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.


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?



  1. Bethany Ann Hutchinson says

    We make broth in our pressure canner. It can make over 2 gallons of broth at a time! We usually will pressure can about half and then we can keep it in our pantry! We love having fresh, homemade broth available that we can just pop open when we need it!


  2. Kathy Feusse says

    do you always freeze your broth? Or have you ever canned it ? I am toying with the idea of using my pressure cooker to make broth faster, and then pressure canning it right away instead of cooling it and the freezing it. Do you know, would there be anything wrong with that method?




    Laura Reply:

    I have canned it, but it’s a lot of work/time. It’s worth it, and I prefer having jars of it in my pantry to having to thaw it before using! But at this stage, we go through it so quickly, I just keep it in my fridge and use it up before it goes bad.


  3. Amanda says

    I also use the mantra “go big or go home”! We are able to “harvest” large animals at home so I make broth from those bones using a 32 quart stock pot. It’s huge and makes us laugh…we lovingly refer to it as the “witch’s pot”. I have also made applesauce in a roaster pan…bigger than the crockpot but same principle, it’s nice to toss the ingredients in after a long day of canning and have it ready to can the next day, it helps me think that I have a leg up on the next day. I also do apple butter this way. A fabulous smell to wake up to. Mmmm


  4. says

    Sounds like wisdom and a lot of experience. I love the idea to blend my veggies and put them back into the broth. I’ve always just strained them out and thrown them away….shame on me! I’ll have to try this. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Amy O. says

    My husband and I are “empty nesters,” but I still make chicken broth in my stock pot. It saves me time and additional cleanups.

    By the way – I started making broth about three years ago after reading your beef broth post. Thank you!


  6. Roberta says

    I currently use the crockpot, but there are only three of us. However, our son will turn 13 in June so the hordes of locust are on the horizon. I may have to “go bigger” soon. :)


  7. Julie says

    True Story: My mama kept juice in this orange tupperware pitcher in the fridge and I might have occasionally taken a drink directly from the pitcher when no one was looking.
    Except once upon a time, I took a swig and discovered that Mama had left ONION SOUP in the orange tupperware pitcher. Poor Malachi – he has my sympathies!


  8. Stacey says

    I’ve been thinking about this post, and I’m a bit curious about the amount of bones/carcass you use in your bone broth. Wouldn’t the ratio of water to good stuff need to stay the same, no matter the size of the pot, in order to compare equally? You could always add more water to your crock pot broth after the fact, if you’re using the same amount of bones regardless of the size of cooking vessel. Do you follow?

    I have used the bones from one 6 pound chicken in my 7 quart crock pot and I’ve tried it in my instant pot, which holds less. The broth from the instant pot is much richer.

    So, what is your ratio of bones/carcass to water? I can’t imagine that the bones from one chicken in a huge stock pot would make rich enough bone broth.


    Laura Reply:

    Your thoughts make so much sense!

    I’ve never been much into measuring accurately, and that practice has definitely translated to loose broth making! I’ve never found that adding an exact amount of water to a pot of chicken bones has made a difference in quality of broth. This may be because I add so many veggies. But even one chicken worth of bones in my huge stock pot with 2 pounds of veggies and a LOT of water, cooked on low for hours, turns out very rich, nourishing broth.

    It’s likely I’d get a more nutrient dense broth if I used less water, but I think I prefer to make a larger amount of almost-as-nutrient-dense broth so I can get more bang for my nutritional buck, if that makes sense! :)


  9. says

    I just recently stopped making broth in my crock-pot. It took all day and I would barely get enough to make soup twice for just my husband and myself! I have a small stove (camper stove) so I can’t put a stock pot on it, but it’s worth it to just come to my mom’s house to make broth. Now I can make enough to last us a month in one day with the same amount of time and energy.


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