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Mar 13, 2012 02:41 AM

Hey all do I really need 6 lbs. of bones to make stock? I usually use between 1 -2 lbs.!

Hey guys good morning/evening well I am a huge proponent of making and consuming stocks, I believe the nutritional benefits they give us are unmatched by anything else!

I always made my stocks with maybe 4-5-6 bones, totalling around 1-2 lbs., however I have read many recipes, namely Emeril for example and other websites', where they ask for 6lbs.!!!!!

In my opinion it is not the quantity of the bones, it is only important that you simmer for many many hours and include lots of root vegetables/herbs/spices and such . .

My stocks taste great however I wanted to make sure that I am getting the best benefit out of these stocks and would hate to know that I will never get a nutrient rich stock with less than 6lbs!

Ok thank you have a nice day :)

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  1. NEED 6LBS?? I don't know.

    I use the carcasses of 2 Costco (or similar) chickens. (They fill a large zip top bag so that many bones would be about the same.)

    Anyway, I put that much chicken in my slow cooker and let it go for a day. When I strain off I get 2 pints of stock.

    So how much is that by weight?? I don't know.

    The question I have for you is, are you happy with your stock??


    1. hey man thank you! i am happy yes, however i am really anal when it comes to food. i guess if you really think about it, 2lbs of bones vs 6lbs of bones it wouldn't make sense that one is "wrong" or "right . . any amount of bones will add nutrients. yes 6lbs would probably be a more nutrient rich stock but 2lbs. is probably just fine :)
      have a good one then :)

      1. i'm not sure what your goal is with your stock, but if it's nutrients, well then the more you put in the more you'll get out. you can't extract more than what you've already taken out.

        my thing is just to fill up the pot as much as i possibly can because i want an intense stock. the last one i did was 8.5lbs... but that was an intense pork ramen base i had going for 10hrs to feed about 10 ppl. apparently it was quite good.

        1. How much stock are you making? How much do they make? It's the relative quantity of bones that matters.

          1. Your question can't be correctly answered unless you tell us what VOLUME of stock you want to make. The ratio used in the Culinary Institute of America stock recipes is 5-6 lbs of bones per gallon of water. This is what I try to use when I make stock and it comes out richly flavored and with lots of lip smacking gelatin.

            Why don't you just try an experiment? Make two stocks side by side, one with 1-2lbs per gallon and one at 5-6 lbs per gallon and see what the differences are in terms of taste, mouth fell, how they work for soups or when greatly reduced in a stock.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kmcarr

              hey sorry it took awhile i have been busy, as we all have :)

              jeez that would be tough all i know is i use a 8qt pot (i am getting a 20qt stock pot very very soon just for this purpose :D ) with about 1-2lbs of bones and then i throw a bunch of parsnips, onions, celery, carrots, garlic in as well (plus spices and then the red wine deglaze part). . i try to follow emeril's recipe. . . all i know is the first and only time i did this, which was last week, my first time making beef stock, because i put too many vegetables in i couldn't fit much water, so i literally ended up with maybe 2 1/2 cups to 3 cups of the stock . . which was a hugely smaller quantity than when i usually make the pork stock i usually make!

              it's ok it was my first attempt i will try again :)
              i think what turns me away is the amount of bones, when i look at this 6lb bag of bones i have i can't even imagine that fitting into any stockpot let alone a 20qt one, but i guess it's possible! i will have to order up another set of bones then (i highly recommend humanly raised non-gmo fed beef from storm hill co-op, purchased from, BEST there is!)

              thanks you guys i will follow somewhere between emeril's 1.5 gallons per 7lbs. and CIA's 1 gallon per 5-6lbs.! thank you again have a good weekend :)

              1. re: kmcarr

                and i'm sorry i should have answered your other question . . i would ultimately like 1 gallon of stock everytime i attempt this which would yield me 16 cups of stock which is great! however i can't possibly fit 12-14lbs of bones into my pot so i will have to settle with a yield of 8cups, or .5 gallon :)
                thanks again