Don’t toss your turkey carcass next week! Instead, save it and use this recipe to make wonderful, nourishing stock to cook with and use to support your immune system, growing bones in children, or aging bones. Basically, this is going to benefit all ages AND your pocket book! You already bought the bird, may as well use it ALL and not buy broth/stock for a few months.
The title of this article isn’t meant to make fun of any learning disability but a pun on turkeys. They really are not smart birds. If you’ve ever owned one, you’ve experienced this.
We make stock or broth with a variety of bones each year. Turkey and beef bones predominantly. Though you could use venison or chicken just as easily. Sometimes I add vegetable scraps to add nutrients but this post we are keeping S.I.M.P.L.E.
First, you need a turkey carcass. Keep the one from your Thanksgiving feast, ask to have the carcass from the feast you attend, or do a ‘Public Service Announcement’ on Facebook asking for friends’ carcasses.
Next, you need a giant soup pot, a crock pot, or an Instant Pot. If you have more than 1 carcass, you may need all of those ;).
Put the carcass: bones, meat bits, fat etc all into the cooking container. For this post, I used my Instant Pot but have used all of the above at various times in the past. This carcass is one I’ve had in the freezer waiting to be made into stock, so it’s a bit frosty!
Cover it with filtered water. Tap water contains all kinds of chemicals that harm your body instead of do it good. Since you’re going to the effort of making stock, make it with good water.
Cover and cook! It really is THAT SIMPLE!
In a crock pot, I let it simmer on low for 12-24 hours. Depending on your unit, you may need to add some water to keep the level almost to the lid. The wide hour range is because I usually don’t get to it at the 12 hour mark, and that’s ok. It won’t hurt it to keep simmering.
On the stove top, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 3+ hours.
In the Instant Pot, fill to the max fill line and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. I allowed mine to release pressure naturally so I preserved as much liquid as possible but this isn’t necessary.
Next, I use a larger colander, stock pot, and Gerber birdseye pre-fold diaper 3-ply. We were given some of these when our first child was born because we were cloth diapering. These are not good diapers. They are THE BEST cheese cloth ever! I will never buy actual cheese cloth again. I’ll use these. There are a variety of Gerber diapers, so use the link above.
Place your colander in your stock pot and your diaper in the colander.
I do this over the sink because… It can make a mess. Or, maybe that’s my gift! Who knows!
The diaper will catch all the little bits and on the bottom, you’re left with pure mineral rich goodness.
Allow to thoroughly cool before freezing. This decreases the amount of frost build up that you get in your freezer. I like to freeze in ice cube trays. I have done it in mason jars as well as freezer bags but prefer the convenience of ice cubes. This way I don’t have to wait on a block of ice to warm up before I can start using my stock.
Once they are froze, I transfer them to a freezer bag for storage.
I have these handy hanging baskets in my chest freezer that I can reposition and hang my ice cube trays in between so they aren’t on top of each other! But, work with what you have! Stack them, lay them individually, whatever works. 🙂
1 Turkey Carcass
1/2-3/4 Gallon of Filtered Water
- Place carcass in large stock pot/crock pot/Instant Pot.
- Cover with water. Put lid in Place.
- Crock Pot: Simmer on low for 12-24 hours (see above).
- Stove Top: Bring to boil then reduce to simmer for 3+ hours.
- Instant Pot: Set to Manual High Pressure for 30 minutes and allow pressure to release naturally to retain the most stock.
- Use a large pot, colander, and 3-ply Gerber Diaper to pour liquid through. This catches all the small bits and the larger ones like bones.
- Allow stock to cool thoroughly to help your freezer out.
- Ladle into ice cube trays.
- Place in Freezer.
- Once completely froze, remove from trays and store in freezer bags for later use.
As we go through the winter, I’ll have soup recipes here that call for Turkey Stock Ice Cubes! Make yours next weekend so you’re ready.
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