Bone broth- leaving the stove unattended - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-11-2010, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have recently discovered he joy of making stock from chicken bones. I roast the chicken with veggies for a meal and then use the carcass with carrots and celery to make the broth. I have read to simmer it for 24 to 48 hours, but I am encountering my DH is afraid to let me leave our gas stove on overnight or if I leave the house.

So, wondering if it is a problem to turn it off for overnight then on again in the morning multiple times?
Or has anyone found a way to overcome these fears?

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Old 03-11-2010, 02:15 AM
 
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I don't have a gas stove, so I can't comment about that. I leave mine simmering on the electric stove all night, on very low heat, without any problem. On another board, I heard that you can use 6-7 towels to completely wrap the pot up, which will keep it almost too hot to touch, then put it back on the burner again.

I'm interested in what others have to say, too.

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Old 03-11-2010, 02:20 AM
 
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I just use my crockpot. I would be worried to leave it on the stove overnight too.

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Old 03-11-2010, 03:10 AM
 
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I use my electric stove or my crock pot. You could probably use you oven as well, which would be less of a fire hazard. In terms of turning it off while you are in bed you are flirting with food poisoning if it is left too long (more than 2 hours) at room temperature.

It might work well for you to get it all ready to go the night before, put it on first thing in the morning and take it off before you go to bed. If the bones break easily you have extracted enough of the gelatin and collagen for a really nice stock, it doesn't really need to simmer for 2 days. I have had good results from a 4 hour chicken stock (and when I say good results I mean it turns into chicken jelly when it is cool.)
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:37 AM
 
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I also use the crockpot, and feel comfy leaving it on for a few days. We have a gas stove, and I would be way too paranoid (plus my gas bill is high enough as is).

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Old 03-11-2010, 03:48 AM
 
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There is debate about whether you need longer to get the minerals.

I used to be afraid of the same thing. I now leave the stock (and soups) on a simmer overnight, and even while I leave the house briefly. I have a gas stove.

What I do is make sure there is nothing flammable around the stove. I make sure the flames are very low, and definitely not licking up the sides of the pot, but it's on high enough that it won't blow out and that there is enough water that it won't boil off and the lid is on,. I realized that it wasn't really particularly more dangerous to be asleep with the stove on than awake. Even if I were awake and in another part of the house, it would likely be the smoke detector that alerted me, and our smoke detector would definitely go off with the smallest bit of smoke (frying sets it off regularly) and would wake me up.

If my cat countersurfed and thus might knock something flammable on the flames, I might not. I feel completely safe with it this way.

(you could also do it in the oven. I'm totally fine leaving stuff in the oven overnight/when I'm out.)

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Old 03-11-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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The longer simmers are better for the minerals (and the taste -- oh my goodness a long-simmered broth is good!) and the shorter simmers are better for the gelatin. I do a 12-16 hour simmer, hoping to get the best of both worlds. I usually get a sloppy gel after that amount of time, but the bones are also nice and soft.

You could buy a separate electric burner -- the plug-in countertop kind.

Crockpots have the drawback of having lead in the enamel of them, which some people are concerned about and others not. It's below EPA limits, but it's there. There's been no testing done about how much is extracted over long-time cooking.

I vote for the plug-in electric burner. Enjoy your broth!

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Old 03-11-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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We use our crock pot too I would not leave the gas stove on over night or anytime with out being suprivised.

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Old 03-11-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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I would never leave a pot on any stove overnight. I would use a crockpot overnight though.

For my stock, I cook it all day on the gas stove while I am home. Then I put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I skim off the fat, and put it back on the stove.

It is delicious!!!

I use the same ingredients as you, plus more. Over a couple weeks, I collect all the leftover dinner veggies in the freezer, and throw those in too. Also, things like onion skin, parsley stems, basil stems, spinach stems. Plus, I look in the fridge and throw in any veggies about to go bad.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:56 PM
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Here's what I'm experimenting with:
Day 1: Roast chicken for dinner, pick meat off bones. Stick bones in the fridge covered in filtered water with a bit of apple cider vinegar.
Day 2: Simmer broth as much of the day as possible. If I leave the house for an hour or 2, turn off the stove but leave it hot. It can't have cooled off much since it always boils quickly when I get home. Turn off a couple hours before bedtime to begin to cool. Dump in filtered ice to cool, place in fridge for the night.
Day 3: Same as day 2, but process a couple hours before bedtime, cooling in shallow containers before placing in fridge.
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for these ideas, everyone. I don't know why I never thought of putting it in the oven. I've lately been learning how awesome the oven is. A friend even just told me about cooking greens in the oven and it seems like the oven is the most under-utilized thing in the kitchen! And it makes everything so easy! I also LOVE the idea of using the stems and such for the stock!

However, I'm thinking my stock pot won't fit in the oven... I'll have to test that out first.

I'm not a big fan of the crock pot because I am in the fearful of lead camp and my crock pot is too small. Maybe I just have to rethink quantity on my stock making!! Small batches...

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Old 03-12-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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if your stockpot doesn't fit in the oven, do you have an enameled dutch oven?

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Old 03-14-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do have an enameled dutch oven, so that is a good idea to just make the broths in there. Of course if I do that DH will not stop teasing me about the purchase of the stock pot so first I'm going to see if that will fit (have been away from home for several days).

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Old 03-15-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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I use a really large stock pot so mine won't fit in the oven. I feel ok with leaving it on low overnight because I know from experience watching the pot during the day that there is no way possible that 12 quarts of liquid will cook off of a covered pot on low for eight hours. It might drop a couple inches but there is still 8+ inches of liquid, no way it's going to dry up and ignite.

On the other hand, in the interest of conserving propane, I have and do wrap the pot in towels and blankets overnight - a thickness of six to eight inches of insulation will keep the pot scalding hot til morning. Google "retained heat cooking" and you'll find more info on this method.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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I have 2 crockpots and use those. I am just not comfortable with leaving it on the stove that long - especially with beef broth which I find takes longer.

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Old 03-16-2010, 02:35 AM
 
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I leave mine simmering on the gas stove-top for 2 days. We have a simmer burner - the lowest BTU burner on the stove, and I leave it on that turned all the way to low. My DH was concerned about it the first few times, but now he doesn't even think twice.

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Old 03-17-2010, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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what temp do you ladies keep the oven?

and those using crockpots, do you have really large crock pots or are you just making small amounts of stock?

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Old 03-17-2010, 01:07 AM
 
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I sometimes turn mine off when I'm not home, depends on the liquid level. I don't want it to boil away my stock. Anyway, I have left it off overnight and the pot is still warm in the morning. There's no need to chill it or refrigerate it. You're going to turn it back on and simmer more anyway.
I have long since stopped worrying about contamination from farm fresh foods. I am comfortable with the thought that there's likely no bad bacteria in them, and if there is, my healthy TF diet will protect me. It's worked for us for over 4 years of raw egg yolk eating, raw milk drinking and leaving food out for hours at a time.

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Old 03-26-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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I used to use my electric stove on low overnight 24-36 hours straight with no problems.

Until one night the burner decided to freak out by itself... it switched to High on it's own and we woke up to a burnt pan, smoke and the fire alarm!

Now I do the crockpot.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:39 PM
 
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Crockpot here. It's, uh, biggish... crockpots come in different sizes? I just know it as crockpot-sized. I have a batch of chicken stock going right now - we had roast chicken last night and I made DH strip off the excess meat and put the catcass on for stock before he went to sleep, so we could have soup today for lunch! I'll probably scoop some of the stock out and let the rest keep simmering through the afternoon.

I *have* left stock on low on the electric oven overnight, but it made me nervous.

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Old 03-26-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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Depending on how your oven's set up, you could remove all the racks and put a couple bricks on the bottom, around the burners (assuming an electric oven), if the height is the main issue.

My old oven had room for one large stock pot and one small one, if I put them in just right. The weight was so much that although i didn't have to take out my bottom rack, I did put bricks underneath to support the weight of the full pots.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have long since stopped worrying about contamination from farm fresh foods. I am comfortable with the thought that there's likely no bad bacteria in them, and if there is, my healthy TF diet will protect me. It's worked for us for over 4 years of raw egg yolk eating, raw milk drinking and leaving food out for hours at a time.
Pinky, This really persuades me. I think this is the best solution for me. I am a bit paranoid about bacteria, especially now on the anti-candida diet but this makes so much sense. And it is really the easiest for me to implement. Just stop worrying! I need to do that for many areas of my life, LOL!

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Old 03-27-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinky Tuscadero View Post
I sometimes turn mine off when I'm not home, depends on the liquid level. I don't want it to boil away my stock. Anyway, I have left it off overnight and the pot is still warm in the morning. There's no need to chill it or refrigerate it. You're going to turn it back on and simmer more anyway.
I have long since stopped worrying about contamination from farm fresh foods. I am comfortable with the thought that there's likely no bad bacteria in them, and if there is, my healthy TF diet will protect me. It's worked for us for over 4 years of raw egg yolk eating, raw milk drinking and leaving food out for hours at a time.
I do the same. Typically our stews are a 2-4 day process, and I simply shut them off and leave them on the stove if we leave briefly and overnight. We tend to go a decent 10 hour stretch of sleep at night, and in the morning the pot is still warm anyhow.

I never thought much of it. It's the way my grandmother and granny made soup for years: simmer while awake, let sit while asleep.

Plus, I have experimented.. the multiple cooling/heating process, DH and I think, really adds to the flavor.
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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Regarding food safety, we often (like most evenings) leave food out overnight so it can cool. We have never had food poisoning from it. Apparently sealing something up that is still hot or warm and putting it in the fridge is more dangerous than leaving it out at room temp. In any case, most times we will reheat whatever we've left out and that should kill all but the heftiest bacteria, shouldn't it?

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Old 04-01-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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The thing I worry about with stocks is mold. Stock is one of the most perfect mediums for growing mold. And even if you kill the mold, by reboiling, you still have the by-products that the mold releases left in there.

My DH has a serious mold allergy, so this is of particular concern to us.

My approach with the stock has been to use the crockpot, as well. I don't think I'd leave the stove on all night, but I might be comfortable with the oven.

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Old 04-01-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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Do you really think mold could grow overnight? I'm not doubting you - we don't have mold sensitivities. And I know that the mold spores are active before you see them, but surely it would take a couple of days for this to happen? And wouldn't it tend to ferment first (yuck in this context!)?

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Old 04-02-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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Do you really think mold could grow overnight? I'm not doubting you - we don't have mold sensitivities. And I know that the mold spores are active before you see them, but surely it would take a couple of days for this to happen? And wouldn't it tend to ferment first (yuck in this context!)?
I don't know that mold would take hold that quickly. But he has had anaphylactic reactions before, and it's just not worth it. Broth is a wonderful mold-food.

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Old 04-02-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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What crockpots do you all have? I used to read the threads on finding a crockpot without lead and I just gave up, but I do miss my crock pot and am a little scared after JaneS's post!
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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I use a thermal cooker. It's small, about 5 qt, so I have to make stock pretty regularly and never have enough to freeze, but it works great! Basically, it's a pot in a thermos. I heat the stock up to boiling, let it simmer for 30 minutes or so on the stove and put it in the thermal cooker for up to 8 hours. Then I repeat the proceedure until the stock is done cooking.
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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IRT the mold issue- don't we put some vinegar in there? I'd think that's be too high heat and too acidic to be both inoculated AND proliferate overnight.

I do chili just this way, cook, turn off, cook. . Never had a problem, and it has never made anyone sick either.

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