Slow Cooker Chicken Stock
Nourishing, versatile and so delicious, this easy slow cooker chicken stock uses a chicken carcass or chicken bones and a few simple vegetables to create the most flavorful stock to use in soups, for sipping, and more.
About this Slow Cooker Chicken Stock
If you’ve never tried making your own stock at home, this is the recipe for you!
Making your own chicken stock in the slow cooker could not be easier.
All you have to do is for this easy dump and go slow cooker recipe is to add a chicken carcass or leftover chicken bones, some basic vegetables, salt, water, and you’re ready to go.
I especially love preparing this easy chicken stock after making slow cooker whole chicken, as you don’t even need to clean the slow cooker in between!
Of course, you can make this slow cooker chicken carcass soup with any leftover chicken carcass or bones, from an oven roasted bird to a store bought rotisserie chicken.
I’ve added notes, below, on how to best strain and store the stock, as well as some of my favorite recipes to use the stock once it’s done, so be sure to check those out.
Tip: If you don’t have time to make the stock right away, freeze your chicken carcass and veggie scraps until you’re ready to make it, then just dump everything in and go!
Process & Tips
The difference between low and high in this recipe is important, as cooking on high can cause the final results to be cloudy, so I recommend a low for best results.
When it comes to this chicken stock, you can cook it overnight for a total of up to 24 hours.
Just be sure to follow all of your slow cooker safety instructions and know that your house will smell very strongly of chicken stock in the morning!
The best vegetables to use in this homemade chicken stock include onions, celery, carrot, garlic, and fresh parsley.
Just make sure your whole vegetables are washed, including the onion with skin, before adding to the slow cooker.
You can even use vegetable scraps by freezing the ends of onions, carrots, and celery, and then tossing them along with the chicken.
The vegetables to avoid for chicken stock include the cruciferous varieties such as cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, as well as asparagus.
A Note About Salt
Salt is a personal preference, and making homemade chicken stock is a great way to control your sodium intake.
I only call for 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in this recipe, which is significantly less than commercial brands, so be aware of that if you’re using the stock in other recipes, as you may need to up the salt.
Tip: Have turkey carcass or bones to use instead of chicken? Try this easy slow cooker turkey stock recipe!
How to Strain, Store & Freeze
After the stock is done cooking, you’ll want to strain it through a fine strainer.
I strain the stock into quart sized mason jars (pictured) using a metal funnel, then refrigerate and use in recipes throughout the week.
If freezing, I use smaller mason jars so they don’t crack as the quart size has a tendency to do.
You can also strain into freezer safe glass containers, or zip-top bags, though I find that process to be more difficult and quite a bit messier.
Tip: Here’s an article on how to freeze and store in mason jars.
Chicken carcass: Use a carcass from slow cooker whole chicken, a roasted chicken, or a store bought rotisserie chicken. Include giblets if you happen to have those on hand as well.
Carrots, celery, onion, garlic: Add flavor and richness to the broth. See notes, above, on vegetables to avoid in the stock.
Salt: Use kosher salt for best taste and flavor.
Apple cider vinegar: Helps draw out minerals from the chicken bones, but feel free to skip it if you don’t have any.
How to Use Homemade Chicken Stock
There are so many ways to use homemade chicken stock, as it add so much flavor to anything you add it with!
Just keep in mind that since it has less sodium than store bought, you may need to adjust the salt in the recipe you use it in.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes to put your homemade chicken stock to good use.
Slow Cooker Chicken Stock
- 1 chicken carcass , from slow cooker whole chicken or other leftover chicken bones
- 4 celery stalks, washed
- 1 medium yellow onion, washed, skin on, and halved
- 4 garlic cloves, washed, skin on
- 2 large whole carrots, scrubbed, skin on
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 10 cups water
- Place all the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Fill with water within 1-inch of the top. Cover, and cook on low for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
- When done, taste and add additional salt if desired.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, then strain, discarding any remaining solids.
- Store refrigerated for up to 5 days for freeze for up to 3 months. Once refrigerated any fat will rise to the top and solidify, making it easy to remove and discard if desired.