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 never cut carrots any more than in half for stock – you’re right that they’ve lost most of their flavor, but not all. There is very little our 105-pound dog won’t do for a chunk of cooked carrot after I make stock! I also like to put a couple of drumsticks in my stock, as well – they add a nice meaty flavor (and the puppy-baby gets that meat, too!).

  2. Making your own chicken stock is a GREAT beginner recipe; I encourage anyone to try it, especially if you buy the rotisserie chicken at Costco. Don’t throw away the carcass!

    I also like your idea of keeping the onion skins on ~ my mothers told me that they used onion skins as a dye many years ago.

    Here’s my post if you want to check it out:

  3. darksideofthefridge… you are too kind to your pup!

    Frieda, we must have stock stuck on the brain, I see that you just published a beef stock recipe on your blog!



  4. I can`t stop looking at this! It`s absolutely divine and I want to try this…

    Have a great time,

  5. Hi Paula… it’s the pasta. As soon as I saw it I thought it was sooo cute that I couldn’t wait to cook and eat it!


  6. Hi we linked to a few of your recipes on our blog: 101 Pressure Cooker Meals at we hope that this is ok.

  7. I’ve had a pressure cooker for 10 years, and the thing I make most — hands down — is chicken stock. My ingredients are the same as yours, with the addition of a couple of bay leaves “pinned” with cloves onto the onion (with skin!), cut in half. I’ve never browned the chicken first, and will try it. Thanks for a nice intro recipe — I look forward to checking out your other selections!

  8. Madeline, I love your method with the cloves and bay leaf, will have to add those to my next stock – so easy to fish out! You must have access to an endless supply of fresh Bay Leaves, like I do. I usually add Bay in just about every recipe, can’t believe I never added them to stock!



  9. Laura, one other thing I remember puzzling and concerning me when I first started making Chicken Stock — sometimes it jelled, and I was worried it was bad! Took me a while to realize that stock that gels is a winner! You might want to reassure newbies not to worry when that happens. See, e.g., and
    Oh, and I buy my bay leaves, big jar at a time!

  10. Great instruction on making chicken stock! Thanks, Laura! Guess I should start making my own now.

  11. Can I use a carcass twice? I mean, if I pressure cook the chicken first, can I still make a stock from that carcass? (yes, this will be my first thing cooked, that chicken carcass in an electric cooker. My husband just brought me home a whole – 3 lb chicken.)

  12. Absolutely you can cook it twice. Be sure to use any left-overs from your chicken recipe in the stock as well!



  13. I’ve made stock using this recipe three times and it’s wonderful. I’ll never go back to artificial! Great photos and easy to follow directions- thank you!

    1. Thanks Dorthy! I have a meat stock recipe coming… I add a teaspoon of tomato puree’ in that one! ; )



  14. Okay, I got this all figured out this weekend. The stock turns out great when done your way but when you put it in the fridge it is like jello. No problem, you can just pour it in canning jars and freeze it or leave it in the fridge for two days and it goes from jello to liquid form. Not sure why but both taste the same (Great)
    Thanks for the post, I love to pour some in a bowl and heat it up add some mushrooms and spring onion. You know exactly what’s in it because you made it.


    1. Ron, gelatin is sure sign of stock success!

      You are right, that gelatin is hard to manage, but with this recipe you are creating a double-concentrated stock – that means that you can add the same amount of water. When I use my geletan-y stock I just add the water and dump the “jello” in the cooker. Mix as best I can and get the pressure cooker going. The heat will slowly melt the gelatin back into a liquid.

      Also, to save myself the pain of measuring it out, and since I often use 1 or 2 cups of stock I measure it out in zip-loc bags and freeze it. Making a risotto? I grab the frozen bag with 2 cups of stock and dump the chunk in the cooker with two of water.



  15. Hi Laura, I made chicken stock (bone broth) for the first time 2 weeks ago and on a gentle simmer for 8 hours, skimmed, strained froze it, it was just amazing but so long! I too used the same ingredients listed with the only difference being a half a cup of apple cider vinegar added with all the ingredients and allowed for it all to soak for and hour before cooking to draw out the minerals from the bone. I will definitely try this in the pressure cooker as bone broths are going to be a regular, but really cant cope with time. :)


    1. Oh wow! Jen, you will be so happy with this recipe. I haven’t done a vinegar soak, before. I would love to hear more about it.

      This recipe is equivalent to 1 1/2 hours of boiling. I say try that and see how you like it. If you want the same results as your 8-hour voyage (wow!), I would pressure cook everything for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours.



    2. don’t throw away that hardened fat that you scraped off the top of your refrigerated stock! that stuff is schmaltz. it’s culinary gold! heard of (or had in a restaurant) duck fat fries? you can get pretty close with schmaltz. use it to saute thinly sliced (or cottage fry cut) potatoes. add s & p and rosemary. YUM! good for hash browns, and most veggies, too. so you get a two-fer. stock AND schmaltz.

  16. Here is my golden, clear, and intense stock. Awesome!

  17. Are steps 9 and 10 an error? These steps are a repeat of the previous steps.

    1. msilva, yes. You caught a duplicate type-o. We’re slowly moving the older recipes to the new format so this is an artifact of that.

      Thanks for your note!



  18. so I’ve always made chicken stock the slow way then I can it using a Chicago Pressure canner. Any reason not to do so with this method? I usually get about 8 quarts and don’t have an extra freezer. I’m assuming I would fridge it for a day to skim the crud before the actual canning. Yes? Thanks!

    1. Yes, I would de-fat the stock before canning. You can hurry the process along by using a fat separator. If you don’t already have one, I would go with a rather large glass one like this:

      You just need for the contents to settle rather than cool and solidify.



  19. The pressure cooker is absolutely indispensable for stock making. I can’t believe anyone would ever pay for the canned junk! Trust me—I used to, and now I can’t ever imagine going back.

    Reading the above discussions on stock gelling compelled me to contribute my own story. Every stock I’ve made using the pressure cooker has been gelled in one way or another. Generally, it’s looser, almost like a stiffer applesauce-type consistency. This past weekend, however, I made a batch of beef stock, mostly from rib bones (mmm beef back ribs), and the resulting stock was STURDY. I mean, TOUGH. Like, I could smack it with my hand and it would jiggle violently but remain intact. It was hilarious! I was giggling so hard because it was just so intense. It reminded me of the ballistic gel dummies that they create on Mythbusters. It tasted amazing, too. Like liquid prime rib. Can’t wait to use it in French onion soup or a beef stew.

    Thank you for spreading the pressure cooker stock gospel.

    1. Well, I’m glad you managed to stop spanking that pressure cooker stock long enough to write us how it went! ; )



  20. I made turkey stock today with my leftover turkey carcass (I brined and vertical roasted the turkey). I used this pressure cooker method but did my own thing – mostly the same really but no acid since I forgot that part. I’ll have to try that next time. I had to break up the turkey body to make it all fit. I cooked my turkey on Monday – long story – so we are already to the leftovers while the rest of you who are celebrating American Thanksgiving are cooking turkey today.

    The stock turned out awesome! The stock needed no extra salt since the turkey had been brined. It’s one of the best stocks I’ve ever made. I am looking forward now to using the pressure cooker for chicken stock.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Thanks, Laura, for another successful recipe.

    1. Neal, and thank you for coming back to tell us about your success!



  21. Does the mineral content of the bones stay in the broth if you use the pressure cooker. This will be my first to making it. I need to give my son more minerals and I an concerned that the goodness and in particular the minerals may not be as high when compared to a slow cook recipe. Thankyou

    1. In general pressure cooked foods retain more vitamins and minerals than any other cooking method – the short cooking time and sealed environment are what help. Here is an article about pressure cooker nutrition:

      Consult with a nutritionist to find out which foods contain the most of the specific minerals your son needs.



  22. Thankyou,I was avoiding my pressure cooker because I thought it killed all the goodness. Seeing a nutritionist is a great idea. That way I can deal with the problem head on. I am so glad I found this website. I don’t have a lot of time to cook nice meals and the pressure cooker is a blessing. The recipes look so delicious, I can’t wait to try them.

  23. Hi,

    I’m wondering if someone can help me figure out why my pressure cooked bone broth doesn’t gel. I used my new Instant Pot Lux 60 for 65 minutes on 2 chicken carcasses, some vegetables, a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to draw out the minerals from the bones, and about 10 cups of water. The color was a nice golden yellow and the taste was nice, but after being in the refridgerator overnight, the broth remained in pure liquid form, not gelatinous at all. Any idea where I went wrong? I’m wondering if it’s due to my pressure cooker’s inability to adjust pressure down after pressure is reached? Thanks in advance!

    1. Jenny, you don’t need to adjust the heat with an electric pressure cooker – it does it all for you! All you need to do is type in the cooking time. The gelling depends on several factors.

      The proportion of liquid to the bones – you want to get only enough liquid to cover the bones. This will give you a concentrated stock and higher concentrations of gelatin.

      The kinds of bones you used – the neck, wings and feet yield the most gelatin – including the age of the chicken, how much cartilage was left on the carcass and whether some bones were broken open.

      You’ll want to make sure to get a free-range pastured organic chicken. The more nutrients and variety the chicken has had in its feed, the more nutrients and minerals will be in the stock!



      P.S. I usually don’t make a chicken stock for more than 30 minutes, with natural open. So I can’t confirm it personally, but I read that the cooking time is also a factor -cooking the stock for too long will break the gelatin back down into a liquid.

  24. Thanks Laura! That’s really helpful. I did use pastured chicken carcasses purchased from my farmer’s market but they didn’t include feet. I will try cooking less time next time too. Thanks again!

  25. WOW, this is quite frankly the BEST chicken stock I have every made. I used the carcass of a chicken I had slow cooked the day before and also added 500gm of chicken wing tips. Its lovely gelatinous and wobbly this morning! I am about to use it to cook some chicken soup yummy.

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