pressure cooker stock

with Pressure Cooked Chicken Broth Recipe (Lesson 6)

pressure cooker stock
A rich, flavorful stock can be had from chicken parts that you, or your butcher, would ordinarily discard and can be ready from start to finish in under an hour. Home-made stock is delicious on its own as a broth for any filled pasta, or great to use as a base for risotto.

Pressure Cooker Stock De-bunked and De-Gunked

In researching something as basic as making a chicken stock, I came across hundreds of methods, techniques and tips. I de-bunked some of the most time-consuming recommendations and boiled down pressure cooker stock-making to the most necessary steps.

No need to roast meat and bones to add flavor. 
The most widely spread stock recipes suggest roasting the chicken carcass in the oven for an hour to add flavor. Roasting chicken carcass or bones prior to stock-making is unnecessarily time, energy and flavor consuming. It evaporates most of the liquid and juices that you want to incorporate in your stock!

Browning the bones and meat in the pressure cooker, prior to adding the vegetables and boiling, give you the exact same result in terms of color, and even better results terms of flavor. The best part: it just takes 5-7 minutes as opposed to an hour.

No need to chop veggies, onion skins stay on.
Some top cooking websites use chopped vegetables in their step-by-step photos for stock-making. You are making stock, and not soup! Leaving vegetables whole makes them easier to fish out, keeps your stock clear of vegetable matter, and lets you re-use them if you like (though they will have lost most of their flavor).

Onion skins: another area of conflicting advice. Leave the skin of your onions on they will add color and richness to the broth (the dirty root and tip ends come off!).

No need to skim fat and scum.
Another widely written recommendation, suggest you stand over an open pan of boiling stock for the first hour and skim the fat and “scum” as it raises to the top for a clearer broth. This is another completely unnecessarily time-consuming step. If you let the broth cool, and then refrigerate overnight, you can get that nice layer of scum (which will remain at the top) and fat (which will rise to the top when chilled) in about 5 minutes or less – and usually encased in one, convenient, solid piece of fat.

A little acid will do ya. 
Acidic ingredients not only add flavor, but also extract even more collagen and cartilage from the bones making the soup more nutritious.   This recipe uses a tomato for acid, but a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice, a dash of wine or a teaspoon of vinegar (balsamic, anyone?) will do the same thing. Don’t over do it!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger none 30 min. High(2) Natural

4.6 from 5 reviews
Basic Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock Recipe
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 chicken carcass (skin, wing tips, neck, bones ect.) or 1lb or 500g pakage of chicken wings
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 2-3 celery stalks, broken in half
  • 1 onion, root stub removed and quartered
  • 1 tomato, halved
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, whole
  • 1 bunch fresh Thyme, whole
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (or desired amount)
  • water to cover
  • Fine Strainer or colander
  • Large mixing bowl
  1. Wash and very roughly divide the vegetables as indicated.
  2. Preheat the pressure cooker for 2-3 minutes, then add a little swirl of olive oil.
  3. When the oil becomes very runny, add the chicken carcass, pieces and brown all of the pieces and bones well, turning frequently (about 7-10 minutes).
  4. Add the parsley, carrots, onion, tomato, celery and thyme and salt and pour in just enough water to cover the vegetables (about 8 cups or 2 liters).
  5. The pressure cooker will take a longer than usual to reach pressure (about 20 minutes) since the pot will be nearly at maximum capacity - this is completely normal.
  6. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 30 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure (with the model I'm using, the pressure cooker has reached pressure when the yellow indicator lifts up and vapor begins exiting the valve), lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 30 minutes pressure cooking time.
  7. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes). For electric pressure cookers, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and open when the pressure indicator has gone down (20 to 30 minutes) - this extra time will continue cooking the stock enough to make-up for the pressure difference which is why the recipe has the same cooking time for both electric and stovetop cookers.
  8. Pour stock through strainer into a large mixing bowl. Let the ingredients cool enough for you to pick through them and pull out any remaining chicken meat and vegetables- set this aside to use with the broth as a chicken soup or as a filling for other recipes (be aware that there will be very little chicken flavor left in the meat but it is still great to eat with a mix of fresh veggies, or combined with other ingredients as a filling.
  9. Let the liquid cool for about an hour before covering with plastic-wrap and putting in the refrigerator overnight.
  10. The next day, take the stock out of the refrigerator and spoon off all of the fat and scum that has gathered at the top. If it has not solidified (it can depend on how much fat was on the pieces of chicken you used for the stock), remove the top layer by dropping an open paper-towel over the top and removing it as soon as it has begun to absorb - you may need to do this several times with new paper towels to fully remove to top layer and clarify the stock. But most stocks will have turned into a solid gelatin (this is great), and it will be easy to scrape off the top layer of scum.
  11. Now, you have double-strength concentrated chicken stock that you can use as-is, or dilute with water for a milder flavor.

  12. Keep in the fridge for up to three days or freeze portioned in plastic baggies for up to three months.
To make the photographed, recipe:
  1. Bring the stock to a boil.
  2. Added stuffed pasta (ricotta-filled tortellini would be a good) -the pasta in the photo are called ciuffettini or sachetti- little tufts or bags.
  3. Boiled for the time indicated on the package.

Crystal Clear Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock - tips and recipe

Try the next Beginner Basics Lesson: Pistachio Crusted Beef Roast a jus with Carrots and Potatoes – One pot meal or view the entire Beginner Basics Course outline!

Now that you can make stock with your pressure cooker, you can make…

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  1. I will never make stock any other way again! I made a chicken vege soup yesterday with the stock and today I made a celery and pear soup with the remaining stock. Divine! Thanks again for the lessons

  2. Laura,

    Re step #7:

    My understanding of the Fagor cooker is that the yellow button does not indicate that the cooker is up to pressure. Rather, it is up to pressure when some wisps of steam start coming from the hole in the regulator. And that is when I should turn down the heat and start my timer.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong in this.


    1. Welcome Paul, great catch! I have updated the instructions with more details. Thank you, L

  3. Hello Laura!
    I had to de-bone some chicken thighs this week for a curry…saved the bones and skin and followed the chicken broth recipe. Was going to use my store top Fagor PC but in the end I decided to use my Breville Fast Slow Cooker. OMG–BEST broth I have ever made. I can’t get over the beautiful yellow colour of it! Really, really tasty. Never making it in a stock pot ever again.
    Thank you!

  4. I used a chicken carcass from a roast on Sunday and followed your chicken broth recipe, and added all ingredients as per your directions, But unable to get the clarity shown in your photograph’s have used the paper towels but loosing a lot of stock??
    Used a fine strainer and removed all bits and placed in the fridge overnight, removing the remains fat this morning.
    Any suggestions would be good.
    Need a recipe for Osso Buco but don’t see one in your book

    1. Geoff, the clarity comes after the fridge de-fatting – you’re already on the right track.

      The index for Hip Pressure Cooking: Fast, Fresh & Flavorful is TERRIBLE. The publisher did it. Ossobuco was re-named to New World “Italian Braised Veal Shanks” and it’s on page 180.



  5. I’ve been making my chicken stock on the stovetop all my life, using the carcass(es) from deli or home roasted birds, along with backs, wing, tips, and the odd neck. I use whole veggies as you say, and unpeeled onions (love the rich colour they give.) I strain after cooking, refrigerate and skim, all exactly as you say. I have NEVER achieved a truly clear broth, as shown in the above photo! Does the pressure cooker really make that much of a difference? I’m probably going to give this a whirl tomorrow so I’m curious. Are you perhaps straining through cheese cloth or something?

    1. Nope, I just spoon off the fatty layer. The real difference is in the lack of movement in the pressure cooker. The bones, veggies and meat are not being tossed around and broken into a gazillion smaller pieces – they’re still whole, minus their nutritious juices and minerals.

      Have fun!



      1. Laura,

        Re: vegetable broth
        I am new to the Instant Pot although I’ve been pressure cooking with Kuhn Rikons for years (I am a long-standing Vegan). I make my own salt-free vegetable broth by basically “cooking the garbage”. Someone, I think Jill Nussinow, warns against using cruciferous vegetables when making a broth, but I found that what makes a homemade broth bitter is boiling and cooking it too long. I usually start with a regular, non pressure pot, cold water plus vegetable scraps, bring to a boil, turn off, and let it all steep (covered). After straining out the solids, I’m left with a great sweet broth. How can this be adapted to my IP. (By the way, I haven’t used my Kuhn Rikons since I got my IP, and probably won’t from now on.) Thanks for you wonderful site.


        1. You can bring the contents to a boil by clicking on the “saute” button and using the glass lid (the steam may accidentally build pressure even if the valve is open). Then, when everything is boiling press cancel. Or, more hands off, set the pressure time to 1 minute with the manual button (just remember to hit “cance” afterwards so the keep-warm setting does not keep cooking the stock.



  6. Pls dont throw away the fat and especially the gelatin! Soooo incredibly health-giving. Still no need to skim scum, dont worry. You wont know its there. It just goes back into broth and dissolves. Kinda like wholegrain flour, lets not throw away the most nutritious parts of the food for the sake of an artificially established standard (clarified broth).
    I recommend using vinegar to leach the minerals from the broth.
    I have a question– if I use meaty bones, can I depressurize, open and fish out the chicken so I can debone it before its flavor is gone? I love using wings and can get a goodly amt of meat off the 4# I cook currently on the stove…about 4c actually. I just worry about screwing up the timing then?
    Thx for the site!

    1. Helene, Don’t worry, the stock TURNS into gelatin. I don’t think anyone is recommending throwing THAT away! I occasionally save the fat-cap and use it in place of butter or oil in a recipe – but usually I put it in the tub of food for the stray neighborhood cats. They love it!

      You can’t ruin a stock. You can stop the cooking to pick-out the meat. : )



      1. Yes, I always refrigerate and then skim to preserve the gelatin. it quite healthy unlike the saturated fat layer that forms on top after refrigeration.

  7. Clear broth is achieved with the egg white method (in addition to straining). Old French kitchen basics.

    1. another way to clarify stock is to freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, unmould them onto a tray. Place them on a slope in the fridge so they thaw slowly. Have a bowl at the bottom of the tray to collect the thawed liquid. The gelatin acts like the egg white raft and traps all the fine solids. The clear broth slowly drips out.

  8. Awesome, when would the meat be cooked then, in 11 min? Since its wings, theyll be done earlier than thighs? I cook thighs 14min as I like well done poultry.

    1. Actually the point of a stock it to overcook meat, and then cook it some more so ALL of the juices and some of the minerals from the bones get into the coking liquid. I would not cook it for less.



      1. i cook bone broth to get nutrients out of bones. the meat i just cook on the bones so i have some meat for other meaks. i simmer the bones way past the meat being done. in a crock i cook it 12hrs to 24 hrs.

        1. but then again this recipe is for chicken broth, not bone broth.
          theres also nutrients in the gristle and skin, etc that cook out. i throw all that back in as i pick meat off and add more vinegar.

  9. I use the Costco Rotisserie Chickens carcasses and bones from the wings and a thighs, I eat the wing meat and one thigh for my meal while working. I save out the breast meat for Chicken Chili or Chicken Marsala. Something I would normally slow cook. Since it is already cooked the meat get real tender. I roast the onions, quarter sliced, and carrots to caramelize them so I lay the chinks parts on top. I only use 1/2 hour. You can actually skip it completely if you are just going to use the stock to make something like lentil soup. I also add herbs like a bay leaf, thyme and a spring or three of savory. I never ad salt until I use the broth late on. When I used pot it did it for 2 1/4 hours and then 45 minutes to cool. Now I do 30 minutes and 30 more to cool. It is less jello like but still thick. I always use a soup spoon to skim off the excess solid white fat layer the next day. I then either freeze it it use it with the week. Removing solids it easy, just dump it through a sieve. I will catch the used part but allow any tasty bits to go trough.

    I like moist poultry and crispy well done prosciutto. Bacon is dull compare to prosciutto. I well rendered prosciutto is magical for meats like chicken Cordon Bleu, although I use Gruyere and Black Forest ham instead of Swiss and regular ham, thanks Jerry Traunfeld for the idea. I do a lot of his recipes along with Tom Douglas Gordon Ramsey and often meld the three for even better results, along with my own ideas. I mean how many people do a herbalized spumoni or or a triple flowered sorbet. I do but I am probably alone in the level o obsession it making great ever better.

  10. I’ve been making my own stock for years. Decades in fact. If I buy a rotisserie chicken from Costco I always use the carcass for stock. Plenty of veggies. Washed not peeled. Onion skins. A bit or turmeric for color. I put everything in the large steamer basket of my 8 quart Fagor cooker. Makes it easy to to get everything out. I look on the stock as a free bonus and it’s so much better than store bought. Thanks so much for your website. I’ve been using a pressure cooker for years, but you’ve given me so many new ideas.

    1. Thanks Peggy, and welcome!



    2. When you have the money get an Instant Pot. They take all the hassle and guesswork out of pressure cooking. I would never use pressure cooker after getting one. I have even done some slow cooker recipes with it but the old fashioned crock pot still works better for pot roast, the meat gets tender quicker. However, something like Lamb Vindaloo becomes manageable with an Instant Pot. The normal methods would take all day to make, literally. It still a complicated multiple step dish but at least now one can do it without a huge kitchen and taking all day to make.

  11. HI – this is my first time using my instant and I am so excited to make broth. Can you use frozen chicken bones or do they have to be thawed first?

  12. Since this is the old fashioned way you can get away with it. I use an Instant Pot set for 36 minutes. It is much easier. I use no tomatoes, 2 bay leaves, thyme, 2 Sage leaves, Parsley stems (saving the leaves for the soup to follow) and a few savory sprigs. I also do a brown version where I roast the bones and vegetables to caramelize them while I prepare the herbs, water, etc. with about 5-10 minutes to go I put the Instant Pot on Saute mode to preheat the water so it will be warm when I dump in the bones and vegetables. I also use no salt and 1 TB vinegar to help extract the marrow and it pressure cooks. I just use the Costco rotisserie chickens so no need to cook anything. I can then later use the breasts and eat a thigh, drumstick and wings for that nights meal before roasting ALL the bones.

    1. Thanks for sharing your stock recipe with us!!!



  13. I’m confused I have been making chicken broth on stove top for years … ( cooking for many hours) as well as beef bones .. I just bought an instapot and have tried making both with longer times then recommended here and they are still taste weak , what a disappointment. I wish I knew why???

    1. Dawn, the reason your stock is tasteless is the lack of concentration of the flavors. Your conventional stock recipe does not reduce in the pressure cooker – no matter how long you cook it. That’s why my technique on this page says to just-cover the ingredients with the water. Try it – even though it might go against everything you’ve learned in your long stock-making history! You’ll finally have flavorful stock again but this time with pressure!



    2. You should need about 7 to 8 cups water, no more.

  14. Newbie question here: I have a ham bone in the Instant Pot with 8 cups of chicken broth. It is not more than 2/3 full, but the liquid doesn’t completely cover the bone. Is that okay?

    1. Welcome Charli,
      Are you making the chicken stock or using it to make soup? It sounds like the latter.

      In general when making stock it is best to completely cover all the ingredients. Perhaps you could chop that big bone up so it fits better.

    2. Make the stock with items covered. You can easily break off the top bone (that separates the two breasts) and separate the leg bones and stick them between the onion so it will sit lower.

      If making soup afterwards from the stock you can leave items exposed. Do not put the ham bone in with the chicken bones, onions, carrots, and celery, etc. This recipe makes a great base for soups. It’s actually how a primarily use it but I will use it for other Instant Pot dishes as well. It is much healthier and MUCH MORE flavorful then the commercial stuff which is mostly saltwater with weak broth mixed in. I make mine with no salt and only add salt when making the actual soup. You never taste the 1 TB if vinegar and it helps extract the gelatin.

  15. I got my first pressure about 50 years ago. Yes, one with a jiggly weight on top! I’ve always made my stock like this, including the onion skins. Good to know that the old ways are being passed along. Right now I have two stove top cookers, a 4 and an 8 quart. I’m trying to convince my husband that we really need an Instantpot too. Wish me luck

    Thank you for your wonderful website. You’re encouraging me to try new things.

  16. Yeah, it just remove the part of the skin with the sticker on it and rinse off any dirt. One 6 quart Instant Pot will do the same work since they so not need all that room for boiling. You use a lot less energy so it will pay for itself. Your method is heating the house more then the food. I got mine from when it was on sale.

  17. Here the model I am using. $99, I got about $20 off that price but it was a one day sale a year ago. Feels like 2 years ago since I use it so much. Avoid the 3 quart model. You need either 6 or 8 quarts for recipes like this one. I never miss the 2 extra quarts maybe if I was doing a double recipe with 2 chickens but then that makes too much broth to use and I do not want my freezer filled with gallons of frozen broth.

  18. It should also be noted Histamines, such as Scombroid. can not be treated by exposure to heat nor can toxins like Ciguatera, both of which which occurs in fish. Histamines can occur in other meats, chicken, etc. when exposed to heat above 40F as well as common foods like nuts, cheese, smoked meat products and beer but usually not at levels to cause a reaction unlike with uncured meats when above 40F.

    Scombroid can develop once fish is exposed to temperatures above 40F just like with most other meats. Light will accelerate the process. Fortunately, if you have symptoms you can take a antihistamine line Benadryl to calm the symptoms until they are flushed out your system. However, never assume oral antihistamines are enough to control a presumed Scombroid fish poisoning without seeing a doctor.

    However, unlike the Scombroid histamine, Ciguatera has no definitive treatment. It occurs in tropical fish that consume Phytoplankton (most commonly Snapper) and never breaks down with any heating for any length of time. Approximately 50,000 reported cases of Ciguatera poisoning occur annually worldwide.

    Never assume just reheating food will kill a toxin be it bred from food left at an improper temperature or other sources.

  19. Hi Laura: great recipe for broth. Will be using it tomorrow with tortellini.
    Thanks again.

    Take care

  20. Can I use Rabbit instead of chicken ?. My garden is overrun with them.

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