Don’t throw those turkey bones away! Keep them to make this nearly zero effort Instant Pot Turkey Stock recipe. The result is delicious, rich, collagen-filled, jiggly and incredibly nutritious stock that can be used to make awesome soups and stews, rice and so much more!
As a professional, I am a firm believer in low and slow when it comes to making stock for flavor, clarity, and ultimate jiggle… but there’s nothing quite like the convenience of an instant pot, especially during the holidays.
So I came up with a way to cheat using an electric pressure cooker without compromising the flavor and richness of the end result.
This turkey stock isn’t as clear as a stock cooked low and slow on the stovetop or in the slow cooker. Because the Instant Pot is a pretty aggressive way to cook, it pulverizes the bones, so you end with cloudier stock. However, there’s a way to cheat some of that, too—keep reading to find out how!
Anyway, clarity is a small compromise.
We’re still able to extract plenty of delicious and nutritious gelatin from the bones, which is exactly what we want in a homemade stock. This is what provides delicious mouthfeel, too, making this a worthy process.
Besides, you’ll never see store-bought stock jiggle like this, either! So there’s that.
Recipes you can use this stock in: Creamy Pumpkin Soup Recipe, Hearts of Palm Soup, Canja de Galinha – Brazilian Chicken and Rice Soup, Brazilian Stew Chicken Recipe, Instant Pot Lentils, Instant Pot Brown Rice Recipe, Instant Pot Pumpkin Risotto, and so many more!
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This homemade turkey stock makes the best soups and stews, and you can use it in so many different recipes.
This recipe makes 2 quarts, and one 10 lb. turkey carcass can make this recipe twice! So, freeze any leftover bones to make more later!
What you need to make this recipe
- An instant pot or another electric pressure cooker. Please make sure that yours has enough for 2 qts. of liquid (plus the bones), otherwise this recipe will not fit inside of it.
- A large bowl that can hold 2 qt. liquid—mine has a spout and it’s perfect for stock making. Check it out!
- Slotted spoon and or tongs
- A bowl for the discard
- Mason jars or storage containers to hold and store the final stock
- Leftover turkey bones—including cartilage (which are those little white knuckles), residual meat and some skin. I do remove as much of the skin as I can, but wing tips, and sometimes drumsticks after they’ve cooled can be challenging to remove the skin from, so I just throw it in as is. Bones can be raw too, like from neck and back. Just brown them before you begin. See below and the video.
- Aromatics—these are our bay leaves, garlic and peppercorns. The fresh thyme and parsley, which are listed with the herbs, are also considered aromatics.
- Root vegetables—we’re using leek, onion, parsnip, carrot and celery here.
- Herbs—this recipe calls for fresh sage leaves, fresh thyme sprigs, fresh rosemary and parsley stems. I highly recommend seeking out the fresh herbs because they make a difference in the flavor.
- Acid—we’re using apple cider vinegar in this recipe. It doesn’t contribute to flavor, but it’s a key ingredient in stock making. The acid helps coagulate proteins, which helps us get that gelatinous consistency. It also helps extract nutrients from the bones.
I strongly advise you to not add salt to your homemade stock! This keeps it more versatile, and you can add salt when you’re making your final dish.
How to make Instant Pot Turkey Stock
If you have raw bones, as shown above and in the video, start by searing them on the Saute setting. We just need these pieces to get a nice sear.
If the pan gets too hot and the turkey pieces begin to burn, you can throw some of the aromatics in there because they will create some moisture and will make sure nothing burns.
Once the bones have browned, layer in the rest of leftover bones you have. Also, add in the vegetables and the herbs. Squeeze everything in there—the pot will be very full.
Lastly add the water, and then the acid to the Instant Pot.
Make sure the water doesn’t go over your pot’s max capacity—but you should be able to fit 2 qts. in there as long as you don’t have the Instant Pot Mini.
Close and seal the pot. Then, set the timer to cook under high pressure for 45 minutes.
The big secret is, after the timer beeps and the cook is finished, we let the pressure naturally release for at least 15 minutes.
I actually just let it sit there on the countertop for a good half hour or so. Especially if I’m doing something else. I’m never in an actual hurry to get back to it.
This reduces the pressure inside as it continues to cook with residual heat. And the longer it sits, the better the stock is.
Besides, you have to let it cool before you can store it (see the storing section below), so you might as well let this happen while still getting some major flavor going.
Once you’ve let it sit and naturally release pressure, flip the valve to quick release any additional pressure.
Once the pressure has completely dissipated, safely open the pot.
I like to start by using tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the bones and veggie pieces off the pot before straining the liquid.
If you strain right away, you’ll have hot liquid splattering everywhere, and you don’t want to waste any of this liquid gold, nor do you want to get burnt if it’s still too hot!
After you remove the big pieces, it’s time to strain. You can use an extra fine sieve, a cheese cloth, or even a single layer of paper towel to hold more of the fine particles because it will help you get a slightly clearer stock—but truthfully, I don’t bother because it’s all yummy stuff.
How to store homemade turkey stock
Do not put hot stock in the refrigerator or freezer.
Let the stock cool completely before refrigerating to avoid bacteria growth, as well as the stock going bad on you and making you really, really, really sick.
This turkey stock recipe lasts about 6 months in freezer, or about 3-5 days in the fridge.
To freeze, I like to overnight the stock in the fridge to be safe. Make sure you leave an inch of space at the top of the jars, and do not close the lid tight. Otherwise, the jar will break when the liquid expands as it freezes. Tighten up the lids after they are frozen all the way through.
You can use whatever container you have to store it, but I like to store mine in mason jars. You can always use plastic quart containers, too, but they too can break if too full and closed too tightly.
Use it to make rice dishes, risottos, stews, soups and really anything you’d be adding stock or water to for extra flavor!
Other Turkey Recipes you’ll Love:
- Grilled Turkey Breast
- Compound Butter for Turkey
- Dry Brine Spatchcock Turkey
- How to Carve a Spatchcock Turkey
- How to Spatchcock a Turkey
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Instant Pot Turkey Stock
- 2 pounds of turkey bones
- 1 leek, cut into chunks both green and white parts
- 2 medium onions, quarted with skin
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
- 1 large parsnip, cut into chunks
- 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-6 fresh sage leaves
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1-2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 5-6 parsley stems
- 1 teaspoon of whole black pepper corns
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 2 quarts of water or enough to fill your Instant Pot to the maximum allowed capacity – please check the manufacturer's instructions.
- If you have raw parts (such as neck or back), start by searing them on the Saute setting. We just need these pieces to get a nice sear.If the pan gets too hot and the turkey pieces begin to burn, you can throw some of the aromatics in there because they will create some moisture and will make sure nothing burns.
- Once they have browned, layer in the rest of leftover bones you have. Also, add in the vegetables and the herbs. Squeeze everything in there—the pot will be very full.
- Add the water and the acid to the Instant Pot. Make sure the water doesn't go over your pot's max capacity.
- Close and seal the pot. Set the timer to cook for 45 minutes, and let it cook.
- When the timer beeps and the cook is finished, let the pressure naturally release for at least 15 minutes. (You can let it go for up to an hour because the longer this pressure naturally releases, the longer the broth sits in there, and the better its flavors will be.)
- When you're ready to open the pot after it's naturally released pressure for a while, flip the valve to quick release any additional pressure in the pot. Once the pressure has completely dissipated, safely open the pot.
- Remove the bones and veggie pieces from the pot by using tongs or a slotted spoon. This will make the straining piece easier.
- After you remove the bigger pieces of bones and veggies, strain the liquid. You can use an extra fine sieve, a cheese cloth, or even a single layer of paper towel to hold more of the fine particles because it will help you get a slightly clearer stock—but truthfully, I don't personally bother because it's all yummy stuff.
- Once the turkey stock is strained, transfer it into food storage containers. Let the stock cool completely before refrigerating to avoid bacteria growth, as well as the stock going bad on you and making you sick.