Here is the best homemade Slow Cooker Chicken Stock Recipe (aka bone broth). It’s easy, healthy, delicious and frugal! Use it as a base for soups like Zuppa Toscana Soup, or White Chicken Chili! Even use it to steam cauliflower for Cauliflower Cream Sauce.
Along with no-fail homemade mayo, slow cooker chicken stock is now a staple in my kitchen.
You see, up until just a couple of years ago, I pretty much ignored “chicken stock” in every ingredient list and substituted for water instead. A travesty on multiple levels, I know.
Fortunately, I’ve come to my senses.
Now, before you roll your eyes at me and think “Great, ANOTHER homemade chicken stock recipe post from ANOTHER real foodie,” let me explain…
This isn’t just any chicken stock recipe. It’s quite possibly the easiest chicken stock you’ve ever made. And we’re frugal in these parts of the web too, so you know we’re doing as much as we can with as little as possible.
Your family will enjoy the flavor and richness of this chicken stock in nearly all of the recipes on your meal plan, like Homemade Ramen Noodle Soup, Zuppa Toscana Soup, and let me tell you… it makes a delicious chicken soup!
Slow Cooker Chicken Stock
Not only is this slow cooker chicken stock recipe a perfect base for all of your recipes, it’s also:
- Frugal. You save 93% by making it yourself!
Slow Cooker Chicken Stock
- Carcass, spine, skin, innards and bones from two whole chickens
- Apple cider vinegar (make it yourself)
- Filtered water
- Onion (optional)
- Carrots (optional)
- Celery ribs (optional)
- Parsley (optional)
Note: Some people also like to add bay leaves
How to make slow cooker chicken stock
- Combine all the ingredients, except parsley, in a slow cooker. Cook on low for a full 24 hours.
- 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley (if using).
- Turn off the slow cooker and skim any particles that have floated to the top. Allow to cool.
- Strain chicken parts and store in a freezer-safe bag for future stock. Discard vegetables.
- Chicken stock can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for several months.
Tips for making slow cooker chicken stock with a whole chicken
When it comes to getting the most I possibly can from a whole chicken, I have a somewhat methodical system.
First, I chop it into parts. It took me about 20 minutes the first time, but after doing this every month for well over a year, I’ve gotten it down to two chickens in roughly 10 minutes. Maybe I should moonlight as a butcher…
Edible chicken parts go into one bowl, skin in another and the innards, spine and chicken wings go straight into the slow cooker. The slow cooker goes on high for four hours while I package up the chicken parts and label them for the freezer.
Four hours later, I ladle the chicken pieces from the slow cooker onto a plate so that they can cool and I don’t burn myself while trying to get all the meat off the bones.
Note: Starting this whole chicken process late morning tends to work really well for my schedule. The meat cooks until early afternoon, cools through dinner and I can pick it off while Mr. Crumbs has some time with the kids.
When all of the meat is picked from the chicken bones, everything that’s left goes back into the slow cooker: bones, skin, tough pieces of meat that won’t pass through the kids radar… all of it.
Add a few splashes of apple cider vinegar, fill it to the top with water and turn it on medium-low for 10 hours.
Walk away proudly Family Chef, your work is done for the day.
What is the difference between chicken stock, chicken broth and bone broth?
Chicken stock is the liquid that is made from the carcass of a chicken, including bones, innards, meat and often vegetables. Like this chicken stock recipe.
Chicken broth is typically the liquid that results from cooking with the meat, usually in water. It’s lighter than stock because it cooks for less time and usually doesn’t involve the bones.
Bone broth tends to be a trendy name for stock – like this recipe.
Is this Slow Cooker Chicken Stock Recipe Healthy?
Making homemade chicken stock is the process of drawing the nutrients from good, nutritious food into a rich and incredibly healthy liquid.
According to Nourishing Traditions, stocks contains the minerals of animal bones, cartilage and marrow. Calcium, magnesium, potassium, collagen and gelatin are just a few of these minerals. Actually, the mineral gelatin allows the body to better use the proteins it consumes, making it an essential nutrient for us frugal foodies who don’t use copious amounts of meat in the meal plan.
To me, a cup of homemade chicken stock is a liquid vitamin filled with trace minerals and healthy fat! YUM!
How to use a slow cooker chicken stock recipe, besides in soup
When it comes to a nutritional powerhouse (that also makes food WAY yummy), we should aim to use it whenever possible. Besides making soup, try using it in place of water in these types of recipes too:
- One pot wonders like this Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- Rice, as in this super simple Instant Pot Yellow Rice, or this Autumn Rice Pilaf
- Stews and chili, like White Chicken Chili
- Other grains like quinoa, couscous, and polenta
- Sauces, gravy
- Steaming veggies as in this Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
- Cooking beans or lentils, like this lentil recipe
Short on time? Make your chicken stock in the Instant Pot pressure cooker! Follow this recipe.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Stock
Here is the best homemade Slow Cooker Chicken Stock recipe (aka bone broth). It’s easy, healthy, delicious and frugal!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 24 hours
- Total Time: 24 hours
- Yield: 4 quarts 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- carcass, spine, skin, innards and bones from two whole chickens*
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (make it yourself)
- 4 quarts filtered water
- 1 onion, quartered (optional)
- 2 carrots, peeled & quartered (optional)
- 3 celery ribs, chopped (optional)
- 1 bunch parsley (optional)
- Combine all the ingredients, except parsley, in a slow cooker. Cook on low for a full 24 hours. 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley (if using). Turn off slow cooker and skim any particles that have floated to the top. Allow to cool. Strain chicken parts and store in a freezer-safe bag for future stock. Discard vegetables. Chicken stock can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for several months.
* Recipe can be made with only one chicken; simply halve the rest of the ingredients.
Denise in TX
I have always been hesitant to make my own broths and stocks because I imagine you need organic, “clean” chicken. I am still mostly using store bought, “regular” chicken products. Any thoughts on how “clean” your chicken needs to be? We get rotisserie chicken a lot. Thanks!
Kyare - Team Crumbs
If you get bone in organic chicken it should work great.
To increase the goodness of bone broth, I always do mine in the pressure cooker. It takes about 95 minutes to really break down those bone to give up their goodness. I have heard of slow cooking bone broth, but have heard it takes about 48 hours to really get all the goodness.
Jeanne Fletcher Gustafson
Do you use glass jars for the freezer when freezing the broth?
You can! I like to freeze stock in gallon bags, but it’s very do-able in jars!
I’ve been using the leftover turkey carcass at Thanksgiving to make stock thanks to you. I clean all the meat off and toss the bones in a stock pot with a couple carrots, celery, and onion. Cover with water. Add some salt and I like the flavor that a little thyme gives it. Then just let it simmer covered for 6-8 hours. I get about 1 1/2 gallons of stock. I freeze it in 2 cup bags and use to make rice or soup or a dozen other things.
Thank you for opening my eyes to the ease of making my own stock.
You’re so very welcome Jim!
Tiffany, any chance you have a video posted somewhere that we can see your broth process (cutting chicken, etc). That would be super helpful. I love your site and your recipes. Thanks for sharing!
I’m sorry I don’t Christine! I haven’t mastered video editing, and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to sit and watch me wait for my chicken stock to finish, LOL!!
Hi Tiffany, just discovered your web site looking for info about degassing beans! I have since searched many other topics and enjoying it very much! Re stock – my sisters and I make ours all the time as did my Scottish Grandmother and Mother. Just a tip re animal based stock – after you finish cooking there will be melted animal fat … for those with a sensitive stomach eg stomach ulcer, the fat will play absolute havoc with your gut and aggravate any underlying condition. To avoid that, put stock in a large container, allow to cool and then refrigerate – this allows the fat to harden and you can remove before using or storage … yes, the stock will also solidify or rather form a jelly, but this makes it easier to handle if you want to put in in zip lock bags or plastic containers for freezing. Chicken fat does not go as rock hard like beef fat, more thick jelly (depending on how much fat is on the chicken – I use free range chicken frames and there is virtually no fat). You sort of gently scrap across the surface with a spoon to gather it up section by section. Hard fat, run a thin knife around the edge then score into quarters across the surface and you should be able to easily lift it off with a knife or even your fingers. Cheers from Australia!
I have a small problem concerning cooking broth in a slow cooker. I usually switch it on before I go to work and come back about 10 hours later (on certain days). For instance, yesterday I stuffed a cabbage with mince stuffing, some drumsticks, along with onions, carrots, turnip, celery, potatoes and some zucchini (all veg chopped). I filled the crockpot with enough water and put it on low. Everything was cooked well by the time I came back home. However, one thing which I am not keen about, is that it seems that the broth overcooked. Is this possible, or am I missing something? Thank you
Yes, stock can overcook! I’ve done that before in a slow cooker, but it usually doesn’t happen unless it’s cooked for well over 24 hours (like, 48 hours). Have you tried diluting the stock with water to a 50/50 ratio to see if that helps with the flavor?
Will try – thanks. I think that the main reason was that the stuffed cabbage was not covered with liquid by the time all of it cooked. So, the top of the mince was getting dry and darker. Next time, I will ensure that all the meat and veg is covered with the liquid.
I have another question please. I tend to be wary of cooking beans and pulses in the slow cooker as I have always been told to boil them well for a couple of minutes. Can you please advise? Thanks
I haven’t done pulses in the slow cooker, but I’ve done beans with great success!! Definitely recommend. 🙂
I’ll have to buy a slow cooker now!
About how long would this last in the fridge? In the freezer?
You have several months in the freezer Tiffany, and about 2-3 weeks or so in the fridge!