Friday, February 12, 2010

Tutorial: Make Your Own Veggie Broth in the Crock-Pot

I've said before that my Crock-Pot is one of my most-used appliances in my kitchen.  Only to be beat by my constantly running dishwasher! 

After making my own chicken broth (I'll post about that soon...I promise) last month, I decided to find out if vegetable broth can be made in the Crock-Pot.  Sure enough, it can!  Yay! 

Searching the Internet, I found a lot of information for making homemade vegetable broth.  Rachael wrote this post for Buffalo Frugal Living Examiner and it seemed to have the best information for me.  After reading her post and seeing how simple it was to make veggie broth, I wanted to jump right in and make it that very second.  But, it wouldn't have been a very good vegetable broth, since I didn't have any veggie scraps saved. 

I decided to share my  vegetable broth making experience with you and was even prepared with the camera close by  and took step by step photos of the entire process! 

I started by saving all of my veggie scraps while preparing recent meals.  I saved everything:  carrot ends and peels, potato peels, celery (tops, bottoms and leaves) onion peels and tops, bell pepper tops, garlic peels, broccoli stems, cabbage cores, etc. 

I stored the scraps in gallon size Ziplock Freezer Bags in my basement freezer. 

I poured the frozen** scraps into my Crock-Pot.  My oval Crock-Pot only needed one of the gallon-sized bags to fill it.  This particular bag was full of scraps from carrots, peppers, celery, cabbage and onions. 

**Remember:  if you are using cold or frozen vegetable scraps, to start off with a room temperature Crock-Pot.  If it's pre-heated, it may crack when the cold items are added.

I added COLD water to about 1/2 inch from the top.  Then I covered it and cooked on LOW for about 13 hours. 

After letting it simmer through the night, this is what it looked like in the morning.  I took the lid off and let it cool for about half an hour. 

I placed  a large bowl in my sink and then placed my colander inside of the bowl to strain the veggies from the broth. 

I used a large ladle to scoop out most of the veggies and broth and let it strain through the colander and into the bowl until there was enough removed so that I could pour it through the strainer without making much of a mess! 

After that, I just had to pour it into my large measuring cup to see just how much broth was made!  It's past the 8 cup line!  So, that's about 4 cans of broth.  Four less cans I have to buy not only means that I saved money, but four less cans to throw away recycle. 

My next step will be to pour it into Ziplock Freezer Bags when it's finished cooling.  I'll store them in 2 cup portions and freeze flat on the shelf of my kitchen freezer.  Once they are solid, they will stack nicely in my basement freezer! 

I will be sharing this blog post with the following blog carnivals this week: 


  1. What a beautiful Amber color, awesome job!

  2. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing. I hadn't thought of saving all the vege scraps-they usually head to the composter, but I think they will make one last stop into the crockpot prior to be composted.

  3. This is a great step-by-step veggie broth tutorial. I'm inspired to save scraps--my husband might laugh at me in the beginning, but I'm sure he will appreciate the brilliance in a few months, when I serve up some fabulous soups!

  4. Lisa, Thanks! Isn't it so pretty with the sun shining through it! :)

    collegekim, I wanted to mention that in the post...about composting. Except we don't compost YET.

    Ann, My husband thinks I am nuts! When I made chicken broth last week, he asked me why when I had cans of it in the pantry! haha! Trying to get the storebought mentality out of the kitchen! Baby steps, I guess! haha!

  5. This is wonderful!! This came at the right time for me. Have you also thought of freezing the broth in an ice cube tray so that you can easily have tbsp. sized options for recipes that only call for a bit? Just a thought! :)

  6. I'd never thought about making broth in the crock pot. What a great idea.

  7. What a great idea! I throw so much away that I always knew could have a purpose. Thank you so much! I am a crockpot loon and love using it as much as possible. With a nice hot Texas summer heading our way the crockpot usage is always in over drive.

  8. Thanks so much for leaving me the link to this post on my blog! What a great idea...I am going to start saving my scraps for this!

  9. Alison, I'm so glad you tried the "recipe" and shared it on your blog with the step by step photos.
    Both my sons are culinary arts students, and poo-pooh my way of making stocks/broths (with scraps), but the veggie broth is really good and I have found that when I add a little more carrot, red pepper and red onion scraps I get even better color.
    Happy eating!
    Rachael Monaco
    Buffalo Frugal Living Examiner

  10. I love this idea. I am going to start saving my veggie scraps and doing this. I usually just put them back into the garden, but I love broths. Thank you so much!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I have recipes on my blog as well. I love food.

  11. Wow! This could easily have been my post! We do everything the same! :o) Our broths are even the same color (did you use red cabbage leaves? lol)

    Great blog! I love it when I find a like-minded cook. Thanks for stopping by. :)