Do You Chill Your Stock? How?

I understand if people don’t, if the stock is to be used or canned right away and not de-fatted.

But for me, I’vep referred to chill it quickly after straining it, not only to make skimming fat easier, but to make it safer and faster to freeze or store. I like icebaths, but I rarely have a lot of ice to spare. I also have a couple Cool Paddles, but these take up freezer space and themselves require cleaning off the schmalz.

What I’ve taken to doing lately is immersing the pan or stockpot (usually copper) in a sink or large plastic tub of cold tap water. Depending on the volume of stock, I may have to change the water once or twice, but this is a fast enough cool to transit the red zone quickly.

What do you do?



I just put in the fridge overnight.


Put a lidded, ice-filled Rubbermaid container into the pot of hot stock. It works fast, and fat adheres to the exterior of the container. Once the container is emptied and cleaned, I fill it 3/4 of the way with water, put the lid on, and return it to the freezer so it’s ready for the next cooling job. Also, it’s a bit of insurance in case of a power outage.


Fill sink with cold water, put pot in sink.


I put an aluminum baking sheet on a couple of trivets, then put the stock pot on the baking sheet. The baking sheet is my radiator. I point a small fan at the pot so some air goes above and below the sheet. Sometimes I put ice on the sheet too.

My stock pot isn’t very big. So I just fill a big salad bowl with water and let the stock cool. I will have to change the water two or three times.

My sink is relatively big so I will need a lot of water to fill it up, which is a bit wasteful in our state since we are in a perpetual drought.

Water has a very high heat capacity so its ability to quickly absorb heat is unparalleled. And that’s how people die of hypothermia when they swim in chilly waters.

And if you want the most cost and energy efficient way to cool stuff, water is probably the winner since tap water is cheap and the only energy incurred is the electricity to pump the water to your tap from the source, plus treatment.

I only make stock in the winter. I pick a cold spell, then put the stock on the balcony to cool. Nature’s Refrigerator. Did it with food in the dorms in college. We weren’t allowed fridges - everything went in a waterproof bookbag that was hung out the window. Midwest winter did the rest.


I strain it all from the crockpot in which it’s been created, into a large Pyrex bowl. The bowl sits on a dishtowel on my counter for an hour or so, and then it and the towel are carefully brought downstairs to the spare fridge in my garage to fully cool and allow the fat to rise to the top. I usually wait about 48 hours before I bring it back upstairs and skim off the fat that’s risen to the top, then put it into 2, 1, and 1/2 cup containers for my freezer.

I’m lucky that I have the additional (mostly empty) apartment-sized fridge in my garage to allow for stock cooling, turkey or chicken defrosting and air-drying, or just as “extra space” as needed.

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In the warmer months, strain, then put into a very large container on a cooling rack so there’s underneath airflow.

In cool months (that would be most of the year) outside it goes. Meekah knows. :slight_smile:


Strain it into a large bowl then put it into one or two smaller glass containers and leave it overnight (or longer) in the refrigerator for the fat to congeal.

Unless you’re in a drought …


I usually start de-fatting as I go, though I still have some fat to pull out after it’s been in the fridge.

After cooking, I get my containers ready (usually recycled soup takeout tubs) and let the stock cool down. When it’s still hot, I strain as I go and ladle them into my containers (usually 2-3 at most). They will continue to cool on the counter, but it’s faster once they are in the containers. Pop them into the fridge when it’s good to go.

I tend to use a fat separator and, once defatted, I run it through a thick ply of cheesecloth twice. By then it’s generally not a long wait for it to be cool enough to put into a quart freezer bag. Laying the filled bag on the granite counter helps get it down to a temp where I’m not worried about sticking it in the freezer.

The very few times I’ve been in a hurry I put the strained stock in a big glass Pyrex and plop that down into a large ice-filled bowl.

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If I regularly made larger quantities of stock, I’d probably set up an immersible coil wort chiller.


I boil it way down until it fits in a smaller saucepan. I guess about 2 cups’ worth or less. Then into fridge to cool. I don’t have a big pot of it anymore, so that doesn’t take long. Remove fat. Then boil down further. Then, when really thick & concentrated, pour into ice cube trays & freeze.

When they’re frozen, I put my stock concentrate cubes into a ziplock bag, and back into the freezer. When I need some stock, I just grab one or two of my frozen concentrate cubes.

It’s so handy. I have neither the interest nor the space nor the inclination to deal with all that frozen water. My “stock cubes” are so much better.

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Open back door, walk stock pot outside. Leave on table. Hope local feral cat/ nor raccoon can’t lift lid.


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