Kitchen Bouquet – Do You Use It?

Never in my years of cooking have I used Kitchen Bouquet. I kinda feel like when I was growing up and I wanted to do something because everyone else was doing it and my parents would say “If everyone else jumped off the bridge, would you?” Well, I guess the answer these days is . . probably!

I always knew that my mom added it to her gumbo. My friend, Sarah, and I were talking while I was in Louisiana, and she was telling me something she makes and she uses Kitchen Bouquet. I said . . I’ve never used it! She said “I use it all the time!” Then, my sister was telling me about something she made and she said she used Kitchen Bouquet. Really? I’ve never used it. She said “I use it all the time!”

Yesterday Nicole called and said “Where in the grocery store would I find Kitchen Bouquet?” What? You’re getting it too?

So, on my trip to town to get a hair cut today, I stopped and got myself a bottle of Kitchen Bouquet!

Kitchen Bouquet

Kitchen Bouquet

Honestly, I think it’s just coloring. Kinda like coloring the gray in  your hair . . which I don’t do. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m a senior citizen . . it just covers it up. Since I pretty much feel that what you see is what you get, I’m not real fired up about using Kitchen Bouquet but obviously, since everyone else is doing it, I had to do it too.

What do you think? Do you use it? Does it change/enhance the flavor of anything . . or just “cover the gray”?  ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. 1

    Connie Halverson says

    Hey, I actually use it. I add it to beef roast gravy and beef stew. I think it adds both flavor and coloring but I do it mostly because that’s what my mother used to do. Enjoy!

  2. 2

    MrsB says

    I use it for color only. Not crazy about the taste.
    Have you ever used Better Than Bullion? I use it instead of stock and it keeps forever in the fridge.

  3. 3

    Breck says

    I use it in gravy. I’m not sure if it adds a lot of flavor. But it gives the gravy a nice color. I think that sometimes food tastes better if it LOOKS better. ๐Ÿ™‚ I only use a drop or two.

  4. 4


    This is a funny coincidence! I bought some today! I do always use it when I make gravy, and I ran out last time I cooked with it. I think it does add a bit of depth to the gravy’s flavor, but I mostly just use it to deepen the color.

  5. 5


    I use it in my mother’s spaghetti sauce recipe and one other thing that escapes my mind at the moment. I never questioned whether it makes a difference or not ….

  6. 6


    My mother used to use it in her poor man’s gravy. If she didn’t brown it enough the Kitchen Bouquet would make it look just right. But it never tasted right! I used to beg her not to use it, and I wouldn’t use it now no matter what.

  7. 7


    i don’t know what it does, but I have always used it. My mother used it when I was growing up and she taught mme to cook certain dishes with it.

    It actually tastes nasty if you swig it straight………


  8. 8

    Toni now in Washington says

    I use it. My Mother used it. I think it does add depth of flavor. I would never swig it straight! I mean it’s first ingredient is carrots, right?

  9. 10

    Robin says

    I use it to help deepen the color of brown gravy, don’t really know if it changes the taste that much. My mother and grandmother used it also.

  10. 11

    Diana in RR,TX says

    I have never used it and don’t remember my Mom ever using it! Probably why I never have!

  11. 12

    Donna says

    I DO use it – all the time, have for years. It really can add depth of flavor to things. It’s kind of like miso in that it adds a whole lot for a little bit. I rub it into my roasts then salt and pepper before cooking. When I’ve not had it I really miss it. I also use it in roasted pork but not as much. Mostly beef.

  12. 13


    I’ve never used it, but it might be like a Kitchen Aid mixer…I’ve cooked just fine without one for 30 years and I’ve never seen the need to have one, but almost everyone I know can’t live without it. Of course, I thought the same thing about the Insta-Pot! LOL.

  13. 14

    Elaine says

    I use it too for all my gravies for chicken and beef, my Mom did too. I do think it has a slight favor. Do a test, some gravy with and some without and let us know…..

  14. 15


    I have seen it, but I’ve never used it, and don’t plan to add something else I get along just fine without. LOL The budget is too small for that!

  15. 16

    Carol c says

    Never used it, don’t make gravy of any kind.

    Reading your bottle label, I assume that’s all it does?

  16. 17

    Rosalie says

    I use it in brown gravy and also poured on top of pot roast before it cooks…that is what my mother did and I have continued it. It makes the meat have a nice color when it is cooked in the oven covered in foil and it gives the gravy a nice color….don’t know that it really adds a lot of flavor.

  17. 18

    Bessie Hardison says

    I have three bottles in my spice cabinet right now. At Thanksgiving I had to borrow my daughters bottle and evidently bought two more on different shopping trips. I couldn’t make giblet gravy without it. It adds flavor and the all important color. Did you ever have white giblet gravy? Ugh! Don’t use too much, though, it can make your gravy bitter. A small bottle lasts a very long time.

  18. 21

    Donna says

    I use it in gravies and stews for the color and it does add some richness to it. My Mama or Grandmother never used it. I started with some recipe that called for it and have been using it for about 17 or 18 years. A dash goes a long way!

  19. 22


    I use a similar product called “Gravy Master” (which comes in a bottle the same shape but has an orange label) for the same reason as everyone else: to add color to gravy or other dishes. You’ve cooked all these years without it and your food always looks so good in your posts, I don’t think you need it!

  20. 23


    My dad also thought it was cheating, but Mom would sneak it in anyway. I bought my first bottle a year ago and only used a dash or two in a recipe that called for it. Haven’t touched it since.

  21. 24

    Lea anne says

    My mom uses it all the time. I bought a bottle used it once. It added nothing but color in my opinion. My gravy is pale but tastier than hers!

  22. 25

    dayna says

    I use it on steaks and sometimes on chops when I grill them. Just pour some on and rub it all over both sides liberally making sure it is all covered. A chef once taught me this trick. Adds a nice little flavor and helps keep the juices in.

  23. 26

    Sandy says

    I’ve never used Kitchen Bouquet and I don’t remember my mother using it, but I’ll ask my sister. She often remembers family trivia!

  24. 27


    Funny you should mention Kitchen Bouquet right now as I have it on my shopping list to get a new bottle. I use it all the time, my mother uses it, my grandmother used it and my great grandmother used it. It’s not just for gravies, either. I used it in many things (and it’s the secret ingredient in one dish!). It goes in stew, on pork roast, on beef roast, in gravy, and just about anything that needs a little more boldness added to the flavor. The color helps with the visual part, but it does add flavor. A very little bit of KB goes a long way. I don’t see how it could be considered “cheating” to use it. Is it cheating when you add garlic powder or salt to a dish? I do remember when my sister in law asked me for a recipe once that had KB listed, she later asked her mother what it was because she had never heard of it! So maybe it’s all about what you grew up with. And maybe it’s more of a regional or ethnic thing. My family roots are from Czechoslovakia and Germany.

  25. 28

    Sue S says

    I use it for the reasons others gave, because it darkens gravy and stew, which can look anemic sometimes. My mom used it. I have it on my grocery list right now! Is that cheating? Well then call me a cheater!

  26. 29

    Maxi says

    Yes, I use it any time I make gravy for beef or pork. (I don’t like “pale” gravy.) I’m not sure it changes the taste because it only takes a few drops to make rich-looking gravy. I don’t remember my mother ever using it.

  27. 30

    mereth says

    We have something like this in Australia, a product called Parisian Essence. Our mum used it occasionally for gravies, but hers were usually dark and rich enough anyway. It added no flavour that I could detect. I’ve used it mainly for dying fabric! It gives a warmer brown than tea dying, which can tend to be a bit grey. There used to be a label on the bottle saying it would stain clothes, and it does seem to make a permanent difference to fabric. I just make up a solution to whatever strength I want, usually a bit darker because it will dry lighter, and soak the fabric in it. Rinse lightly, then dry. Keryn calls it “The dirt of ages” and it tones bright fabrics down well, or can make them “grungy”, if you like that effect. I don’t have a bottle on hand and I can’t remember what it’s main ingredient is off hand.

  28. 31


    I’ve never used it nor did my mother. My thought is browning the meat and usually onions, garlic and possible mushrooms, give my gravies all the color and delicious tastes it needs. I stay away from as much artificial additives as possible these days anyway. And there is not an inch of extra space on my spice shelves as it is. Be sure to give us the low down if you experiment with it.

  29. 32

    Terri S. says

    I have never used it and probably will not. Like you, I think my gravies and sauces taste fine the way they are and I don’t see the need to add extra flavoring. I’ve never felt the need to add extra color, which is what the carmel is for, the vegetables are already in the dish, and Kitchen Bouquet has salt, sodium benzoate and sulfiting agents in it. We watch the salt we eat very carefully and whatever the last 2 ingredients are, I’m not really anxious to add them to my food!! I just don’t see that there is any benefit in using it.