Cooking Class: How to Make Ham Stock in the Slow Cooker

by Dorothy Reinhold on December 4, 2012

Print This Post Print This Post Don't throw out that ham bone! Easy recipe for How to Make Ham Stock in the Slow Cooker. |

If you are lucky enough to have a half ham, or even some ham hocks on sale from the market, you are on your way to making ham stock.

How to Make Ham Stock in the Slow Cooker. Recipe here: 11-pound Farmer John half ham yielded dinner one night, lunches the next day, and several more big bags of ham slices that now reside in my freezer, awaiting their next use.

All that was left on the cutting board was a big, honkin’ bone, and a bunch of fat and other scraps.

What does the frugal cook do? Make ham stock!

Recipe: How to Make Ham Stock

Summary: Don’t throw out that ham bone! Cook it with a few vegetables and aromatics, and a few hours later you have ham stock for your soup, or to cook beans or lentils.


  • 1 large ham bone (from a half ham) and any fat and scraps left from trimming your ham
  • 12-16 cups water (approximate)
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 2-3 carrots, washed and cut into half (no need to peel)
  • 2 celery ribs, leaves attached, cut in half
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10-15 peppercorns
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Place all ingredients in your largest slow cooker, adding enough water to cover the ham bone and fill the crock. Cook on high for 6-12 hours. The longer you cook it, the better it will be, so I recommend 12 hours if you can. Hint: Put it on after dinner one evening and let it cook all night while you sleep.
  2. Remove and discard ham bone and vegetables and spices. You can do this by fishing out the larger pieces with a slotted spoon, and straining the broth through a mesh strainer.
  3. Pour strained stock into one or more containers and refrigerate overnight. Once the stock cools, the fat will congeal on the top and it can be lifted off and thrown away. Label with title and date, and store in refrigerator 0r freezer. (Trust me, you won’t remember what it is 6 months from now when you pull it out of the freezer.)

Quick notes

  • If you would like to make concentrated stock, once it is done cooking in the slow cooker, you can transfer the liquid to a big pot and boil it further, uncovered, on the stove. Some of the liquid will evaporate and you will be left with concentrated stock. It might make it easier for you to store a reduced amount of liquid, and you can always add more water if you would like to restore it to a less concentrated version while using it.
  • Never add more salt to ham stock. The ham is salty enough!

How to use ham stock

Use ham stock to:

  • cook rice
  • as the base for soup (split pea soup perhaps)
  • to cook beans or lentils
  • to cook your potatoes for mashed potatoes
  • or anywhere you need stock with some hammy flavor

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 12 hours
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 

Farmer John supplied the ham for recipe testing.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Cookin Canuck April 21, 2017 at 7:06 am

I never think of making stock in the slow cooker. What a great way to get every last bit of goodness out of a ham!


Krista April 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm

This is such a great idea! Love the tutorial!


Catalina @ Peas & Peonies April 20, 2017 at 6:26 am

With your tips making ham stock at home seems so easy!


carrie @ frugal foodie mama April 20, 2017 at 4:31 am

This is such a great idea! I do have a ham bone in the fridge, but my husband is fully expecting me to use that to make soup beans in the slow cooker today. 😉


katerina @ April 20, 2017 at 3:32 am

I really love homemade stock! This sounds great!


Trish - Mom On Timeout April 19, 2017 at 11:13 am

Homemade stock ROCKS! Love this easy to follow tutorial!


Taylor Kiser April 19, 2017 at 6:35 am

So easy to make your own ham stock at home! And homemade is always better, right!


Dorothy Reinhold April 19, 2017 at 9:01 am

Absolutely RIGHT!


Bear Almas November 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm

I use the stock split pea soup. anything else to but in the crock for the stock?


Dorothy Reinhold November 27, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Sorry, I am not exactly clear on what your question is. What do you need to know?


Nutmeg Nanny April 1, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Ham stock is the best!


Dorothy Reinhold April 2, 2016 at 6:32 am

Isn’t it? It has such a depth of smoky flavor. It makes rice transcendent!


Matthew Cetta April 1, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Protip: I’m not really a pro so…Tip: Freeze the stock in an ice cube tray and save the cubes in a freezer bag. You can easily portion out a smaller amount or larger amount if need be.


Dorothy Reinhold April 1, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Absolutely a great tip!


Sabrina April 1, 2016 at 12:38 am

A lot of people aren’t aware how easy it is to make your own stock! Thanks for sharing!


Meg @ With Salt and Wit March 31, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Great recipe for anyone wanting to learn something new!


Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens March 31, 2016 at 6:26 pm

What a great idea! Plus, I love that it’s made in the slow cooker, and I really appreciated all your terrific ideas of how to use the wonderful stock once it’s finished! So brilliant to use it to add flavoring to rice or mashed potatoes!


Sheena @ Noshtastic March 31, 2016 at 11:31 am

There’s nothing like a really great home made stock, and I love lentil soup made with ham stock!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Agreed! Lentil soup is the best!


Kalyn December 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

What a great idea. I think ham stock is a must for bean soups!


Dorothy December 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Absolutely a natural!


kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts December 5, 2012 at 9:02 am

Why, as a matter of fact I *do* have a ham bone in the freezer waiting to be turned into soup! I was planning to use one of my freezer Soup Packs, but I know the vegetable crisper could use some clearing out since I’m transitioning from weekly CSA farm shares to shopping at the market.
Thanks for the tips! Always nice to attend a cooking class and never leave the couch, though the taste/smell is missing . . .


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