Slow cooker chicken stock

Slow Cooker Chicken Stock
A pint of golden, rich, luscious, amazing slow cooker chicken stock

Nothing like homemade chicken stock

Want to make your house smell like grandma’s kitchen? It’s easy. Just make some slow cooker chicken stock. Here’s how:

  • Collect a lot of chicken bones. For example, keep back the bones from 10 lbs. of bone-in cuts, or, the whole carcass of a picked-clean roast chicken. The more the merrier — chicken bones can accumulate quickly. A simple rule of thumb: if you can make a good pile of bones in your slow cooker, you’ve got enough to make stock. (We keep a bag in the freezer that’s just for chicken bones — when meat comes off the bone, the bone goes in the bag.)
  • Bung the bones into a slow cooker. Fill it with water, and add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
    Turn heat to low.
  • Total cooking time for chicken stock… it’s kind of up to you. Part of what I love about making this stuff in the slow cooker is that you can let it bubble away for ages, and deal with it when you’re ready. The general rule of thumb we use is to slow cook the stock on low for 24-48 hours. We usually do 24.
  • Cool stock, and strain through cheesecloth and a mesh strainer to separate stock from bones and chicken bits.
  • Measure out as preferred. We measure out individual pints. We’ll put 2-3 pints into jars that we put in the fridge, for use over the next week or two. The rest of the cooled stock goes into freezer bags, one pint per bag. We note amount (1 pint), date, and “chicken stock” on the bags, then chuck ’em in the freezer.
  • For your refrigerated chicken stock: use as soon as you can. If it’ll be in the fridge more than a few days, you can keep the stock from spoiling by boiling it for 10 minutes, cooling, then returning to the fridge.

We base our slow cooker stock-making off some tips from the folks at The Weston A. Price Foundation and their Kraut Pounder Eugene chapter. Your mileage may vary.

Why make stock?

For us, having our own stock on hand really livens up cooking. At the heart of many amazing dishes — soups, sauces, grains — is a rich stock.

Stocks are rich in minerals and nutrients, so it’s an easy way to add more nutrition to soups and grains. Making stock also stretches your food dollar — why pay extra for storebought stock in the grocery store, when for a small amount of time and hardly any electricity you can make your own for pennies?

Do you make stock?

How do you like to make yours?

4 thoughts on “Slow cooker chicken stock”

  1. I make stock (as you know, dear) by the 5-7 gallon batch and pressure can my jars. So it doesn’t cook for the 24 hours as yours does, but I am contemplating that wrinkle. I like the idea of the long cook.

    What I was really going to say is that adding a potato or two beefs (hah! not an intended pun!) up the flavor and nutritional components of your stock, adding some much needed potassium to the blend. And then you have a couple of really tasty potatoes to hash up.

    • I love the long cook, especially not having to tend the stove. It’s also easy to still make stock during the summer, too, since there’s no long hot simmer over a hot stove on a hot summer days. It’s also nice to just be able to get the slow cooker going and not have to worry about it until we’re ready to put the stock away.

      The potato is a cool idea! Will try that for our next batch. This last one yielded 6 or 7 pints, so we’ll by nomming on that for a while!

  2. Slow is the best – but I like my pressure cooker – 35 mins plus I do a “natural” cool down, another 20 mins or so. I also add my veggie cuttings: asparagus, broccoli, chard (though, not red!) stems…and all those veggie tips we snip off…carrot, celery, you get it. I just keep a freezer baggie and throw stuff in now and then. just nothing that might bitter.
    I also freeze random bones from pork chops, ribs, etc and make a mixed bag broth! Very nice for wine reduction sauces and for making bolonese sauce.

    Love the potato idea with chicken bones! This will be great for many things…can you say piccata!! yummm

    Also, I put my broth in a jar (very tighly tight) and refrig it upside down – that way all the fat goes to the bottom. And I always save a bit for my dear pooch Rufus so he can have some good gravy for his kibbles.

    It is sooo cool to talk cooking with someone local!!

    Did I mention making dumplings with homemade stock <3


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