 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Hello Yvonne, Welcome to the blog. Your comment puts you in the drawing for this month’s prize!

  • 16 Dan // Oct 27, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Anyone know how to read the expiration code on the Kitchen Bouquet Browning and Seasoning bottle???

    Thanks in advance.

  • 17 Jen // Oct 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    wondering the same, tried to look on Hidden Valley site, no luck

  • 18 chia // Oct 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    My bottle has a date stamped on the cap. It also has a phone number to call with questions: 1-800-537-2823. And boy did they make those numbers hard to read!

  • 19 Dan // Oct 31, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks for the phone number .
    I’ll give that a try.
    ( I have 2 bottles with a code but no date)

  • 20 Laurel // Jan 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I wonder if the recipe that Carole is looking for is Salisbury Steak and not Swiss Steak. ???
    I use KB mostly in my gravy when it needs a little flavor and also in my sauce that I put on my meatloaf before I cook it.

  • 21 Rocke // Mar 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I have used K.B. on whole top of the round and smoked pork loin. Gives amazing dark color to outer edge and a little flavor. On beef it apears you could eat it without cooking. Great addition to any kitchen.

  • 22 Martin // Jul 31, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    How do I tell what the expirationn date of Kitchen Bouquet is? There is a code on top of the cap G13161.

  • 23 Kay // Aug 19, 2011 at 7:23 am

    I am asking the same thing as Martin. I can’t find any info online. I have a bottle in the fridge that is at least 10 years old! Used it last night to add a little color to my chicken gravy, and got to wondering…

  • 24 Renee // Nov 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Oh Yes! I certainly do remember Kitchen Bouquet. My grandmother swore by it, called it her little secret in fact. It is definately one of my staples in the kitchen. I even remember the glass bottles. I can never find it in the same stores twice now, and your right, the store personnel look at me funny when I ask for it. Thats what brought me here today, googling where to find it. Good thing it can be ordered online as well.

  • 25 Anita // Dec 21, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Never make homemade gravy without this as my mother and hers did before me! Good info about shelf stability. Thank you! You can buy it on Amazon.

  • 26 Dean // Dec 25, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Chia, it would really thrill me to have your recipe for the delicious beef and noodles dish in the picture, that looks so much like that of my grandmothers. What cut of beef do you use? And any secrets in making those noodles from scratch would be so kind of you!! Thanks so very much!!

  • 27 Beth // Apr 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    My mom taught me that “Swiss Steak” without tomatoes was the German way. No idea if that’s right, but it’s deeeeelish! Carole, if you’re still online, here’s how I make it:
    Dredge large pieces of round steak in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, brown in hot fat of your choice (I use veg or olive oil).
    Remove meat, brown sliced onions (opt)
    Deglaze pan with water and red wine
    Add meat back in and KB (of course)
    Cover and simmer till meat falls part
    Serve over baked potatoes (you can simmer in oven or on stovetop)

  • 28 wanda alleyne // Feb 18, 2017 at 11:39 am

    this kitchen bouquet is in my opinion one of the best to cook with. it make my steaks more tender, and i make gravy from it. i am old school i use to make gravy the old way. no more of that since kitchen bouquet. when i go to buy grocery i make sure to pick two btl.

Leave a Comment