Making Stock in the Crockpot

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I mentioned a few weeks ago that I haven't always been so good about keeping waste to a minimum, and the truth is I still sometimes struggle with it, but more recently I've challenged myself to use the ingredients I have on hand.  I'm pretty proud of the fact that I very rarely throw away food these days!

Remember my Chicken Noodle Soup post? This is one example of where it starts. All the vegetable scraps (ends and peels from the onions and carrots, and root of the celery bunch) go into quart size Ziploc bags in the freezer. When I have about 4 full frozen bags, I get to making stock.

I hope you aren't rolling your eyes thinking I'm a weirdo! This can truly be life changing. I can't remember the last time I bought stock, since I make it now and it's basically free. Think about how often you buy stock. If you follow this method you will never have to buy it again, and you will save yourself and your family from a bunch of sodium and additives.

I don't have a precise recipe, but here is the basic method I use for a 7-quart crockpot:

  • Vegetable and Herb Scraps (4 quart size Ziplock bags): carrots, celery, onions, scallions, garlic, leeks, fennel, parsley, thyme
  • Other: 2 dried bay leaves, 1 tsp peppercorns 
  • For Chicken Stock: chicken carcass
  • For Beef Stock: ~2 lbs beef bones (the butcher will give these to you for free)
Place frozen vegetable and herb scraps in crockpot. If making Chicken or Beef Stock, add the bones now too. Add 2 dried bay leaves and 1 tsp black peppercorns. Fill crockpot with water. Cook on low 10 hours.

When crockpot turns off, strain stock through fine mesh colander. Allow to cook for 20-30 minutes.  Divide stock into 1 or 1 1/2 cup portions and freeze.

Makes about ~12-14 cups of stock.

Comment (1)

I love the idea of making stock in a crock pot - I almost always use the carcass of a chicken to make my stock in a dutch oven on top of the stove - so much better than canned!