Why I Don’t Make Broth in the Crock Pot

I’ll get right to the point.

I think it’s a fabulous idea to make homemade bone broth in the crock pot. But that doesn’t work for me and here’s why:

My crock pot only makes 3 quarts of broth at one time.

(It’s a 6-quart crock pot, but after the bones are strained out, the amount of broth only ends up being about 3 quarts.)

Instead of a crock pot, I make broth in my big stock pot, which makes almost 2 gallons at one time! (The same is true for applesauce. It absolutely doesn’t save me time to make a crock pot full of applesauce when I can make many quarts in my stock pot in much less time.)

broth in stock pot

My food prep mantra: Go big or go home.
Except that the food prep happens when I already am home. So…
Go big or go bigger.

Indeed, my stock pot makes almost three times the amount of broth (or applesauce) at one time compared to my crock pot. Since broth simmers slowly for several hours no matter what I cook it in, efficiency tells me to always use my stock pot.

In addition to this, I typically make two huge batches of broth in one day to make the most of my chicken or beef bones. I make one batch of broth when I’m cooking a couple of chickens. Then I strain the broth to put into jars, pull the chicken off the bones, and throw the bones back into the pot to make a second batch. In both batches, I throw several pounds of onions, carrots, and leeks. I get almost four gallons of broth in a day when I do this! (Read the following links for specifics on  how I make Chicken Broth and Beef Broth.)

This process gives us enough broth for soups and other recipes for about two weeks. It is awesome.

A Side Note: I Make Orange Chicken or Beef Broth

Let’s talk for a moment about all those veggies I cook into the broth. They get ridiculously mushy after cooking for so many hours, so I just blend them up and stir them back into the broth for added nourishment. You know what this means, don’t you? This means that my broth always turns a beautiful orange color.

How to Make Chicken Broth

A word to the wise:

If you follow this example of cooking and blending carrots/onions/leeks/celery/spinach into your broth, turning it a beautiful orange color – I suggest that you inform your family about the contents of the pretty orange liquid you’ve placed in jars in the fridge. Otherwise they might say, “Can I have some orange juice?” and you might absentmindedly say, “Sure” before you realize you don’t actually have any orange juice. And then your kid will take a big swig of chicken broth and almost puke.

Hypothetically.

It could happen I think.

I have no idea why my youngest won’t touch orange juice anymore.

Back to talking about the Stock Pot Broth Making Method

Now in a few years when all these strapping teenage sons of mine have left the nest (sniff) and I no longer need pounds and gallons and cases of food like I do now, might I go back to using my crock pot to make broth again?

I haven’t decided. I like efficiency. Broth freezes just fine, so I may always use the stock pot for broth-making to avoid having to make the mess as frequently.

And the truth is, I’m not even sure I remember how to make less than 16 quarts of something at once. We may enjoy a lot of leftovers (or company) until I can figure that out.

In the meantime,

This is why I don’t make broth in the crock pot.

Why I Don't Make Broth in my Crock Pot

How do you make your broth?

 

Make Homemade Broth ~ Money Saving Monday

 

Money Saving Monday Banner

Welcome to our very first Money Saving Monday tip! I have to start with talk about making broth. Why? Here’s the back story…

Once upon a time (otherwise known as two weeks ago), we were having a houseful of company for the weekend. I had the meals planned, and worked to get as much cooking done ahead of time as possible so that I could enjoy my guests once they arrived.

The only task left on my list was “make broth for soup” which kept getting pushed down because of everything else that kept getting added to my list – you know how it is. I decided, “Fine, I’ll just buy the broth. No need to kill myself and be exhausted before guests arrive.”  So I checked “make broth for soup” off my to-do list and added “broth for soup” to my grocery list. (This has got to be the most intriguing story you’ve ever read…)

Fast-forward to the part where I was standing at the store in the aisle of broth. I saw the tiny little box of broth along with its price tag. Out loud to the shelf, the broth, the price tag, and likely to a few other shoppers passing by, I said, “Ugh. $2 – for this??”  I cringed as I put three boxes in my cart. I cringed even more when I poured the watery broth into my soup pot. When I make broth, it’s thick and rich, full of vegetables, fat, and gel from the bones.

Purchasing broth that day really was a life saver. But a money saver it was not. Plus, what I make at home is much more nutrient packed. So Money Saving Monday tip for today:

Make Your Own Nutrient-Packed Broth

For the price of three boxes of store-bought (watery) broth, I can make 2 gallons of homemade, nourishing broth. I pack it full of veggies. I cook it slow and low until the good fat and nutrients seep out of the bones. You haven’t had broth until you’ve had homemade bone broth. This is incredibly delicious, and so very good for you!

Even better, beef bones are very inexpensive to purchase. I purchase beef bones from a local farmer who raises grass-fed beef. You can also check butcher shops and your grocery store meat department to see about getting a good deal on beef bones.

I personally love how easy beef bone broth is to make. In addition, I often make Chicken Broth, which is also incredibly nourishing and rich. But it does take a little more effort if you are starting with whole chickens. Making broth from beef bones requires very little effort – and very little money – just to restate one of our main points today!

Below you’ll find links to our Beef Broth and Chicken Broth instructions:

How to Make Beef Broth

Homemade Beef Broth

How to Make Chicken Broth

How to Make Chicken Broth

So, three cheers for homemade bone broth! It’s one of the most inexpensive ways to get loads of nourishment into your family.

What to do with Beef Bone Broth or Chicken Broth:

In case you lost count, that’s 12 amazing ways to fill yourself and your family with nourishment in a very inexpensive way. Homemade Beef and Chicken broth are amazing!

Make it Ahead

Beef and Chicken Broth can easily be made ahead and frozen for future use. This means you are not only saving money, you’re saving time! To freeze broth, be sure it has completely cooled. Pour it into jars, leaving 2-3 inches of space at the top of the jar to allow for the broth to expand as it freezes. You can also freeze the broth in freezer bags. Just be sure the bags are sealed well before putting them in the freezer. Otherwise, they will spill and leak, creating broth-sicles all over the freezer – ask me how I know. :(

What are your favorite ways to make and use beef or chicken broth?