Step-by-step instructions on how to make chicken bone broth. So much cheaper than store-bought, less waste, and more delicious! Homemade bone broth makes the best soups and stews.
Making your own slow-cooker bone broth is way easier than you might think and the best part is, it’s made from mainly scraps that would else end up in the trash or compost. Your chicken noodle soup or chicken orzo soup will taste 10 million times better with homemade broth.
Your waste production is so much less. You are “reusing” your food waste” AND you are leaving the boxed kind on the shelve. I’m giving you the recipe with whole carrots/celery/onion but you can also simply use leftover veggie scraps from other recipes.
Let’s get right to the details.
First, you roast one or two whole chickens in the oven with whatever seasoning you like at 400F oven temperature for 20mins per pound plus an additional 20 minutes.
3 lbs chicken(s) = 1:20 hours
3.5 lbs chicken(s) = 1:30 hours
4 lbst chicken(s) = 1:40 hours
Then you cut off legs, thighs, and breasts from the chicken and remove the back meat until you are left with a bare chicken carcass. Alternatively, you can also shred the whole chicken and you are left with even more chicken bones and cartilage.
Add the chicken carcass(es) and any other bones and cartilage to your slow cooker (or a large stockpot or your instant pot – I prefer the slow cooker) and add all of the following:
- 2 whole carrots – or several carrot ends with its leaves attached works, too
- 2 stalks celery – you can also use 1/4 celery root instead
- 1 unpeeled whole onion – leaving the peel on gives the chicken bone broth really nice color
- half a bulb garlic – peeled or unpeeled, both works
- fresh aromatic herbs – such as rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, bay leaves
- sea salt to your liking – I add 2-3 tsp because I like it salty
- 8 whole peppercorns – ground pepper works, too, don’t overdo it though
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar – another vinegar or even lemon juice works, too
- 8 cups of water when using only one carcass and 16 cups of water if using two carcasses
Slow cook the ingredients for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. This is the reason I prefer the slow cooker over a stockpot. It’s safer to leave it on and leave the house or go to bed. In a stockpot I recommend slow-cooking only during the day and while you are home.
Alternatively use the Instant Pot (use only one carcass and 8 cups of water in a 6-quart) and pressure cook on high for 2 hours. Pay attention to the max filling line. Then let the pressure release naturally.
Once the cooking time is over, remove all the veggies and bones with some tongs and discard. Then use a ladle and ladle the broth through a fine sieve into a bowl with a spout. Then pour the broth into sealable freezer-friendly containers if you plan on freezing the chicken bone broth.
Leave about 1/4 to 1/3 of space left at the top of the jar because frozen liquid expands and can break jars or containers in the freezer.
Chicken Bone Broth FAQs
How long does homemade bone broth last in the fridge?
According to the FDA, it lasts 3-4 days if stored promptly after cooking and in an airtight container.
Can it be frozen?
Yes! It’s best to freeze in an airtight container but with 1/4-1/3 space left at the top so the liquid can expand when frozen and does not break the container.
Frozen chicken bone broth is best used within 3 months.
Can I use my pressure cooker?
Yes! This works perfectly. Just make sure you do not fill more than the max filling line. Pressure cook for 2 hours on high.
Can I use a stockpot on the stove?
Yes! You can use a stockpot on the stove but make sure you cook it during the day and while you are home. You cannot leave a pot on the stove unsupervised.
How long should I cook bone broth?
As long as possible and up to 24 hours on low. You can get a great broth in the pressure cooker in as little as 2 hours. However, the longer you slow-cook it, the better in my opinion. I usually cook it 16 hours.
We have roasted chicken for dinner around 6 pm, then I immediately get the slow cooker going and the next morning around 10 am I’m ready to store the broth.
Chicken Bone Broth
- 2 chicken carcasses + additional bones and cartilage from chicken parts
- 16 cups water
- 1 unpeeled onion
- 1/2 bulb garlic
- 2 unpeeled carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sage leaves
- 8 peppercorns
- sea salt
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Add all ingredients to your slow cooker and put on the lid (do not lock the lid but place properly to avoid too much water evaporation).
- Set the slow cooker to anywhere from 12-24 hours on low.
- Remove the carcasses and veggies with tongs.
- Ladle the broth through a sieve into a bowl with a spout and then pour into your storage containers.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or store in freezer-friendly containers (don’t fill all the way up, liquid expands when frozen) and freeze for up to 3 months.
I feed the discarded veggies to my chickens they love it. Sometimes I bring everything up, put in ice cube trays, freeze, and they have chicken treats..
Can you use the leftover juices from cooking the chicken or do you have to get rid of that and only use water?
Lorena Grater says
Oh, I never thought of it because I use the juices for the chicken itself to eat the meat with the juices. I assume you can just add them to the broth, too.