Gelatinous Bone Broth: Stock Pot or Crock Pot?

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Which is better for making a gelatinous bone broth - a stock pot or a crock pot? Here's the answer with video proof.


One of the tell-tale signs of a properly made homemade bone broth (also called bone stock) is how well it gels upon cooling.

This gelling is a result of the gelatin that leaches out of the collagen in animal products.  Gelatin is what makes Jello giggle and it should do the same for your homemade broths.

But it’s not always a given that you’ll get a gelatinous bone broth when making a bone broth.

I learned this valuable lesson last week when I went a little bone broth crazy.

My little chest freezer was filling up with beef bones fast and I needed to make some bone broth to clear up some space.

So I did.  As you can see, I made about 12 quarts of beef broth.

Which is better for making a gelatinous bone broth - a stock pot or a crock pot? Here's the answer with video proof.

I made them all at the same time which meant that I had to use both my crock pot (also called a slow cooker) and a stock pot.

Now I’m glad I did this because I was able to get a good comparison of the difference between making broths in a crock pot versus a stock pot.

I made sure that I had the exact same ingredients in both the crock pot and the stock pot.

The Verdict

Here’s a quick video showing the gelatinous difference in the outcome:

Yes, I’ll be using stock pots a lot more in the future!

Controlling the temperature is one of the key ways to get a more gelatinous bone broth.   And you can’t do that with most crock pots.

Now if you know of a brand where you can set the EXACT temperature, please share in the comments below.  I’d love to know.

Additional Tips to Make a Gelatinous Bone Broth

Controlling the temperature is just one factor in getting a nice gelatinous bone broth.

Other keys to a gelatinous broth are using a variety of bones and using the correct ratio of bones to water.

Sarah Pope over at The Healthy Home Economist has a nice blog that details 5 reasons why your stock won’t gel.

And my recent guest post on The Coconut Mama includes a recipe for how to make a gelatinous bone broth.

Get a Good Stock Pot!

If you’re in the market for a new stock pot I’d recommend one that has deep, straight sides and is at least 12 quarts.

Because I’m making so much stock these days I just got this this 20 quart stock pot on Amazon.

Which is better for making a gelatinous bone broth - a stock pot or a crock pot? Here's the answer with video proof.

I love that I can now make double, if not triple the amount of stock that I used to at one time.  It’s very reasonably priced and it’s certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).  NSF is an independent third-party that has strict standards for the safe design of kitchen tools and appliances (among many other things).  

You can get a smaller or larger stock pot  based on your individual needs.

These days, I just can’t get enough bone broth.   I’m using it more and more in my everyday cooking, not just for a huge variety of soups but also for things like sauces, gravies, cooking rice, vegetables and even just having a small cup before bedtime.  I even give some to the dog with her food and when I do, boy does she light up!

The list of uses for bone broths continues to grow.

Any tips for making a gelatinous bone broth that you’d like to add?   I’m always learning and love to hear from others. Please share in the comments!

Which is better for making a gelatinous bone broth - a stock pot or a crock pot? Here's the answer with video proof.

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  1. Thank you for this post! I’m about to make some more broth right now! (I am becoming quite the bone broth junky myself) I use a big vintage glass dutch oven made by a company called VISIONS CORNING. You can’t get the old ones anymore unless you buy them used off ebey. I am just so in love with it. I also have the matching glass frying pan. I would be ecstatic to get a whole set one day! I just don’t trust metal cook wear anymore unless I get it tested myself. Here’s where I got mine and there are a bunch of others as well. Just a bunch a different people selling them on ebey. I have no affiliation I promise, just sharing the goods with everyone 🙂

  2. it’s not a crock pot, but i have found that you can use a roaster (the kind a lot of grandma’s dragged out once a year to make a turkey in 🙂 to cook things like large quantities of stock. You don’t have to find old ones, though it’s not difficult to come across them, they’re still being made. I believe mine might be Hamilton Beach and I got them (I have 2) at a place that sells appliance seconds for about $20 or $30 each, which is much less expensive than the nicest crockpot I have. The other thing that’s cool about using a roaster is that you can also do initial browning in them by setting the temp pretty high, so you don’t dirty another pan. I like to make large quantities of stock at once, because I always make double stock, so it’s time consuming, and the roaster works great. I’m on the fence about even keeping room in cabinets for the crockpot…so few really good things can be made in it from start to finish, because of either the browning or temp issue–the only reason I hold onto it is that the roasters are quite large, and cooking smaller quantities of things in them is trickier.

    • Reading thjs article, I thought immediately of the Nesco roaster that has a temperature dial. There are old ones out there, but they are still being made, and in a variety of sizes.

  3. I wonder if one of these might work to down-regulate the crock pot.
    Hi/Lo/Off Dual Heat Switch

    I use mine for controlling a heating mat but have thought about using it w/my crock pot. I come home after it’s been on low for a couple of hours and it’s boiling and the lids rattling. Too hot even on low.

  4. I can’t get gelatinous broth to save my life… maybe because I’m using chicken bones? I make it in a stock pot. :-/

    • Hi Rachel,

      Chicken bones are difficult without using other parts of the chicken like necks, back and especially the feet. Maybe give that a shot next time. Beef bones are a lot easier, especially the knuckle bones which have a lot of gelatinous components to them.

      Better luck next time!


    • You may not be roasting your bones long enough or you’re bone to water ratio is too great. I typically use 1 gallon of water to 2 pounds of bones.

    • You may not be roasting your bones long enough or you’re bone to water ratio is too great. I typically use 1 gallon of water to 2 pounds of bones.

  5. I belong to a local WAPF chapter. One of the ladies uses the Instant Pot to make her broth because it allows it to stay at a simmer instead of a boil and she gets the gelatin in her broths. Something to look into. 😀

  6. I make great gelatinous bone broth with wonderful flavor, but my husband gets headaches and stomach aches when he eats it in food. Does anyone know why this happens? What can I do differently to help him tolerate it better?

  7. Barbara Sandquist says:

    My new favorite snack beverage, a cup of bone broth with a T. of coconut oil and a few spinach leaves. Yum!

  8. I get stock from pressure cooking a whole chicken. Yays or nays about pressure cooking?? It gels nicely, tastes great AND I have a whole chicken to eat.

  9. Allen Bennett says:

    My cerebral palsy, is quite mild, so I probably don’t need a stockpot with a spigot,but it would probably make things quite a bit easier. Also I don’t have much money (right now about $60.00 in Amazon gift cards). Any idea of a good stockpot (with a spigot, preferably)?
    Also, the moment, I don’t have a induction cooktop, but I’d like to get one, so it would be nice if the stockpot is induction capable. I’m thinking of also getting a chinois.

  10. When making in stockpot, how long do you simmer for? The crockpot I dont mind leaving on for 24 hrs, but I couldnt leave the house with the stovetop on.

    • Hi Alanna, it depends what types of bones you’re using. You can simmer chicken bones for about 4-24 hours and you can simmer beef bones for about 8-72 hours. The longer you simmer the more nutrients that leach out.

    • Good question! I, too, am in love with stock and making it. The exception is that my stove even on the simmer burner is too hot and almost impossible to get a simmer instead of a boil. I end up using various pots and burner plates to Dr Suess my stock pot higher up and away from the flame. Also hard to plan for a day when I’ll be there all day and then some to watch it. Looking at crock pots or roasters, but the capacities are small. I’d love to hear how others manage to do it in a stock pot. Any issues with too hot of a flame? What did you do? Even thought of getting a different stove top, that’s how much I love bone broth : )

  11. If your crock pot is boiling your stock… At ANY setting… You need a new crock pot!! That’s not normal. I made my bone broth in my crock pot on low for 12 hours and the broth is beautifully gelatinous!

  12. You need to check what grade of pellet your stove can handle.
    Breckwell Big-E Utility pellet stove, and Breckwell P24 are a few I would recommend.
    A green rug will emit wood energy and so placing a green rug on the floor between the
    sink and the stove will help to diffuse the clashing energy.

  13. Hey all, question on gelatin – I made some stock last night, strained it, and put it in the fridge. I took it out and it’s ALL gelatin. What’d I do wrong (or right)? Does anyone know how an all-gelatin stock would work in making a demi glace? Thanks!

  14. The main reason you got the stock pot broth so firm is because you lost more water trough evaporation with the stock pot. In a crock pot you lose way less water that’s why is less dense.

  15. I make my broth in a roasting pan. I love that I can roast 2-3 chickens at a time, pull them out with the rack, then pull the meat off and throw the bones back in the same pan. I can control the temp and since the pan is metal, I can just lift it up and submerge the whole thing in an ice bath to cool quickly. It makes cleanup a breeze and I can cook so much more broth at once because it holds 16 quarts.

  16. I am ecstatic that I made gelatinous bone broth on my 2nd try! The first time I did in my Instant Pot alone for 2 hours. This second time I planned on crockpot for low 12 hours (did it overnight & yes it woke me up at 4 am). Since I did it overnight, I decided to keep it going for 18. I then transferred to the instant pot, did the max 2 hours and let it it sit for 6 hours on warm. Kept it all together last night in the stainless steel instant pot insider bowl. This am I removed the fat, strained the broth, put back in the fridge & this afternoon it was partially gelatinized! So exciting! I have put the bones back into the crock pot for 8 hours on high today, and plan to put them into the instant pot for 2 now. I began with 3.5 lbs beef bones (just fyi)

  17. Steve Watton says:

    If temperature is so important, why don’t articles like this give a temperature? This noob still looking for that info.

  18. I like the increased safety of slow-cookers over having a stock-pot cooking on an open stove-burner while I’m at work. So, I tried different slow-cookers and experienced the problem that you mentioned – I definitely found that I needed better temperature control to get just the right temperature for simmering and not boiling for the best gel-broth… My solution was to get a big beautiful stainless stock-pot that is an induction-type pot – then buy an induction hot-plate. Wha-La! Perfect control PLUS safety – I would be bummed if I came home to a burning house! Yes, you have to be a serious bone-broth maker to go to this trouble – but, if you have found that you want bone-broth in your diet on a regular basis and forever – I have found that this solution, in the long run, save time, money, and worry. You’ll just keep searching for a better slow-cooker (yes – I tried roasters too). This solution also allows you to buy healthy pots and avoid aluminum lids. Speaking of lids – a clear glass lid on your pot allows you to watch for boiling without having to lift the lid and disturb the temperature. Yeah! Bone Soup – to your health!


  1. […] folks:  Healthy Living How To, Fearless Eating, and Homemade […]

  2. […] folks:  Healthy Living How To, Fearless Eating, and Homemade […]

  3. […] thing to consider is that most slow cookers are not conducive to creating a gelatin-rich broth.  Click here to see a video demo comparing the gelatin content of a broth made in a stock pot vs. a slow […]

  4. […] slow-cooker broth and the stock pot broth.  You can read more about his “experiment” here.  He figured out that when you left your bone broth in the crock-pot the broth would stay too hot. […]

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