Slow Cooker Chicken Stock





Introduction: Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

Chicken stock is simple to make at home and tastes so much better than the stuff you get at the store. Making stock is even easier if you use a slow cooker. You can ever make it in your sleep! :D

The slow cooker is my favorite method for making chicken stock because I can leave it alone for long periods of time and it won't heat up the house. Doing it this way also keeps my stove top open for all the other things I'm always making.

There are a thousand ways to make chicken stock, but this is the way I always make it!

Step 1: Ingredients:

  • one chicken carcass (preferably one that has been roasted - one that's been used for chicken soup won't be very good!)
  • one yellow onion, cut in quarters, skins intact but ends removed (the skins add great color!)
  • few cloves of garlic, crushed, skins removed
  • two carrots, peeled, broke into several pieces
  • two stalks of celery, broken into pieces (plus the leaves!)
  • seasonings of choice
  • water to cover
That's it! Pretty simple, huh? You don't even really have to use fresh ingredients - I keep bits of carrots, celery and onion frozen as well as chicken bones to use for later.

I like to use some whole peppercorns, a little salt, a pinch of thyme and some poultry seasoning in mine. But you can also forgo all those things for a super basic chicken stock you can season according to what you're cooking. :D

And when it comes to slow cookers, I've got this one and I love it! Big enough for a TON of chicken stock.

Step 2: Cooking!

I typically cook my stock for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 on low. :D

Just chuck all the veggies and the chicken in the slow cooker and cover with water. It's really that easy! Don't even have to stir it.


Step 3: Finishing the Stock

Depending on when the stock finishes cooking, I finish it in different ways.

If it's late at night or I just don't feel like fussing with it, I'll just pop the whole thing in the fridge to let the fat firm up on top. If I'm still feeling ambitious, I'll strain it and then put it in the fridge to let the fat firm up.

There are three important steps here:
  1. cool the stock in the fridge to allow you to spoon off the layer of fat
  2. use a slotted spoon to remove the large bits of vegetables and chicken
  3. pour the stock through a strainer to remove the rest of the pieces of veg and chicken - this is especially important to get rid of any small bones!
You can also pass it through a piece of cheesecloth if you want the stock to be a little clearer, but I never worry about that. :D

Step 4: Storing the Stock

Keep the stock for 3-5 days in the fridge, or freeze!

I like to freeze mine in quart size mason jars because that's nearly the perfect amount for most soups and I can easily defrost it in the microwave. :D The pint size jars are good, too!

I've also frozen the stock in ice cube trays and then transferred them to a ziploc for storage. Those are great for deglazing pans!



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    26 Discussions

    Making your own stock is a good cost cutting measure and the quality of the stock is hard to beat. To the this recipe I'd add thyme and parsley.

    I just made 2.5 gallons of stock by starting with 15 pounds (!) of carcasses stored in the freezer. I don't use a slow cooker because I have a 5 gallon pot, but this is a good way to do it.

    What do you do with all the meat that cooks off the bones when simmering? Heh, heh - my cat loves me now. :-)

    3 replies

    Oh, I also leave out the salt. Why? Because I prefer to season with salt when cooking with the stock later on. You can always add salt to a dish; you can't remove it.

    Stock , if that is what you are making, is never ever salted. That is/was for shelf life and taste. But as you stated taste is in the end use.

    I'm sure your cat adores you for those tender pieces of chicken. But if you're using garlic and/onions in the recipe? Please don't give it to your cat. Both can be extremely toxic to our furry friends and I know you'd be devastated if anything happened to you pet.


    Like JettaKnight, I make a lot of stock when I make it , but this is a good idea. Just make a quart or two at a time. I save boiled water from carrots, as well as roasted chix bones and left over gravy. With home made bread and little meatballs veggies and a shirred egg and such ...wooof. Plus you siphon off a couple of 1/2 pints to the deep freeze for making gravy.

    This will also give me an excuse to use the seldom used crock pot. Never having one in my moms house I seldom remember to use it.


    Another great way to store the stock is in ice cube trays, then put the cubes in ziplocs. Makes for great portion control and quicker thawing time when using.
    Loved this instruct-able!

    LOVE it - very good to know..I am sick of my method on the stove..would love to try it this way..

    Please check out my stock recipe. I do mine in the crockpot as well...but use a stocking so that I don't have to drain.

    This turned out really well. Thanks

    Very well done. Two comments. Skim off the fat, BUT keep it. It is "schmaltz" which is the sacred elixir of the Jewish community as a replacement for butter. Schmaltz is used in frying potatoes, onions,making soups, etc adding a richness. Also one secret for chicken stock is cutting up a leek and adding it to the pot. A simple leek adds flavor to any soup.

    My understanding is that the idea that stock needs a lot of time is unfounded. For chicken stock 2 1/2 hour should be enough. With a pressure cooker you only need 1/2-1 hour.

    You're so good. I hadn't even thought of doing it in a slow cooker.

    Well explained and shown. Simple and clear which is what an Instructable is supposed to do. Very well done. Loved it.

    Simplest Instructable in the world! I can't wait until I pick up my next roasted chicken from Costco!

    Thanks for the great instructable! I've made lots of stock but never in the slow cooker - I'm going to have to try this! A couple of extra ideas:
    1) Use a raft of egg whites and egg shells to further clarify the stock.
    2) Ziplocs are great for storing stock, but if you decide to use jars, make sure you leave a *lot* of head space otherwise you may end up with cracked jars!

    Great post!! Storing in glass is fine. Plastic has petroleum by products and can leach into the food. Glass breaths and therefore food can last longer.

    Great mention about the chicken bones. A already roasted carcass is fine. But fresh chicken bones are better. I always use chicken legs with the meat on. After making broth, remove meat..

    Again great post!!

    Use water frozen water bottles to cool down the stock after straining it will cool them down quicker and avoid dangerous bacteria from growing and spoiling the food on your fridge.

    otherwise, great recipe :)