Stock-Making Tips and Tricks

Making stock is a basic kitchen technique; hounds offer a lot of sound advice on how to do it.

How long should stock simmer? Until it tastes good. popcorn_denver says, “Stock, to me, is always ready to use, but never ‘done’.” Most agree that the right time is somewhere between one and four hours. (Except fish stock, of course, which can be finished in 15 to 30 minutes.)

Skimming the scum that rises to the top is essential, but not much fun. A folding of high-quality paper towels can mop up the scum. When finished, straining the stock through cheesecloth will clarify it nicely.

If you make a big batch of stock to keep around for various uses, try leaving it unseasoned. That way you can add different flavorings for each use.

Reducing the stock to a jellylike consistency makes it easy to cube and freeze for later use.

Here are more little things you can do to crank up your stock quality: If you want a deep-flavored brown stock, roast your bones. Crack chicken bones so the marrow will flavor the stock. Add chicken feet for flavor and high gelatin content.

Most important, relax. If the stock is clear, tasty, and of a consistency you can use, it’s good.

Board Link: I would like to discuss stock.

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