How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

chicken stock

Why make homemade chicken stock? Three reasons: flavor, nutrition and economy.

1. Flavor
These days many (most?) processed and restaurant foods are flavored with MSG. MSG is a neurotoxin. Traditionally, food was always flavored with stock — beef stock, fish stock or poultry stock. By adding stock to your meals, you will naturally enhance the flavor without the toxic additives.

2. Nutrition
Nutritionally, there are so many reasons to use bone broths in your cooking. This is why they call it Jewish penicillin!

Here are just a few:

“Good thick chicken stock is full of cartilage-building proteins and amino acids we all need.” Source

“Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals.” Source

“The use of gelatin as a therapeutic agent goes back to the ancient Chinese.” Source

For those with digestive ails and food allergies and intolerances, bone broth is the very best thing you can to do help heal your gut.

Read this excellent article by Kaayla Daniel expounding on the numerous health benefits of bone broth.

3. Economy
Oh, sure you could buy chicken stock from the store. And there are a few brands that are OK. But most of the chicken stock you find in the store is made from battery chickens (over 90% of the chickens sold in the US come from factory farms). I don't know about you but I prefer my chicken broth without antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and genetically modified organisms. I'm just sayin'…

But another reason to make your own is it saves money! It is a heck of a lot cheaper to buy whole chickens or ducks, roast them for dinner, eat the leftover meat in sandwiches or curries or soups, and then use the bones for stock. Why buy premade stock and chicken breasts when you can buy the whole bird, cheaper?

Think you don't have time? You do! It takes a minute to throw leftover bones into a Ziploc and store in the freezer. It takes ten minutes to chop up some carrots and celery and get a pot of stock going. And it takes ten minutes more to strain it. Maybe five minutes more to pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it.

Do this every week and you've spent less than 30 minutes on making stock — which will boost the nutrition and flavor of countless meals. And you've massively stretched your family's food budget. I use it for cooking all my beans, rice, risotto, soups and stews and chili, and making sauces.

If you work outside the home and/or are away a lot, invest in a good crock pot. You can leave it simmering on the counter for days without worrying about starting the house on fire. The Hamilton Beach crock pot is recommended (many other brands have lead).

You can't afford not to make the time to cook homemade stock.

This recipe is adapted slightly from Sally Fallon's recipe in her cookbook, Nourishing Traditions.

Carrots & Celery


2 to 3 pounds of chicken parts & bones (necks and leftover bones — you can also use bones from ducks, turkeys, geese, or Cornish game hens)
Gizzards (if you have some — optional) — where to buy
2-4 chicken feet (optional, but preferable if you can find them — they add a lot of gelatin)
4 quarts filtered water (please do not use tap water — it's full of chemicals) — where to buy filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar (white or [easyazon-link asin=”B001I7MVG0″ locale=”us”]Apple Cider Vinegar[/easyazon-link])
1 large yellow or white onion, quartered
2 carrots, cut into large pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into large pieces
1 bunch parsley (optional — I always forget to add this)

Note: It is best to use farm-raised, pastured birds. This means not just “cage-free” (not in a cage but still inside) but birds that have freedom to roam OUTDOORS, and get vitamin D from sunlight and protein from the bugs they eat. Also, if you can find a farmer who does not feed soy to his or her chickens, that is ideal. If they do feed soy, make sure it is organic (you do not want to eat chickens that have eaten genetically modified soy).

Stock pot (enamel or stainless steel — not aluminum) — where to buy stock pot
1 2-gallon glass jar (I use the ones I make kombucha in) — where to buy glass jar
1 mesh strainer
Slotted spoon

Chicken Stock

1. Place chicken (or duck, goose, turkey, or Cornish game hen) parts and bones into stock pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley.

2 Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour.

3. Bring to a boil, and remove any scum that rises to the top (I find that there is almost no scum when I am using pastured birds).

4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the more flavor and nutrition it will have. I cook my chicken stock for 12-24 hours. (It depends on the size of the bones. I do my beef stock for 36-48 hours. Fish stock can be simmered for only 4-12 hours.)

Chicken Stock after 24 Hours

5. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley for extra minerals (I try to remember to do this but I don't always get around to it. It's a good idea to grow a patch of parsley in your garden or in a pot on the patio or window sill.).

6. Remove bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon. Discard. (Some people grind them up and use them in pet food.)

7. Strain the stock into the 2-gallon glass jar and let cool to touch on the counter. You can also use large glass bowls but I have found that they take up far too much valuable space in the fridge. If you want a clear stock (with no bits & pieces), use some cheesecloth in your strainer. I usually cannot be bothered with this.

8. Store in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, until the fat rises to the top and congeals.

Cooling the Stock

9. Skim off the fat with a spoon and store it in your fridge or freezer to use in cooking (nothing wasted!). Pour the stock into ice cube trays and freeze.

10. Pop the cubes out of the trays and store in Ziploc bags or Tupperware in your freezer.

Frozen Chicken Stock

Now you have 1-ounce cubes of stock, pre-measured and ready for any recipe!

For more tips on making stock, head over to Kelly the Kitchen Kop. She just posted not one but two blog posts about making bone broth:

Part 1: Health Benefits of Bone Broth / Homemade Stock (Beef, Chicken, Turkey, etc.)

Part 2: How to Make Delicious and Nutritious Homemade Stock / Bone Broth – from Chef Glenn at Reds on the River

Where to Find Broth Online

Don't have time to make your own stock?

Click here to find sources of long-simmered broth in the Village Green Marketplace.

Find Me Online

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

89 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

  1. We make our own chicken stock to help fight off cold and flu. It works REALLY well. Whenever the children start feeling sick or when cold/flu season is abounding, we make sure to give lots of broth! When you add the bones, add some astragalus root, dandelion root and burdock root. Strain them when you strain the bones (if you have any bones left). I actually learned about adding the astragalus root when I went searching for how to make herbal bone broth (I have been learning a lot about herbs so I can treat and prevent my family from getting sick). I also read that adding a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar will help to pull the minerals/calcium from the bone. Do you know anything about that??

    Paula’s last blog post..Current Web Readings

  2. The folks with culinary degrees insist that “stock” is made by boiling vegetables. If you use meat or bones, it’s “broth”.

    Seems like a meaningless distinction to me.

    We don’t have many leftovers in our house; in fact, there’s more enthusiasm about having leftovers for supper than having a new-cooked meal. However, there are scraps left over from preparation, such as skins, peelings, bones that we don’t want to give the dog, leftovers that are too small to save.

    I used to put everything in the “stock pot” (hmmm, interesting name) and bring it to a boil once a day, just leaving it out, covered. These days, I stick the stock pot in the fridge, and it only gets boiled every 2-3 days. Maybe it’s a little safer that way. And every week or two, I pour it through a colander, allow it to drain 30 minutes, and throw away the spent solids.

    In any case, the result is a rich stock/broth at virtually no cost, and virtually no effort. No recipe, and it changes a little, depending on what we’ve been eating lately, but it’s always good. Some of your readers may be as lazy as me, rather than as energetic as you, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy good victuals!

    Harl Delos’s last blog post..The Three Names Of The Big O

  3. Hi, Paula,

    That is really interesting. I have heard of adding nettles before. How does it change the flavor?

    You are right — adding the vinegar is what pulls the minerals out of the bones — so we can consume them.

    Rebecca — I think leaving it out for 30 mins to 1 hour is to help the vinegar leech out the minerals before you turn up the heat.

    I haven’t been doing it lately b/c I’m trying to clean out my freezer but normally I roast a chicken or a duck once a week (sometimes game hens). I love having the extra meat in the fridge for chicken salad or to make another meal with.

    My husband has been trained to save his bones and not throw them in the trash!

    1. I’ve added nettles and haven’t noticed a change in the flavor. I’m sure there is one but I don’t usually drink it plain. If there is one it doesn’t taste bad.

  4. Hi, Harl,

    Different people say different things about the difference between broth and stock. Even the chefs aren’t exactly sure… here they are talking about it on a chef’s forum:

    This definition seems to be the one they agree on:

    “Stock is made with bones (shells)
    Broth is made with meat.”

    Someone else pointed out that “broth” encompasses “stock”. In other words, stock is a form of broth.

    I don’t quite understand the point of vegetable stock. No gelatin and not as many minerals.

    I love your lazy method!

    I am a little more particular because for some dishes I like to use chicken stock and for others I like to use beef stock (and then there are some that call for fish stock).

  5. Hi, Carrie,

    People always say to discard the fat because most people think fat is bad for you! Of course then they go and fill up on soybean-oil-laden salad dressing or mayonnaise made with canola oil. YUCK!

    Chicken fat is very traditional in many cultures esp. with German & Polish (I am half-Polish and 1/4-ish German). Jewish people call chicken fat schmaltz and it is traditionally used in chopped liver (Jewish liver pate).

    Duck fat is very good too (as is goose fat). I love roasting ducks because I get so much good fat that I can use for all kinds of things. Duck livers sauteed in duck fat and butter are very delicious.

    Re: making stock in the crock pot. You make it exactly the same way you make it in a stock pot. Start it on high, then turn down to low. It’s easy!

  6. Kim,

    Yes you can get pastured chickens at US Wellness Meats. It’s only $7 for shipping (min order is $75).

    If you use my affiliate link and enter the coupon code CHEESE20 you will get 20% off your first purchase:

    They have whole chickens for $6/pound (only $4.80 with the 20% discount) and they also have chicken necks and feet (good to add some for the gelatin).

    They have geese too, which cost more but remember, you get a lot more fat and you get the organs, too.

  7. I always make stock in my crockpot. Just let it simmer away! I also save my scrap onion skins, potato peels, garlic ends, carrot tops, cabbage leaves, or whatever other vegetable we use. I throw them in a container in the freezer until it’s stock making day 🙂

    Erica’s last blog post..A Little Under The Weather

    1. I put all my bones in the freezer too. I just throw them all in one bag, t-bones, chicken bones, lamb bones, anything and then when I need broth I pull them all out and make a mix. Generally it just tastes like chicken broth though:)

    1. Does it make you sad to think of all the nutrition we’ve just thrown away in the past. Now I use everything!

  8. LOVE how easy it is to throw some broth cubes into the water I use in rice or beans. And I love how the most nutritious way of cooking something always is the chef-approved way of doing it. I feel bad for everyone who thinks that dry chicken breasts and salad with low-fat dressing is how they need to live.

  9. Being a skinflint, it pains me to think of someone boiling up a whole chicken to make stock/broth.

    When I cut up a chicken for frying, I get two drumsticks, two thighs, two wings and a body. The wings, I separate into drumettes, middlewings, and wingtips. The wingtips go into the stock pot.

    Then I cut out the wishbone. Yeah, I know, nobody cuts up chicken this way any more, but if you do, the wishbone ends up giving someone good luck, and these days, that’s something we can all use more of.

    There’s a lot of fat around the opening at the tail end. I snip that off, and toss that in the stock pot. I love the gizzard and the heart, so I fry those, but if you are unenlightened, you can toss those in the stockpot. The neck goes into the stockpot, too.

    Then I slit the chick along both sides. The front gets cut into two breasts, and I toss the back into the stockpot.

    Wash off the chicken pieces with a couple of rinses. Then toss them into a gallon zipper bag, and add a quart of buttermilk. Leave the chicken to marinade in the buttermilk overnight. (Put the bag in a bowl, and store it on the bottom shelf, to avoid cross-contamination.)

    Drain the pieces only a little, and put the chicken, wrong-side up, on a wire rack. Shake spices on the pieces. I use a blend that’s 2 parts paprika, 2 parts powdered onion, 1 part pepper, 2 parts salt (and sometimes I toss in something else, like celery flakes, dill weed or dill seed – I’m a wild and crazy guy).

    Heat up a cast iron skillet, with 1/2 inch of melted lard in it, to the right temperature. (It’s 5 o’clock on my stove – the same temp I use for burgers. I suppose it’s about 325F) Put the chicken in, wrong side up, and fry for ten-twelve minutes without disturbing it, then turn it over, and fry for another 10-12 minutes.

    I drain the chicken for a couple of minutes on a rack. (Usually, I’ve washed the original rack, and use it again; just make sure you wash well so there’s no
    cross-contamination.) Or you can drain it on yesterday’s newspapers.

    While the chicken is frying, I’m heating up a quart of green beans, and I’m baking some baking powder biscuits.

    Drain most of the fat out of the skillet, so that there’s only about one or two tablespoons of fat left, plus the stuff that’s fallen off the chicken. Mix up a tablespoon or two of flour in a quarter-cup of milk, and when it’s thoroughly emulsified, introduce the flour/milk to the skillet, and scour the bottom of the skillet with a fork or a whisk, to deglaze the skillet. You’ll have to add more milk, and you’ll want to add salt and pepper. City folk may want to use white pepper, but farm folk like black pepper, so they know it’s in there.

    Yeah, I know, the fancy cookbooks tell you that poultry gravies should be made clear gravies, not milk gravies, but the fancy cookbooks are wrong. This is the right gravy to have with fried chicken.

    If you were too lazy to make biscuits, you’ll need to make mashed potatoes. But you get a wonderful supper, fried chicken, gravy and biscuits, AND you make a substantial contribution to your stockpot at the same time. Mama always said that there’s no such thing as a bad supper if you’ve got good gravy, and this would be a really good supper even without the gravy.

    Harl Delos’s last blog post..The VietNam War Is Finally Over

  10. Hari sounds so good that meal 😉 sadly I am allergic to chicken

    My freezer isn´t big so when I buy 1/2 a beef
    – I always remove most of the bones- so it is not filling in my freezer.
    Bones are then boiled to a very concentrated soup/stock/broth when sieved and defatted ( I leave aprox 1/4 fat) – I cut up in small cubes ( it is like jelly/rubber) and freezes.
    They are very concentrated – 1 cube = 1 pint stock.

    Henriette’s last blog post..Low carb/high fat – når pengene er få

  11. Yes, it’s not so easy to find 2-gallon jars.

    I bought mine here:

    A case of 4 jars is only $3.09 plus shipping. I like having 4 because then I can use some for kombucha, beet kvass, and for broth.

  12. Please share your thoughts on adding water to the stock. I usually let my stock simmer for 24 hours but with my gas stove the heat is either too hot, or not enough, so I opt for too hot and then just keep the lid tipped off a bit. Because of this much of my water evaporates. You must add water if you’re ending up with two gallons!

    Also, do you see value in chopping up the bones?

    Thanks for the great post!

  13. Thank you for this! I made some chicken stock last weekend, but i haven’t used it because i think i botched it. It has no fat, hasn’t gelled at all, i only simmered it for 6 hours and it doesnt help that i dont have a stock pot to cook in, so i made it in my dutch oven. It WAS my first time making stock, but i tend to be a perfectionist so if it doesnt turn out right, i tend to get upset at myself, lol.

    Im going to try again this week and those 2 gallon jars you have are really nice, so i think i’ll get a set of those to help with storage.

    I feel real bad cause hubby was really sick this past week and the broth was supposed to be for him, but i messed it up and so i didnt want to give it to him for fear it would do more harm than good, lol.

  14. I roasted a pastured soy-free chicken this past week, and made stock from the carcass this weekend. It turned out well until I got to thinking about it yesterday. I made the stock according to the directions, and included the pan drippings to add more nutrition and flavor. However, the roasting pan is an old aluminum pan (I think). Originally, I had no problem using this because the chicken wasn’t touching it. But now I’m afraid I ruined my stock by using pan juices that were in contact with this pan. Will you offer any guidance on this…should I throw it out? Thanks for your time!

  15. Throw out the stock or throw out the stockpot?

    I would eat the stock but yeah, I’d throw out that stockpot. You don’t want aluminum leeching into your stock.

    If you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a Le Creuset enamelware stockpot, the next best thing is a graniteware stockpot:

    I have a graniteware roaster and I LOVE it. Graniteware is safe, durable and very affordable.

  16. Thanks for your reply and suggestions. You’re suggesting to throw out the aluminum roaster, not the stainless steel stockpot, correct? Whew…I’m happy to keep the stock after all the preparation and time. I guess it’s still nutritional?

    I have a stockpot and roaster (my mom’s old pots) that look very similar to the graniteware in the picture; however, I had no idea they were safe to use!! Since they are lightweight, I figured they were composed of cheap materials. Is your graniteware heavy or light? I hope I have real graniteware! Thanks again for your help and a terrific site!

  17. In my opinion, stainless steel is fine but I think graniteware or enamelware is better.

    There is some talk on various message boards about the fact that stainless steel does leech some when you use acidic vinegar in broth — but I wouldn’t worry about this too much. Sally Fallon said we need to not worry too much about stainless steel — but she does not recommend aluminum.

    Yes, the graniteware is lightweight.

    I plan to eventually phase out all my stainless steel and upgrade to Le Creuset and other enamelware. I will also use cast iron and graniteware.

    I would (personally) eat the broth because, while it may have some aluminum in it, we are exposed to toxic heavy metals every day. I take Iodoral (iodine) to help chelate the metals, and I also take BioKult (probiotic) and try to get plenty of fermented foods in me. These all help you detoxify.

    Plus I hate to waste good food!

  18. When you phase out your heavy stainless steel pots and pans, I’d appreciate the opportunity to buy what you consider trash.

    Stainless steel is a category of steel, not a particular alloy. Institutional cookware is usually type 303 or 304, but junk cookware may use another alloy. Most alloys are about the same cost to buy, but some are a lot easier to press and/or machine; unfortunately, those are the ones most likely to leach.

    Good stainless steel isn’t completely impervious to leaching, but even with junk cookware, if the metal is property passivated, it shouldn’t leach much. If you were a gazillionaire, you could have Carpenter-7 cookware – it’s almost impossible to make anything from it, but it’s extremely resistant.

    On the other hand, even the best porcelain leaches. And I would suggest you limit yourself to made-in-the-US products, because the porcelain glazes in some foreign-made products gets into the “rather dangerous” category, even for tableware, where the temperatures and the exposure times are limited. This is especially true of imports from Mexico and China.

    Corning used to make glass dutch ovens; don’t know it they still do. A glass stockpot, though, would be *awfully* heavy.

    Mostly, I use cast iron for frying. When you fry in a cast iron skillet, you’re actually cooking on a surface of carbon that fills up the pores in the iron as the skillet “seasons”. That’s why certain foods turn black when you cook them in cast iron – it’s the carbon coming out of the pores. Nothing that will harm you, but it doesn’t look very appetizing.

    Harl Delos’s last blog post..Flyers Upset West Virginia

  19. I love this blog and appreciate that you write it. I have a question about bones and I can’t find the answer anywhere– how long do you recommend cooked chicken bones (carcasses) be kept in the freezer before they become unusable?

    Thank you!

    Kirsten’s last blog post..Blog Archive: The Past is Past

  20. Pingback: Recipe Rounds: Chili for Two and Basic Chicken Stock « Cold Cereal & Toast
  21. I get a rotisserie chicken from Costco every couple weeks. My husband and I only eat the white meat (I know, terribly wasteful, but there it is {shrug}), so I put the whole carcass (torn apart) with the dark meat, into my Crockpot, with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, some dried parsley (from my garden) and enough (filtered) water to cover. Put it on low and leave it for a day or so.

    Delicious, quick, and for someone who hasn’t much time, it will have to do!

  22. I’m trying to figure out if you can make stock from just chicken bones, do you need to use the meat? My daughter called the meat I used in a recent casserole “tuna chicken” because of the way the meat shreds after being cooked so long and the lack of chicken flavor. Thank you for any advice!

  23. Yes, Billie, you can make stock from just bones. Some restaurants that use a lot of stock and make their own, will buy chicken bones (generated by outfits that make boneless chicken “pieces”) and use those bones to make stock.

    And yes, by the time you boil chicken meat into stock, all the flavor is gone. The protein is still there, though, so don’t throw it away. You can use it for feeding the critters you have underfoot, or you can pulverize it and add it back to your stock to make it a little heartier.
    .-= Harl Delos´s last blog ..Sleep, God, and Daughters =-.

  24. Anne Marie, many recipes I’ve looked at recommend to leave the stock to cool completely on the counter before refridgerating. One (I can’t remember which)even said not to put a lid on the stock in the fridge until it had cooled completely for the best flavor. NT does not make this distinction, and I see here you say to cool to touch on the counter. Do you know the rationale for letting it cool slowly? Also, it seems to me that the chicken fat, even if it had been of excellent quality at first, would be denatured by 24 hours of cooking. I lift it off to replace it with good quality butter, cream, or olive oil. Do you think taking it off is worth the trouble? Thanks!

  25. Anne Marie, it used to be common practice to allow foods to cool to room temperature before putting them in the refrigerator. The idea was that putting hot foods in the refrigerator would warm other foods in the refrigerator excessively. The food safety experts are now asserting that it’s important to get foods out of the danger zone (40 – 120 °F) ASAP, and they assert that refrigerating foods immediately is a smarter move. Here in Pennsylvania, it’s even legally required that eggs be refrigerated, even though they will last a couple of months at room temperature (and eggs are less likely to get rubbery if they are warmed to room temperature before cooking them.) The smart move would be to cool foods in the the waterproof container you will store it in, in a sink of ice water to bring it below 40F before refrigerating it.

    Denaturing is changing the structure of a protein. Fats do not denature. If you have rancid fats in your stock after 24 hours of simmering, you started out with rancid fats. You can turn good ingredients into bad food by cooking it wrong, but you can’t turn bad ingredients into good food by cooking it right.
    .-= Harl Delos´s last blog ..Medicare You Can Buy Into Already Has 50 Cosponsors =-.

  26. I have the Nourishing Traditions book, but can’t find an answer to my question:
    is celery really necessary and if so, then what for? I am missing that ingredient, but need to cook my first truly free-ranged organic local chicken asap, so I don’t have to freeze it.

  27. Thank you!
    Do you know if parsley should be chopped or put whole stems into it? I just went outside and got some, but can keep boiling the stock for longer…it has been on for about 17 hours already.

  28. Another reason to get rid of the fat is that it can make the broth very greasy. Probably not a big deal if you’re making it into a cream soup or blended in some other recipe, but if you make chicken soup with it, the fat kind of sits on the top, and feels and tastes very greasy. I’m all about the fat (love whole milk, cheese, etc.) but I don’t like greasy chicken soup. So I skim off the fat after it congeals once the broth is cooled. Most of it anyway. I’m lazy, so I just get most of it, and if there’s a little left behind, I don’t mind it. Of course, all this depends on how fatty your chicken was in the first place. If it’s a lean chicken, there might not be a lot of fat.

    I’ve been doing this a lot lately to save money. I suggest going over the mess of bones after cooking the broth, before you throw them away. I’ve found over a cup of meat that way. There are a lot of little muscles throughout the chicken, in and around the bones, etc., that you can’t get to until it falls apart after being stewed in the broth. Just be careful that you’re not getting tiny bones along with it…smush the smaller, darker bits of meat between your fingers, to make sure. You can feel if it’s meat, or a bit of tough fat, or a soft bone (the bones can get really soft). I make a soup with the broth by adding veggies and some homemade whole wheat noodles (homemade ww noodles are very filling). Super cheap!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  29. Karen, mason jars are made of Pyrex-type glass; they work well for both canning and freezing. You would need a pressure canner to can broth/stock safely, but to keep it in the freezer, all you need to do is to tighten the lid by hand.

    1. Harl, thanks. Pardon my newbie green-ness to broth making, but I do want to be safe…when you say a pressure canner is needed to do it safely, what does that entail specifically? Thanks!

      1. If you’re canning a water-bath-safe food, such as tomatoes, you have everything in the mason jar at a uniform high temperature. When you remove the jars from the water bath and they cool down, the content shrinks, and a vacuum forms above the food holding the lid on tightly. You get a “ping” as the dome top becomes concave, and you know it’s safe.

        Foods that have the wrong pH (they’re alkaline) aren’t safe to water-bath, and instead of simply processing the cans in boiling water at regular air pressure, you have to process them in a pressure canner – which is basically just a large pressure cooker. Processing time for broth at sea level is 20 minutes for pint jars, 25 minutes for quarts; if you live in the mountains, it’s considerably longer.

        The most popular pressure canner is Presto’s 23-quart, which runs about $90. If you’re already doing water-bath canning, that’s all you need. Otherwise, you’ll need jar tongs, and you’ll want a canning funnel, some regular tongs, and a sheet of rubber to grab the mason jars with while you’re turning the lids, probably some rubber gloves. Figure about $125, and then you need mason jars and lids. If you freeze your broth, all you need are the jars and lids (although I’d get the funnel for tidy’s sake.)

        Most people who do canning end up buying the Ball Blue Book of canning, and many buy the Kerr Red Book as well. I certainly recommend them. There’s lots of good information on home canning available online, but some of it is questionable; you can generally trust the county extension service documents, though.

        1. I know what teh USDA says about safety but I know families who have always just done a hot water bath for all of their foods and have never gotten sick from it. I’m talking for 100 years or so and we live in the Appalachian mountains. I think just because it *can* happen doesn’t mean it will or is even very likely.

  30. I have been making chicken stock for about 2 weeks now as my entry into GAPS and hopefully out of the angry gut I have somehow found myself with. I was intimidated by it but it’s so dang easy! Anyone reading this: DO IT! I make it in a crockpot so after the chopping and piecing of the chicken (I use whole chickens with the giblets), it’s dump, turn on, walk away. 12-24 hrs later there’s a bit more work to do with the straining and separating (how does one know when to *stop* picking through the meat/etc that’s left after straining???). But my goodness is it worth the taste and health benefits! Do it!

  31. I love making chicken broth! I buy whole chickens from a friend who does pastured poultry. I just stick the whole chicken- usually frozen- into a stock pot, bring it to a boil, cover and turn it down to simmer for a few hours. The meat is done when it looks like it’s just falling off the bones. We strain the original stock from the chicken, put the bones and skin back into the stock, add some vinegar and veggies (leftover skins of all sorts of veggies but we avoid celery as my husband is allergic- we use leeks instead) and leave it on low for a day or so, covered. I strain it into quart jars or half gallons, or sometimes I use it right up that very day! I have to say, there is nothing better than homemade chicken broth! Now, if I could just find a good source of beef bones!

    One question- we do get alot of deer- have you ever made venison broth?

  32. Any tips on getting the broth really gelatinous? I’ve even tried chicken feet and it still seems to be watery, does it make a difference?

      1. I was wondering that too as my stocks have not turned out gelatinous, nor have they had “scum” that I would have considered worth skimming off. Oh well, hopefully they have still been full of nutrients!

  33. I’ve been seeing a lot of “leave ingredients to sit an hour in water” before starting to heat, your recipe included. Do you know why this step is?

  34. How can I find out if my crock pot has lead? I have an old one that was my grandmother’s and a newer one.

    1. Maybe just try a google search…Search the name of the crockpot and lead or just generic posts on lead in crockpots or email/call the manufacturer.

  35. Did you ever find the answer to your question about freezing without plastic? I am interested as well.

    1. We are loving those stainless steel ice cube trays!! Nontoxic and pretty easy to use, too! Just jiggle the lever a little bit to loosen a few, pluck them out, and put the lever back down to secure them down again. Sanctus Mundo is a great company.

  36. I think letting it sit helps get the minerals out of the bones. Something to do with the vinegar and the cold water

  37. Also, is it necessary to roast chicken bones before making stock? I have never done that before, although I have made stock out of the bones of a grilled turkey and it was the best ever.

  38. i have also heard of useing white wine to extract minerals. does that work the same as vinegar or is it better?

  39. How come your stock is so dark. In the second pic it looks like you cooked the onions separately as you can see where they were browned.

    I have never simmered bones for that long! Usually only a couple of hours. I must start sooner! :-))

  40. Pingback: bone broth | Evolving Dish

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