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

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Recipe Rating

    1. Broth usually lasts about 3-4 days in the fridge, or you can store it in the freezer for 2-3 months. – Nicole

  1. Is 12 hours too long. I plan to leave it on overnight. Should I add water before I go to bed so that is doesn’t get too low overnight?

    1. Hi Kate, that should be fine since this is an overnight recipe. Pour water almost to the top of the crockpot leaving about 1/2″ from the top. Let us know how it comes out! – Nicole

  2. Thank you so much! I remember reading somewhere that making sure that you continue to cook the bones until all the morrow is gone from the bone and using the broth leftover, that this is a deterrent to cancers. I did this to make my Grandmother Angie’s Famous Chicken Soup. Thank you, again, BIG HELP!

  3. I put a whole chicken in the. crock pot with just a silicone roast rack that it was sitting on. Rubbed spices all over the chicken. Put on High for 4.5 hours. Temperature remains at 140 degrees.,not changing for last hour.
    Is it ready to eat and refrigerate?

    1. 100 Days Admin

      Hi Marlene, sorry we can’t respond to comments in real-time. The FDA recommends chicken to stay at 165 degrees, but also says if it can hold 145 degrees for 8.5 minutes then it achieves the same bacteria reduction as 165. Hope your chicken turned out great. – Nicole

  4. 5 stars
    Do you think it’s okay to leave it in the crockpot a few hours before straining it and refrigerating or should that be done immediately?

  5. Going to give this a try this week. It sounds delicious and very easy! What size slow cooker should he used and about how many cups of stock will this recipe yield?

  6. I just made your rosemary carrots recipe from your first book. After trying to find ways to use my carrot scraps from peeling, I came upon a web site that recommended freezing the scraps and using them for chicken stock. I thought that was a great idea that I could use for this recipe (especially since I already have chicken bones/water freezing from cooking your whole chicken in the crock pot recipe). I imagine I could also use celery (and maybe onion?) scraps as well so I’m wasting less produce!
    Credit: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/ways-to-reuse-food-scraps.html

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe, I hope I can make one for my kids though. I’ve been very busy and I’m now drinking Au Bon Broth which was recommended by a friend. I like it so far because of how tasty and delicious it is.

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve never cooked a whole chicken before but was anxious to try this recipe – my husband and I both loved it! Making the stock now, am excited about having homemade. Thanks for this post and for answering my question.

  9. I’m going to make the Best Whole Chicken in a Crockpot recipe, and would like to make this stock afterwards. I was wondering if the spices from the chicken, cayenne pepper, paprika, etc. would make the stock taste odd (more like bbq chicken stock than plain chicken stock)? Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. The spices add a bit of flavor to the stock but it is still a pretty neutral flavor.

    1. You have to cook on high for bone broth. I do it all the time. I make the whole chicken in the crock pot and just add water to the leftovers. I cook for 24 hours. The bones should basically crumble when your done. I can crush them with my fingers. Then filter through a sieve.

  10. This recipe looks great! Do you think I could use the “raw” bones from 8 chicken breasts that I deboned? Also, do you think I could leave it in the crockpot on low for about 17 hours? (So I could start it before bed and deal with it after work the next day?)

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. Others have done this on high and not over-night. We like it as an over-night long simmer recipe. :)

  11. 5 stars
    Hi, I love this and make it all the time.! Last night I got it all ready and forgot to turn it in when I went to bed. Would it still be ok to make it today or does it need to be thrown out? Thanks!!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Sorry that we can’t respond in real time to recipe questions but I would not have recommended going forward with cooking that chicken. :)

  12. I made your slow cooker chicken. It was delicious! How many days can I wait to make the chicken stock? Wasn’t sure how long everything would stay fresh in the fridge. Thanks!

  13. Because my family doesn’t love dark meat, I make crockpot chicken with chicken breasts only. Are those bones enough to make a good broth?

  14. Hi, I have done this in the past and it was SO oily that I couldn’t stand it. (I usually make it on the stove, cooking it down, adding water, cooking it down…it becomes very rich and it isn’t oily like that (it of course has some -good fat and all -and I know -is less convenient). I’m not sure why…heat is heat. Any problems with that for any of you?

    1. I experienced the same with beef bone broth. I have no clue why slow cooker makes the broth so oily but not as oily when cooked on stove top….so I just always do it on the stove top now.

      1. Same problem for me when I boil beef,pork and chicken bones for wonton soup broth. To take oil and fat out, I refrigerate the stock overnite to let the fat float and solidify on top. Then I skim off with a spoon the next day and re-sieve the stock before freezing.

  15. 5 stars
    I save all chicken bones, skin etc in freezer bags. Also save all veggie ends/scraps/peels also the stems from herbs to use in making broth. No reason to waste the veggies!!

  16. 5 stars
    I store my stock in freezer friendly jelly jars, but i havent been following the directions for canning. I just screw on the lids and put directly in the freezer after. Is this OK to do or should I following the preservation directions?

    Thank you :-)

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      If you are using clean freezer safe jars that have been sanitized in your dishwasher, freezing the stock is just fine.

  17. Hi, I am new to crock pot cooking (as in I have my first meal cooking right now). I have made chicken stock on the stove uncovered. For this recipe, should I cover or leave the crock pot uncovered for the 8-10 hours?

  18. I wonder if/how it would work with a turkey carcasse, as thanksgiving is coming up? Or do you ladies/gents use it in other ways?

    1. YES!!! Turkey makes a richer broth. It is amazing. I cook my chicken and turkey broths for longer because I like the flavor it develops better. That way the flavor doesn’t get lost in dishes like rice.

  19. I am the person who reads through all the reviews when making something. Amy, honestly your patience with the people here commenting is more than I could take. You are awesome! You have been answering the exact same questions for like 3 years now. People please just read through the comments, she can’t say it because it seems rude but there are about 15 questions that have been answered 20 times. So for a review we are making this tonight after making the chicken recipe. Our daughter doesn’t like shrimp, which was what we were having for dinner, so she was given a drumstick from that recipe (but I need that bone back haha). She loved the chicken so I have high hope that this will turn out great for the chicken noodle soup that is the next step.

    1. I haven’t tried the recipe as I am also a person who reads through the comments and my my my, if I wasn’t thinking the same exact thing. A big kudos to Amy. Cheers to us for reading through reviews (and questions) lol.

    2. I make my family cut the meat off the wings and bones and set aside the bones for my chicken/turkey stock pile too, Glad to know I’m not alone, LOL

  20. I have a question about the amount of water used in the Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot. It says to fill the crock pot to the top but all crock pots are different sizes. Could you specify in how many cups of water. I imagine if you have a larger crock pot than the stock would taste diluted-Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hello Liz. Lisa uses a 4.5 quart crock pot which empty holds about 16 cups of water. While we’ve not measured exactly, I’d say she adds about 12 cups to what remains in the pot. However, I use a 6 quart crock pot and still fill it almost to the top. :)

  21. Hi.
    Thanks for the recipe. I am wondering if I roast a chicken with veggies if I can just add those roasted veggies to the carcass and water and use those to make the stock?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Gwynne. Sure, you can freeze it in mason jars. Just be sure they are wide-mouthed and leave room for expansion on top. I freeze my stock if I need to keep it beyond a few days.

  22. I am making this chicken tonight but won’t have time to finish the stock process tomorrow morning. Would I be able to put the leftovers in the fridge tonight in the crock pot and just plug back in tomorrow? Or will the refrigeration process mean I can no longer make the stock. Thank you!

  23. Do recommend removing the skin/fat from the pot during either the chicken cooking process, or broth making process. If so, at what point? Do you skim fat off the top or anything when it is done?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Michelle. Leave the fat on for cooking. It helps create the moisture it cook in. As for skimming fat, we use a fat separator for the broth.

  24. I can’t find Lisa’s recipe using the chicken stock to make a roasted vegetable soup – can you help me? I saw it once in connection with the slow-roasted chicken, but simply cannot find it and I really want to make it. Thanks in advance!!

  25. Slow cooker cover on or off overnight? I’ve made stock on the stove top before and always kept cover off to reduce liquid.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi James. A slow cooker only cooks with the cover on. Other, wise it does not get hot enough.