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Thread: making stock

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dieter01's Avatar
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    making stock

    All recipes instruct you to skim off foam while boiling the stock. I have made duck, chicken, calf, beef etc but I hardly ever get much grey/white stuff at the top. Why?

  2. #2
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    Are you boiling, or simmering? I find it helps if you simmer with your pot offset on the burner, with the heat away from you. Creates a nice convection current that collects the scum closer to you, away from the rising heat of the burner, and less difficult to skim. Try and find a small fine mesh strainer 'wand'/spatula, they are usually carried at Asian markets. You can strain the fat/scum while it's still simmering, without losing too much stock in the process. Hope this helps

  3. #3

    ecchef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dieter01 View Post
    All recipes instruct you to skim off foam while boiling the stock. I have made duck, chicken, calf, beef etc but I hardly ever get much grey/white stuff at the top. Why?
    Because you're doing it right.
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  4. #4
    According to Harold McGee, it is because your are starting with cold water and going low and slow. This is a good thing--the scum at the top is protein buildup and particles that will cloud your stock and can give it a funny flavor(and in my personal experience will give it a strange mouth feel). By not agitating the bones, you are allowing the proteins to build their little structures patiently and suspend in the stock, eventually settling on the bottom of the pot.

    You know how you strain it afterward, and if you squeeze the ingredients, what comes out looks like sandy beachwater and not stock(that's why it's a big no-no to squeeze the bones and veggies)? Well the scum is all that stuff that gets beat out during aggressive stock-making.

    So good on you.

  5. #5
    I was taught not to let stock boil - it makes it cloudy and as the old saw goes "when the pot boils the scum rises to the top". I strain mine before freezing.

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