Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

Glass cup full of broth with carrots, celery, and onion scattered around.

Homemade chicken stock just got even easier! Using a slow cooker for this recipe truly makes it 'set it and forget it' all while using 4 simple and classic ingredients to create traditional flavor.

  • Author: Michele Sidorenkov, RDN
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12-24 hours
  • Total Time: 12-24 hours
  • Yield: About 6.5 cups 1x
  • Category: Stock
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: French techniques
  • Diet: Gluten Free



1 pound of chicken bones (NOTE 1 & 2)

2 cups of diced white or yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)

2 cups of diced celery (about 5-6 celery ribs)

2 cups of diced carrot (about 3 medium-large carrots)

Enough water to cover all ingredients (about 8 cups of water for a 7 quart slow cooker)


  1. Add chicken bones, onion, celery, and carrots to the slow cooker and top off with enough water to cover all ingredients.
  2. Place the lid and set the slow cooker to high and let cook for 12-24 hours (See NOTE 3). Do not stir or open the the lid until it has finished cooking.
  3. Using a ladle and fine mesh strainer, strain the stock directly into a long, rectangular container (See NOTE 4). Discard the leftover chicken carcass and vegetables. Cover stock and refrigerate for 3 - 24 hours.
  4. Using a spoon, skim off any fat that has risen to the top. Use your homemade chicken stock within 3 - 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.



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NOTE 1: One pound of bones is equal to an average sized whole chicken once the meat has been removed.

NOTE 2: You can add all chicken bones, carcass joints, cartilage, and skin but just note that the skin will add more fat to the stock that you'll need to skim off in step 4.

NOTE 3: After 12 hours, the stock will have amazing flavor but if you continue to cook up to 24 hours, the stock will become more dark, rich, and roasted.

NOTE 4: Using a longer, flatter container helps the stock cool faster than a large bowl because you are increasing the liquid's surface area for the refrigerated air to chill. You always want warm food items to chill as fast as possible in the fridge to prevent any food safety issues!

Once you get more comfortable with this recipe, build up the flavor by adding in more ingredients! Here are some ingredient addition suggestions:

  • Flavor boosters: whole garlic cloves, whole peppercorns, bay leaf, sprig of thyme or rosemary, roasting the bones and vegetables before cooking, and playing around with the onion, celery, and carrot ratios.
  • Reusing flavorful veggie scraps: green carrot tops, vegetable peels, onion bottoms and cleaned outer shells, celery tops and bottoms, and parsley stems. Note that adding cruciferous veggie scraps to the slow cooker is not recommended and some of the above food items could change the overall color.
  • Nutrition boosting tips: adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar will help extract more collagen from the chicken bones (source 1, source 2). Also, refrain from adding salt to your stock - it's not needed and can pre-season future recipes that you will make with your chicken stock.

Storing & Freezing:

  • Store in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing in individual serving sizes instead of one big block.

*The nutrition analysis for this recipe is an estimate. There are so many different variables that can change the overall nutritionals, like how much water you add to the slow cooker or how much collagen is extracted, ect.


Keywords: Slow cooker chicken stock