Basic Stock

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Remember that if you are short on time, using a stock simmered 20 to 30 minutes is far better than using just water in any recipe.

1 quart of Basic Stock



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

Type of Dishstock


  • About 2 quarts cold water
  • Vegetable trimmings from the recipe(s) you are serving, or 1 medium onion, unpeeled and quartered 1 large clove garlic, unpeeled and quartered 1 rib celery
  • Bones and any excess meat (excluding livers) from meat or poultry, or shells or carcasses from seafood, used in the recipe(s) you’re cooking, or:
  • 1½ to 2 pounds backs, necks and/or bones from chickens, guinea hens, ducks, geese, rabbits, etc.
  • 1½ to 2 pounds beef shank (preferred) or other beef or turtle bones
  • 1½ to 2 pounds pork neck bones (preferred) or other pork bones


If desired, you can first roast meat bones and vegetables at 350°F until thoroughly browned. Then use them to make your basic stock. (When you brown the bones and vegetables, the natural sugar in both caramelizes on the surface, which gives the stock a fuller taste and adds color when it dissolves in the stock water.)

Always start with cold water—enough to cover the other stock ingredients. Place all ingredients in a stock pot or a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then gently simmer at least 4 hours, preferably 8 (unless directed otherwise in a recipe), replenishing the water as needed to keep about 1 quart of liquid in the pan. The pot may be uncovered or set a lid on it askew. Strain, cool and refrigerate until ready to use.



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