Using a slow cooker to make stock

Joined Dec 22, 2003
I recently received a slow cooker as a gift and have certainly found it extremely useful. I've used it quite a few times to make stock and have found that it is extremely convenient. When making stock on the stove I often check it every half hour to make sure nothing is burning and that my flame hasn't gone out. But with the slow cooker I can turn it on and never look back.

A disadvantage however is that it takes a few hours longer but I usually start it before I go to work and when I return home I'm treated with the wonderful aroma of chicken stock.

So my question to you folks is what do you think about making stock this way? The end product tastes the same to me, but have any of you had other experiences?

Also, I've found that I can't really effectively reduce the stock since the slow cooker doesn't get hot enough. I suppose I could then transfer it to a pot on the stove and reduce it there or maybe just run the slow cooker for a very long time (after removing the chicken parts of course).

Of course I'm referring to doing this at home; I'm sure we'll be sticking with the traditional method at work.
Joined Dec 23, 2003
One thing immediately comes to mind. Are you starting with a whole cold, raw chicken and cold tap water? With the time it takes a stockpot to heat, that could be a few hours before you get above the danger zone.

The lower simmering temp may not extract as much collagen as on a stove. Are you noticing a lot of undissolved soft cartilage when you drain the bones? I may be the minority in this opinion but I believe soft cartilage melts the best at a rolling boil. Yes, the stock gets cloudier, but that's not an issue for me.
I've tried low temp/longer time stock reductions and I don't recommend it. The flavor suffers.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I've got a recipe from a slow cooker cookbook for stocks this way. Haven't ever tried them, but they should be fine.

Crockpot Beef Stock

2 1/2 pounds beef/veal bones
1 large yellow onion peeled and cut in half
1 large carrot, peeled and quartered
1 large celery rib with leaves, quartered
1 leek, white part only, rinsed and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 sprigs parsley
2sprigs thyme
3 peppercorns
3 qt. water

Roast bones in oven in single layer at 400 for 1 hour. Scatter vegies, herbs and pepper corns in there too.
Move to slow cooker and cook on low for 10-12 hours, or on high or 5-6 hours.

Strain and discard solids. Reduce by half on stove top if desired.

Chicken Stock in a Crock Pot

1 1/2 pounds chicken parts with bones
1 medium onion, peeled
1 whole clove (stick it in the onion)
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 large carrot, peeled and quartered
1 large celery rib with leaves, quartered
1 qt. water (may be a transcription error)
3 peppercorns
2 sprigs flat leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7-10 hours, skimming off foam as it forms.

Good reduced by half on the stove top for better flavor.


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