I have grown to love making chicken stock in a crock pot. Is it possible to keep it in the crock pot for too long?
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I haven't done this myself but I have read about people making perpetual bone stock in their crock pots. They just add more bones to it on occasion; sorry, I don't remember how often the stock is added to. I'd try looking up how to make bone broth in a crock pot online and you should be able to find more specifics.
I can't say for sure on this, but after a while the bones will start to break down. When I make broth with shank bones from beef, after a while, they start to become pitted - a sign the bone is actually breaking down and releasing minerals into the water. Chicken bones are so thin and fragile it doesn't take them nearly as long to "dissolve" as beef bones do. Like I said, I don't know for sure, but I would imagine at some point that you'd end up with disintegrated bones. Water is the ultimate solvent, after all.
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I would say that a day's work is adequate time for the bones to yield all that they're going to in a slow cooker. The issue isn't necessarily how long the bones can remain in the cooker, but rather how to treat the stock afterwards. Regardless of the cooking time or method, I routinely double-strain my stocks. The first pass is through a colander set in the sink with a large bowl underneath so as to remove the large solids. The second pass is through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth, also into a bowl set in the sink so as to filter out any fine particles.
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