Making homemade chicken broth is not that time consuming and is a great way to stretch your groceries budget a little farther. Use this tutorial on how to make chicken broth in a slow cooker.
Chicken broth is easy to make in a slow cooker. I buy organic, free-range, whole chickens because I can often find them for $1.99 a pound which is a great price for organic, free-range meat. I roast the chickens and then use the meat for several meals. (Here is a great post at The Book Lady Online about stretching a whole chicken to make several meals). After I have gotten as many meals as possible from the chicken, I freeze the carcass. When I have 2 carcasses, I make broth. Why do I wait until I have 2 carcasses? Because I have a large slow cooker, they both fit, and I can make a lot of broth at one time. If you have a smaller slow cooker, halve the below recipe.
How to Make Chicken Broth in a Slow Cooker
There is a printable Crock Pot Chicken Broth recipe below, but first I wanted to show you how to make the broth using food scraps.
I begin with 2 frozen chicken carcasses and whatever vegetable leaves and peelings I have frozen:
Then I add the equivalent of:
4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
I say the equivalent because I save up the carrot peeling, celery tops, and odd pieces of onion from making dinner and use those. If I don’t have any celery tops in the freezer, I cut the tops from a bunch of celery, rather than use the stalks which can be used for other dishes:
And if I don’t have any carrot peelings saved up, I just might sit over my slow cooker and peel a week’s worth of carrots over the slow cooker, rather than cut up whole carrots:
I fill the Crockpot with water. Cook on high for 2 hours. Then reduce heat and cook on low for 10 – 12 hours.
Strain the liquid. Save any bits of meat to use later in soup, but discard the bones and veggies. The nutrients have transferred to the broth, so you can toss the mushy veggies in your compost bin without feeling guilty about wasting food.
I cool the broth in the refrigerator, then I place a flour sack towel in a colander and strain the broth one more time. This produces a clearer, reduced-fat chicken broth.
Finally, I ladle the broth into jars and use a pressure canner to can the broth:
If you do not want to can your broth or do not have a pressure canner, you can freeze it in 1 and 2 cups portions. If you choose to freeze it, I recommend freezing the broth in sturdy Pyrex containers or freezer bags. Canning jars are a little too fragile for the freezer. Whatever container you use, be sure to leave room for the liquid to expand as it freezes.
Printable Slow Cooker Chicken Broth Recipe
- 2 frozen chicken carcasses
- 4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
- 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- Add 2 chicken carcasses to the slow cooker
- Then I add celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and vinegar.
- Fill the Crockpot with water. Cook on high for 2 hours.
- Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 - 12 hours.
- Strain the liquid. Save any bits of meat to use later in soup, but discard the bones and veggies.
- Cool the broth in the refrigerator, then I place a flour sack towel in a colander and strain the broth one more time.
- Ladle the broth into jars and use a pressure canner to can the broth or ladle the broth into freezer-safe containers and freeze it in 1 and 2 cups portions.
More Ways to Make Homemade Broth:
This homemade broth recipe was originally published on November 29, 2014. It was updated on July 16, 2019.