Make a Quick Chicken Stock in Your Microwave

Make a Quick Chicken Stock in Your Microwave

After years of threatening to do so, I have finally joined the Costco community. I did it mostly for the reasonably priced dog food and Diet Coke, but I would be lying if I said the prospect of $US5 rotisserie chickens had nothing to do with my decision. I love that chicken, and always have. I get four meals out of that thing—five if you count the leg I eat the moment I get to my car, and six if you count the stock I make with its carcass. I make the stock in the microwave, and it is delicious.

Stock, sometimes called “bone broth,” is easy to make: Cover the bones of an animal with some water, season it with salt, add some flavor-enhancing vegetables. (I also add a splash of vinegar to help extract silky collagen.) Heat the water to extract the flavor (and the collagen from the bones). Done and dusted.

Stock is usually made on the stove, in a big pot, and requires an hour or more of simmering. There is, however, no law against using your microwave to heat the water. Heating water is something that microwaves excel at. As I’ve explained previously, it’s kind of their whole deal:

All microwave ovens are equipped with magnetrons, which are not a kind of Transformer, but a device that emits electromagnetic (micro) waves. These waves oscillate quickly—about a billion times per second—causing the water molecules in your food to rotate at a similar clip to align themselves with the magnetic field. This rapid rotation increases their temperature and heats your food.

How to make soup stock in the microwave

Making stock in your microwave is faster and, according to my mouth, just as delicious. I might even prefer microwaved stock, if only because people tend to over-simmer it when they make it on the stove. (Stock shouldn’t be that dark and murky.)

All you need is some chicken bones (either a whole carcass or a bunch or legs/wings/whatever you have), some aromatic plant parts, salt, and a little vinegar. The plant parts you use are up to you. Carrots, onion, garlic, and bay leaves are customary, but you can use whatever you have hanging out in your fridge.

Easy Microwave Chicken Stock recipe


  • 1 chicken carcass, meat removed (Skin, fat, and anything else that is not meat should go in there, however. Use a rotisserie chicken carcass for extra flavor.)
  • 1/4 large onion
  • 1 medium carrot, broke into 2-3 pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 teaspoons Kosher salt (Use half if working with table salt.)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Enough water to cover

Add everything to a large, microwave-safe bowl and cover with water. Microwave at full power for 10 minutes if the carcass came out of the fridge, 15 if it had been hanging out in the freezer. Remove the large pieces of bone and vegetables with tongs, and pour the stock through a fine mesh sieve. Enjoy immediately, or chill and remove any fat that solidifies on top. (I personally don’t mind a little fat, but to each their own.)

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