My chicken stock seems to have seperated... is this normal?

226
31
Joined Dec 19, 2014
Hi

As you can see from the pic, the stock seems to have separated. It went right into the freezer, where it has been for three weeks. Took it out last night, and it thawed overnight, in the fridge. Is this normal? It smells fine....

 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
9,656
1,136
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Looks like a little fat at the top, that's normal. Some unfiltered suspension at the bottom. That's pretty normal for a home stock. 

There's plenty of time in the freezer for separation before freezing. Indeed, freezing could actually cause some precipitation.  Basically as water starts to freeze, it bonds preferentially with other water. Suspended solids can be forced out of suspension so the water can bond. 
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
4,509
998
Joined Oct 7, 2001
As phatch said, the stuff at top looks to be fat that has solidified.  It can easily be removed.  The "stuff" on bottom are exactly as he described-suspended solids forced out of suspension during the freezing and thawing process.  These solids are "normal" and is why some stocks are cloudy.  You can avoid cloudy stocks (lots of solids in suspension) a number of ways although I feel the best way is to not cook your stock too hard.  I bring my stock just up to a slow boil, reduce the heat immediately and allow it to simmer, never letting it boil again.
 
226
31
Joined Dec 19, 2014
Thanks!

"the stuff at top looks to be fat that has solidified"

Right - that much I actually knew! :)

Ok, as long as it's normal. Got the bit about not cooking "too hard"; I as well only gently simmer once it boils for the first time.

Might this have anything to do with when the stock is put into the freezer? Such as 'don't put it in while it's too hot' - or something similar?
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
4,509
998
Joined Oct 7, 2001
You could also clarify your stock to help this situation, using any number of methods, if you really desire crystal clear stock, but for most uses the slight cloudiness really doesn't present a problem.
 
226
31
Joined Dec 19, 2014
Thanks. :)

 No need to clarify the stock, in fact, I think a stock w/sediment has more nutrients.
 
Top Bottom