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Old 10-27-2006, 06:56 PM   #1
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Slowcooker stocks

Does anyone else use their slowcooker to make stock? Maybe I'm getting lazy but I like the idea on just throwing my roasted bones, veggies & scraps in, turning it on & going to bed. The next morning strain, cool & skim the fat off. (This part usually makes me late for work )

Can you over cook stock?

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Old 10-27-2006, 06:58 PM   #2
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I haven't heard of using a slow cooker but I have heard of making stock in the oven.
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:03 PM   #3
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I've seen recipes for it. Never done it. I saved a few of them as a guideline for the technique if I ever have a need to.

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Old 10-27-2006, 08:29 PM   #4
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It is a new one on me.

I love to make stock and truly believe in the s-l-o-w simmer and skimming the surface.

But, heck, it might turn out OK or even pretty good.

A few bones and pieces of veggies are pretty cheap and you might want to experiment.

Go where no saucier has gone before.

Think I would start with chicken first, however, the beef bones being a lot thicker take a lot more time to cook.

Good luck and whether you win or lose, let us know.

No experiment is a failure, it is just an experience you can learn from.
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Old 10-27-2006, 08:43 PM   #5
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I've already done it a few times (lamb & beef) & I think it works, the flavors seem fine. Herbs can seem stronger. If you were to judge the stock by the amount of gelatin you get upon cooling it's great. If you wanted to reduce the stock further I guess you'd just leave the lid off for a few hours.
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:20 PM   #6
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A slow cooker is ideal for stock. I use it all the time for homemade chicken stock.

Vegetables should be chunked (not finely sliced or diced) and chicken pieces hacked into chunks. Because of the long cooking, I skip herbs (fresh or dried - parsley stems are the one exception) but normally add some bay leaves OR about 1-2 tsp of whole coriander seed. I also add about 1 tsp whole black pepper.

Start with lightly salted *cold* water (enough to cover ingredients by 1-1/2 to 2 inches), cover and set on low. The cold start, gradual heating of the water and low steady simmer means NO SCUM FORMS therefore NO SKIMMING IS NEEDED.

Cooking time is anywhere from 8 to 12 hours, depending on your schedule. The crockpot is safe and uses very little energy so it is fine left unattended. You can start it in the AM before you leave for work and strain it sometime in the evening or start it in the evening and let it go overnight, straining it the next morning.

I strain the stock through a colander lined with several layers of cheesecloth into a large bowl. All the solids are discarded. The bowl goes into the 'frig to allow the fat to rise to the top and harden. The stock congeals underneath the fat layer.

Once the fat has hardened, it is scraped off and discarded. The bottom 1/2 inch of stock contains sediment (all those tiny particles that slipped through your cheesecloth) and I normally discard this also. I freeze the stock and always keep some on hand.
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