Making stock is one of those cooking techniques that’s almost as frustrating as it is successful.
Though many people trumpet how easy it is—which is true—it’s also true that using traditional methods reduces the volume of stock by a massive amount. If you want a truly rich, flavorful broth, you must simmer and skim for many hours. If you’re making bone broth, it can take a day or two for the flavors to develop and for bones to release their collagen, minerals, and connective tissue (producing unctuous flavors and textures). If you rush the process, usually, you won’t get the depth of flavor you want.
And there are so many reasons to want good, homemade stock in the fridge and freezer! It’s key to risotto, to chicken noodle soup, and to a rich Boeuf Bourguignon. You can use it when you have scraps of leftover chicken and seemingly nothing else in the house. (Add peas, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and herbs if you have them, and boom! Dinner.)
The Quick Solution
With all that in mind, the Instant Pot is a the hack we’ve been waiting for. The Instant Pot’s strong suit is condensing the flavors of what you put in it, and evenly distributing them—fast. Whereas a chicken stock might simmer on the stove for three hours and reduce by three-fourths, pressure cooking locks in the liquid and doesn’t let is escape as steam, so you wind up with a generous volume of stock. Our Instant Pot produced some of the best stock we’ve ever tasted—in an hour. It’s so simple it’s nearly a non-recipe, but here you go.
Instant Pot Chicken, Beef or Pork Stock
Adapted from Melissa Clark’s Dinner in an Instant
Leftover bones from a whole roast chicken or pork shoulder are ideal for this, as they’ve already been roasted, and roasting adds flavor. Raw bones are also fine, though. Riff on this however you like, but keep in mind the sorts of dishes with which you might use the stock.
2-4 pounds chicken, beef, pork or lamb bones, or a mix
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 whole clove
1 three-inch piece of carrot (about half a carrot)
½ large onion
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 Tbsp coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
1 bay leaf
10 sprigs of any combination of parsley and thyme, including stems
Add all ingredients to Instant Pot. Cover with water 2/3 of the way up the side of the pot. Stir using wooden spoon. Cover pot and lock, turning knob to seal. Pressure-cook on High Pressure for one hour (if using chicken bones) and 2 hours (if using a mix of beef or pork bones).
Allow pressure to release naturally. Bones should be crumbly and broth should be very flavorful. Season to taste with more salt, if desired. Strain broth, discarding solids. Allow to cool and skim fat solids off top, if desired. Broth will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or 6 months frozen.
How to Use It
Use this super-flavorful stock for homemade gravy, vegetable gratins and French onion soup. Ladle it into the ultimate green bean casserole, splash it in to deglaze pans, or make epic beef stews. One warning: Once you taste such a flavorful homemade stock, it’s impossible to go back to the boxed version.
Looking to learn more about the Instant Pot? Check out some of our best Instant Pot recipes, or learn the five healthy things you can do with your Instant Pot.