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Chicken stock pressure cooker

Has anyone made chicken stock in the pressure cooker? If so how did it turn out?

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    1. My Mom has always made her Chicken stock in the pressure cooker and it is great.
      I also do so at home.
      The results: beautiful, golden, richly flavored, crystal clear stock.
      I highly recommend it.

      1. Turns out great. Try to keep venting to a bare minimum to maximize flavor. Beside that, there's nothing to it if you already know both how to use a PC and how to make stock normally.

        You can get great results in anywhere between 10 minutes and 2 hours at full pressure, depending on your intended effect and also whether/how finely you chop the chicken before cooking.

        4 Replies
        1. re: cowboyardee

          Like cowboyardee, chicken stock in a PC is the best. My typical procedure is to load it up with chicken scraps that I save from breaking down chickens and cooking for about an hour then doing a natural cool down. Seems most all the scum get's stuck to the bottom of the pot. I place a colander over another pot and line it with paper towels then pour into the colander to end up with a fairly clear stock. The gel factor is off the charts and bones crumble between your fingers.

          My kids have been making fun of me for quite a while because my freezers contain many bags of bones. Well bones, trimmings and giblets minus the liver.

          The only negative is the volume of stock I can get out of my 6 qt PC. I can usually get about 12 cups per batch and I fill higher than half way. Usually 3/4 of the way up with water. I use about 3-4 # of bones/scraps per batch. I sometimes do two batches back to back to clear room in my freezer for more BONES.

          I will never make stock any other way as long as I have the PC.

          1. re: scubadoo97

            I don't collect scraps or bones as I am a single provider, and can't collect enough. There is just not enough for stock.
            I buy a sack of fresh chicken carcasses at the Asian store, for a dollar, and make 1.5 liters of clear stock, gelled, in the pressure cooker. A high ratio of chicken bones to water is the key to a good foundation for your stock. Pressure cooking helps, to keep it clear, and reduce the time by half.

            1. re: jayt90

              The Asian connection is not an option where I live but what a deal that is. We are empty nesters (at least for now) so it's just 2 of us but it doesn't take long to save up a bag of chicken backs, wing tips, trimmings from BSCB, and giblets to make a pot of stock.

              1. re: scubadoo97

                The Whole Foods in Reno sells chicken backs for like $0.69/lbs. Great deal, and they don't take the oysters off either, so you can pick the oysters, and make stock. You can also peel off the chicken back fat and make Gribenes.

        2. You wouldn't get much quantity if that is an issue. The easiest way I know to make chicken stock is in the slow cooker. I put three or four leg-thigh combo pieces in it with a stalk or two of celery and a large chopped onion and fill the crock with water within an inch of the top. Cook all night. Put colander in large bowl in the sink. Pour into colander. What stays in colander gets thrown out. What goes through into bowl is stock. Yields about 5 pints.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Querencia

            The quantity you make is only dependent on the size of your pot regardless of what kind of pot it is. Since the OP did not say how large the cooker is I do not know what you base this on.
            I am pretty sure that there are pressure cookers much larger than your slow cooker.
            Not to mention that a slow cooker uses more energy and takes more time.

              1. re: chefj

                i ordered one of those, not having done the math in my head, and it was damn near as big as a jacuzzi. It barely fit on the stovetop, which is fairly big. I had to send it back, as much as i loved the thing it was way, way, WAY too much pot for my kitchen.

              2. re: Querencia

                I prefer the slow cooker too. I've used the pressure cooker a couple of times but my stock always winds up thin and light compared to on the stove or in the slow cooker.

                My favorite part is not having to stow the carcass after dinner, it goes straight in the pot! Add a cut up onion, a couple of broken carrots & celery stalks, a bay leaf, some peppercorns, some garlic, and water to cover. I usually let it run about 24h and then strain it with a pasta pot (a stock pot with a fitted colander) and then chill in mason jars. The jars mean I'm not putting a big pot of hot stock in the fridge. After it's chilled, scrape off the fat and freeze.

              3. I do. I use a whole chicken, which I cut in half and for maximum richness, I add a container of commercial chicken broth. I use the usual aromatics, as well as bay leaf, peppercorns, whole cloves, and a sprig of rosemary if I have one around. I add a little more water to the pot, lid it and bring it up to pressure on the high heat burner. (2 elements) I have the pot on high; when the knob on the pressure indicator comes up, I back the heat off to medium. When the pot hits full pressure I back the heat down to medium on the single element setting. The pot will produce a nice little put-putting sound.

                I usually cook the chicken about 20 minutes, timed from the time the pot hits full pressure. I either let the pot cool off the burner, or cool it quickly under the faucet. I then carefully take the chicken off the bone, reserve it, and replace the bones in the broth. I take the aromatics out at the same time. I repeat the previous PC procedure for about another 20 minutes. The key is not to cook this at full pressure, but to have as low as possible and still have pressure.

                I also do this with chicken and turkey carcasses. You don't have to use commercial chicken broth, but the flavor is so improved doing it this way, that I usually do.

                I store the broth in clean plastic fridge containers. I lid them tightly, let them cool for an hour, and then refrigerate. I leave the fat congealed on the top, because it protects the wonderful broth below. Try to use within 2 weeks.

                Hope this helps.

                1. I wonder if anyone knows the answer to this relevant question. I've gathered that boiling a stock/broth is to be avoided in many cases, because the fats can then emulsify into the liquid, making later separation of the fat layer ineffective. (In the other direction, some preparations of bouillabaisse demand boiling of the fish stock for that very reason, i.e., to emulsify the relatively modest amount of fish fats into the liquid.)

                  Because pressure cookers go at some 240 degrees on high pressure, does the process boil the fats into an emulsion?

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: Bada Bing

                    The results don't suggest an emulsion

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      So, then, there's a significant fat cap to remove after chilling?

                      1. re: Bada Bing

                        A thin layer of fat forms on the surface after chilling which can then be removed

                        1. re: Bada Bing

                          I just made two batches. One turkey and one chicken. I have it reducing down and ladled some out to cover some smoked turkey breasts. I took a photo so one can see the clarity of the stock and when I drain it through a colander lined with a paper towel the fat does not seem to pass through the paper filter. Note no oil in this sample. Once chilled there will be a very thin amount that doesn't even cover the surface in full.

                      2. re: Bada Bing

                        Right off the bat - my answer is speculative, and I don't have it on any especially good authority.

                        I believe that a pressure cooker does not boil (in the sense of causing rapid bubbling) a liquid for most of its cooking process. Boiling is, in a sense, the rapid release of steam into the surrounding air. Liquid in a pressure cookers cannot do this because the pressure is kept at such a level that there is no room for water to rapidly vaporize.

                        BUT, it would be possible for liquid to boil in a pressure cooker if you heat it to a boil (or nearly so) and then put the lid on - it would take a few minutes for the pressure to build to a point where steam cannot be rapidly created. It might boil (probably not a hard, rolling boil) normally, regardless of whether the liquid was hot before the lid was put on, as the pressure and internal temperature rises before stabilizing. It would also boil if it depressurizes quickly - if you release the pressure valve (which is one reason you shouldn't do so while making stock).

                        Moving from theory, pressure cooker stock seems to have a little more fat emulsified into it than a barely simmered stovetop stock. But it seems less cloudy than stovetop stock that was cooked for a while at a rolling boil. Obviously, you can't really skim impurities using a pressure cooker. You can refrigerate and then skim the fat - that seems to work just fine, so it must not fully emulsify the fat. On the other hand, there's not much of a layer of fat on top of the stock when you take the lid off the pot, so there also must be some incorporation.

                        1. re: Bada Bing

                          You do need to bring the liquid to a boil for several minutes, with the cover off, in order to skim off the scum, before covering and raising the pressure. But the pressure doesn't emulsify the fat in this process.

                          The PC is the best thing for making meat bone stock; I no longer do it any other way.

                          1. re: Karl S

                            I never do and have crystal clear stock.

                            1. re: chefj

                              I don't skim either. Did the first few times but then found that even if you don't skim I find all the scum stuck to the bottom of the pot and the stock is pretty clear. Not consommé clear but clear enough to be used as a base for soups and sauces.

                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                Agreed, but if you make a regular stock(stove top) it is not consommé clear either, you still need to clarify it.
                                I find that the Pressure Cooker stock at home is clearer than my traditional stock that I make at work. Not really sure what is going on to make that true but it is.

                                1. re: chefj

                                  True it is. I find the results excellent

                          2. re: Bada Bing

                            I left a complete description of how I make chicken broth above. You ask does pressure cooking emulsify the fat. No, it has not done that for me. But I like to use the least amount of heat to maintain pressure that I can. If I cook the broth too fast, it turns brown, and I don't like the taste as well. So, if I keep the pressure down, using the method I describe above, the broth almost always comes out a golden color, which is what I want. Now, I am not skimming the broth, as I would in an open pot. So what I produce is not clear.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              I don't skim either and as you can see from the photo above he stock is pretty clear

                                1. re: Bada Bing

                                  I place a fine colander over a pot and line it with paper towels and pour the stock through. Most all the fat stays in the colander and is dumped in the trash

                                  1. re: Bada Bing

                                    BB, here is a picture of the stock just out of the fridge. Note the small amount of fat on the surface. Also a picture of the the firm jelly texture from just one hour in the PC plus natural cool down.

                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                      Nice pics. I love seeing the gelatinous solidity of a good chilled stock. Pure gold.

                                      I do agree that the PC makes great stock. I did one from veal bones and shanks a while back, and it was perfection.

                                    2. re: Bada Bing

                                      In a very old cookbook many years ago, I read that the fat that comes to the top of broth seals if off, protecting it from contamination. So I scrape the fat off the top right before I use the stock. I think there must be many ways of handling such a basic thing as homemade chicken stock.

                                      I usually let hot stock get cool before I place in the fridge. If you chill it too quick, the fat doesn't quite separate, in my experience. Before I strain the hot stock into containers, I rewash the containers in scalding water with detergent, both lids and vessels. They I rinse thoroughly with scalding water from the tap. I want to make sure the storage vessels are as clean as possible.

                                      I consider my broth or stock to be somewhat clear most of the time, but I have read that skimming keeps it clear. So, I don't really know. I think letting it cool before refrigeration also has some effect on this, as well allowing the fat to congeal at the top of the broth.