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Stocks cooking times

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I am actually new in this forum, so hi everybody!

 

I was wandering about cooking times for socks. When cooking a stock, how can you tell by tasting when is the optimal point at which to take it off the heat? Different chefs suggest different cooking times for stocks, and even worse, cooking time depends on the weight of the bones you use for the stock. 

So which taste does a ready stock have?

post #2 of 26

I go with extended cooking to increase the calcium content. Also if your bones have a lot of connective tissue they need longer to break down the collagen. Generally poultry will need less time than red meats. A stock that was simmered long enough will gel when chilled.

 

The richness of your stock is largely affected by how much you have reduced it, not just the length of time. I've seen suggestions that for every 5 parts water you started with you should get 4 parts stock.  I like to reduce by about half  though because I freeze it and it takes less space. You can always add water later when you use it. 

 

Sorry I can't give you more specifics. I kind of fly by the seat of my pants. Just thought I'd give a few guidelines until some of the pros weigh in.

 

It should taste lip-smackingly delicious (other than needing salt) because it won't get any richer once its off the fire.

post #3 of 26

I generally cook stocks long enough for all connective tissue to have melted completely. When you pull a bone out, there should be nothing but bone and they should be easy to crack. Also important I think is to have the bones covered by two to three inches of water to allow room for some movement and enough liquid  to handle all the flavor that will come out of the bones. Remember a stock should simmer very gently, never boil. As it cooks, add some hot water to maintain the water level. 

   There is also the technique of making a second stock with the same bones, once you have the first stock finished. I believe this is called "depouillage" although I'm not sure I spelled that correctly. This second stock need not be cooked as long as the first. You can think of it as more of a hot rinsing to insure all flavor has been extracted. the second stock will naturally be weaker. Simply reduce it and add it to the first one and reduce that until you have the strength of flavor you want.  The second stock is not strictly necessary but is a good way to insure you have gotten the most out of the bones. 

  Beef stock takes longer than chicken as the bones are denser but both require at least hours of simmering. If you have to stop in the middle because you don't have time, make sure to cool the stock as rapidly as possible and keep it chilled until you have time to finish it. Stock will sour if you don't. 

post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefwriter View Post
 

   There is also the technique of making a second stock with the same bones, once you have the first stock finished. I believe this is called "depouillage" although I'm not sure I spelled that correctly.

 

Just for point of clarification and in case anyone wants to investigate the technique further the term is 'remouillage".

 

With the exception of fish stock, I always think longer is better for stocks, it certainly doesn't hurt chicken, or beef, etc to simmer overnight; although 8 hours is suffiicient  for chicken. Fish stock shouldn't go any longer than 30 minutes or it will get bitter.

 

A ready stock will have a strong taste of the primary ingredient and if using an animal product will gel when cooled, as previously mentioned by @mtullius.

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post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

With the exception of fish stock, I always think longer is better for stocks, it certainly doesn't hurt chicken, or beef, etc to simmer overnight; although 8 hours is suffiicient  for chicken. Fish stock shouldn't go any longer than 30 minutes or it will get bitter.

 

 

Ok, this is absolutely a personal opinion here, but on that I do disagree. Chicken stock is done in about 3-4 hours to my taste, longer and it loses all fragrancy. What are you going to extract by simmering it longer? The gelatin is dissolved at this time and any longer cooking just leads to more loss of volatile flavours. Perhaps simmering it overnight under a reflux cooler might indeed work, if you want to go molecular, but generally. no. 

 

When it comes to beef or veal, where you are working with massive bones, yeah. There I do agree.

post #6 of 26

I agree, 4 hours from the time it comes up to temp is usually sufficient for chicken stock. You also won't need to do a remy with chicken. 

 

30 minutes is good for a fish stock...only use whitefish bones for fish stock. Oily fish like salmon, makerel, etc can produce an unpleasant stock. 

 

I think that there is definitely a "bell curve" when making stock...a time when the stock is at its peak. Further simmering, while producing a usable, even decent product, isn't optimal. You lose, as Gene said, a lot of aroma and volatile compounds with over-simmering. I'm talking mostly of chicken stock. 

 

Veal stock can easily go 8-12 hours, and you can use veal bones for a remy as well. 

 

Couple things for further research...you should look up stocks vs. broths. Broths are mostly meat based, and used primarily for flavor, while stocks are primarily based on bones, and used primarily for body and mouthfeel. In fact, it is veals abundant gelatin and relatively mild flavor that make it the premier choice for stock making. 

 

A lot of people confuse the two, or end up making kind of a "hybrid" where they, say, simmer a leftover chicken carcass with some wings and whatnot. Tasty, to be sure, but not technically a stock. 

 

I also, on a side note, don't add my aromatics until the last hour of cooking. This maximizes your vegetable and herbal aroma and gives your stock or broth a nice, clean flavor. 

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post
 

 

Ok, this is absolutely a personal opinion here,

 

 

Of course it is a personal opinion, that is what the majority of cooking is. I almost didn't respond to this thread because I figured someone would take issue with my methods. I don't eat stock, when I use stock to make a sauce, soup, or whatever; I add fresh vegetables, mire poix, herbs, spices, whatever and I get fragrancy and volatile flavors that way.

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post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

 

Of course it is a personal opinion, that is what the majority of cooking is. I almost didn't respond to this thread because I figured someone would take issue with my methods. I don't eat stock, when I use stock to make a sauce, soup, or whatever; I add fresh vegetables, mire poix, herbs, spices, whatever and I get fragrancy and volatile flavors that way.

Layne, I have no doubt that you produce very tasty stocks. Didn't want to be confrontational here - just mentioning my methods. As always, there's more than one way to skin a cat. My idea here is, however, that you lose volatile aromatic compounds from the chicken, that really can't be replaced by the veg/herbs/mirepoix, which, of course I also add when preparing something from my stocks.I think someone whom I can't remember right now made a pretty good point by saying "You know that lovely smell filling your kitchen when making a stock? That's all stuff that is not in it any more when it is done."

 

I *am* seriously thinking about a reflux cooler setup. Then again, I am a biochemist by education....

post #9 of 26

As an addition, I love how my grandmother made beef broth. I mean, here we are, generally slaving away over the pot, skimming, degreasing.... Grandma dropped some shank and some aromatics into a pot and set it to a rolling boil. Some tasty soups resulted from that. Absolutely not my technique, as I try my best to get clear, light and fragrant results, but hell, yeah, that one worked too.

post #10 of 26

Yeah, I mean, even at its worst, home made stock is till light years ahead of commercial stuff. There are finer points of debate, to be sure, but if someone is simmering bones/meat/veg/herbs, or whatever, for just about any length of time, they are doing something right. 

 

There is a sort of debate over the rolling boil/cloudy stock. In, say, Japanese ramen cooking, they purposefully boil the hell out of the stock to get all that fat and other bits dissolved for flavor. Sure th broth is cloudy, but it tastes banging. 

 

Making a chicken pot pie or stew or something? No big deal. In a pro kitchen, where I am making jus and other reduction sauces, clarity is very important. 

 

Like I said, there really ins't a wrong way, just varying opinions on technique.

 

I've taken the trimmings and carcass from those store bought rotisserie chickens and made some crazy good leftover meals. Pot pies, chicken and dumplings, etc. 

 

I do find, however, that sometimes people seem so set in their ways that they don't want to consider other views. (Not directed at anyone specific, just speaking generally about chefs in the business). A lot of chef's I've met do things because it is the way they were taught so many years ago. Not necessarily because it is better, or cleaner, or whatever, it is just how they've done it for so long. 

 

I would also say to the OP, that there is a search function and TONS of topics about stock making. 

post #11 of 26

@Someday -yeah, I do agree. I love japanese style Tonkotsu stock, too... Boil the fear of God into it and get some massively rich cloudy stock out of it.Lots of methods out there and most of them interesting. Lots of parameters to play around. When it comes to chicken stocks, my personal technique is - get some chickens, butcher them, use the breasts and/or thights immediately, throw the wings into a freezer bag until you got enough to BBQ them, then really slowly simmer the remaining carcass, I'm trying for about 75°C there, add the aromatics and some shrooms half way in. Oh yeah, and throw in a handfull of chick feet for the added gelatin.

post #12 of 26

I'm guessing my 24 hours for chicken stock would REALLY freak people out? lol

post #13 of 26

Vegetable - up to an hour

Fish - up to an hour

Chicken - up to 3hrs

Beef - 5-6 hrs

 

That's what I do.  This suits my needs just fine.  A few points - always skim skim skim.  Never allow the stock to boil.  There's no need to stir.  If I'm doing a whole chicken I remove the meat from the chicken at the 1hr point and return the carcass to the stock pot.  

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #14 of 26

Thanks for the clarification Cheflayne. That gave me a good laugh.  Remouillage it is.  Although now I'll have to make up a technique and call it depouilllage. 

post #15 of 26

Just to throw a curve ball in here ....

 

 

1 hour max, once up to temp. (20 minutes for fish... and you can eat the bones - just like the ones in cans of salmon)

 

But that is in a pressure cooker.

 

Honestly I was hesitant at first but once I understood the FSIS laws of pasteurization at low temps for long durations the leap to extraction done at High temps and short durations was pretty easy.

 

Here is an easy read on the subject - http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/01/ask-the-food-lab-can-i-make-stock-in-a-pressure-cooker-slow-cooker.html

 

I used to do huge batches and then freeze for later use - but it was a headache to do and a PITA to store in the freezer.

 

Now I freeze the 'extra' bits after butchering and when I have a couple zip-top bags in the freezer I dump em in the preassure cooker.

 

1 hour later I have super aromatic stock and it gets used within the week!

 

(side note - all pig bones/scraps get the boiled to death approach ... it's the best way to emulsify all that fat into the stock.  Storage... what storage - my neighbors even come over when they see me doing that on the propane burner on the deck.)

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #16 of 26

Contrary to what my original post may have implied, alas I was making a basic generalization; I don't always cook chicken stock a one time fits all uses set time. It depends on the final application for the stock.

 

I have cooked stock 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours, and yes even overnight depending upon whether I am making an egg drop soup, a cajun gumbo, a sandalwood smoked carrot sauce, a root beer barbeque sauce, a maple cardamom chicken demi glace sauce, or chicken and waffle ice cream.

 

IMHO there is no prime optimal set cooking time for chicken stock.

 

I like my parachute best when it opens.

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post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelGA View Post
 

(side note - all pig bones/scraps get the boiled to death approach ... it's the best way to emulsify all that fat into the stock.  Storage... what storage - my neighbors even come over when they see me doing that on the propane burner on the deck.)

 

More likely they come when the stench of the stock prep wafts over to them. As much as a like the resulting stock, extracting large amounts of pig bones doesn't exactly smell like roses.... :smoking:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

Contrary to what my original post may have implied, alas I was making a basic generalization; I don't always cook chicken stock a one time fits all uses set time. It depends on the final application for the stock.

 

I have cooked stock 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours, and yes even overnight depending upon whether I am making an egg drop soup, a cajun gumbo, a sandalwood smoked carrot sauce, a root beer barbeque sauce, a maple cardamom chicken demi glace sauce, or chicken and waffle ice cream.

 

IMHO there is no prime optimal set cooking time for chicken stock.

 

I like my parachute best when it opens.

 

Very good point, Layne. I guess we can agree on that.

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post
 

 

More likely they come when the stench of the stock prep wafts over to them. As much as a like the resulting stock, extracting large amounts of pig bones doesn't exactly smell like roses.... :smoking:

 

 

 

 

 

Is the reason why I do it on the deck outside~!

 

Best ever stock for Ramen and other foods that need that umami and gelatin.

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #19 of 26

Yup. Really need to get a good propane burner for outside, myself. Thought about getting a real proper wok burner setup anyway.

post #20 of 26

you can get just one setup that will do both... then you're cooking with fire.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #21 of 26

Yeah. As convenient as my ceran-plated stove in the kitchen might be, for real wok work, it just can't compare with a gas burner that can put out at least 35 kW thermal.

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 

Wow, I really didn't anticipate such a variety in opinions. I guess there is no straight answer. Anyway, I think there's a problem with cooking stock for more than 8 hours or so, since it can cause too much water to evaporate, forcing you to add more water. Definitely not overnight, since you can't be watching over the pot making sure there's enough water left.

I cook my stock until it tastes like the meaty flavors are well-combined, and it doesn't taste like water with floating bones. It means about 2 hours for chicken, fish and shellfish, and about 5 hours for mammal bones. I never witnessed any bitter taste to fish or shellfish stock cooked for a good 2 hours on stove.

post #23 of 26

How long? It also depends on how high up you are where you live. On high elevations, you may need to have a pressure cooker.

 

I did an experiment. I took some bones and scraped all the meat off, nothing but pure bones. The stock had no taste. I don't think bones make good stock.

 

When I make stock with bones, I saw cut all the bones in small pieces. The marrow gives some taste.

 

DON'T DO THIS AT HOME!

 

I did this because I am a risk taker tinkerer. I modified my pressure cooker's "jiggler" to get higher pressure. Instead of 250F typical, I am getting 275F.

 

At 275F, I can get real good stock very quickly. Interesting also at 275F, many hard bones get fork-tender soft. 

 

 

dcarch

post #24 of 26

See, I don't think a stock should have a strong flavor. In fact, what we really value in a stock is a more neutral flavor that allows it to be a carrier for other flavors. It is, infact, why we prize veal for stock making. Its abundant gelatin and relatively low amount of flavor. We want our sauces to have a small amount of beef/veal flavor, but we value the mouthfeel of the gelatin more, and the neutral flavor of the stock allows the flavorings (herbs, veg, wine, spirits, spices, etc) to shine though more. Of course, we can fortify stock with additional flavorings like meat trimmings, but if we don't know the final purpose of the stock it is better to keep it neutral and fortify it later. 

 

If you are talking about making a flavorful broth, say for a soup or a stew, or what have you, then that is a different thing. 

 

Broth=meat based

 

Stock=bone based

 

But again, it is hard to go "wrong" with making your own stock. Like I said, if you are simmering meat/bones in a pot with aromatics to cook with, you are ahead of 99% of at home cooks that reach for canned broth or bouillon cubes. 

 

And again, I think is is definitely a point of diminishing returns on a stock. To me it is like a bell curve, a long time when it is developing flavor, a small window where it is "optimal," and a long period of slowly deteriorating quality. 

 

So yes, you could simmer your chicken stock for 12 hours, but it might not be as good as it was 6 or 7 hours ago. It is still good and certainly usable, but it's past it's peak. And you guys, if you have never tried, should try adding your aromats (veg, herbs if using) near the end of the cooking time--like the last hour or so--it really enhances the aroma of your stock. 

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 

I think that a good stock should have a deliciousness effect all by itself. What a stock does is elevate a dish, and in order to do that, it has to truly spectacular flavor. The tastier a stock is, the more it adds yo your dish. The problem is, how do we know when a stock is at its peak? What should it taste like? What should the bones look like?

 

Adding the aromatics at the end is a really good tip. Thanks, Someday!

post #26 of 26

I like clear stocks made by simmering bones and aromatics and all that, but like a couple of you have already mentioned, I also dig that Japanese ramen broth, and also Korean sul lung tang broth. Both are boiled to death with the lid on for close to or over 24 hours, and are just so damn tasty. I wouldn't call them cloudy since they are normally not made with any veggies; they're just thicker, like how milk or cream is as opposed to water. I had this fish soup once in Korea and I had to ask the chef how he made it, because it was unlike any other fish stock. It was milky white like ramen broth, and pretty thick. It was only the stock and some seaweed in it. The chef said he boiled - not simmered - fish bones for a long time. I think it was probably the most memorable fish soup I've ever had. 

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