Difference Wiki

Decoct vs. Concoct: What's the Difference?

By Janet White & Aimie Carlson || Updated on May 22, 2024
"Decoct" means to extract flavor or essence by boiling, often used in cooking and medicine, while "concoct" means to create or mix ingredients together to make a dish or a plan.

Key Differences

Decoct involves boiling substances to extract their flavors or medicinal properties, commonly used in culinary and herbal contexts. For instance, one might decoct herbs to make a concentrated tea or extract. Concoct, on the other hand, means to combine various ingredients or elements to create something new, whether it's a recipe, a story, or a scheme. In cooking, one might concoct a new sauce by mixing different spices and ingredients.
Decocting usually requires patience and time, focusing on the transformation of ingredients through heat and liquid. For example, making a strong broth by simmering bones and vegetables for several hours is a form of decoction. This method aims to concentrate flavors and nutrients. Concocting is more about the act of combining and mixing, often involving innovation or improvisation. One might concoct a surprise meal from whatever is available in the pantry. This process highlights the creative aspect of bringing together diverse elements to form a cohesive whole.
Decocting is a technique rooted in tradition, particularly in herbal medicine and classical cooking. Concocting is broader and more contemporary, applicable to various fields beyond cooking, including storytelling and planning.

Comparison Chart


Extracting flavor or essence by boiling
Creating or mixing ingredients together

Common Usage

Cooking, herbal medicine
Cooking, inventing plans or stories


Involves boiling over time
Involves mixing and combining


Extraction and concentration
Creativity and combination


Making strong teas, broths
Creating dishes, devising plans

Decoct and Concoct Definitions


To extract flavor by boiling.
The herbalist decocted the roots to make a potent tea.


To devise a plan or story.
They concocted an elaborate scheme to surprise their friend.


To reduce a liquid by boiling.
She decocts the fruit juice to make a syrup.


To fabricate or invent.
He concocted an excuse to avoid the meeting.


To prepare by boiling in liquid.
The chef decocts the bones for several hours to make a rich stock.


To create by mixing ingredients.
She concocted a new recipe using leftovers.


To concentrate by simmering.
They decoct the ingredients to make a strong broth.


To make up by blending different things.
She concocted a blend of essential oils for relaxation.


To extract the essence through prolonged boiling.
He decocts medicinal plants to enhance their healing properties.


To prepare by combining various elements.
The bartender concocted a special cocktail for the event.


To extract the flavor of by boiling.


To prepare by mixing ingredients, as in cooking.


To make concentrated; boil down.


To devise, using skill and intelligence; contrive
Concoct a plan.


(cooking) To make an infusion.


To prepare something by mixing various ingredients, especially to prepare food for cooking.
To concoct a potion
To concoct a new dish


(cooking) To reduce, or concentrate by boiling down.


(figurative) To contrive something using skill or ingenuity.
To concoct a cunning plan


(figurative) To heat as if by boiling.


(obsolete) To digest.


(figurative) To reduce or diminish.


To digest; to convert into nourishment by the organs of nutrition.
Food is concocted, the heart beats, the blood circulates.


To digest in the stomach.


To purify or refine chemically.


(transitive) To devise.


To prepare from crude materials, as food; to invent or prepare by combining different ingredients; as, to concoct a new dish or beverage.


To prepare by boiling; to digest in hot or boiling water; to extract the strength or flavor of by boiling; to make an infusion of.


To digest in the mind; to devise; to make up; to contrive; to plan; to plot.
He was a man of a feeble stomach, unable to concoct any great fortune.


To prepare by the heat of the stomach for assimilation; to digest; to concoct.


To mature or perfect; to ripen.


To warm, strengthen, or invigorate, as if by boiling.


Make a concoction (of) by mixing


Extract the essence of something by boiling it


Prepare or cook by mixing ingredients;
Concoct a strange mixture


Be cooked until very little liquid is left;
The sauce should reduce to one cup


Of charges


Steep in hot water


Devise or invent;
He thought up a plan to get rich quickly
No-one had ever thought of such a clever piece of software


What does "decoct" mean?

"Decoct" means to extract flavor or essence by boiling, often used in cooking and medicine.

Is concocting a quick process?

It can be quick, depending on what is being concocted.

How is "decoct" used in cooking?

e.g., To make a strong broth, you need to decoct the bones for several hours.

Does concocting involve boiling?

Not necessarily; concocting can involve mixing or creating without boiling.

How is "concoct" used in cooking?

e.g., She concocted a delicious soup using various spices and vegetables.

What is an example of concocting a plan?

e.g., They concocted a detailed plan for the surprise party.

What does "concoct" mean?

"Concoct" means to create or mix ingredients together to make a dish, plan, or story.

Is decocting a quick process?

No, decocting usually requires time and patience to extract flavors.

What is an example of decocting in medicine?

e.g., The herbalist decocted roots to make a potent medicinal tea.

Does decocting involve boiling?

Yes, decocting involves boiling to extract flavors or essences.

Can decoct be used in making teas?

Yes, decocting is commonly used to make concentrated teas.

Is decocting a traditional technique?

Yes, decocting is a traditional technique, especially in herbal medicine.

Does concocting require specific ingredients?

Concocting can be more flexible with the ingredients used.

Can concocting be improvisational?

Yes, concocting often involves improvisation and creativity.

Can concoct be used in making drinks?

Yes, one can concoct cocktails or mixed drinks.

Does decocting require specific ingredients?

It often involves specific ingredients to extract particular flavors or essences.

Can decocting reduce liquid volume?

Yes, decocting often reduces the volume of liquid to concentrate flavors.

What is the primary focus of decocting?

The primary focus of decocting is extraction and concentration.

What is the primary focus of concocting?

The primary focus of concocting is creativity and combination.

Is concocting limited to cooking?

No, concocting can refer to creating plans, stories, and more.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Co-written by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons