You’ve come to the right place if you have been asking yourself how to make chicken stock in a crock pot. Homemade chicken stock is easy to make in the slow cooker and it’s almost set and forget. In the end you get a lovely gelatinous homemade stock that is much healthier than anything you could buy.
About This Recipe
- This chicken stock recipe make 3 litres (12 cups) of bone broth that can be used for soups, stews, risottos and more.
- It’s budget friendly because, chicken carcasses are very cheap.
- Homemade chicken stock tastes so much better than store bought and you know what’s in it.
- The chicken broth by itself is a healthy and nutritious drink.
- Slow cooker chicken stock can be made even on a busy weekday because it can be left to simmer for up to 24 hours in the slow cooker.
Making Stock In A Crock Pot vs Stove Top
Making chicken stock in a crock pot is convenient especially if you don’t have time to look after something on the stove. It gives you the freedom to do other things in and out of the home.
You don’t need to keep an eye on it while cooks like you would when making stock on the stove.
Using the slow cooker also ensures a nice even low cooking temperature which is ideal for making stocks.
Although you are limited with the amount of stock you can make in a crock pot, you do get a decent amount. Which you can use to make a few healthy meals during the week like homemade chicken noodle soup.
Keep the chicken stock fairly neutral in flavour, that way you can use it for just about any recipe.
Some stock recipes will use a bay leaf or thyme to flavour the stock, I find myself limited with the number of dishes I can make with this type of stock, as these flavours don’t go well in many Asian recipes.
Instead I will use onion, garlic, carrot, celery and some black peppercorns. This way the stock can used in any recipe I choose to make.
Also, when making stock in a slow cooker you are making a small batch of stock, you don’t want to go overboard with the onion and celery.
The first time I learned how to make chicken stock in a crock pot it was a complete fail. I used way too much onion, celery and celery leaves it was horrible.
So, now I just use a medium onion and a maximum of 2 celery stalks (ribs) and not the celery leaves.
I like to add 1 teaspoon of salt, it’s just for flavour and is totally optional.
What Size Crock Pot / Slow Cooker To Use?
I use a basic 6.5 litre (6 quart) slow cooker, it has only three settings low, high and warm.
It’s big enough to hold 3 litres (12 cups) of water and 2 kg (4.4 pounds) chicken bones and some veggies.
Image 1 – How to make chicken stock in a crock pot
I start by roughly chopping the vegetables and spread them out over the base of the slow cooker.
The chicken carcasses are then added and squashed to make them fit in. Next, pour in up to 3 litres (12 cups) of water to almost fill the slow cooker.
I like to leave about a 2 cm (0.8 inch) space at the top so that the stock won’t bubble over as it simmers.
Try and get most of the bones to sit under the water but, it’s okay if a few pieces are slightly above. However, do make sure that the lid can sit properly on the slow cooker.
I like to start making the chicken stock in the slow cooker in the early evening and leave it on overnight.
That way by mid morning of the next day it would have been simmering on low for about 12 – 15 hours.
Image 2 – After cooking I usually leave the stock sitting uncovered and turned off for about one hour to cool slightly before straining it.
I will then strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer over a large container to remove the chicken bones and vegetables and discard them.
Image 3 – Next, strain the stock again but this time with a double layer of cheese cloth sitting inside the strainer. This removes any fine sediment and will leave you with a clear golden stock.
Image 4 – There is quite a bit of sediment from the stock. This sediment will build up every time you pour the stock into the cloth and will cause to stock to pass through at a slower rate.
When this happens stir the sediment with a spoon, scraping the bottom of the cloth and it will flow more freely.
When you have finished straining the stock discard the sediment. Keep the cheesecloth, wash the cloth in hot soapy water, dry to reuse again.
Image 5 – The stock has been strained and has a creamy layer on top, this is fat.
To make the stock healthy the fat should be removed, and this is best done when the stock it cold.
Allow to stock to cool to room temperature and as soon as it has cooled store covered in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
This will allow the stock cool completely and the fat will turn into a soft white layer.
Image 6 – Use a tablespoon to skim the soft fat layer from the top of the stock. Remove as much as you can without picking up too much of the gelled stock.
Image 7 – Lay strips of absorbent paper on top of the gelled stock to lift away any remaining fat.
Image 8 – shows the stock completely fat free.
Image 9 – shows how the stock should look like when finished, a nice thick soft gel.
How To Store
Store the stock covered in the fridge for up to 4 days and use as needed. For longer storage see our freezing instructions in the FAQ section below.
Recipe Tips and Notes
How many bones to make stock
I find using about 600 – 700 grams (21 – 24 oz) of bones for every 1 litre (4 cups) of water is ideal for making a nice thick gelatinous stock.
You are not limited with just using chicken carcasses, you can also include chicken necks, feet, wings, wing tips and cooked bones.
Cooked Chicken Bones
If you’ve pulled the meat from a roasted whole chicken, rather than throw out the leftover chicken bones use them to make stock.
You will need to use just as many cooked bones as you would raw bones to make stock.
So, you could either collect and freeze the bones from rotisserie chicken and make stock when you have enough or replace some of the raw bones with cooked bones.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to freeze chicken stock?
We transfer the stock and freeze in 750 ml – 1 litre (3 or 4 cup) size freezer safe containers. These sizes are ideal as most recipes will use either 750 ml (3 cups), 1 litre (4 cups) or 1.5 litres (6 cups). Stock can be frozen for up to 12 months.
How to defrost stock?
1. You can place it in the microwave and melt the chicken stock slowly on the defrost cycle.
2. You can place the container in some hot water to melt and loosen the stock from the container. Then transfer the frozen block to a saucepan and continue to melt over low heat.
3. Remove the stock from the freezer and place it in the fridge for 24 – 48 hours. Depending on its size it could be completely defrosted or partially defrosted.
Can you drink chicken stock by itself?
Yes, you can drink chicken stock by itself. In fact, homemade chicken stock is full of nutrition and is delicious to sip hot.
Do you cook chicken stock covered or uncovered?
In the case of slow cooker stock it is always cooked covered this is to keep the temperature constant.
If cooking on the stove top the stock can be cooked uncovered or partially covered on a very low simmer.
How to make chicken stock with stock cubes?
Stock cubes or powder are a great alternative when you need stock in a hurry. It’s not as nutritional as homemade stock but, stock cubes are a great way to add flavour to a dish.
To make chicken stock with stock cubes the general rule is to dissolve 1 cube or 1 heaped teaspoon of powder in one cup of hot water.
So, if you need one litre of stock; mix 4 stock cubes or 4 teaspoons of powder in 1 litre (4 cups of hot water).
Stock cubes and powder contain salt so take this into consideration when using stock cubes and season your dish to taste at the end of cooking.
Recipes Using Chicken Stock
There are so many recipes that you a make with homemade chicken stock. You can even use it in recipes that call for beef stock, this is what I usually do.
- Split pea soup with sausage
- Easy potato soup
- Poireaux vinaigrette (Leeks with a vinaigrette dressing)
- Creamy slow cooker chicken rice soup
- Broccoli and cauliflower soup
- Chicken pot sticker soup
So, now you know how to make chicken stock in a crock pot, please do try it. If you do make it, I would love it if you dropped a comment below and tell me how it went.
How To Make Chicken Stock In A Crock Pot
- 2 kg (4 lb) chicken bones
- 1 brown onion quartered – skin can be left on
- 2 garlic cloves crushed – skin can be left on
- 2 celery stalks ribs cut into chunks
- 2 carrots scrubbed and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt optional
- 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
- 12 cups water
- Place everything into the slow cooker making sure the bones are under water.
- Put the lid on and set to low and cook for 12 hours.
- Turn the slow cooker off and strain the stock.· Place a sieve lined with a cheesecloth over a large bowl or pot.· Scoop out the solids and place them in the strainer.· Once the liquid has stop dripping, remove the solids and discard.· Pour the remaining stock through the sieve, to remove any remaining solids.· If you want a very clear stock the liquid can be strained again though several layers of cheesecloth.
- Allow the stock to come to room temperature,then transfer to storage containers and store in the fridge for at least 12 –24 hours.
- Then skim of the fat layer on top of the stockand discard the fat.
- The stock can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days, for longer storage freeze.