How to Make (Chicken) Bone Broth in the Slow Cooker

Making your own chicken bone broth is really easy, and today I’m going to show you how to do it.

how to make bone broth

If you are new to making food from scratch it can be overwhelming.  I get it, I’ve been there.  We all have to start somewhere, don’t we?

And bone broth is a perfect place to start.


Because it is so, so easy.  It doesn’t really require a recipe, and it’s so good for you!  It’s something you’ll use again and again for soups, stews, stir fries, and who knows what else.

Bone broth can boost your immunity, fight inflammation, strengthen your bones and teeth, and so much more.  If bone broth isn’t a part of your diet, it really should be.

I like to make my bone broth in the slow cooker for a few reasons.  The first is because I don’t like to leave my stove on with a simmering pot of broth while I sleep.  Because, broth needs to simmer a REALLY long time.

I know, people have been doing simmering pots on their stoves overnight for years and years without a problem, but when it comes to fire safety (ie: fire panicking), I’m a little extreme.

That and carbon monoxide safety.  Recently I wasn’t sure our detectors were working properly (my husband seemed convinced they were, but I was not).

We were taking our kids to the Christmas parade in just a few hours after my initial discovery of these supposedly malfunctioning detectors and I just could not stop worrying about it.  Practically reduced to tears my husband  jumped out to the store to get a new detector that shows the levels of carbon monoxide in your home (which has remained at 0 ever since we bought it, thankfully.)  He also bought his wife some peace of mind.

Also, the only stores that sell carbon monoxide detectors in small towns are stores that sell carbon monoxide detectors that are NOT cheap.

But – I was able to calm down again, and so it was worth every penny.

Disclaimer though – while I am a bit extreme and ridiculous on fire and carbon monoxide safety, extremity aside, it’s SO important to make sure your home is outfitted with both types of alarms, and with working batteries.  They save lives.  So make sure you have that stuff.  That’s my PSA for the day.

Anyways, back to the broth – you know, the purpose of the post.

So, that is the first reason I use my slow cooker.  The second reason is because I find it gets in the way if it’s sitting on the stove all day.  Broth or no broth, I still have to make three meals a day and more than likely I’ll be using the stove.

So I just find it easier to use the slow cooker.

However, you can simmer it on the stove if that’s more your thing.  It will still get the job done. 🙂


Also, you may notice in the picture of my broth cooking that there are chicken feet in it.  First of all, please don’t get grossed out.  Secondly, you don’t need to put chicken feet in yours if you don’t want to or don’t have access to them.  However, I like to add chicken feet because they are extremely nutritious for you, and especially for your gut health.

If you have digestive issues, chicken feet are an excellent choice for your broth.  I de-skin the chicken feet first before I pop three or four of them in each pot of broth I make.

To de-skin them you just put them in a pot of boiling water and drop the heat to low-medium, and then let them simmer for 10 or so minutes before running the pot under cold water for 2 or 3 minutes and then you take the skin off, and twist the toes off because, toe nails.  Everyone has a line, and mine is chicken toe nails.

We raise chickens for meat, so it gives us access to the chicken feet easily, but you can sometimes get them from a butcher.

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s make some broth!


This post contains affiliate links.  Please see our full disclosure policy HERE.

Take your chicken bones and put them in a slow cooker. 

I use one to two carcasses when I use the slow cooker, but if you are simmering yours on the stove you could probably fit more.

chicken broth

Add some vegetables.

You are going to want to add vegetables to help flavor the broth.  You can really use what you have on hand in the fridge with a few exceptions: Cruciferous vegetables generally aren’t a great option.

Stick to things like carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.  Some people add tomatoes and potatoes, but I prefer not to.

In this pot I made I added two carrots, an onion, and a bunch of cloves of garlic.

Now, when you add your vegetables you don’t need to do too much prep work.  I just cut the carrots in thirds, cut the onion a couple times, and add them in.  I toss a couple cloves in as well.  I don’t worry about peeling the carrots or onions or garlic because they are simmering so long and then at the end we will just discard them anyways.  I just wash the carrots, chop slightly, and put it in the pot.

Add some apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar helps pull calcium and other minerals from the chicken bones.  Don’t worry, your broth won’t taste like vinegar in the end.  Add about 3 TBSP to your slow cooker.  You do want to make sure it is good quality apple cider vinegar.  I use this one in the picture below.  Apparently my vinegar didn’t get to be in a picture alone – it had to share with my good old friend, sea salt.

apple cider vinegar


Add some seasonings

I don’t go too overboard on the seasonings as I know I can always add them later when I am using the broth.  I add about a tsp of sea salt, a bunch of pepper, and whatever else I feel like that day.  Today I added thyme to this pot.  You can also add fresh herbs when you have them.

When you are adding salt, always err on the side of “less is more.”  You can always add more later when you are using your broth.  Some people don’t even add any salt to their batch of broth at the beginning.

Simmer away

You’ll want to simmer your broth for awhile.  Some people simmer for as little as 8 hours while others go as long as 24.  My preference is at least 12 hours.  You want to cook it for a fair amount of time to allow for all that nutrition to be extracted from the bones.

I just simmer overnight as that is the easiest.  Can I be honest though?  While I love the smell of broth cooking throughout the day, I HATE waking up to the smell of it.  It’s just not what I want to smell first thing in the morning.  Mornings are for smelling coffee and cinnamon buns, not chicken, ya know what I mean?

But, I’m never organized enough to get the broth in the pot first thing in the morning, so I often get to wake up to the smell of it. Sigh.

Strain into containers

Once it is done and has cooled you’ll want to strain it into containers.  You can strain it into freezer safe containers, or mason jars.  You can also can broth.  I’ve never done that because I don’t have a pressure cooker, but it is an option if you have one.

straining broth

I just use mason jars.  The downfall with freezing mason jars is that sometimes they break, but I never seem to have freezer safe containers on hand, so in the mason jars it goes.

If you are going to freeze mason jars, to minimize them cracking make sure to cool down the broth completely and to first store them in the fridge.  Once they’ve been in there for a few hours you can put them in the freezer, but make sure the lid is loose to let air escape when the broth is expanding from freezing.

I try to leave the lids off until frozen if possible.


As you can see, making broth is not an exact science – it’s more of an art. 🙂  Just toss things in a pot, let it simmer for a long time, and transfer them to containers.

You’ll love the fact that you can reach for a jar of your homemade broth when you need to for cooking, or even just to sip on to get all those nutrients and minerals that are so good for us.









5 thoughts on “How to Make (Chicken) Bone Broth in the Slow Cooker”

    1. I just fill the pot. Some people boil it down more to have a more concentrated broth. I don’t. It’s really preference. The difference will be how strong your broth is.

    1. Yes, you could freeze it in plastic containers. I can’t be sure how long it would last, but personally for myself, I would use it within 6 months.

  1. Teach me please how to make a chiken and beef bone broth on slow cooker and how to freeze them thanks a million God bless

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *