Use your turkey carcass and this tutorial on how to make turkey stock in a slow cooker to make homemade turkey stock.
Turkey Stock or Turkey Broth?
The terms stock and broth are used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Technically, turkey stock is made with bones and turkey broth is made with meat. Since my recipe uses the leftover turkey carcass it is a stock. Lately the term “bone broth” has come into fashion. Bone Broth is actually a stock because it uses bones. The difference between stock and bone broth is that bone broth is cooked for a longer amount of time than stock, sometimes up to 24 hours.
How is Turkey Stock Different from Turkey Broth?
Stock is made by boiling the bones and joints in water for many hours, which allows the bone marrow and collagen to be released. This gives the stock a thicker, more gelatinous consistency than broth. It is also more nutrient-dense than broth, so it is more filling and satisfying in recipes.
Using Turkey Bones to Make Stock
Each year, I save my turkey bones and use them to make turkey stock in a slow cooker.
On Thanksgiving day my husband cleans the meat off the turkey. I put the bones in a large Crock-Pot and make turkey stock. I use the turkey stock along with the other leftovers to make dinner for several days after Thanksgiving, including:
Making turkey stock in a slow cooker is very easy. It is also extremely frugal – you already have the bones and they don’t go to waste.
How to Make Turkey Stock in a Slow Cooker:
Remove as much of the meat as you can from the turkey and place it in a slow cooker. If you don’t have a large oval Crock-Pot or if you have a very large turkey, you will need to break the bones to get them to fit in the slow cooker.
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 peelings, celery tops, and odd pieces of onion while making thanksgiving dinner and use those odds and ends instead of tossing them out. All of the veggies are going to end up in your compost bin, they are just used to add nutrients and flavor to the broth, so they don’t need to be pretty:
Fill the Crock-Pot with water. Cook on high for 1 hour. Then reduce the heat and cook on low for 12 – 15 hours:
Strain the liquid. Save any bits of meat to use later in soup, but discard the bones and vegetables.
Refrigerate the stock. After the stock has cooled, you can skim the fat off the top:
I save the fat and use it to sauté vegetables in place of oil.
The stock will be somewhat congealed when cold, but it becomes “watery” again once heated. And it is absolutely delicious in recipes like Turkey and Rice Soup.
Printable Turkey Stock Recipe
How to Make Turkey Stock in a Slow Cooker
- Turkey bones
- 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
- Remove as much of the meat as you can from the turkey and then place the carcass in a slow cooker.
- Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and apple cider vinegar.
- Fill the slow cooker with water.
- Cook on high for 1 hour. Then reduce heat and cook on low for 12 – 15 hours: Strain the liquid. Save any bits of meat to use later in soup, but discard the bones and veggies.
- Place the stock in a lidded bowl in the refrigerator.
- After the stock has cooled, you can skim the fat off the top.
- Divide the stock up into usable portions and refrigerate for up to a week, freeze, or can using a pressure canner.
More Recipes to Use Up Thanksgiving Leftovers: