Your personal shoppers, leaving home not required. Shop gift guides »
🔕 🔔
Loading…

My Basket ()

All questions

What is the best proportion of water to chicken pounds for a stock?

I want to make and freeze a lot of stock at once, will probably be using 2 pots to do this. Is it simply 2 inches over the total capacity of chicken parts? Or, is there a more scientific approach? And does anyone know what the typical stock yield is for a X-pound bird? I'm trying to compare costs of buying organic chicken vs. buying ready made organic stock.

asked by NakedBeet over 1 year ago
B0e51b35 a002 4fdd adc2 f06fa947184e  baci1
HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

Alton Brown suggests 2:1 (wt/wt) water to chicken bones, though the CIA says 4:1. Alton likes a richer flavor apparently. More bones means more collagen means more flavor and body to the stock. A stock made from more meat than bones is going to be more delicate in flavor. Some say that using more meat means you are making broth, but then there's something called bone broth which is made with a mix of different bones. So l'll leave the semantics out of this. It depends on your recipe. I'm hazarding a guess that you are making a broth if you are using whole chickens. Can't imagine simmering chicken meat for hours just to make stock; the meat would overcook and dry out (yes, even in water). That seems like wasting a good and expensive organic chicken. Can you get access to bones from organic chickens. Bones are always cheap(er).

To your other question about yield, since none of the ingredients in stock is likely to absorb water (e.g. chicken, aromatics, vegetables) I think it's fair to say that if you are using a 2 gallons of water, you'll end up with at least 90% (due to evaporation during the simmer). A brief simmer of 45 mins to 1 hour is going to evaporate less than a stock that simmers (very gently) for 4-6 hours.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 1 year ago

Actually, Ruhlman says to take out the vegetables after 45 minutes, because at that point they do start absorbing the stock. Not sure if he's right. Just mentioning it. ;o)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 1 year ago

I think 2 inches would be a good idea. I usually start with the bones and scraps of chicken and then, when it is simmering, add the onion, carrot and celery. I don't think you should waste a whole organic chicken though, especially not the breast meat. Often I make stock from legs or wings and, if it is legs, I put them in the bottom of the pot, cover the pot and slow simmer until the meat is cooked. No water. Then I cool and bone the chicken to use in recipes that call for cooked chicken. I throw the bones back in the pot with the broth that has accumulated during cooking, add water and vegs and slow simmer for a few hours. Works great. Legs are often on sale and have lots of water soluble fats and collagen. If I've used wings I pull off what meat I can and use it for dog food. HalfPint is right, the meat is dried out but the dogs don't mind.

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

Your calculations will be a bit off because you only use the bones for stock. Even so, the point of making your own is for flavor and/or health benefits, not cost.

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

I disagree about cost. It depends on where you live but my local "food depot", which is a costplus 10 percent chain. Sells chicken thighs with bones for 3 dollars for 3 pounds. That in a pressure cooker with a onion, carrot and celery make about 1-2 quarts of stock. Good stock.

A pressure cooker makes the best stock ever for cheep chicken bits.

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

Sam, the chicken thighs I buy are $2.79 lb. I would never use them for stock. I buy whole chickens for $1.99 lb and set aside wings, necks and backs in zip lock bags until I have enough for stock. My favorite thing to use are wings. They seem to make a more gelatinous stock which is what I shoot for. I drink mugs of the stuff all winter.

88afa98e fd9c 4e61 af72 03658638b6cb  eight ball 600px
cv
added over 1 year ago

Remember: the original poster was trying to compare homemade ORGANIC chicken stock versus commercial ORGANIC chicken stock.

This is not a race to the bottom of how to make the cheapest chicken stock in your kitchen.

If you are buying ORGANIC chickens (whole or parts) at one or two dollars per pound, I'm sure many of us would like to know where you are sourcing your birds.

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

Yes cv, I buy organic whole chickens that have been raised in a pasture in the warmer months directly from a farmer a short drive from where I live. They are always $1.99 lb. I get my eggs and organic vegetables from the same farmer.

88afa98e fd9c 4e61 af72 03658638b6cb  eight ball 600px
cv
added over 1 year ago

Excellent, Susan W, you are fortunate to have a great source of reasonably priced organic chicken from a local source.

That said, based on my earlier back-of-the-envelope calculation, a stock made from your organic chicken would be over $1.22/cup, well over the 50 cents/cup at Trader Joe's. And that's only a chicken ingredient calculation, it doesn't cover other ingredients nor energy.

I'd love to hear from Sam1148 whether or not he is sourcing ORGANIC chicken at a dollar per pound.

Again, the original poster is trying to figure out if she can make homemade ORGANIC chicken stock cheaper than commercial ORGANIC chicken stock.

So far, no one has come remotely close.

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

I realize the OP was regarding water bone ratio and cost comparison. Conversation wandered off track as conversations do. There is a lot of good information on this thread above and beyond what was originally asked. I wouldn't consider buying already made stock because the health benefits and flavor outweigh the increase in cost, but that's my perspective and not necessarily someone else's perspective or priority. I also consider my stock bones to be freebies since I wouldn't gnaw on the necks, backs and I happily donate the wings. My vegetables are all from scraps. Onion ends, carrot trimmings and thyme stems from my garden.