Building blocks, Pressure cooker
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Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock - adding water to cover

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock – adding water to cover

In Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, Michael Ruhlman says:

Stock is the single preparation that might elevate a home cook’s food from decent to spectacular.

I absolutely agree. Stock is flavor, pulled out of leftover bones and meat. With homemade stock, I can make rich and silky pan sauces, gravy with depth, and stews with body. And, of course, soup. The best way to make soup – the *only* way to make soup, in my opinion – is by starting with stock.

When I make chicken stock, I use my pressure cooker. Pressure cooker stock is quick…relatively speaing; it takes a few hours, instead of all day. I make chicken stock while I’m cleaning up after a roast chicken dinner. Everything goes in the pot, I fire it up, and then I finish cleaning the kitchen. About an hour later, the stock is done cooking, ready to be strained and refrigerated.

Chicken stock seems like culinary magic. You take scraps – chicken pieces that you can’t even eat as leftovers, some vegetables, some water – and turn them into culinary gold. Make your own chicken stock – you’ll never go back to the insipid stuff in the can.

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Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock - adding water to cover

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts 1x


Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock from leftover pieces – backs, wings, necks, or the bones from roast chicken.


  • 3 pounds chicken bones w/ clinging meat (I use a gallon zip-top bag full of frozen chicken backs, wingtips, and other trimmings, or the carcasses from two roast chickens)
  • 2 medium onions, ends trimmed and halved
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 celery rib, cut in half (optional)
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and cut in half (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed, with peels (optional)
  • 2 quarts of water, or just enough to cover the ingredients (or go to the max fill line on your pressure cooker.)


  1. Fill the pressure cooker: Put all the ingredients in your pressure cooker, and add water to cover.
  2. Pressure cook the stock: Lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 55 minutes in an electric pressure cooker (or 45 minutes in a stovetop PC). Remove the pot from the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, about 30 minutes.
  3. Strain the stock: Scoop out the bones with a slotted spoon, then strain the stock into another pot through a fine mesh strainer.
  4. De-fat the stock: (Optional) Refrigerate the stock overnight, or up to 2 days, so the fat floats to the surface and forms a hard cap. Scrape the fat cap from the top of the stock with a slotted spoon.
  5. Use or freeze the stock: Use the stock immediately, or freeze for later use. I portion the stock into 2 cup containers and freeze for later use.



  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
Removing a refrigerated fat cap |

After refrigerating overnight, the fat cap is easy to lift off

Chicken stock portioned into storage containers

Chicken stock portioned into storage containers


As I mention in the ingredients, I have a few different ways I get the chicken bones for the stock:

  1. After a roast chicken dinner, I can make stock right away. I carve the meat off the bones, serve dinner, and then make stock with the carcasses.
  2. I keep a gallon zip-top bag of chicken trimmings in the freezer. Leftover bones and trimmings are added to the bag. When the bag is full, it’s time to make a batch of stock. Trimmings make great stock; chicken backs, wings or wingtips, rib bones from breasts…all add a lot of collagen to the stock.
  3. If I’m out of trimmings and desperate for stock, I buy frozen chicken backs from my local grocery store. They’re cheap and do the job just fine.

What do you think?

Questions? Comments? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Use the stock to make soup:

Tortilla Soup
Thai Coconut Soup

My other Pressure Cooker Recipes

Inspired by:
Just about every cookbook I’ve ever owned; they all say to make your own stock.
Fagor Duo 10-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner
Cooking Under Pressure (20th Anniversary Edition)

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Filed under: Building blocks, Pressure cooker


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. You have finally convinced me and I’m a new Instant Pot owner. I was always afraid of my stove top pressure cooker and, thus, never really used it. When I got my Instant Pot I could wait to try it. I made your teriyaki chicken wings and I was blown away. I’m used to hearing the spitting and jingling of my old cooker and the IP is silent…I mean silent. What a pleasure it was to use. I love chicken soup and this chicken stock recipe is next on my list. Keep making the delicious goodies for us, Mike; I look forward to seeing your recipes.

  2. Steve Coppage says

    This has become my everyday stock recipe. As soon as we get low on stock, time for a roaster chicken on the grill or two store bought cooked roasted chickens. Never buy store bought chicken stock once we started making our own!

  3. Paula says

    This was perfect! I used just one roast chicken carcass with some meat on it, plus the neck. All other proportions I kept the same. Was delicious and so easy. Thank you.

  4. Mike in Austin says

    Mike, just wanted to add my two cents. If you can get chicken feet from the farmer’s market (or wherever) it makes the stock just more fabulous. Mine is gelatinous when in the fridge and I mean giggly! Makes killer soups and sauces.

    • Mike, I agree, chicken feet make great stock. The only reason I don’t use them all the time is I have to make a special trip to the poultry store downtown to get them. My grocery stores don’t carry them. (I think it’s time for a trip to Difeos!)

  5. Nrat says

    This is the best chicken stock ever! I omit the salt and add 1 chicken boillon cube per 2 cups of water. It really does turn to Jello! Sometimes I dont want a super Jelloey stock so I use whole chicken quarters instead of a batch of wing tips, and freeze it in icecube trays.

  6. Mike, I have been trying to decide if it would be more efficient to freeze a large batch of chicken broth into 2-cup (pint) jars, as I see on your website, or if it would be more convenient (and to optimize freezer space) to pack 2-cups of the the broth into Ziploc quart bags and freeze them flat (and thin) for faster thawing.

    My major problem when packing broths into 2-cup-plastic-bag portions is that the packs slide around a lot in the freezer unless I contain the smaller bags into a larger, dedicated bag or a rigid carton for Ziploc broth BAGS. I’m looking for a more efficient approach to freezing and thawing the stock.

    Thinner (2-cup) bags thaw quicker than pint jars of broth. I can’t decide on whether to freeze my broth in bags or jars.

    Any thoughts on which approach you might have found the most efficient and convenient?

    Oh, oh, I did just now see a previous pot. I will check it out.

    • I don’t freeze in bags often – it seems too fiddly to me. I go with canning jars, because I have a lot of them lying around. I live with the fact that they’re not as efficient, space wise, as square containers.

  7. Nancy Smith says

    What are the plastic containers that you use for freezing your broth? I normally don’t like using plastic, but I’m getting tired of losing canning jars (both quart and 1 1/2 pint) trying to use them for freezing broth. Yours look nice.

    BTW, I recently found your site through Nom Nom Paleo’s recommendation. I appreciate all the information that you share. It’s really great! I am currently struggling to decide if the IP-Duo60 will be big enough for our family of 6 big eaters or if I should get the Fagor Duo 10 quart.

  8. Steve Coppage says

    Please add me to your email list. It would help if I could Pin the recipe.

    • Email: Look for “Email Subscription” in the column on the left.

      Pinterest: Hover your mouse over any of the pictures and a “Pin it” button will appear in the top left.

  9. alexandria Tevis says

    Hi I have a Fagor 8 quart Chef model I have never used yet. I want to make the chicken stock, Dads version it sounds great. Has anyone used the Fagor Chef model? Is it easy to use? Convenient for stock?

    • The fagor should work fine – I have the slightly more complicated fagor duo model. Just be careful locking the lid – don’t force it or it can jam – and remember that high pressure is when the pressure valve releases a thin stream of steam. Good luck!

  10. Jana Hoffmann says

    Thank you! That’s super helpful, going to try it out next weekend! 🙂

  11. Reducing the stock to make it easier to store is a great idea. Just keep simmering until it is reduced to about 20% of the original volume.

    For a recipe, search for “demi glace”.

  12. Jana Hoffmann says

    Hi, Just found your site and love all the great pressure cooker recipes! 🙂 I love making my own stock but I don’t have a huge amount of freezer space. I’ve had this thought of maybe simmering it down to make a sort of concentrate that I could add some water to when required for a recipe but I can’t see it mentioned as a technique anywhere on the internet, which kinda concerns me. What are your thoughts?

  13. Aster,

    You will wind up with more stock than the original amount of water because the pressure cooker is sealed. You don’t lose water to evaporation, and the liquids in the chicken and the aromatics are squeezed out and add themselves to the stock.

    That said, it won’t be that much extra stock. I’d estimate a couple of cups of extra liquid. I must have added more water (to cover the ingredients) than the 3 quarts I mention in the recipe.

    Yes, I used the Fagor 10 quart pressure cooker. It’s a great cooker. Here’s where I talk about it:

  14. aster says

    I’m a bit confused as to how you’re getting 5.5 quarts of stock out of 3 quarts of water (plus the solids). In my experience, one winds up with way less final stock that the starting volume, no? Were those tubs from the same recipe? Also, could you confirm if you’re using the 10 qt Fagor? I don’t have a pressure cooker, but it may be worth buying one just for this purpose. Otherwise making stock takes soooo long!

  15. Jack_in_Ann_Arbor says

    Last Thanksgiving, the NYTimes had a piece in which Jacques Pepin applied Chinese techniques he had seen used 30 years earlier to steam chicken. He applied it this time to turkey. I reverse engineered it, well, to cook chicken. Using the steamer insert in a 12-qt stock pot, I thick-slice big carrots, several big ribs of celery, and wedge-slice a couple of nice, big onions of whatever color you have on hand, all in a gallon of water. Start the water heating and, in the steamer insert, stack a bunch of chicken thighs or leg quarters (what I’m doing right now – the thighs were way over-priced). Put the lid on and once things come to the boil, let everything bubble for 30-45 minutes. The steam renders the fat from the skin and the excellent flavor into the broth (no bones, after all), while perfectly cooking the chicken. You get that elusive Chinese master-chef chicken aroma and flavor. I’m going to try your pressure method again. Try the steam method. Both amazing. Good luck! Love your blog.

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