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Old 01-18-2010, 10:01 AM   #1
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Making stock - How much yield/liquid lost?

I made veal stock from bones and veggies recently, and I was disappointed at the yield... does this sound normal?

I used my largest two pots (don't know the exact sizes, but about 10 and 8 quarts), and put 10 lbs of roasted veal bones into them (this took a huge amount of space) along with the roasted vegetables (1 cookie sheet full of chopped onion, carrot, celery) and the aromatics. I then filled them both to the top with water and simmered for 8 hours per the recipe. At the end of the 8 hours, the liquid level in the pots had reduced to about half the height of the pot... but that was before I took the bones out and strained the stock. After the bones were removed and the straining was completed, I ended up with maybe 2-3 quarts of stock.

I couldn't help but feel like I should have gotten more out of 10 pounds of bones... but maybe I just expected too large of a yield?

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Old 01-18-2010, 10:04 AM   #2
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Depending on the size of your pot that sounds about right. You already realize how much space those bones take up. Realistically, there isn't that much room left over for liquid when you start. When you're done, you're left with half of what you started with so...not so much left.

Ah well, I bet what you DO have tastes yummy. Maybe next time, use only half the bones. 10lbs is a lot. Try 5, there will be way more space for liquid.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
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Good advice... so another way of looking at it is the bones/water ratio... I wonder if there is a ratio we can come up with for "normal" stock.... sounds like I either needed bigger pots (more water) or less bones in this case.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
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IMO you're looking at this wrong. What you are looking for is flavor, not volume. You can always add or subtract liquid, and you will gain or lose flavor. I would not cut back on the bones or increase the liquids until I used the stock.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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Well, I just meant starting with more water in the beginning and reducing from there... not adding water after the fact. But yes, I know what you mean.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:51 AM   #6
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Think we are all roughly on the same page.

I generally adjust the ingredient "pile" to the size pot I'm using. If I use my stock pot = more ingredients; my dutch oven = lot fewer ingredients.

Now that you know your yield you can adjust accordingly.

Something to remember might also be the density of the things you put in. Chicken carcasses for example seem to take a lot of room, but really don't take anywhere near as much room as the heavier beef bones.

Hope that made sense, I'm still working on coffee #1!
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:08 AM   #7
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Yes, these veal bones I used were gigantic, and dense. :) I think I'll try a dark chicken stock next. Might also invest in a 16 qt stockpot.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:42 AM   #8
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I use a 20-Qt. pot for stock. That allows me to use a lot of bones so I end up with a lot of stock. After straining the stock to eliminate the bones, veggies and other solid matter, I reduce the liquid that's left to concentrate the flavor of the stock. As BigJim said, you want the flavor, not the volume.

Since it's so time consuming to make a beef/veal stock, I would aim to use as big a stock pot as I could afford so you get more for the effort and time you put into it. It pretty much takes just as long to make 8 quarts as it does to make 20.
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:15 AM   #9
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I got the hang of it. I liked the end result.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:59 AM   #10
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Yeah, buy a cheap 20-qt pot from Target or Walmart. I usually expect 1 gallon of quality stock from 8-10 pounds of bones. For me this is followed by straining/degreasing, and then reduction of the 1 gallon to about 2-Cups. This glace de viande/volaille can then be poured into silicon ice cube trays, frozen, and bagged. With a 20-qt pot, you can make double batches with 16-20 pounds of bones.

I go 20-24 hours for veal stock, 12 hours for pork, 8 for chicken, and 1-2 for fish (although the latter I never make/freeze in advance).

Next time try using just roasted bones (with a little salt), and then a couple hours before it's finished add some diced raw shallot. It's easier, and I find it superior to stocks muddled with the sweet flavor of roasted carrots/onions and overpowering celery (or the typical ingredients in a bouquet garni for that matter). I love celery in my chicken soup or stuffing, but if I'm using the reduced stock for a Marsala pan sauce I'm just looking for the product of meat and bones.
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