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How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

There is no better time then now to make your own Homemade Chicken Stock.

And to be honest, it couldn’t be easier to do! However, a little patience is necessary.

homemade chicken stock
Homemade chicken stock cooked and ready to be used in any recipe that calls for broth or stock.

But before we show you how to make your own stock, let me first explain the difference between broth, stock and bone broth.

Difference Between Broth, Stock & Bone Broth

When you head to the grocery store, you can frequently find chicken broth, stock & bone broth on the shelves close to the soup aisle.

They are sold in both cans and boxes. However, few of us know the actual difference between the terms listed on the packages.

So before we go into how we make our own Homemade Chicken Stock, let me first explain the difference between them all.

Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is made by boiling chicken meat in water. Although not necessary, sometimes vegetables are also added to the mixture. Once the chicken and vegetables are removed, the liquid that remains is called Chicken Broth.

Homemade Chicken Stock
Chicken broth is much more translucent than chicken stock or bone broth.

It is typically more translucent than the subsequent products of chicken stock and bone broth.

Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken stock is traditionally made from the bones of a chicken. Most often people use the carcass of an entire chicken, typically after buying a rotisserie chicken or making Oven Roasted Chicken. And then they add a few vegetable scraps and water to make Chicken Stock.

Although there may be some meat left on the bones, the primary ingredients in chicken stock are the bones themselves.

chicken carcass
Chicken Stock is made primarily with the use of chicken bones and vegetables. It is much deeper in color and holds a ton of flavor.

It is customary to cook the bones much longer as compared to making broth. However, not nearly as long as it takes to make bone broth.

Chicken Bone Broth

You might have heard about all of the health benefits of drinking bone broth lately. It seems like it is all the rage for those that are looking to cure many ailments.

And if you look at the research, there are a ton of articles to support how good it is for you to drink it.

bone broth glasses
Once chicken bone broth is made, it will turn into a gel when cooled. Simply heat it up and it will liquify, leaving you with a very healthy drink.

However, it is not quite as easy as to make as you think. Bone broth is made when the actual bones of the carcass break down and collagen can be extracted from the center of the bones.

This process takes a long time to happen. In fact, it can take upwards of 24 – 48 hours of cooking time before the collagen in the middle of the bones is released into the cooking liquid.

However, once this happens, it is easy to identify. As soon as the liquid cools, the bone broth turns into a gel like substance. Once reheated, the gel breaks back down to liquid form and can be consumed as a drink or used in recipes.

How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

So when a recipe calls for chicken broth or stock, which one should you choose?

ingredients of homemade chicken stock
We keep our chicken carcass and vegetable scraps in the freezer until ready to be used to make into Chicken Stock.

I would have to say that we always choose chicken stock over broth whenever we can.

Chicken stock has much more flavor than traditional broth. Thus, whatever recipe that you are making, will also have that added flavor as well.

So how do you make Homemade Chicken Stock? The answer is simple – low and slow!

Actually, there are 3 different methods to making stock and we will discuss each one briefly here.

Instant Pot Max line
After you put our vegetables and chicken bones in the Instant Pot, fill with water up to the MAX line.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Stove Top Instructions – place your chicken stock, vegetable scraps and seasonings in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for at least 6 hours.
  2. Slow Cooker Instructions – place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cover with water. Set to low and cook overnight (10-12 hours)
  3. Instant Pot Instructions – place all ingredients in the liner of a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot and cover with water to the Maximum line. Lock the lid in place and move the valve to the Sealing position. Pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 120 minutes. Allow for at least 20 minutes of Natural Pressure Release after the cooking time expires.
strained chicken and vegetables
Once the cooking time expires, use a fine mesh strainer to separate the liquid from the solid materials.

We have made Chicken Stock using each one of these methods, and they all turn out great.

Once the homemade chicken stock is ready, it is time to strain the solid pieces away from the liquid. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large stockpot. Pour the entire contents of the chicken stock mixture into the strainer.

The liquid can then be cooled and stored in the refrigerator or freezer or can be canned for later use.

Use the liquid as instructed in any recipe that calls for chicken broth or stock.

canned homemade chicken stock
Although you can use a pressure canner to can chicken stock, most people find it more efficient to freeze it for later use.


Mary and Jim

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How to Make Chicken Stock

  • Vegetable scraps (onion, celery, carrots, etc…)
  • 1 whole cooked chicken carcass
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley
  • **amounts not specified because it depends on what you have on hand (and how your like your stock. Ours never turns out the same but it is always delicious and flavorful!)

Stove Top Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for at least 6 hours

Slow Cooker Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cover with water – set the temperature on low and it cook overnight.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in the liner of the pressure cooker. Cover with water to the MAX line. Lock lid in place with valve in the SEALING position. Pressure Cook/Manual on HIGH for 120 minutes. Allow for 20 minutes of Natural Pressure Release once the cook time expires.

After the Cooking Time

  1. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain liquid in another large pot. Discard the scraps.

    Let the stock cool and refrigerate, freeze, or process in a pressure canner.

Place hot stock in heated and sterilized canning jars. Add a heated lid and ring and place in pressure canner.   

Follow your instructions for your pressure canner and process quart jars for 25 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure (adjust for altitudes above 1000 ft.), or pint jars for 20 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms