Video: Making Stock With the Holiday Turkey

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist Broth, Stock, and Soups, Holiday Cooking Tips (aired on NBC), VideosComments: 64

One of the most important tasks I tackle each holiday comes after the meal has been eaten, the guests have gone home, and the dishes washed and put away.

The health promoting aspects of making mineral rich stock with the leftover bones of the holiday turkey cannot be overestimated and so I absolutely wanted to include it in the final Turkey Tips segment I filmed for Gayle Guyardo, anchor of the NBC News Channel 8 Today television show.  This tip which aired yesterday was a challenge to film as I only had one minute to talk about the benefits of stock and also show how to make it!

I’ll leave it to you to be the judge as to whether I managed to do stock justice in the very limited time I had to talk about it!

Health Benefits of Homemade Stock

It’s a good idea to remove all the meat from your holiday bird and put the bones on to simmer right away as its use in soups and sauces in the days and weeks after the festivities end will help keep you and your family from succumbing to the usual post holiday colds and flu that always come around.

Homemade stock offers three nutritional benefits that are difficult to obtain from any other source – certainly not in such deliciously digestible form:

  1. Plentiful and easily absorbed minerals and not just the macro minerals such as calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur and phosporous but also critical trace minerals.
  2. The broken down materials from cartilage and tendons like glucosamine and chondroitin sulphates which aid the healthy and painfree maintenance of joints in the body.
  3. Natural, unadulterated gelatin which is a health boon to many tissues of the body including the cartilage, bones, and joints and also the skin, digestive tract, and muscles – even the heart.  With the majority of our immune system located in our gut, gelatin also boosts immunity as it has been demonstrated to soothe and heal the intestinal mucosa.

My prediction is that making homemade bone broth will actually become fashionable when Hollywood adopts the practice as the plentiful collagen in stock acts like an internal facelift much more effectively than the scary results that can occur with collagen injections!

In this final Turkey Tip below, I demonstrate and talk you through how to make turkey stock in about 60 seconds!

To view all five Holiday Turkey Tips I filmed for the NBC News Channel 8 Today show, click here.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source: Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine by N.R. Gotthoffer

Comments (64)

  • Sabrina

    Thank you Sarah! As always, timely, important and usable information!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    November 22nd, 2012 5:34 pm Reply
  • Gena

    I’ve begun to make stocks after finding your website. I love them, so versatile and they taste wonderful even plain in a mug!

    I’ve been starting my stocks in the early AM right after breakfast and simmering until after dinner, so maybe 12-13 hours. That does leave me with the problem of getting the stock cooled quickly enough to refrigerate before going to bed, but it’s do-able. Simmering overnight sure would solve the cooling problem.

    My husband is nervous about leaving the stove on overnight while we sleep. Any thoughts on this that might help him go along with the need to simmer 24 hours?

    November 22nd, 2012 10:38 pm Reply
    • almamater

      I have had trouble with letting the stock cook overnight; I have found the crockpot to be a much better–safer–option.

      November 23rd, 2012 1:49 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      You can turn it off at night (leave on the burner) and then turn it back on in the morning. It will stay pretty hot all night on the stove which has been turned off and not cool down all that much if you leave the lid on. Turn it back on in the morning, bring back to boil, re-skim and turn down to simmer once again.

      November 23rd, 2012 6:54 am Reply
    • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

      I just keep ours down fairly low. I like to start it several hours before bed so that I can get it to a controlled, low simmer before I go to bed. If you leave it too high OR too low (before it’s come to a boil) you will ruin it. I have had mine sit in the pot all night and not cook and end up ruined; I have also had it burn a few times. I am paranoid and often wake up thinking I smell burning but 90% of the time we have had no issues doing it. And we do it a lot.

      A roaster oven is another option that is safer, and I have done this as well, especially with turkeys since they are so large they often don’t fit well in a stock pot until the bones have cooked down some.

      November 23rd, 2012 1:09 pm Reply
      • Beth

        Gena, after turning off the burner and cooling somewhat, you could plunge the pot into a sink of cold water or ice water to help cool it down faster. Alternatively, you could move the pot into the oven to continue on a very low simmer overnight (about 200F degrees or so, depending on your oven).

        November 24th, 2012 6:52 pm Reply
  • Darla

    Does the quality of the bird matter alot? Of course, no matter what bird, making your own stock is better than store bought… But do you still get the same amount of benefits if it’s not a pasture raised bird?

    November 22nd, 2012 10:38 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Make stock even if you are not able for whatever reason to source a pastured bird. You will get a lot of scum from a conventional bird so be sure to carefully skim it all off as the stock first comes to a boil.

      November 23rd, 2012 6:52 am Reply
  • Melissa

    Mine has been cooking all night and my house smells so good! I’m so glad you are getting this information out by way of the news :)

    November 23rd, 2012 11:58 am Reply
  • emikat

    Can we use the crock pot? Or must it come to a boil quickly to start?

    November 23rd, 2012 12:26 pm Reply
    • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

      You can, although I personally prefer not. You will need to watch it for the scum after an hour or so, not quite as quickly.

      November 23rd, 2012 1:07 pm Reply
    • Beth

      As an alternative to a crock pot, an electric roaster oven works nicely since it has a wider temp range and can be turned up to boil quickly, then reduced to a very low simmer (you want the simmer to be barely burbling, barely breaking the surface).

      November 24th, 2012 6:55 pm Reply
  • Donna

    I make wonderful stock all the time, and it always tastes phenomenal! But I’ve never used vinegar in it….what does it do to improve the stock?

    November 23rd, 2012 12:43 pm Reply
    • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

      It is supposed to pull the minerals from the bones more easily. But if you start with cold water, let it sit for a bit (30 min.) then heat slowly to a boil, turn it down and simmer for at least 24 hours, it will pull the minerals and gel nicely anyway. I don’t use vinegar and have never had any problems doing it this way.

      November 23rd, 2012 1:07 pm Reply
  • Megan

    so this is off topic.. but wondering, when did you give grains to your kids for first time. Also how about amerith (sp) and quinio(sp again) spell check never knows what I mean. talking the seeds here with protein in them? looking for answers from anyone who does baby lead, not Dr lead feeding!

    November 23rd, 2012 3:16 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      With my first son, I did the rice cereal at 6 months baloney suggested by the pediatrician. No wonder he had eczema! He’s 14 now and no eczema at all since he was a baby eating that stupid rice cereal.

      I wised up by the time my second was born and he and his younger sister never had any grains until well after the first birthday and even then they were soaked, sprouted or sour leavened.

      November 23rd, 2012 5:45 pm Reply
      • Megan

        so what about the amerith and quneo(sp again) . wehat do you think of them they are not grain but seeds? before 12 m at 12 m or with grains which I figure maybe about 18 months as I have read between 12 and 24m they can digest. long stretch there of if. so how about the seeds???

        November 24th, 2012 9:23 am Reply
      • Kathy

        Do you ever get tired Sarah? Your ideas sound great, but I fear I’m not nearly so energetic as you.

        November 25th, 2012 6:06 pm Reply
  • Claudia

    I have been making chicken stock for several months now but this will be my first time making turkey stock! I was planning on adding carrots, celery, onion, garlic and vinegar just like I do to my chicken stock but after watching your video I noticed you left out the veggies. Is there any benefit (other than flavor, perhaps?) to adding veggies?

    November 23rd, 2012 4:09 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I didn’t have time to add veggies! LOL I didn’t even have the time to put the stuff in the pot as this took precious seconds on air that I did not have.

      You will love turkey stock. AFter duck stock (which is my fave), turkey is my next fave made from land animals (fish stock is my ultimate fave).

      November 23rd, 2012 5:47 pm Reply
      • Claudia

        Too funny! Loved your video. . . You did a fabulous job!

        November 23rd, 2012 10:13 pm Reply
  • Gena

    LOL – well, the DH says NO to overnight simmering on the gas stove. But… I just got a new John Grisham book, so I’m staying up late tonight to read so the broth will simmer about 18-20 hours. I’ll strain out the carcass and veggies and place the pot outside (we had some snow today) so it can cool in 35 degree temp. Final straining tomorrow. Not to worry, no animals can access it.

    It does smell lovely!

    And after the mad Black weekend shopping is done I’m getting a 12 quart pot. My 6 quart is too small :-) I’ve definitely caught the broth bug!!!!

    Sarah, thank you for all the info you provide!

    November 23rd, 2012 6:32 pm Reply
    • Beth

      Gena, he’s right about that, but you could use an oven-proof pot and just move it into the oven overnight at a very low burble (around 200 degrees or so).

      November 24th, 2012 6:59 pm Reply
    • Tiffanie

      I made mine in the slow cooker. Just plop in turkey carcass, some veg scraps, pepper, water. I put it on high for about an hour and then turned it down to Low for the next 23 hours. My broth is so amazing….dark, roasted goodness!!

      November 26th, 2012 2:58 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Holt

    Mine is simmering as we speak

    November 23rd, 2012 5:56 pm Reply
  • Laura

    My turkey stock turned out very dark. Is that normal?

    November 24th, 2012 12:08 am Reply
  • Daniela

    I am so glad I saved the bones!!! mine will be in very soon.
    BTW…Sarah, you mentioned about your son having had eczema. My son who is nine, has eczema all over his legs. It used to be all over his body including face. It all started before he even turned one. So, thank God it is much better now. What helped your son heal from eczema?? Thank you

    November 24th, 2012 4:53 am Reply
  • Gena

    Question about skimming fat layer: After initial straining I put into ziplock blue-tops and refrigerate. A “fat layer” comes to the top. I have begun to freeze it just as is, thinking the fat layer will prevent any ‘freezer burn’ from touching the broth itself. I thaw a bit and pick off fat layer in nice big chunks before using.

    Am I smart or am I making a mistake?

    Sarah, or anyone else, thoughts please? I’m still a bit new to the world of broths.

    November 24th, 2012 2:43 pm Reply
    • Kathy

      If it’s a pastured bird you can keep the fat and use it for other things, if a conventional bird discard the fat becasue that’s where toxins are stored. I think the way you’re doing it is fine if it works for you. The only bad thing I can see is if you’re putting hot stock into plastic which is a no-no becasue it pulls the toxins out of the plastic into your broth. Cooling it in glass and then transfering it plastic to freeze is a better option. You can take the fat layer off before you freeze that will be fine.

      November 24th, 2012 3:08 pm Reply
  • Gena

    Kathy, thank you for your reply.

    I do cool the broth in my stainless steel pot using a big chunk of ice frozen in a bag. It cools the broth quickly (about 15 minutes) and then I pour into the ziplock blue-tops so it’s cool going into the containers. While they are BPA free, I agree it’s not a good idea to mix heat and plastic (I actually try to avoid plastics if I can).

    Based on your comment, the problem I see might be using the frozen chunk of water in ziplock baggie immersed into the warm broth. Any thoughts on that?

    I don’t have any other way to cool the broth quickly, which I understand is the best way to avoid bacterial growth – quick cool = better.

    I actually don’t reuse the fats – I was just thinking it would protect the broth from those pesky ice crystals that can form on the surface.

    Many thanks to all here who are sharing their experiences; it’s very helpful!

    November 24th, 2012 3:44 pm Reply
    • Beth

      There’s a new size of Ball jar you could try for cooling and freezing. They’re a pint-and-a-half, with perfectly straight sides so they’re less likely to crack in the freezer, and easier to get the stuff out if just partly thawed. I’ve found them at Ace Hardware.

      November 24th, 2012 7:07 pm Reply
  • Beth

    Here’s a nice article to learn more about the beauty and benefits of broth-making:

    November 24th, 2012 7:03 pm Reply
  • Luise Posch via Facebook

    After the stock is made what seasoning suggestions do you have so the broth is tasty to drink?

    November 25th, 2012 5:20 pm Reply
    • Gena


      I don’t add any seasonings to broth as it is cooking except a handful of peppercorns.

      I add my seasonings when preparing the broth for a meal: salt, pepper, worchestershire sauce, sometimes sage, oregano, fenegreek powders or curry powder, or curry pastes… one of the reasons I love broth so much is that the possibilities are endless. Each broth soup is different….

      I guess for drinking I’d definitely use worchestershire, salt and pepper. Or even curry. My DH loves to add tabasco sauce.

      November 25th, 2012 8:52 pm Reply
  • Staci

    Thanks for all the tips! I made my first bone broth with the Thanksgiving turkey scraps and it turned out great. I didn’t know that less scum means better turkey – I hardly had any, so my mom must have gotten a pasture raised bird after all! I tried to get whole fish at the store the other day with no success, but I plan to try the Asian markets next so I can make some fish broth.

    November 25th, 2012 5:36 pm Reply
  • Tiffanie

    Made my first batch of turkey bone broth and really thought I wouldn’t achieve the “gel” that everyone speaks so highly of. I DID IT! And I was soooo excited!! My family and I have been enjoying the broth as has our dog who enjoys it over his dinner. Now that I have confidence in my broth making, I will never ever ever go back to store bought again. Thanks so much for all the wisdom you impart!

    November 26th, 2012 2:54 pm Reply
  • janet

    I make my own stock all the time. Haven’t bought a can or box in over a year. Actually, I have TWO pots on my stove right now!

    Loving these videos for Gayle. Short, to the point, with all the info you need.

    November 26th, 2012 10:25 pm Reply
  • Shanna

    I would really like to make broth. Is 6 days after the Turkey has been roasted too late??

    November 28th, 2012 1:12 am Reply
  • Terrie

    Do you throw out the bones after you make the broth OR have you ever started the process over a 2nd time to get more broth?

    November 28th, 2012 12:29 pm Reply
  • Vickie

    Can broth/stock be canned in a pressure canner. My freezer is already full and we still have 18 more chickens to butcher.

    April 30th, 2013 9:52 pm Reply
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  • Andrea

    Do you add the skin from a roasted chicken to the stock?

    October 23rd, 2013 8:13 am Reply
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  • Dina Clarkson Monte Strawn via Facebook

    Hmmmm…will try it..thx.

    December 21st, 2013 10:11 am Reply
  • Jay Palmer via Facebook

    finished it yesterday. Question after watching your vid…why not add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic?

    December 21st, 2013 10:13 am Reply
  • Amy Renee Guenst via Facebook

    i can never get my broth to taste palatable just straight up

    December 21st, 2013 10:16 am Reply
  • Shannon Coe via Facebook

    Can you taste the vinegar in the finished stock?

    December 21st, 2013 10:29 am Reply
  • Ladonna Beals via Facebook

    Jay, I do add onions and celery to mine and then, strain it out when ready to serve up as it is pretty well mush by then.

    December 21st, 2013 10:43 am Reply
  • Stephanie Quiñones via Facebook

    I made some after Thanksgiving. I cannot taste vinegar. It is quite delicious. I added veg and strained them out. I forgot to add parsley at the end, next time.

    December 21st, 2013 10:53 am Reply
  • Giselle Rodriguez Cid via Facebook

    My grandma has bone broth every day. She’s in her 80’s and her skin is amazing!! barely any wrinkles at all!!

    December 21st, 2013 11:25 am Reply
  • Shanna Bunel via Facebook

    I always add mushrooms to mine (as well as onion, garlic, carrots, and celery) and the result is a much meatier flavor!

    December 21st, 2013 11:31 am Reply
  • Ivy Wingate via Facebook

    When did we start calling stock “bone broth?”

    December 21st, 2013 11:45 am Reply
  • Susan Wanish Rhodes via Facebook

    I could not get the video to play. How much apple cider vinegar do you add to the cooking water? A bone or carcass rarely passes through my kitchen that it is not transformed into stock–but like Ivy Wingate — I just call it stock.

    December 21st, 2013 11:53 am Reply
  • Tiffany Bannworth via Facebook

    How does she end up with 2 to 3 gallons of stock? Is it a concentrate? What about the gelatin? Do you skim it off to use for cooking fat?

    December 21st, 2013 11:57 am Reply
  • Ivy Wingate via Facebook

    You can use the bones a second time to make remouillage. Add fresh mirepoix. Makes a less gelatiny but still flavorful liquid for cooking. Freeze in small portions until ready to use.

    December 21st, 2013 12:07 pm Reply
  • Ivy Wingate via Facebook

    Tiffany Bannworth You can save the fat to cook with.

    December 21st, 2013 12:09 pm Reply
  • Beth Aiken via Facebook

    Ever since Sally brought it back to a society that forgot what it was! I say bone broth all the time when speaking to people who may have no idea that stock is made with bones. Otherwise they may still think the stuff from a carton at the grocery store, broth, is equivalent.

    December 21st, 2013 12:38 pm Reply
  • Beth Aiken via Facebook

    One ends up with more volume by using a bigger pot and more water. It’s doubtful that the small pot she used in the video is the one she actually uses for making stock. How would one even fit a whole turkey carcass in there, right? lol
    The gelatin is in the broth/stock. The stuff you skim is mostly blood proteins.

    December 21st, 2013 12:48 pm Reply
  • Paul Hardiman via Facebook

    I just made some amazing broth from pig ribs. Saved the ham bone for a pot of beans.

    December 21st, 2013 2:36 pm Reply
  • Laila LisaMarie Prescott via Facebook

    I spent 4 days last week snowed in making about 28 quarts of chicken bone broth following Sarah’s recipe…my freezer is stocked 😉

    December 21st, 2013 10:41 pm Reply
  • Azziza Jane via Facebook

    Tablespoon of ACV will do…just enough to draw out the minerals from the bones. I add a few cloves of garlic to my broth. Delicious stuff!

    December 22nd, 2013 4:30 am Reply
  • Susan Wanish Rhodes via Facebook

    Thanks for the info–I will tweek my recipe a little. I always add a “splash” of ACV. There is absolutely no substitution for homemade stock. I can see your reasoning for the name Bone Broth. Thanks everyone for sharing your comments–so helpful.

    December 22nd, 2013 4:44 pm Reply
  • Natalya Brawley

    we like homemade food

    July 6th, 2014 6:44 pm Reply
  • Paula

    Sarah (and others),
    What do you think of using a (stainless steel…I won’t use aluminum) pressure cooker to make the bone broth? I have tried it, and it really broke down the bones. They were so cooked that they were sort of mashable. Do you think the nutrients were destroyed? Wouldn’t the minerals be just fine? I know some people recommend crock pots or roasters to leave the broth cooking overnight, but I do not really trust those enough to leave them on while we are sleeping. Have had experience with appliances failing and electrical fires. Anyway, I’d like your thoughts about the pressure cooker. Thank you!

    April 1st, 2015 1:49 am Reply

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