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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this is going to sound crazy, but I'm driving up our energy bill with my stock making! Once per week, I roast a chicken and then make stock from it; usually I simmer my carcass for about 24 hours, then boil to reduce for a few hours more.<br><br>
I also freeze my veggie peels and make stock out of them. Usually this only takes me a few hours, but I have enough peels to make stock every week or two.<br><br>
So I'm running our stove alot. Last week, we got our energy bill and it was WAY more expensive then last year. Dh noticed that the big increase came from greatly increased electric consumption, and asked me if I thought I was leaving more lights on or anything. Um, no, but I do run the range for more than an entire day at least once per week, on top of all my other cooking. I wasn't doing that last year!<br><br>
Holy moley. Any tips on bringing down the energy consumption? I'm trying to be LESS wasteful, not more! Or maybe is this just a side effect of a traditional kitchen?
 

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I'm not really sure how much the cooking would be contributing to the bill--it's not generally supposed to be that big a part of one's electricity consumption--but two tips: one, you might try using a crockpot (for the stock making, although I've heard you can roast chickens in them as well) and two, if you can time it with other things that cook for a long time at a relatively low temp, you might put a lid on your stock pot and cook it in the oven. I imagine this last one would only work if you were cooking other things at the same time.
 

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No ideas other than maybe simmering your stuff for a shorter period of time? It seems like a few hours would get the job done. Anyway, I just didn't want to view your thread and not leave a reply <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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This has been killing me too - my inner environmentalist doesn't agree with running anything 24 hours at a time. I've not done anything yet but I've been toying with two ideas:<br>
* solar oven (too cold to use right now)<br>
* pressure cooker<br><br>
I figure if I get the pressure cooker hot and whistling, I could turn off the stove and let it be for a few hours and then repeat.<br><br>
If I had a large enough thermos that would fit a whole chicken carcass, I would do it that way. Preheat the thermos, get the carcass and water and veggies boiling and put in there. But, who makes a thermos the size of my crock pot???
 

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I just got an Excabilbur becuase I think it will save on propane. In the oven I was only able to dry 1-2 cookie sheets of nuts. Now I can do 9. I can also make 6 quarts of yogurt at once. I use the crockpot for stock and I think that would be more efficient than the stove.
 

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There is a thermal cooker that is big enough to put an entire chicken and veggies in to make broth...<br><a href="http://www.chefscorner.com/web/catalog/product_detail.aspx?pid=129138&cm_ven=Nextag&cm_cat=Cookware&cm_pla=Zojirushi&cm_ite=Zojirushi-Specialty%20Cookware-129138&cid=E74762036299CD0042E009A4491D99DE" target="_blank">http://www.chefscorner.com/web/catal...E009A4491D99DE</a><br>
Myself and my sister both own one and we both love it. check it out.
 

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Hey grazy101, did you just register so you could tell us that? Thanks!<br><br>
It seems very interesting, how does it work? How do you use it? The site isn't very specific.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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A crock pot uses less energy than a stove burner. I'd think you could make stock in a large crockpot, and they are alwas at the thrift stores.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Taedareth</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7305856"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No ideas other than maybe simmering your stuff for a shorter period of time? It seems like a few hours would get the job done. Anyway, I just didn't want to view your thread and not leave a reply <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Technically, a few hours wouldn't do the job. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> It takes quite a while to extract everything good from the bones. You have to heat it all up very slowly as well.<br><br><br>
That's crazy about the bill. Afraid to ask dh if ours has changed<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is fab, I'm so happy to have so many replies! I thought, people are going to think I'm nuts . . . .<br><br>
My crock pot is a standard size, is it big enough to make stock in? And do you need to do it longer--it seems to take a while to get up to boiling?<br><br>
I thought Fallon was against pressure cookers, but I could be wrong.<br><br>
Thank you all for the good discussion, I'm relieved to not be alone!
 

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I personally couldnt make stock in a crock pot, too small.<br><br>
I make ours on the wood stove being it heating the house already.
 

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My crock pot is oval in shape, it'll fit a medium chicken easily. I sometimes I wish it was a little smaller for when I cook small quantities of things, but I just make more and freeze. DH asked me the other day why our freezer was full of ziplock bags of beans. "Did the bean fairy visit while I wasn't looking?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mischievous.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="mischief"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Oh and you're right, pressure cookers aren't NT. I got that from my macrobiotic eating days. Haven't used mine in a while.
 

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I've wondered about the energy impact of the NT prep of foods. We have a gas stove, but I also now use an electric dehydrator. I hate leaving them on for so long. It just seems so wrong. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
As for whether or not you can make stock in your crock pot, it depends on the size. Mine is 5Qts, I believe, and it's too small IMHO. A 2-3 lb chicken carcass barely fits in it, with no room for anything else.
 

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All of the suggestions that you've received so far have been very good ones. As to the crockpot questions with stock. A 5qt should be ok. Even if it seems like the chicken takes up most of the space, there is still room for some liquid. AND, it will most likely end up in a stock that will gel well for you. It will certainly be much more concentrated and you could always dilute it with more water once it's finished.<br><br>
An even better suggestion for the crockpot route is to use the leftover carcass from a roasted chicken. In fact, use a couple of leftover carcasses in one batch of stock!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>momto l&a</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7310912"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I personally couldnt make stock in a crock pot, too small.<br><br>
I make ours on the wood stove being it heating the house already.</div>
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Great idea! Could I just start mine on the stove and then transfer it to the woodstove? I have enameled cast iron.
 

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This time of year, I'm doing it on the woodstove, too. I bring it to a boil on the stove then transfer it to the woodstove. In the summer, I use the crockpot.<br><br>
I've been planning on trying a straw box/fireless cooker idea. It's an insulated box with a hole just the size of the pot you're looking to insert. They were used in the 19th century. You'd pack a big box with straw, leaving a hole the size of your pot. Slide the hot pot in, cover the top with a thick layer of straw, and put a lid on. It's supposed to be good for hours. I imagine you'd come back in six or eight hours and put the pot back on the stove to bring it back to boiling, then re-insert it.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>grazy101</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7310523"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There is a thermal cooker that is big enough to put an entire chicken and veggies in to make broth...<br><a href="http://www.chefscorner.com/web/catalog/product_detail.aspx?pid=129138&cm_ven=Nextag&cm_cat=Cookware&cm_pla=Zojirushi&cm_ite=Zojirushi-Specialty%20Cookware-129138&cid=E74762036299CD0042E009A4491D99DE" target="_blank">http://www.chefscorner.com/web/catal...E009A4491D99DE</a><br>
Myself and my sister both own one and we both love it. check it out.</div>
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Hi sis... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br>
I love my thermal cooker too and actually have some soup in it right now. The thermal cooker retains the heat for (it says) 6-7 hours. So I heat up the soup in the inner pot until its really bubbling hot, put it in the thermal cooker (think of it more like a thermos). Then take out the innerpot and reheat again 6-7 hours later (or when I remember). Repeat 2-3 times and you have wonderful stock. I love it. I used to hate making soup in the summer because it heats up the house , with this it saves all the heat dissipated to cook the food.
 

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I saw something like this on latenight TV. 'so well insulated you could cook while the pot was in the freezer' or something.<br><br>
hmmm.<br><br>
I'm just finishing a batch of chicken stock in the crockpot. I have an old rectangular pot and crunched the whole carcass in and some onion skins, brought to a boil then simmered all day. strained out the good stuff and put back in the pot. I added barley and onion and let it set in the fridge overnight. I'll add the rest of the makings about noon and have a lovely soup for dinner.<br>
Bryanna
 

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OP-are you boiling your stock the whole time, or just when you are reducing it? You should only need to bring it to a boil to start and then reduce to a simmer and cover........... and personally, I would just have it at a strong simmer rather then a boil to reduce. I have a 6qt Crock Pot and I love that for stock making, because I can turn it on high for about 4 hours or so to get it really going and then turn to low and let it go and go and go.<br><br>
hths
 
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