Making chicken stock is one of the first things I started doing in my journey to nourishing food. Because I’d never done it before, it seemed intimidating. It’s not. It’s easy, nutritious, and saves you money. Please don’t throw those bones away.

My first go around I tentatively used my stove top and the stock was delicious, but when it was refrigerated it came out looking like jell-o. Then I found out that that was a good thing! You want your stock to gelatinize – it means it is not only delicious, but an extremely nutritious real food as well.

After making stock on my stove top for a while I found an even easier method – the crock pot! During the summer I will sometimes roast a chicken in the crock pot itself to avoid turning on the oven. This way I don’t even have to dirty up a roasting pan and my house stays cooler at the same time. In the cooler months you should roast your chicken in the oven – crispy chicken skin anyone?

But, back to the stock – I will show you my favorite method using the crock pot. It works for me.

Crock Pot Chicken Stock

1). Every week or two I buy a whole free range, organic chicken from our farmer.

2). Roast the chicken in the oven (or crock pot in summer) and enjoy one of my favorite meals – roast chicken with vegetables and millet. For our family size we always have a good amount of leftover chicken to use throughout the week in salads, sandwiches, etc.

3). Cut all of the meat off of the bones. Place the chicken carcass and any stray bones into your crock pot. For a larger chicken (6 lbs) I use my 6 quart crock, for a smaller chicken (4 lbs) I use a 4 1/2 quart crock.

4). Add any additional vegetables you’d like – onions, celery, carrots, garlic, herbs. I like to keep a bag in the freezer of the scraps left from chopping onions and celery. I then just dump this bag in with the bones when I begin the stock.

5). Cover the bones and vegetables with cold filtered water. Cold because this allows the flavor and nutrients to be fully extracted from the bones, and filtered because you really don’t want chlorine or fluoride in their.

6). Add 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar (I usually use apple cider) and allow to sit for about an hour. You really need to do this to allow the minerals to be extracted from the bones. I let it sit while I wash dishes and clean up the kitchen. This way it is no hassle at all.

7). Turn the slow cooker to low and allow to simmer overnight. I usually let it go for about 18-24 hours.

8). Once it has cooled a bit, strain chicken stock using a colander, sieve or cheesecloth.

9). Store in quart canning jars and use in soups, stews, sauces and for cooking grains.


108 Responses to Make Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot

  1. shadowspawn says:

    Vinegar != lemon juice. Different types of acid. The acetic acid converts it to calcium acetate. Your body converts it back to calcium carbonate. As far as a decent example of extreme leeching it out, toss a wishbone in a glass of vinegar and leave it covered for a few days. It’s a good joke to play on someone.

    By the way, I do the same thing with veggie scraps. Instead of going into the mulch pile, it goes into a bag in the freezer. Good to hear that others do that. And I have a brita water filter I use just for water for soups, seems to do the job OK.

    I can my broths, and I use a tsp of vinegar in each jar before pressure-cooker canning. The most it sat on a shelf was 3 months, didn’t go bad even with Texas heat. But I use it too often…

    Ice cube trays are great if you reduce the stock really far. Keep the cubes in a ziplock and add to anything. Use it for any place that calls for white wine (deglazing) or for tomato sauce, beans, heck, just about anything.


  2. [...] Make Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot – Nourishing Days [...]

  3. rebekah says:

    So I am crock potting a chicken now. The juices on the bottom of them pot, is that stock?


    Shannon Reply:

    Rebekah – Those would be called “pan juices”. Stock would be the product of covering the bones (after you remove the meat) with water and a splash of vinegar and then cook it overnight in the c.p.


  4. Bianca says:

    I am making this now! I have it on low and am hoping that by tomorrow afternoon, I will have a delicious and nutritious stock on my hands. I can’t wait! I didn’t follow your ingredients exactly, more I just used what vegies I had on hand. If this turns out to be incredibly easy, I will kick myself for not doing this sooner :) I am hoping some good bone broth will give my body a good dose of nutrients and make it ideal for baby making (gotta get the soil right before you plant the seed)!


  5. wille mitchell says:

    I have just found your site. Everything I have read is just wonderful. Can’t wait to make chicken stock in the cp. We already have 90+ degree days here in NC. I’m looking forward to reading your blog every day. Thanks. Also, I am anxious to read of your new journey. Wish I had been on to this way of eating etc. earlier in my lifetime.


  6. angie o says:

    I made the stock, but I didn’t get very much liquid? Maybe about 5 cups…why is that? Is there anything I can do at this point?–


    Shannon Reply:

    Angie – It depends. Was there enough water to cover the bones? Did you only use a little bit of bones? It all depends on how many bones you use. If it is a smaller chicken then you end up with a smaller amount. If, on the other hand, you simmered yours so long that the liquid is much less than what you started with then you can use it 1:1 with water as a “stock concentrate”.


  7. Michelle says:

    This recipe turned out amazing. I do have a question though. Im new to this whole cooking thing (I am trying). After I removed the chicken I threw the bones back in the pan with the pan juices and then added water. Then added vegetables. It has been cooking on low since last night. Is this safe to eat as soup? Or are the pan juices not healthy for you? Also I didnt cool it in the fridge. Help :)



  8. Leah says:

    How long would a jar of stock last in the refrigerator?


  9. monikerismonika says:

    I just love the idea of tossing scraps from veggies into a freezer bag! I can’t wait to start doing that. (on step 5, the last word should be “there.”) Love your post, and the many great ideas in it. Thank you for sharing.


  10. Annie says:

    I just made my first batch! Can’t wait to try!:) How long shall I boil when it comes time to use it?


  11. Anna says:

    This is delicious and healthy. We raise our own chickens — all natural & grass run. Did this with one of our turkey’s as well after our Thanksgiving Dinner. It was also delicious. Thank you for sharing!!!



  12. Jayme says:

    I love this recipe! Thanks for sharing.


  13. [...] after eating dinner, I followed this basic idea to turn it into homemade chicken stock. I used some of the stock to make a chicken taco soup the next day and froze the rest of it. They [...]

  14. larry says:

    how clean do the bones need to be — how serious of a rule is this and why — thanks


  15. Kate says:

    If you want chicken pieces in the soup, couldn’t you just put the whole chicken in the crock pot instead of removing all the meat first? Just let it fall off the bones as it cooks? Just curious. I’m looking for a way to do this without having to take all the meat off first.


  16. Kristen says:

    I just made this. BEST stock I have ever tasted! Wow! Thank you so much!


  17. Michael says:

    I have very hard water in my area. Should I add more vinegar to compensate?


  18. Angela Michels says:

    I always trim all of the skin off my chicken before I cook it also. Is this something I could add to the crockpot with the bones. I never have a ton of bones since I usually buy boneless breasts so I would have to save them up in a freezer bag. Also what is the difference between stock and broth?


  19. gail metcalfe says:

    I have made stock this way for quite some time and love the convenience of it. I almost always have a pot of soup in the fridge. One of the things I particularly like to do is to chop about 1/4 cup each of cilantro and parsley and put in my bowl of soup before I pour the soup in the bowl. Both are particularly good for you and this way you get them in their raw form… bonus!


  20. [...] I made stock out of what was left of the carcass and some veggies.  I tried the crockpot method, kind of like I saw here at Nourishing Days. [...]

  21. [...] the chicken is cooked and picked clean. Cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot and then making the stock from it is insanely easy and delicious. You will soon wonder why you ever did it any other [...]

  22. Nona B says:

    Loving your blog!
    In winter, when the heat isn’t a problem ;-) , roast your bones 20 min or so at 350F after the meat’s removed, include any veg you’ll be adding to make the stock – allow to cool, cover with water, add vinegar, let sit for an hour or so then crank up the crockpot or stove to simmer away and get all the goodness out. This adds another layer of flavor delight for your stock! Keep up the GREAT work!!


  23. [...] were set back into the crockpot with 1/4C white or applecider vinegar (this step was recommended by Shannon @ Nourishing Days to improve nutrient extraction from bones and marrow), a quartered onion, three chunked carrots, [...]

  24. [...] Make your stock following this Crockpot stock recipe. Note: the vinegar is key in this and really helps with drawing the nutrients from the [...]

  25. michelle says:

    The clear refridgerated broth s/be gelatinous and, if the skin was included when simmering, should have a layer of chicken fat on the top. I sometimes keep the chicken fat to use, other times I don’t. Try making a brunswick stew or chicken curry with the broth and leftover chicken. I normally can get three dishes out of the one small roasted chicken if serving regular servings to my family…roasted, then curry, then soup or roasted, then brunswick, or roasted, chicken salad, and concentrated broth to freeze in ice cube trays.


  26. [...] key to the dish is the homemade chicken stock.  It adds SO MUCH FLAVOR!  I followed this recipe from Nourishing Days, adding celery, carrots, onion, garlic, basil and thyme to my chicken [...]

  27. Kris says:

    I just made the chicken stock in the crock pot, but the only thing was I didn’t have left over bones to use so I bought raw chicken drums. I cooked it overnight in the crock pot and then removed the chicken and put it in the refrigerator while I left the bones in the crock pot a couple more hours. And now I want to make chicken soup…so my question is can I used the chicken that I put in the refrigerator to cool? It smells a little weird and seems mushy


  28. Kris Fran says:

    Hi, I just made the chicken stock in the crock pot…but I had bought raw chicken drums so I let it cook overnight in the crock pot and then took the chicken off the bones in the morning and put it in the refrigerator. I then put the bones back in for about 6 hours to finish the stock. But now I want to make chicken soup…can I use the chicken from the refrigerator? It kind of has a weird smell and is a little mushy?


    Shannon Reply:

    Kris – Yes you can. Because it cooked so long the chicken might have a funny smell/texture, but it will be fine :) .


  29. Heather says:

    Hi Shannon!
    I have made your chicken stock sooooo many times and I absolutely love it! Thank you for sharing. Last night I “flattened” a chicken for the first time. Definitely not a pretty sight as I really just went with my gut instinct. Before I do it next time, I think I’ll watch a video or something. Anyway my question is…can I use the raw backbone and breastbone along with leftover roasted bones to make your stock?
    Thank you!


  30. [...] Nourishing Bone Broth to Heal Gut and Skin, The Love Vitamin Beef Stock Anyone? The Nourishing Cook Make Chicken Stock in the CrockPot, Nourishing Days The Health Benefits of Bone Broth, The Paleo Mom Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth, Quick Pressure [...]

  31. Laura says:

    Hi There, What to do with all that chicken fat? If my broth isn’t gelatinous, what am I doing wrong? Not enough bones? Thanks!


  32. [...] either slow cook or roast one, pull the leftover meat off to cook with later in the week, and then make stock with the bones and feet. (Considering I am a stock addict, and only feel comfortable with at least 8 cups in the freezer at [...]

  33. Kris says:

    Just as an FYI, when I was buying my own water filter for drinking, I compared a few, and I didn’t get a Brita only because it fluoridates the water. It’s printed on the side of the box.

    So, if you want the fluoride out, don’t use a Brita.


  34. [...] Want to make your own stock? Follow these easy directions. [...]

  35. […] healing for your digestive tract, and there is no store-bought substitute. I keep it simple by making it in the slow cooker. Use this as the base for lots of blended vegetable […]

  36. Cynthia Vanden Beukel says:

    I was wondering, I am making bone broth now in the crockpot, and it reduces quite a bit. Do i just add more water once or twice? Also I have a low high and keep warm setting on my crockpot. Which setting lets it simmer?



  37. Shannon says:

    Cathy – We serve just plain cooked millet. I soak it in water/whey overnight and then cook it like brown rice.


  38. Shannon says:

    I keep my stock in the fridge for about a week or so. What I do is no matter how long it has been in the fridge I always bring the stock to a boil with whatever I am cooking it with. That way if their are any bugs in there they are gone. Because stock is so hot and then cools down it is in the range of easily taking in the ickies. So always boil.


  39. Cathy says:

    Ok, thanks!

    The baby (well, 13 months now) also loves the bone broth (cooled somewhat, of course) to drink from his sippy cup for a nourishing beverage.


  40. Shannon says:

    Jay – you can skim in the crock pot, but you have to wait for it to heat up long enough before the impurities come to the top.


  41. Honey Milk says:

    When I used to make stocks on the stove top, I would carefully and frequently skim upon having to bring it to a boil. Using variations on this recipe, I’ve made chicken stock in my crock pot for over a year now, and I’ve never had to bother with skimming. That’s the beauty and ease of crock pot slow extraction in my experience. Beautiful, clear stock every time.

    I always simmer for 24 hrs also. I cook a 5 – 7 lb bird in my crock pot alone or with a spicy rub for 8 – 10 hrs on low. The meat is so tender and falls right off the bones. Usually produces about 1 quart of richly concentrated liquid yard bird gold that gels beautifully in fridge. I’ll either freeze it for future use or make a lovely gravy. I then make my stock after I’ve collected a couple of carcasses. Shannon, thanks ever so for the vinegar tip, and to all your readers for their thoughtful comments. Great website, and I very much appreciate your stated philosophical perspectives.

    Cheers to all, and happy cooking!


  42. Shannon says:

    Lorraine – Yep. After I have cut all of the meat off of the bones, whatever is left goes straight into the crock pot. I then pour the chicken juices from the roasting process in with the carcass.


  43. Shannon says:

    Jeanmarie – Sometimes I crank it up to high if I walk past and notice it’s not bubbling very much.


  44. Shannon says:

    Christina – I never use a raw chicken, so yes I guess I do believe it is worth trying nutritionally. Make sure you let the vinegar sit before heating and allow it to cook long enough to allow the gelatin to come out. I have never pressure canned my own stock, but I know that many women do!


  45. Shannon says:

    Rachel – I do not add salt to the stock, but rather wait until I am cooking with it. I don’t think there would be anything wrong with adding a couple of teaspoons of sea salt to the batch while it’s cooking, though.


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