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Finally tried it: stock in the slow cooker

Thanks to all who posted about making chicken stock in their crockpots. Last night I put a carrot, onion, peppercorns, bay leaves, 2 sage leaves, sprig of thyme, carrot, onion, celery, carcass of roasted chicken, raw chicken back plus fresh water into my crockpot. This morning the house smelled great and even my dog was sniffing the air before getting out of bed! I am rewarded with delicious, effortless chicken stock. I just removed all the solids from the broth and will put it in the frig to separate the fat from it.
I will never make this on the stove again! This was so easy. Even if you don't cook in your crockpot, if you like fresh stock, it would be worth the $15 to buy a crockpot just for making stock.
Thanks for the tips!

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  1. Thanks for the report!! I have a crockpot I bought last year just for the chili I make at our superbowl party. Now I have a baby and have been searching for "good" crockpot recipes since evenings are always so hectic.
    I will have to try this, did you cook it on low? and for about how many hours?

    8 Replies
    1. re: SweetPea914

      I started it around 8:30 last night, and turned the pot off at 8:30 this morning. I'm sure the stock was ready sometime very early morning, but my crockpot does not have one of those timers on it, so it stays on until I turn it off. I did not add salt, as one of the posters suggested adding it after the stock was finished.
      If I had to do it all over again, I would have bought a crockpot with more features; like the automatic timer and shut off. Mine just has warm, low, med, high.
      As for your search for good crockpot recipes, you should search the board. There have been a few on here that sound good.
      I made red beans and rice in the crockpot several weeks ago. Turned out well, though I evidently overseasoned, as it was way too salty.(my fault)

      1. re: mschow

        Did you cook it on high, low or medium? I rarely use my crock pot because I don't like the soggy overcooked flavour it gives food. But for stock, that would be just about perfect.

        1. re: Nyleve

          I cooked it on low. As I said, I'm sure the stock was ready in less than 12 hours, but mine was on until I decided to get up. I think some of the other people do theirs in 6 hours or so; maybe at a higher setting.
          Give it a try!

          1. re: mschow

            I keep mine on low for two 10 hour rounds....yep, that's right....20 hours. It takes on a deep, rich flavor. I'm glad you discovered this. I've been using my crockpot to make stock since I learned to on this board, and it has been such a pleasure to have my freezer ready with various sizes of my "liquid gold". I use a carcass from a roasted chicken, carrots, celery, onion, peppercorns, bay leaf and a bit of white wine. I've also bought "chicken stock bones" at Whole Foods, which I then roast for 30 minutes before starting the process. I just thawed some stock today for an Autumn Minestrone that is making the house smell quite wonderful. Enjoy!

        2. re: mschow

          I know this was an old post...but just curious: how did you do the beans and rice in the crock pot?

          Thanks!

          1. re: Bsaltman

            Here's a recipe for red beans and rice in the crock pot. The rice is cooked separately. Note: I make some alterations to this recipe: use low sodium chicken broth for some of the water, and I always add some Tony Chachere's or Emeril seasoning. Do cook with the ham hock for great flavor.
            Makes: 8 servings
            Prep Time: 25 minutes
            Cook Time: not available
            Ready In: 25 minutes
            Working and fixing something for dinner can be a problem. Using the crock pot enables you to cook a hearty dinner without much fuss.

            Ingredients
            1 pound red kidney beans 1 large onion chopped
            1 bell pepper chopped 1 clove garlic minced
            2 pounds smoked sausage cut in 1/2 inch pieces 1 bay leaf
            1 pork hambone optional salt to taste
            red pepper or cayenne to taste black pepper to taste
            water to cover beans cooked rice


            Directions
            Wash beans. Add in the crock-pot, the washed beans, onions, bell pepper, garlic, hambone, and bay leaf. Pour enough water in the crock-pot so that the water is 2 to 3 inches above the beans. Turn the crock-pot on low and cook overnight or 10 hours or during the day while at work. Do not peak or uncover.
            Early the next morning or returning from work, check and see if the water has been reduced. If further reduction of water is needed and generally it is needed, turn the cooker on high. Smash some of the beans to thicken and cook one or two more hours; adding the smoked sausage in the last half hour of cooking. Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.
            Or pour the entire mixture from the crock pot to a large heavy duty pot or black cast iron pot. Smash some of the beans to thicken the gravy. Cook to reduce the water and thicken the gravy. When the gravy is almost the consistency you want, add the smoked sausage, salt and pepper and remove the bay leaf. Cook for 30 minutes. Serve over rice and enjoy.

              1. re: mschow

                mschow, wanted to ask, if you haven't updated your crock pot, have you thought about getting a timer for your electrical outlet? it would let you time your food stuff. Here's one I found:

                http://www.improvementscatalog.com/pr...

                i'm sure there's better out there, too.

        3. First: Is the stock allowed to reduce at all in the crockpot? Second: have you tasted it yet? It seems like it'd would need to cook without a lid to get the concentrated flavor, but maybe i'm wrong...I'd love to try it myself.

          5 Replies
          1. re: sixelagogo

            I'm intrigued by the idea of making stock in the crockpot, but I have the same question as sixelagogo--how does the stock reduce in the crockpot? I just made a batch of chicken stock on the stovetop. Not that it's so hard or anything, but it would be great to make it in the crockpot overnight.

            Also, many stock recipes call for bringing the stock to a boil at first, then reducing it to a simmer for the duration. How do you get it to the boiling point in the crockpot? Will it boil on the high setting then simmer when you switch it to low?

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              FYI, you can buy an inexpensive timer to hook up to just about any appliance; they're not just for lamps: http://tinyurl.com/2nkyjw

              1. re: rockandroller1

                Yes, I use one of these to delay the start of my slow cooker when I'm not going to be home in the morning. I put the insert and ingredients in the fridge overnight so it's kept cold while it's waiting to come on later in the morning.

              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                I used the stock last night to make chicken and dumplings. Turned out great.
                As far as taste, it was as good as if I had made it on the stovetop, or better. I did add kosher salt, as I did not put any salt in the crockpot. I boiled the stock for a bit before adding the vegetables and browned chicken to it. This, of course, was done in a pot on the stove.
                As far as boiling, when I got up, the crockpot was set on low (still), and it was bubbling a bit. You can boil in a crockpot, but I don't think you could cook pasta or anything like that in it. If I put the control up to high, it would have been a low rolling boil. I see no reason why you could not start your stock in the crockpot on high for a while, then turn the control to low after you get a boil going. I was just lazy about it, and kept it on low the entire time.

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Not sure how it works, but the stock I made in the slow cooker (cuisinart brand) this week gelled PERFECTLY after straining/refrigeration. Used 4 roasted turkey leg bones plus a package of raw necks, cooked on high for about an hour and then low for 10-11 hours. It never looked like it was really boiling, but by the gelling I'm assuming it worked fine

              3. Question #2:
                How clear is the stock once it's fully cooked? Clear, semi-clear, cloudy, or super cloudy?

                2 Replies
                1. re: sixelagogo

                  I had a 1/2 of roast pork that I needed to make a "new" dinner with so I went to my trusty crock pot and once again it came out better than the original meal!
                  I only had 2 tablespoons or less of my fav BBQ sauce so I added some water to the bottle to make sure I got out all that goodness and dumped it into the crock. I also added a touch of vinegar and some raspberry jelly- just a tablespoon or so. After about an hour or two of cooking I added some cut up potatoes and onions and cooked for another 4 hours with the lid on and added water/stock as needed... We mashed some cauliflower and served the pulled pork over it- EVERYONE has seconds! Gotta love my crock- nothing better than coming home to a dinner already prepared and ready for you to wash up and eat.

                  1. re: sixelagogo

                    reply to sixelagogo:
                    Clear, and a light brownish in color. I wonder if the color may be due to the fact that I threw in 2 overdone chicken wings from my store bought chicken carcass. There was some seasoning on the chicken that was sort of brownish in color; maybe that make the stock color more light brown than yellow.
                    One more thing: due to the fact that I put very little chicken skin in the crockpot, there was not a great deal of chicken fat in ratio to how much stock I got.

                  2. Just finished chilling my stock in a water bath and putting away in the fridge. Roasted a chicken for dinner last night. Threw the carcass in my large crockpot, along with chopped carrot, celery, onion (cheated and grabbed some from a salad bar), pepper corns, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Covered with cold water, set crockpot on low, and left for 12 hours. Delicious stuff! It's a lovely brown color, clear, and very chickeny tasting. I was planning to reduce it on the stovetop, but after tasting I decided that wasn't necessary. I plan to try veal stock next.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: pikawicca

                      My intention was also to reduce it after the crockpot, but it tasted so good, it wasn't necessary. Mine also had great flavor. Did you add salt? That was the only addition I made to the stock after cooking it in the crockpot.

                      1. re: mschow

                        Didn't add salt, as I frequently use stock for risotto. If you start out with just enough salt in your stock, the resulting risotto will be over-salted. I season as I add the stock to the rice.

                      2. re: pikawicca

                        The carcass was enough for the soup? I've always added chicken wings or thighs but it would be so much easier just going w/ the carcass. Did you use leg and wing bones, too (those are usually gnawed on so I throw them out)?

                        1. re: chowser

                          I used the carcass from a roast chicken, all the bones, including the wings. I also did add a chicken back (raw) and the raw bones from one chicken breast. I wasn't sure if that was enough, but threw it all in and it turned out great.

                          1. re: chowser

                            Just the carcass and any bits and pieces left on the cutting board. Didn't make gravy, so added the pan drippings and browned bits from the roasting pan.

                            1. re: pikawicca

                              Thanks mschow and pikawicca! That'll save me having to add chicken wings or thighs next time. I actually have some going now and the house smells great.

                        2. Chicken stock in the crock pot is so worth it... We usually just use the carcass from a grocery store rotisserie chicken and then freeze it in bags or muffin tins. We do cook on low from dinner time 'til we leave the next morning, then transfer in bags/tins before heading out.

                          1. I made some the other day, roasted chicken backs, wings, onions, carrots, celery for about an hour then put into crock pot with parsley and a bay leaf. On low for 10.5 hrs. No scum to scum off, no real fat to skim off later, either. I froze most of it in Ball pt size freezer jars.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: walker

                              Interesting. You could probably do the same thing with a carcass, no?

                              I need to look for Ball freezer jars.

                              1. re: Bsaltman

                                I was on a big hunt for those jars, a website was waiting for an order and I was willing to pay a shipping charge and then they told me to try ACE hardware and Wal-Mart. There's no Wal-Mart close to me (it's 45min away) so I tried ACE and found them -- they are about $10 for a case of 12. I get wide mouth, pint freezer ok jars. I think the number is 66000. OSH has them for about $1 more.

                              2. re: walker

                                For storage of stock, I've been impressed by the Glad brand plastic containers. The square 2 cup ones are flatter (~2" high) and good for stacking in my freezer. The 2 c and 8 c rectangular ones are better for refrigerator storage. Do Not get the fridge-inefficient round containers.

                                I usually leave the fat on for better sealing and less possibility of freezer burn.

                              3. I used to use my crockpot for almost nothing but this - my wife referred to it as The Shrine to Our Lady of the Perpetual Broth. The house tended to smell like chicken almost constantly, since we eat so much of it, and the dog was always prancing around the kitchen on tiptoes, in hopes that someone would drop some of what smelled so good.

                                This really is an almost foolproof method. It's an especially good way to render usable fat, since there's no danger of overheating it. Paula Wolfert has a confit recipe in one of her books where she urges the use of a crockpot instead of the usual stovetop process, and that works very well indeed. I made confit of two turkey thighs that was beyond delicious.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  How did you do the turkey thighs. Sounds fantastic.

                                  1. re: Nyleve

                                    I recommend "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Book" for anyone needing crock pot inspiration. It has many many good ideas.

                                    1. re: Nyleve

                                      Nyleve, I'd have to dig out the Wolfert book for exact crockpot instructions, but I rubbed the thighs well with Kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystals, which is a flake salt instead of ground-up rock salt) and let them sit for a day or two in the fridge. Then I rinsed them well, dried them thoroughly, and immersed them in enough fat to cover. I was a tad short of duck fat, so I added some good butcher's lard from a Mexican market. After the prescribed cooking time I pulled out the thighs, strained off the fat and made sure any watery residue was left behind, and put the thighs and clear fat into a vessel deep enough to keep them immersed, and put that in the fridge. I got all impatient and tried one of them a few days later, and it was very good, but the other, which I left in for two weeks, was pure silky-rich bliss.

                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                        Oh heavens. I have to try this. I won't have enough duck fat, for sure, but I may supplement with chicken fat. If you happen to get a chance to look up the recipe, specific directions would be much appreciated.