Making Stock

I’m big on making our own meat stock since we have so many bones from our livestock.

I also appreciate that it’s a nice drink in the morning or even lunch, fills me up and it just makes me feel good. It’s a key ingredient in so many meals here at the farm in the winter and even in the summer.

I don’t measure much and anything goes. It always turns out delicious and since I started doing this my joints feel so much better. I’m told it’s the gelatin and minerals from the bones.

How to do make meat stock. I make a beef pork mix and also a chicken stock.

The mix stock I use for stews, beef soup and cottage pie. The chicken one I use for squash soup, when cooking up wild rice, chicken pot pie, chicken soup, mashed potatoes and just to sip on a bad day.

What’s stock vs. Broth? I think of broth as made with just bones and a little lacking in over all flavor. Stock is heartier, includes vegetable and way more flavor. Most of the time I want the extra flavor so I make stock.

  1. Save bones from all meats. Preferably from Grassfed and Pasture Raised meats but do what you can. Bones from roasts, steaks, chops, marrow bones, chicken carcass (feet to if you can get some).

  2. If they aren’t already cooked I will roast them in the oven until they smell wonderful and have a nice browned color. You can sprinkle with salt and pepper if you like.

  3. The veggies. Okay sure you can make a broth with just bones and I find it a little blah for me. So I add in onions- skin and all, celery, carrots, parsley. If I have some leftover green beans, a soft apple, peach peel… leeks. I’ll toss them in also. How much? keep reading.

Instant Pot is the fastest way to make stock (or broth). But slow cooker and stove top are just fine.

So many Instant Pot recipes call for stock or broth, why bother buying store bought with extra stuff you don’t want and iffy processes? Make your own.

I have the 8 quart version because I cook in larger volumes. 6 quart is just fine.

I put in a bunch of bones. The last batch I had 4 small beef marrow bones and a dozen pork chops bones. I roasted them in the oven at 350 for about an hour until they were a deep brown and smelled wonderful. Put those in the pot but not the grease leftover- I tossed that in the compost.

Then I added 3 stalks of celery chopped in 2 inch or so lengths, 3 carrots- not peeled and cut into about 1 inch long pieces. I also added 1/2 a large onion, coarsely chopped plus the skin. Then some parsley from the garden that I had frozen. About 1/2 a cup full- not needed. Then 1/2 tablespoon of coarse pepper and 1/2 tablespoon salt. You don’t have to add the pepper and salt- I did because I like how it comes out.

I also add in 1-2 teaspoons of dried thyme and oregano.- completely optional.

Vinegar- okay should you add some vinegar to this to help minerals to be drawn from the bones. I’ve done it that way and also read that it’s a myth. I do like the flavor of some balsamic vinegar about 1/4 cup when I do the beef/pork stock. I’ll use Apple Cider Vinegar with Chicken bones. But honestly, I forget sometimes and have not noticed. It’s up to you and do what makes you feel good!

All this goes in the instant pot, then covered with water, usually about 3-4 quarts of water. Be sure to not to over fill and follow the line on the pot.

If you don’t have as many bones, you can cut back on the veggies a little if you want. Adjust the amount of water as needed.

Use the Soup setting and reset it to 90 minutes. Once done I just let it naturally release. Take pot out of cooker and strain the solids. I then let it cool so I can skim off any fat. Freeze in ice cube trays and any containers you want. Or refrigerate and use within a week. I freeze in 1 cup amounts and 1 quart amounts then some in ice cube trays so it’s easy to have an assortment of amounts on hand for whatever dish I need it for.

I do the same veggies when I do chicken stock too. The chicken bones if from a cooked chicken just get put into the stock if I have a raw chicken carcass I will roast them like the other bones to develop the color and improve the flavor.


Ingredients and water is the same, just cook on low for 8-10 hours.


Ingredients the same just bring to a boil then simmer all day.

I’ve been known to simmer things in a really big pot for 2 days and making a few gallons of stock at a time. Now that I have the Instant Pot I can start it in the morning and all cleaned up before lunch. Or do some after dinner and let it chill overnight. Easy and Delicious.

Other things to add: An apple or some peach peels, soft onions, wilted celery, those carrots that are getting soft so aren’t so great to eat fresh. Leftover veggies from the veggie drawer- lettuce, kale, green beans, a little fennel, basil, zucchini, winter squash- even the rind! … Somethings I did not care for was cauliflower and broccoli.

I’ve heard chef’s say the vegetables should be roasted to improve the flavor and color of the stock. So….. I don’t bother to do it. I did once and really didn’t notice a difference since the bones were roasted. I’m happy I’m making time for what I’m doing so I don’t stress about the perfect flavor. Probably why I’m not a chef!

**do you need to roast the bones? No you don’t. I’ve done it for years without roasting and things were fine. Chicken bones with out roasting or cooking before turn out pretty good. Beef and pork bones I find that the flavor is soooooo much better if I roast them quick first. Do what you can fit into your time. Making stock is a big step for our meals when it’s so easy to buy that sealed carton on the grocery store shelf.

Small steps people. Make some small changes. Buy better meat, use leftovers, save the bones for stock…… Your body will thank you and you are taking one more step to improve your food. Nice job.