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The big stock debate

I won't let bones go to waste. Any time I roast or bake, or even braise, I will save the bones and make a stock. So, last night, I slow cooked a chicken for "pulled chicken" and of course, save the bones, but my BF said, there is no point in making stock with bones that have been slow cooked. Really!! He says all the good stuff has already been cooked out,. So, is this TRUE!! It seems the stock I've made have in the past have been flavorful.

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  1. This reminds me of the turkey carcass thread. For me it is a matter of freezer space. I have to prioritize, and bones from uncooked proteins bump those from already cooked proteins.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Shrinkrap

      I was going to mention that thread as well. It's probably worth a read for the OP.

    2. I would think your last sentence seals the deal. I think that there is still plenty of goodness left in those bones.

      1. IME, it's not worth the time and BTUs to make a stock entirely from cooked bones. Yes, you can coax some flavor out of them, though the vegetables get plenty of the credit. But if you want something with enough flavor to hold its own as the only liquid in a soup, you're not getting much volume by the time you reduce the stock enough to taste good as soup without additional meat ingredients. I also find that the color of bone-only stock is rather gray and unappetizing.

        Much better to add some raw meaty bones, skin, cartilage, gristle, and actual meat to the cooked bones in the stockpot.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          I wouldn't bother spending the elec./time.
          Best stocks=raw bones and root veg. not over simmered.' You get better stock from 'Better Than Bullion'.

        2. You will get a usable broth - you wont likely get that beautiful gelatinous clear stock that you would get from raw bones or as rich flavored you may get from a roasted carcass but you will get something out of the bones. My suggestion would be to use the bones but not rely on them entirely - up the veg content like you were making a vegetable stock. You will have a tasty broth that you can use as cooking liquid in many dishes including pilafs, soups, braises etc.

          1. If you have a pressure cooker and use it, you will improve extraction....

            1. I use a mix but mainly roasted bones because I end up with those. I often throw in a couple of chicken feet. If gray color is a concern, a couple of yellow onion skins will brighten up the color. Since I usually use the stock as part of a pretty hearty, bean-packed soup, I don't care if it isn't the peak of flavorful perfection. Also, the dogs get some of it mixed with their food - they are not picky.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tcamp

                Yep Doggies love stock over their food - I make stock for the pups when I have bones I don't want to make "people stock" out of but also don't want to waste. Today there is a long frozen turkey neck simmering away in the slow cooker for them.

              2. I use a mix - roasted parts (carcasses, wings, etc) in combination with necks, backs, random bones, wings

                1 Reply
                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  agreed, I start the stock with the wing tips, neck, gizzard etc and freezer cache of stock veggies, when the cooked bones are available I crack them to expose the marrow and toss them in, don't forget the salt. the slow cooked carcass may have a bit less extract left but still worthwhile IMHO.

                2. it's not going to hurt anything but if it was cooked for several hours, (to quote Emeril) "all the love has been sucked out of it".

                  I wouldn't think it would contribute much. It's taking up space that fresh bone could take.

                  1. Pffft what does he know! Absolutely you can! I used to barely simmer my pre-roasted bones on the stove for hours but nowadays I throw the carcass in my Fagor PC with my freezer stock stash (onions, carrots, celery, parsley and peppercorns), add about 2 inches of water to cover, bring to pressure and cook for an hour. No need to skim since the bones are already cooked. Strain and reduce the stock by half. Make him a french onion soup with that broth and just give a wink when he says how good it is (don't forget to reduce those onions to nothing ;-)

                    1. If you've made tasty, useful stock out of slow-cooked bones in the past, why would you doubt that it's possible?

                      It will be less ideal for some uses (making demiglace or reduced sauces, etc) than a stock made from uncooked bones. But with a little reduction, it will still be a good deal better than what passes for 'stock' at the grocery store. Whether it's worth the effort is up to you.

                      1. Not true. The proof is in the stock.