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Slow-Cooker Chicken Broth

December 30, 2012

I have a perfectly good 3½ quart slow cooker that I have had for a long time. It still works great, and I have some recipes that are perfect for the smaller size. However, I found there were times when I would like to have a larger slow cooker. So, I recently treated myself to a new 6-quart Crock-Pot and I love it!

One of the first things I tried was Slow-Cooker Chicken Broth from Slow Cooker Revolution, published by America’s Test Kitchen. They experimented and found that they got the best results using just chicken wings, onion, garlic, and salt. I loved the simplicity so I decided to give it a try.

All of the recipes in the book were cooked in a Crock-Pot 6½ quart slow cooker. I put all of the ingredients in mine and it was pretty full; I was afraid it might boil over. I decided to pare it down a bit for my 6 quart cooker, but it cooked on Low at such a gentle simmer that I think I could have gotten away with using the original quantities. I’ll probably try the original quantities next time.


If you have a large slow cooker, here are the quantities used by America’s Test Kitchen:

–    3 pounds chicken wings

–    3 quarts water

–    1 medium onion, chopped medium

–    3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

–    1 teaspoon salt


I was very pleased with the Slow-Cooker Chicken Broth! I froze it in quart bags, putting 1¾ cups in each bag, which is the equivalent of 1 can of chicken broth. I recently made Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup using two bags of my frozen broth instead of two cans of chicken broth. It was every bit as easy for a weeknight dinner, but it was so much better with the homemade broth!


Homemade Slow-Cooker Chicken Broth

Chicken broth


Slow-Cooker Chicken Broth

(Adapted from a recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s Slow Cooker Revolution)


(print the recipe)


Makes about 2¾ quarts, or the equivalent of about 5 cans.


(These are the quantities I used in my 6 quart slow cooker.)

2½ pounds chicken wings

2½ quarts water

¾ large onion, chopped into medium dice

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

¾ teaspoon salt


1. Put everything in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 8 – 9 hours. (Or cook on High for 4 – 5 hours.)


chicken wings in crock-pot


water, onions added


Low for 8 hours


2. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pot or container. (I find it easiest to scoop the chicken wings into the strainer first and let them drain a bit. Then I discard them and strain the broth through the strainer.)

3. The broth can be used right away, or refrigerate it until it is cool. At this point it’s easy to skim off and discard the fat, if desired. The broth will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.



6 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    December 30, 2012 9:10 pm

    Wow, no carrots or anything else? Surprising! Eager to try it 🙂

    • December 31, 2012 7:14 am

      I know! I was skeptical, but the broth is really good and it’s so easy!

  2. Wendy Wilkins V. permalink
    December 30, 2012 11:18 pm

    I’m not the most adept in the kitchen, but instead of buying chicken wings, couldn’t this be adapted to use a turkey carcass or several chicken or game hen carcasses? Or is there something about fresh wings that makes them a superior choice? I’ve made broth in the past but only to use at that time. I generally don’t strain it because what I’m making can incorporate the cooked veggies.

    • December 31, 2012 7:13 am

      Great point, Wendy! I also make chicken broth with chicken and turkey carcasses. I love being able to take advantage of the carcasses to make broth, but I don’t always have them on hand.

      The folks at America’s Test Kitchen tested making chicken broth with different chicken parts and found that chicken wings gave the most unadulterated flavor with the least amount of “fuss”. (They actually found that chicken broth made with backs, legs, and necks tasted “livery”.) The result is a clear chicken broth that can be used in any recipe. If you want clear chicken broth and you have a 6 – 6½ quart slow-cooker, this is a really easy way to make it. You can just throw everything in the slow-cooker before going to work and come home to homemade chicken broth.

  3. Mary permalink
    December 26, 2018 11:41 am

    I have THE turkey carcass. I broke it up, browned the bones in the oven, and put half in a 6 qt. slow cooker. I added onion, celery, carrots, salt 3 qts. water and have it on high. I have done this before with rotissary chicken; this is my first time with turkey. Also, the first time I’ve browned the bones. Looking forward to some phenominal stock!

    • December 26, 2018 11:50 am

      Browning the bones will make it really delicious, Mary! I love making turkey broth for my Turkey Carcass Soup.

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