Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth

Are you looking for a way to make a nutrient-rich, comforting bone broth without spending hours in the kitchen? Slow cooker chicken bone broth is the answer! In this post, we’ll share our easy crockpot method for making bone broth so you can make delicious bone broth in your sleep!

homemade chicken bone broth

We love making soups during the fall and winter months, and there is nothing better than starting with homemade broth! Seriously, once you start making your own broth you’ll never go back to the store-bought cartons. There is such a big difference in not only nutrition but taste. Imagine rich chicken and hearty vegetable flavor as the perfect base to many wonderful soups, sauces, gravies, and even rice.

So get ready to say goodbye to cans and cartons of boring over-salted water, and start saving time and money with this homemade chicken bone broth. Using just kitchen scraps, water, and a few other basic ingredients, you can tap into the health benefits of this flavorful slow cooker bone broth.

What is bone broth?

Bone broth is literally broth made from animal bones.
What is the difference between broth, bone broth, and stock? Great question! It can be confusing since these are all terms for a very similar end product.

Let’s clarify things a bit:

  • Broth – Broth is made by simmering meat and vegetables for a shorter period, typically less than 3 hours.
  • Stock – Stock is made by simmering bones, along with meat and vegetables. Stock is thicker than broth because gelatin and collagen are released from the bones during cooking. Cooking times for stock range from 4-8 hours.
  • Bone Broth – Bone broth is very similar to stock, other than it is cooked longer, for at least 10-12 hours, and an acid is added to help leach additional collagen from the bones.

Benefits of Homemade Bone Broth

There are so many benefits to making your own bone broth, from financial savings, to enhanced flavor, to superior nutrition.

  1. Bone broth is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins and minerals that support the immune system and gut health.
  2. It is a natural source of collagen which protects joints and improves skin elasticity.
  3. The main ingredients are vegetable scraps, meat bones, and water, allowing you to make this broth for literally pennies.
  4. Plus, you minimize food waste in your kitchen at the same time.
  5. The flavor is so much richer than any broth you might buy in a can or carton at the store.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Slow Cooker – An Instapot on the slow cooker setting will also work.

Ingredients

chicken bone broth ingredients

  • Chicken bones – Really you can use any bones. Some parts of the chicken will have more gelatin in them, like the neck and feet, giving a thicker broth in the end. Back, ribs, or wings are all good choices as well. My favorite is using the carcass of a whole roasted chicken. Don’t bother to totally clean off the meat; it will only add more flavor. Bones can be from raw or cooked meat, but is important that you do not use bones that have been eaten off.
  • Chicken meat (opt.) – If you haven’t cooked chicken lately and don’t have bones ready to use, you can also add raw chicken meat to the pot! Just throw in a package of chicken thighs, drumsticks, or bone-in chicken breasts. Leave the skin on since it is high in collagen. This is a two-for-one as it will add more flavor and give you tender pull-apart chicken, perfect for shredding and using in soups, sandwiches, or other meals. Use the meat right away or freeze it for advanced meal-prep.
  • Vegetable scraps – Carrots, onion, and celery are excellent choices, and you can use any part of the vegetable. Mushrooms can add a deeper flavor, while apple cores can add a touch of sweetness. Do not use parts of cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, or kale, which can lead to bitter-tasting broth. Also avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, which will turn broth cloudy.
  • Water
  • Salt – Salt helps to enhance the natural flavors in the broth. Use a real sea salt for stand-out flavor while adding trace minerals to your diet.
  • Apple cider vinegar (opt.) – This is an acid that may be added to extract minerals and break down the collagen in the bones, which will lead to more collagen in the broth.

Tip: Gradually add bones and veggie scraps to a ziplock bag in the freezer as you cook with them. When you accumulate enough, it’s time to make a batch of broth!

Directions

Step 1:
Place vegetables scraps and chicken carcass in slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt.

chicken bone broth in crockpot

Step 2:
Pour in enough water to cover ingredients.
Add apple cider vinegar.

chicken bone broth in slow cooker

Step 3:
Turn slow cooker on low and let simmer for a minimum of 10 hours. You can let the broth cook for up to 24 hours. I like to dump everything in the night before, and let it cook until I get around to it in the morning.

chicken bone broth in slow cooker

Look at that deep golden color!

Step 4:
Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer. Discard bones and cooked veggie scraps. You may choose to save any pieces of meat that come off the bones during cooking. Just be cautious and pick over the meat because small bone fragments will come loose during cooking.

homemade chicken bone broth

Should my bone broth be gelatinous?

As the bone broth cooks, collagen is released from the bones. Once the broth cools, this can give it a jello-like appearance. The more gelatinous the broth, the more gelatin and collagen it contains. There is nothing wrong if your broth does not gel. It can still have wonderful flavor and contain many vitamin and minerals. It just won’t have as much beneficial collagen. If your broth consistently turns out too thin, try adding less water/more bones or using parts of the bird higher in collagen, like the feet, neck, wings, and skin.

Freezing Broth

Freezing broth is an easy way to store it for later and to make sure you always have some on hand. Store in plastic containers or canning jars. Just make sure you only fill up to the neck of the jar to leave room for expansion. Broth will last in the freezer for about 6 months.

Can I reuse bones to make another batch?

Yes, I often will try to get the most out of my scraps and do two batches back to back. However, the second back will be thinner, less flavorful, and likely less nutritious. It is still great for cooking up rice, though!

Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth

Nutritious, comforting bone broth with rich chicken and hearty vegetable flavor. Made overnight in the slow cooker.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken carcass (1-2 lbs bones)
  • 2-4 C vegetable scraps
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar (opt.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8-10 C water (enough to cover)

Instructions

  • Place vegetables scraps and chicken carcass in slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt.
  • Pour in enough water to cover ingredients.
    Add apple cider vinegar.
  • Turn slow cooker on low and let simmer for a minimum of 10 hours. You can let the broth cook for up to 24 hours.
  • Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer. Discard bones and cooked veggie scraps.
Servings: 8 C

Now you can enjoy homemade chicken bone broth in all of your favorite recipes that call for chicken broth or chicken stock. If you tried this recipe, please leave us a comment and rate this recipe! We love hearing your feedback.

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Hello:) I’ve made this before, I did add a shallot& garlic cloves. So great for our health & keto friendly:) thank you

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