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Tips for cooling broth please

I made a 14-cup broth in the pressure cooker. I strained it into this smaller container.

From what I understand, you really don't want to put a hot pot in the refrigerator because it will heat up the fridge, and the glass shelf might shatter.

So, I'm trying to cool it off.

1) I presume there's a better technique than what I'm doing.

2) To help get the fat to the top so I can scrape it off, should I put it in the freezer for an hour (then remove fat, and move pot to fridge), or just the refrigerator over night and deal with it in the morning?

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated!



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  1. I fill up my sink with the ice from my ice maker and water. then I put the pot in there. It cools the pot and it also gets rid of the ice that can get funky and old.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Leepa

      That's probably the best.

      Last summer, I dumped the contents of my ice maker in the sink because it indeed got funky.

      An hour later, my water alarm from under the sink went off. It turns out the cold ice in the sink caused lots of condensation on the pipes below, and set off the water alarm.

      I'll just have to run hot water when done and not leave the ice in there to melt naturally.


      1. re: Leepa

        A sink with ice water is how I usually cool pots of stock or soup. To get quickest cooling I suggest putting a cooling rack in the sink to put the pot on, this will allow the cold water to get underneath the pot as well.

      2. This time of year I put it down on a pad of newspapers on the screen porch. I just have to remember to set a timer so I don't forget it out there.

        1. I did the ice bath thing last time and it cooled surprisingly fast. A recent thread about safety and cooling of stock suggested submerging ice packs (sealed in a bag) in the broth as well.

          8 Replies
          1. re: stak

            I routinely do this to cool soup. It works very well.

            1. re: stak

              Yikes. Submerged ice bags sounds like a greasy, nasty mess. I think the sink ice bath might be the way to go.


              1. re: mike2401

                I've never used ice bags (which do sound like they would be messy), but have dropped a frozen water bottle or two in to cool the stock. Works pretty well, and the bottles aren't too hard to clean off.

                1. re: jw615

                  Since I am not positive that plastic water or soda bottles won't leach when subjected to heat, I use Rubbermaid Serve n' Save containers (water-filled, kept in freezer) for chilling soup and stock. Just wash off the outside and refreeze.

              2. re: stak

                Per another thread I started on how to cool the pressure cooker, maybe I'll run cold water over the pressure cooker, AND fill the sink with ice, so as not to have to pour hot liquid through a strainer.

                I'm very interested in perfecting this whole process and minimizing cleanup, etc.


                1. re: stak

                  The problem with the ice bags or frozen water bottles is the fat in the stock will congeal on it. I like to lift off the fat and use it later (schmaltz!) so that wouldn't work for me.

                  1. re: Leepa

                    That is not a problem AT ALL. You are only cooling to room temp or slightly lower. By that time the bottle is no longer cold and nothing has congealed. I too save schmaltz and pork and beef fats, taking them off once they have congealed at the top during refrigeration.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Must be my water bottles were defective. : )

                2. You are a stock making machine!

                  If you haven't planned ahead, just put it in a sink of ice water.

                  If you have planned ahead, you'll have food safe frozen things (water bottles, blue ice in ziplock, etc) to toss in the stock that's been sitting for a little bit.

                  Although you don't want to transfer a pot of stock directly from stove to fridge, it's ok to put a pot of relatively hot stock into your fridge.

                  The original fear was that the fridge temp would go up and compromise the other food, but that's been disproven

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    "The original fear was that the fridge temp would go up and compromise the other food, but that's been disproven"

                    I have to disagree..... I learned the hard way not to put a large-volume warm container into the fridge when my cream went sour in half the time it normally takes. I tend to keep jars and containers of this and that for many months, or longer. So I want the fridge to maintain a consistently low temp. Also, it must take more of a toll on the lifespan of the fridge to make it work harder, not to mention increasing your electric bill.

                  2. An aside: in the restaurant biz you never cool liquids uncovered in the fridge because the upward-rising condensation drips impurities from the underside of shelf above into the liquid below.

                    At home I make stock infrequently enough that I don't worry much about the energy side of it, just cool it off enough so it doesn't impact food around it then make sure it's covered in the fridge.Sometimes just a plate on top is sufficient.

                    Don't you love having all that homemade stock!

                    1. The trick to cooling off stock quickly:

                      1. Reduce stock by half again of what you taste as optimum. So if your stock pot is 1/2 full, then reduce to 1/4.

                      2. Replace that half with a little more than the same volume in ice cubes replacing the water that you evaporated out.

                      3. All done. :)

                      N.B. Make a lot of ice cubes before you make the stock, store in zip-loc bags till ready to use.

                      1. First, I strain the hot stock into a new pot. Then I put ice packs in the pot, and (since it is winter where I live right now) stick the pot in the garage. The garage is actually usually colder than my freezer. ;-)

                        1. I make stock in a 6-quart pressure cooker, and what works for me may work well for others if not the OP:

                          Use a spider or strainer to lift out most of the meat and other solids from the broth (press on them a bit with a wooden spoon to get as much liquid out as possible) and set aside or discard.

                          In your largest stainless mixing bowl, put a tray's worth of ice cubes and a little cold water, and swirl around to get the ice mobile and the bowl chilling. Set in it a slightly smaller stainless mixing bowl. Put a strainer over the inner bowl, lined with cheesecloth, and pour the stock from the pot through into the bowl.

                          Lift off the strainer and use a spoon to stir the inner bowl so that it spins, and the ice water below moves around it. When the ice cubes have completely melted, check the temperature of the stock; if it's close to room temp, go ahead and put it in the container in which you'll store it (which could be the mixing bowl itself covered with plastic wrap or a lid) and refrigerate. Two smaller containers will chill more efficiently than one large one, though.

                          If it needs more cooling, lift out the inner bowl, empty the outer bowl, add another tray's worth of ice, and repeat.

                          This works amazingly fast, taking the stock most of the way through the bacterial danger zone (140F down to 40F) in just a few minutes. The fridge can take it the rest of the way with no risk to food stored near the cooling stock.

                          Cooking pots don't belong in the fridge, IMO. But that's an easy guideline to follow here, where there's rarely enough room to put one...

                          The next day you can lift off the fat layer easily, and transfer the stock to the container(s) in which you will freeze and/or refrigerate it, if it's not already in them. Label and date!