Making Homemade Chicken & Beef Stock – So Easy it Should be a Crime!

How to make Chicken Stock

Making homemade stock is a great use of leftover chicken carcasses and can save you money from not having to buy chicken stock. Plus, it’s a lot healthier than pre-packaged stock and tastes better.

Differences Between Broth and Stock

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t sure what the difference was between stock and broth. Basically, broth is made from meat and stock is made from the bones with a little meat left on. Broth has a weaker flavor while stock has a rich, complex flavor that works well in many recipes from soup to sauces.

Making Chicken Stock

With chicken stock, all you need arethe bones and carcass of a chicken, some onions, celery, carrots and some fresh herbs. If you’ve decided to grow your own herbs, then making stock got even easier by adding some fresh thyme, garlic, dill and parsley.

Bones and carcass of chicken
2 onions, chopped
3-4 stalks of celery, chopped (plus add some of the celery leaves if you have them in – celery leaves are amazing for flavor)
2 carrots, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
6-8 sprigs of parsley

Other options include:
Fresh dill
Whole pepper corns

  1. Cut up your carcass into pieces (if not done already).
  2. Stick the carcass in a stock pot (oh, that’s why it’s called that :D) and cover with water.Add in vegetables and herbs.Bring it to a boil over high heat and then reduce to maintain a simmer. Skim off any foam.
  3. Simmer for 4 hours.
  4. Strain the stock by placing a colander over a large bowl. To get out as much liquid as possible, push down on the solids.  Let the stock cool and refrigerate up to a week. After refrigerating overnight, you can remove the layer of fat that rises to the surface of the stock. You can freeze stock if you don’t plan on using all of it within a week.

Note that it’s best not to salt and pepper stock as you make it, so that you don’t have to worry about adding it to a recipe that already has salt in it. If needed, salt can be added when you use the stock.


I love to freeze my stock in freezer safe bags so I can make delicious recipes with it later.


How to make Beef Stock

How to make Beef Stock

Fresh, homemade beef broth is tasty and so flavorful compared to canned/packaged stock. Stock up on beef bones when they go on sale and then freeze them so you always have some on hand when you need to make beef broth.

4 lbs meaty beef bones (shank or short ribs)
6 cups water
2 onions, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped (also add in celery leaves if possible)
2 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh parsley

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F and placing the beef bones in a roasting pan. Once preheated, cook the bones uncovered for one hour. Then add the onions, celery and carrots to the roasting pan and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer the bones and vegetables to a stock pot. Skim the fat out of the roasting pan and then add 2 cups of water to the pan. Using a spoon, scrape off the brown bits stuck to the bottom (they add a lot of flavor to the stock).
  3. Put the liquids into the stock pot and then add the herbs and remaining water (4 cups). Slowly bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 5 hours. If any foam rises to the top, skim it off.
  5. Strain the stock using a colander and/or cheesecloth and let cool. Refrigerate overnight and then skim off the layer of fat that rises to the surface.

Use within 3 days or divide up into individual portions and freeze. This recipe yields approximately 2.5 quarts.

Have you made homemade stock? Was it better than store bought? If you haven’t, do you plan to try? Tell me all about it in the comments.38 Comments

Making Homemade Chicken & Beef Stock – So Easy it Should be a Crime! was last modified: February 25th, 2014 by Karrie

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  1. Someday I’m going to try this, it sounds so easy. Don’t know why I’m so squeamish about it…

    • It’s so totally easy! Just do it, and you will love it. 😉

      • Okay, I did it this week. I’m sooo excited! I roasted a chicken in a roasting bag and when it was done I picked off 6 cups of chicken meat and froze that in 2 cup portions. Then I made two cups of chicken gravy (roasting in a bag creates lots of good juice for gravy) and froze that. Finally, I made the chicken stock and was able to freeze 4 1/2 quarts and it looked and smelled so good! Thank you so much for the encouragement. I’m so proud of myself for tackling this. I’m not squeamish any more. I can’t believe all that I got out of one chicken. Woohoo!

    • I love using the carcass of a roasted chicken from Costco! I also found a recipe for doing it in the crock pot. Can’t get much easier than that!

    • Sara Jaimes says:

      It’s the bones that make you feel that way. I do all the steps but when it comes to the skimming or the straining, I ask the hubby. That way I don’t remember the icky parts whole eating it. Lol I know I’m a baby.

  2. can you somehow make these into printable recipes? Thanks !

    • Get any teens around you to take a screen shot and print it from there… my girls usually roll their eyes at me and ask if I’m from the dark ages ROFL!!!!

  3. Heidi Stuit says:

    I make homemade chicken stock and freeze it. But then forget I have it when I need it. So then I end up using a backup can of it because I don’t have time to unthaw it.:(

    I too, would like printable versions available for your recipes.

    • Make a list of freezer contents that you have a put in on your fridge, scratch off the item once you’ve used it! helps you keep track of what you have and what you have used! hope that helps 🙂

  4. I freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I remove them from the tray and re-package in a freezer bag. Each cube is about one ounce. I too, love to use the $5 roasted costco chicken carcass in a crock pot for stock.

  5. Hi! I was wondering if you could put a print button on your great posts so when I print it doesn’t print all the ads and pictures? I love your posts and want to save them but I don’t want to print out a lot of extra pages and waste ink and paper. Thanks so much!

  6. kat randolph says:

    I’m a back-to-the-land type from the 70s and know a few things about stocking up on stock! If you will add a splooge (about 1-2 tsp.) of vinegar, apple cider or white, to your stock pot before you start it to boil, you will help leach out more of the calcium in the bones, making the broth more healthful. Surprisingly, you don’t taste even a bit of that vinegar!

    I save bones from fried or baked chicken for broth, too. That may sound a bit repulsive, but most of us just pull the meat from the bones when we eat the chicken or remove the meat by hand when we make casseroles or chicken salad, and since you boil your broth as well, I don’t worry too much about germs. I might think twice about using the bones from chicken that has been eaten by guests!

    Also, I save all my vegie parings and scraps, except for potato skins, broccoli, and other strong flavored types. I bag them up in a plastic bag throughout the week, storing them in the freezer, until I’m ready to make a big batch of broth. I cut up celery and carrots for snacks, saving the extra bits for my freezer bag. Whenever I cut up onions, I save the bit of the onion just beneath the dried skin; you know the part that is soft, but is a little too tough to eat. That part of the skin makes for wonderful, flavorful broth.

    I so appreciate your tips, and hope that my knowledge on this topic will help others.

    • Great tip on the onion – thanks! That makes me think of the using some onion “paper” too… old timers used it for coloring the water for Easter eggs. I think it would create a deeper golden color to the stock. Hmmmm.

    • I do the same as Kat… I save cooking scraps in 3 baggies in the freezer-chicken (meat, fat, skin, and bones!), beef, and veggies. For the veggies I include any soup veggies, and I use all of the bits, like skins and ends of onions (the roots don’t hurt & get strained out anyway), ends of carrots, bell pepper tops, celery leaves, and bits of garlic, spinach, whatever we’re having-just nothing moldy. Having separate bags gives flexibility to make any combination needed. Just boil it all up for at least 30 minutes, strain, and season if desired.

  7. Love homemade stock! I’ve been making it for years. If I’m in a hurry to run out the door, I boil the chicken and stuff for one hour, turn it off, put on the lid and let it sit for several hours. Also, with turkey season coming up – DO NOT pitch the carcass! It makes a great stock. Don’t use a smoked turkey for stock though – I tried it once, and it was a rather yucky waste of my time! 🙂

  8. Can I use beef soup bones to make this stock?

  9. How long will these stocks stay good for?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      If you are storing these in the fridge use the chicken stock within a week and with the beef stock use within 3 days. I have only had this homemade stock in my freezer for about two months before I used it but looking online the general consensus is up to six months!

  10. I got 2 large turkeys in the freezer that we’re going to be cooking soon. I would imagine the process would be the same as making chicken broth. Will give it a shot and let you know how it turns out. If anyone has tried this, please let me know how it turned out.

  11. Can I freeze the chicken stock in the box , or should I transfer it to freezer bags ???

    • Well, if you are buying chicken stock then you probably don’t need to freeze it, it has a shelf life so no need to freeze it. If you are making my recipe homemade then you would pour it into freezer bags.

  12. Pegi Nelson says:

    I want to make the stocks/broths as I am trying to get away from processed foods. Could you give me some bit more specific info on the chicken pieces, weight? Could I use chicken wings for a first batch? Your beef recipe listed 4 points of beef soup bones. For the chicken?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I usually use a leftover carcass of the chicken so I would just use that as a guideline. It’s a great way to use up extras. If you have chicken wings do it but make sure that they aren’t cleaned off the bone. If they are I would add some extra chicken parts in to make sure the stock has more flavor.

  13. Hi, first thank you for beef broth recipe. I’ve looked several places on how to make it. I have food allergies, buying either beef or chicken broth is out of the question for me. That all being said, this is broth not stock. But going to use this and another I found on how to make chicken stock. Hopefully it will work!

  14. I use a lot beef stock and chicken stock in my recipes, but they concern me about what is in them. So now I know how to make my own without all the added chemicals, by-products and added sodium. Thankyou!

  15. Just an FYI from a chef, you NEVER boil stock. If your stock comes to a boil it’s technically ruined. Also if it’s just one chicken carcass I find a crock pot on low works wonders. I set it up at night (cook a few hours while skimming) then wake up to perfect stock. Stock should simmer for 10-12 hours, and the other comment about vinegar is absolutely correct. You need a tiny bit of an acid to leach nutrients out of the bones. Most beef stocks I’ve seen have you rub the bones with tomato paste before roasting. Adds great flavor, but don’t over do it.

  16. How much water?

  17. Rachael says:

    Hello, I’m making this today and was wondering what would be the equivalent to a stock cube? How many tablespoons for example.
    Thank you

  18. What is the yield on the chicken stock? If I am missing it on here, I apologize.

  19. Ginger K. says:

    Here’s another tip for chicken/beef/veggie stock, which I recently came across and can’t believe I never thought of (dangit…). Make your stock like you normally would (beef, chicken or even vegetable, it doesn’t matter) and strain and discard the solids. Pour stock back into a pot, bring it to a simmer, and simmer it, uncovered, until it’s reduced by two thirds. (So, if you had a pot-full of stock, simmer until the pot’s only 1/3 full.)

    Dissolve about 1/2 cup of unflavored gelatin into the stock, whisking well to get rid of any lumps (if you used beef bones, you may not need extra gelatin, since beef bones tend to release more gelatin than chicken bones). Pour the stock into any large pans (I use 9 x 13 cake pans, since they have handles and are easier to carry), to a depth of about 1 inch, and set the pans in the fridge for a few hours until the gelatin has set up. (It should be the consistency of jello.) Cut the stock up into strips 1 inch wide, then cut the strips again to make 1 inch square cubes. You now have 1 inch square bouillon cubes.

    To use, simply add 1 bouillon cube to 1 cup of boiling water and stir until dissolved. This makes the equivalent to one 10 oz can of canned broth. (So, for 2 cans of broth, heat up 2 cups of water and dissolve 2 cubes into it.) You can line a baking sheet with waxed paper, place cubes so they’re not touching, and freeze them until they’re frozen solid. Then you can just toss them into a ziploc bag in the freezer and only take out as many as you need. You also don’t have to wait for the stock to thaw!

    I tried this, using about $15 worth of beef soup bones from our local butcher, plus the veggie odds and ends I tossed in with the bones, and I ended up with 80 cans worth of beef stock bouillon cubes. (Which is pretty good for $15, since you’d pay way more than that for 80 cans of the canned broths.) They also all fit into 2 gallon-size freezer bags, which takes up much less space in my freezer!

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