How to make Homemade Turkey Stock (with Video)

Home » In the Kitchen » How to make Homemade Turkey Stock (with Video)

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Posts may contain affiliate links.

Make homemade turkey stock from your leftover turkey bones. A great way to stretch the dollar. This also works for chicken!

How to make (and can) homemade turkey stock. A great way to stretch the dollar!

I love making homemade stock because I take what would have been simply thrown away – the carcass of my Thanksgiving turkey – and make lots of wonderful stock that can be used for many future meals. All it really costs me is a few vegetables for flavor and the time it takes to do it.

What is the difference between broth and stock?

To me, not much. I use them interchangeably in recipes, I really do.

But technically speaking, broth is made from cooking a bird with the meat on. You save the liquid after and use the meat for recipes.

Stock is made from cooking the bones, cartilage, and whatever is left after you’ve used as much of that edible bird as you can. Stock usually has a slightly darker color than broth.

Now I use this method for making both turkey stock or chicken stock. The only real difference is the quantity that you get when you are done. A big bird, more stock. Smaller bird, less stock.  

When I make a turkey, I always make the biggest turkey I can possibly find. This year, I was cooking for 5 people and I made 30 pound turkey!

I figure if I’m going through all that work, why not get lots of meals out of it? Half of the turkey was served for Thanksgiving and the usual leftovers. The other half was immediately frozen in portions for future meals.

TIP: Don’t have time to make stock during the crazy holiday time? Freeze the carcass in a large freezer bag and thaw it out when you have time in the next couple weeks.

So how do you make it?

Take the carcass of your turkey or chicken and place it in a pot that is big enough to hold it. You can cut it into pieces if you like. You can also break the bones to give the water better access to the nutritious marrow inside. It’s up to you.

Because I cooked an ostrich really big turkey, I used a canning pot to make my stock in. But generally, most people would be able to use a stock pot, soup pot, or even a Dutch oven.

Add in celery, carrots, whole onions (chopped in half), apple cider vinegar, and a tablespoon of peppercorns. The onion skins will give your stock a wonderful color.

You can cut the carrots & celery into chunks if you like, but my pot was huge so I just tossed them in there.

For a chicken, or much smaller turkey, you could cut those in half or use the same amount. It’s up to you. I don’t add salt to my stock when I am making it though, because I like to control it when I am using it for recipes.

TIP: As you make every day meals, don’t discard your vegetable scraps. Celery hearts? Carrot ends & peels? Onion skins and ends? Save them! As you acquire these, store them in a gallon sized zip-lock bag in your freezer. When the bag is full, you can use it for making broth like this, instead of adding the whole vegetables. Or you could make a batch of vegetable broth.

Save all those veggie pieces – scraps of herbs are great too! I’m really big on not wasting things and if you can find a use for what normally would be thrown away, why not!? If you do happen to have a bag of veggie scraps, use those and the peppercorns.

How to Make Homemade Turkey (or Chicken) Stock from Cosmopolitan Cornbread - use up those leftover carcasses and make something useful!

Add enough water to the pot to cover the carcass. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer – you don’t want active boiling, but you still want motion in the liquid. Let this cook for 12-24 hours. The longer the better.

How do you know when the stock is done? Give it a taste. If it tastes weak, let it cook longer. The point is to create a rich, flavorful liquid. When you have that, you are done cooking.

After it has gone through that long simmering process, place a sieve over another pot (or other large containers) and ladle the stock through it.

Discard the carcass and vegetables.

Refrigerate the stock for a few hours or overnight.

As you do this, the fat will come to the top and harden. Then you can easily scoop it right off.

How to Make Homemade Turkey (or Chicken) Stock from Cosmopolitan Cornbread - use up those leftover carcasses and make something useful!

Now – what to do with all of that stock? You really have two options.

First, you can pour it into heavy duty freezer bags or containers and freeze it by the pint or quart. Or you can pressure can it. Freezing is easier, but if you have a pressure canner, jarred stock doesn’t take up freezer space and doesn’t need to stay frozen to stay good.

Watch me canning the Turkey Stock in the video below:

canning turkey stock

If you are pressure canning, the stock processes at: 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts.

This is a general guide for adjusting the recipe to your elevation. However, for the most accurate information, reference your pressure canner’s user manual.

Elevation in FeetDial Gauge CannerWeighted Gauge Canner
0-1,00010 lb pressure10 lb pressure
1,001-2,00011 lb15 lb
2,001-4,00012 lb15 lb
4,001-6,00013 lb15 lb
6,001-8,00014 lb15 lb
8,001-10,00015 lb15 lb
How to Make Homemade Turkey (or Chicken) Stock from Cosmopolitan Cornbread - use up those leftover carcasses and make something useful!

Remember, things like broth are low acid and must be pressure canned. They can not be canned in a hot water bath or steam canner.

You have wonderful stock for future meals!

How to make (and can) homemade turkey stock. A great way to stretch the dollar!

TIP: For a smaller bird, you could make stock in your slow cooker. Simply place the ingredients inside, cover with water, and let it cook all day or overnight. When the liquid is nice and flavorful, preserve it by freezing or canning.

How to make (and can) homemade turkey stock. A great way to stretch the dollar!

You May Also Be Interested In: Instant Pot Ham Stock

How to make (and can) homemade turkey stock. A great way to stretch the dollar!

How to Make Turkey Stock

Constance Smith – Cosmopolitan Cornbread
This method is a great way to make usable stock from your leftover turkey carcass. This can also be used for chicken! I get an average of 5 quarts of stock from this recipe.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 day
Processing Time 25 minutes
Course Food Preservation & Canning, The Pantry
Cuisine American
Servings 22


  • turkey carcass
  • 3 whole onions, skins and all, quartered
  • 5 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 Tb whole peppercorns
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 2 gallons water, this is approximate. See instructions


  • Break your turkey carcass into pieces if you can. As brutal as it sounds, if you can cut or break bones to expose the marrow, even better.
  • Place the turkey carcass and all of the remaining ingredients in your large soup pot or electric roaster.
  • Pour in enough water to cover the carcass, about 2 gallons.
  • Stove Method: If cooking in a soup pot, bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Simmer very low for at least 6 hours, up to 24 hours.
  • NOTE: I make this in an electric roaster, that way the stove isn't on when we are sleeping. I let this cook at 300° for 24 hours.
  • Once the stock has finished cooking, strain the liquid through a fine sieve or cheese cloth. Discard the solids.
  • Refrigerate the stock overnight.
  • Carefully scoop the solidified fat from the top of the stock and discard.
  • Prepare your pressure canning supplies and heat your stock to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Pressure can the turkey stock using basic pressure canning practices.
  • Processing time for quart jars is 25 minutes, pint jar time is 20 minutes.
  • Use your turkey stock any way you like!
  • Turkey stock can also be frozen if you don't want to can it.

Nutritional information is auto-generated and the accuracy is not guaranteed.

Did You Try This?I’d Love For You to Share it on Instagram and tag me! @CosmopolitanCornbread

This post was originally written in 2015, and updated in 2022.

5 thoughts on “How to make Homemade Turkey Stock (with Video)”

  1. I haven’t made stock yet but because of your videos (& other homesteaders) I remembered to freeze my turkey bones so I can make it. Thank you for teaching me how to save money & to eat cleaner.

  2. Hello Conny, I made stock with a very big chicken ( from a local farm) we had on Christmas day.
    It was my first time, I had never bothered before because after Having done all the cooking and clearing up I usually feel really tired by the end if the day ( I am hipermobile, my muscles hurt often ) but this time I put the carcass in a bag and freezed it for the following day as you suggested. I followed your recioe and …ohhhhh…..the stock was amazing!,,,,Next time I will buy a bigger bird to get more stock!,, it feels so good not to waste anything.
    I really liked the blog where your husband hunt a deer and you make jerky, my husband who was in the navy for 22 yeaes used to go shooting to a range but the law changed in the uk and he had to give back his guns. I am not sure he would like to go hunting, I have not asked him! He misses the navy but he thought he had more chances of getting a job if he left early , that was ten years ago, we settled in Bournemouth, south of England .
    This is one of the reasons Inlike to watch your vlogs, It reminds me of our other life. Why do you want to stay in Hunsville if you like cool weather? I dont like warm weather either!!!! I just want to wear my trainers and jumpers and cant do when it s too warm!!!
    I am sorry if my grammar it s not correct but in spite of having lived in the UK for 25 years I still make lots of errors.
    Thank you for your recipe

    • Hello Isabel, I am so thrilled to hear about your stock success!! You can always make a bigger bird and freeze the extra meat in portions too. That way you have a short cut for future meals :)
      The reason we are settling here in the Huntsville area, is because of the job opportunities. This area has countless aviation and military research & development companies. Because my husband has worked on helicopters for over 2 decades, he has the experience that companies like that want. We know several people who settled elsewhere and then moved here for the same reason. It is neat because people who have been like family to us, are right here in town for good :)
      I’m so glad that you enjoy the blog/vlogs, it’s a joy to do.
      Much love,


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.