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

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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411 thoughts on “Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot”

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Recipe Rating

  1. Could this be processed in a pressure canner for storage in jars in the pantry? I have more shelf space than freezer space. I was thinking 10# for 90 minutes for pints.

  2. I follow this basic recipe, but after an hour or so, I remove the skin. I know it adds flavor, but depending on the chicken used, it can sometimes be a bit greasy tasting. Otherwise, this is a super way to get delicious broth. Or is it stock if the bones are used?

  3. What if you only have the cooking juices and no carcass? Could you still proceed? I was thinking of using organic chicken broth instead of water….

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jessica. You can make broth with just the juices as long as you add liquid. The flavor will not be as rich, of course. Next time, be sure to save the carcass. ;)

  4. I just made the chicken and stock from your recipes today – yummo! How long does the stock last in the refrigerator? Thanks!!

  5. What size crock pot do you use? I made this today and it’s not very flavorful. Perhaps my crock pot is larger and holds more water so the flavors are more diluted. Thank you!!

  6. 5 stars
    I made the crockpot chicken and the stock for the first time over the weekend. I am in LOVE! I can’t believe, after all these years of using my crockpot, that I never thought to cook chicken and stock this way. I froze most of the stock and I have been using some throughout the week in our rice. Thanks!

  7. We just tried the chicken for dinner tonight. It turned out great. I am going to make the stock now. I am so excited to be making my own stock for the first time. Thanks so much:)

  8. I made the whole chicken in a crock pot last night. I am planning on making stock too, but was too tired to do anything but put what was left in the crock pot in the fridge. Is there a way to still make the stock after the bones etc. have been in the fridge? Thanks in advance!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Kate. Sure, just follow the recipe above. It is fine if it sat in the fridge overnight.

  9. 5 stars
    I love this stuff!! Have made it quite a number of times. I also like to use it in the refried bean recipe from sixsisters.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Victoria. Yes, it is fine. Just be sure you always thaw your chicken in a chilled environment like the fridge.

  10. Help! I just tried making this for the second time and again it seems I have lost almost half of the liquid/broth. Is this normal? If not I’m thinking it’s my slow cooker…maybe running too hot. I love all your recipes and have your cookbook but this is the one that I’m stumped on.

    Thank you!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. Yes, I suspect that your cooker may be a hot one. Each time I make this broth, I have liquid almost to the top. You can always add liquid back in as the broth would be really condensed.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Erin. When I go straight from making whole chicken to making stock, I add a half onion in addition to the onion that cooked with the whole chicken.

  11. I have been making stock like this, for some time. I add vinegar to pull more minerals out of the bones. I also cook mine for 48 hours. Hardly any fat is left. I freeze in containers and take them out of the freezer as I need broth/stock. I never buy canned broth or stock.

    1. Sandy – when cooking for that long, don’t you lose almost all your liquid? I’m having trouble yielding enough liquid. I think I may have a hot slow-cooker and that is my issue.

  12. could you add water to the list of ingredients? I made this last night and did not see the add water part in the directions! Now I have a super concentrated stock but I’m not sure if I can use it!

  13. Hi, I just tried both your crock pot chicken and your broth recipes. I am wondering if I should also skim the layer of fat off the broth before I store it, or keep it? I put the whole crock pot in the fridge and there’s a layer of fat on top now that would be easy to get rid of.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Stacey. That is completely up to you. It is very easy to remove the fat once it is refrigerated or frozen. A little fat will add nice flavor.

  14. Made this using the remnants of the Best Whole Chicken. Started the crockpot on the way out the door for work this morning and came home to a finished product that I am using to make Chicken and Rice soup!

  15. I just made this broth recipe after cooking your Chicken in a Slow Cooker Recipe!! Love both of them!!! Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes now!!

  16. Add Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar to pull the good things out of the bone! Read about the health benefits of BONE BROTH!

  17. 5 stars
    This is what I make now. I will not buy the stock or broth on the shelf anymore. I love making homemade chicken stock and broth. But now I have a question! I have free range chicken bones that I put in the freezer back in June(2014). It got a little freezer burn but other than that is it ok to use for stock?

  18. Susan Crumbley Wallace

    My husband made stock, but he added the skin. I have put it in the fridge to skim off the fat. It has a layer of fat, but what’s under it is congealed. I was expecting it to be liquid. Is it just full of fat (because of the skin)? Can I use this somehow, or is it not good. Thank you.

  19. Hi, I had planned on making the chicken and stock all in one day but got a late start this morning. Can you refrigerate the bones/juices/onion overnight and then make the stock the following morning with the other ingredients?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Sara. We are usually unable to answer questions in real time. Did you make your stock. For future reference, you can refrigerate it or freeze it for even later. ~Amy

  20. Hi there. I’m a bit newer to cooking and have been loving the recipes on your site. Last night I made the whole chicken in the crockpot and it was delicious. I returned the carcass to the crockpot and added the other herbs and veggies. I am sure I will need to salt it to taste but I decided to try it real quick and I was surprised at how oily and greasy it seems. I am not a big fan of this. There’s like a layer of oil on top of the stock. I am worried about how well the chicken soup will turn out. Is this normal?

    1. You can eliminate this by putting the stock in a bowl and into the freezer for a bit- not enough to freeze the whole thing, but long enough for the fat to seperate and harden ontop. Then, just scoop it off with a spoon and your stock will be less greasy.

  21. 5 stars
    Today will be my second time making the whole chicken in a crockpot recipe. The first time I actually left it in the crockpot for an extra hour and it was STILL amazing. Love it! I’ll be making the stock tonight after dinner and will use the giblets that came with the chicken this time. Thanks for posting!

    1. The crockpot that she links to is a 6-quart crockpot. Mine is also a 6-quart, and this recipe seems to work just right in that size.

  22. That’s really a nice recipe about the chicken, I have tried this last evening and its made too good taste of mine family that was the good dinner of yesterday night. I am happy to get the recipe form here. Thanks for sharing.

  23. 5 stars
    I’ve make making and freezing my own broth for years, ever since I heard that store-bought broth is made from boiling the feathers. I’m not sure if it’s true or not but it was the perfect motivation for me to start making my own! I freeze mine in ice cube trays first then move to freezer bags.

  24. I’m wondering if it’s ok to cook the stock longer than 10 hours, say 18 hours? I’d like to leave it in the crockpot overnight and while I’m at work the next day, then strain when I get home from work. Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jennifer. We’ve not cooked it for that long but I’ve seen other recipes that do cook it for extended periods. Recipes for bone broth often have it cooking for 24 hours. Hope that helps a little. ~Amy

  25. I used your recipe and cooked a whole chicken in the crock pot last night for dinner. We ate and cleaned up the kitchen around 6:30 and then went outside to play. I left all the remnants from the chicken (skin, bones, juice, veges, etc.) in the crock pot and accidentally left the crock pot on warm. After playing outside and giving all the kids a bath I never thought about the crock pot again. This morning I realized it was still on warm and everything from the previous night was still in the crock pot. Do you think I can now make stock with what is left in the crock pot? Can I add water and seasonings to what’s in there and continue to cook the stock? It is really, really warm but I’m new to crock pot cooking. Will the food be spoiled? Any advice you could give me would be much appreciated!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi there. Sorry, we are rarely able to answer recipe questions in real time. I can’t find anything definitive on chicken that has been kept hot that long. :( ~Amy

  26. 5 stars
    i have jsut goto say i love your web sight! im a mom who comes from no family style background. so honestly i had no idea how to cook. sadly i honestly thought for a while that company’s had to do something special to be able to jsut freeze foods. but thanks to you i have my family eating healthy. and honesty for 6 of us in a way we can afford. And you convinced me to buy that extra crock pot, (or two) lol. with 4 kids in multiple sports and activities just one crock pot wasn’t cutting it lol. plus i got a baby one for side dishes! but in general jsut wanted to say thinks its a great thing your doing. plus this stock recipe a 5 star winner.

  27. Add a Tbsp of vinegar while cooking and it will help to leach the collagen and minerals from the bones. You won’t taste the vinegar in the final product, but the collagen has amazing health benefits. You know you’ve gotten it all out if the bones are soft when you remove them. Your stock will be a bit like jello when cold, but it thins out completely when heated.

  28. Making this right now. It’s been cooking all day and it makes the house so cozy (without making it hot!). Even my 11-year-old son said it smelled good, which is high praise!

  29. I have made the homemade chicken stock for the first time last night. I cooked the whole chicken in a crockpot. It was very good by the way. My husband kept saying “I can’t knock this chicken at all:) I was wondering, we are new to this, if there is a why to make homemade cream of chicken soup. I have meals I cook that call for this, so I usually buy the store brand. I would love to be able to have a healthier version. Thanks.

    1. Jennifer, check out “Heavenly Homemakers” blog for a fantastic recipe for cream of chicken/ cream of mushroom soup using homemade chicken broth. I think Lisa’s referred to it in a post in the past. It is so easy and so much better than the canned.