Store-bought chicken stock is expensive. So I’m going to teach you how to make your own in the easiest way possible: homemade crockpot chicken stock.
Making your own chicken stock in the slow cooker allows you to save money, make boatloads of stock (okay, slight exaggeration there) and forgo the act of babysitting a boiling pot for the better part of the day. All good qualities in my book.
Crockpot Chicken Stock
- Chicken Bones/Carcass (I cooked a whole chicken in the slow cooker so used the bones from that).
- 4 carrots
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 onion, halved
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Water (enough to cover ingredients)
Place chicken bones/carcass in the crockpot and juice half of a lemon over it. The acidity from the lemon juice helps draw out additional nutrients. I’ve read that you can also use vinegar.
Now you’re going to cut the onion in half, and slice the celery and carrots and place them in the crockpot. When slicing keep this in mind: the smaller your pieces are, the harder they will be to fish out of the crockpot when straining. I suggest cutting them into larger chunks.
Fill the slow cooker with enough water to cover the ingredients. If you add more water, you’ll make more chicken stock (which is good). If you add less water, there’s a higher likelihood that it’ll gel (which is also good). This is more of a personal preference. Just be sure to place enough water to at least cover the ingredients.
Then you’ll cover the crockpot, set it on low, and forget about it for 24 hours. Once it’s ready, use a fine mesh strainer to remove most of the larger ingredients. You can stop here.
But I chose not to. Here’s why:
See that gunk at the top of the bottle? The first strain didn’t catch the finer bits. Using a cheesecloth for your second strain allows you to get all of the gunk out of your homemade chicken stock so you’ll be left with a nice, smooth stock. If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can also use coffee filters.
Now that your crockpot chicken stock is thoroughly strained, transfer the stock into food storage containers or mason jars. I freeze some of my stock in ice cube trays, then transfer to a freezer bag for easy access. One ice cube = 1 tbsp. so it’s easy to pop out a few for a recipe since they’re technically pre-measured.
You can keep the stock in the fridge for three to four days. And in the freezer for about six months if stored properly.
How to Make Chicken Stock
- Chicken Bones/Carcass
- 4 carrots
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 onion halved
- lemon juice of one lemon
- Place bones/carcass in the crockpot and juice of half lemon over it.
- Slice celery and carrots into large pieces, cut onion in half. Place all vegetables in the crock pot.
- Fill crock pot with enough water to cover ingredients. Set crock pot on low and let cook for 24 hours.
- Once ready, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Then once again through a cheesecloth.
I’ve made both stovetop chicken stock and crockpot chicken stock. I definitely prefer this method because there’s zero hands-on activity involved in the actual cooking process. There’s no skimming, no watching, no stirring. You can just plop the ingredients into the crockpot and get on with your day. And don’t worry, you definitely won’t be able to forget that it’s cooking because the lovely scent from the chicken stock will be the first thing you smell in the morning!
What’s your preferred way of making homemade chicken stock?