Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot

39 Reviews / 4.8 Average
Don't waste your leftover chicken! Simply place the bones and carcass in the crockpot with water, spices, and some veggies and make your own stock. This recipe freezes well so that you'll never have to go back to the canned chicken broth ever again.
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chicken stock vegetable ingredients
Chicken Stock Ingredients

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I’ve shared this overnight chicken stock recipe on the blog before, but to be honest it’s kind of buried in the intro paragraph of another recipe, which basically means it’s hard to find.

And now that I’ve realized how incredibly popular this slow cooker “overnight chicken stock” recipe is, I’ve decided it deserves a page all of its own!

If you don’t already own a slow cooker, I like to give people plenty of reasons to buy one because I love mine (we use this basic, inexpensive slow cooker) and use it quite frequently for everything from “Flank Steak Fajitas” to “Refried Beans.”

Make Easy Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot Overnight

One of the best crock pot discoveries though (thanks to a friend!) has definitely been this recipe below for chicken stock that cooks while you sleep using the leftover chicken bones from your dinner. I highly recommend using the leftovers from “The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot” recipe, but any chicken bones will do, and you’ll be amazed by the outcome.

Get ready to say goodbye to store bought chicken broth forever!

Homemade chicken noodle soup using this stock recipe
Chicken Noodle Soup made with Homemade Chicken Stock

Can I Make Slow Cooker Stock with Beef, Turkey, or Vegetables?

Absolutely! Besides chicken, you can make any kind of stock overnight in the Crock Pot with leftover meat. Here’s some tips to make different homemade stocks.

Turkey Stock

Since a whole turkey carcass is usually a lot bigger than a chicken, you’ll need to increase the quantity of your spices. The amount will depend on how large of a bird you’re making stock from. Don’t forget to include the neck and wing tips; these are the best for turkey stock!

If you can’t fit a whole turkey in the Crock Pot choose the neck, wings, and legs first.

Beef Stock

Beef stock is a bit trickier because you can’t just use leftover bones. The best bones for beef stock have meat on them (that gives the stock its flavor). Some stores sell packaged bags of beef soup bones that are perfect for making stock. Otherwise, choose around 5lbs of back and neck pieces.

Beef bones need to be precooked in the oven before you make stock with them.

Vegetable Stock

Omit the meat and double the quantity of vegetables. The seasoning from the chicken helps flavor this homemade stock so you may want to add more spices if you find your overnight vegetable stock comes out bland.

Can I Use This Technique to Make Overnight Bone Broth in the Slow Cooker?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: bone broth is basically the same as this stock recipe. Cooking chicken bones low and slow releases the nutrients (mainly collagen) from them. This is the same process used to make both flavorful stock and bone broth.

The main difference is cooking time: stock can be ready in 8-10 hours of slow cooking, where most people prefer to simmer bone broth up to 24 hours.

How to Fix Oily Overnight Chicken Stock or Bone Broth

Part of the cooking process for stock or broth involves breaking down and releasing the fat from the chicken bones. It’s totally normal, and even good, to wind up with layer of fat at the top of your homemade stock or bone broth.

If it bothers you, any fat that collects at the top of homemade stock can be removed. To do this, simply use a spoon to skim off as much of the fat as possible, then discard. If you find this challenging, strain the stock first then refrigerate. The cold temperature will cause the liquid and fat to separate making it easier to remove.

Why is My Overnight Crock Pot Chicken Stock Cloudy?

The main reason for cloudy chicken stock is boiling; this isn’t usually a problem in the Crock Pot because it keeps consistent heat, but it can happen. Here are some possible explanations:

  • Cooking on high instead of low. The high setting of most slow cookers can bring liquids to a boil, especially when left for several hours. Cook on low instead.
  • Crock Pot is too big. A Crock Pot heats the bottom and sides of the insert. If your Crock Pot is too large for the food inside the increased cooking surface can heat up too much. Use a smaller Crock Pot or double the recipe.
  • Slow cooker overheated. The average time for food to reach a simmer in a slow cooker is 7-8 hours on low.  A gentle simmer is fine, but too rigorous and you get cloudy stock. Reduce cooking time or remove the lid for a short period of time if your stock starts to boil.

Newer slow cookers actually cook at a higher temperature than old ones, so if you recently upgraded you may have to reduce the cooking time when making overnight chicken stock.

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  1. Thanks for this recipe, Lisa! I’ve made stock with your recipe several times and enjoyed it. Recently I added one pre-step from another source: the carcass/bones etc (I save small amounts until there’s enough to fill my big slow-cooker) spends one hour in the oven at 400 degrees. Then into the cooker as per your recipe. This step adds. new depth of flavor and color to the stock.

    Many thanks for your work. I’ve just started in on your meal-planning workbook.

    1. Thanks for the tip! We’ll have to try it out next time. Hope you’re enjoying the Meal Planner, too! – Nicole