You can't beat homemade stocks and broths for adding rich flavor to soups and stews. With these Test Kitchen directions for clarifying stock, you'll get results free of cloudiness in just a few steps.
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If you're the type who likes being in charge of the ingredients in your food, you've certainly been making your own homemade chicken broth, beef bone broth, and other soup stocks. Nothing tops that rich, homemade flavor. Plus, they're fully customizable when you make your own (Love rosemary? Go ahead and add some. Dislike bay leaves? Skip 'em!). If you're going to the work of making these staples from scratch, take things just one step further by clarifying broths and stocks. The quality and flavor will remain, but you'll get a clearer product more like purchased products without the factory processing. Here's how to clarify stocks and broths at home.

Straining broth through cheesecloth in colander
Credit: Mike Dieter

4 Steps to Clarifying Stock

Whether you need to know how to clarify beef stock, chicken stock, fish stock, or broths use these directions.

  1. Strain your stock or broth. Strain the meat, veggies, and herbs of your recipe by carefully pouring it through a colander or sieve lined with two layers of 100%-cotton cheesecloth (like this Natural Cotton Cheese Cloth, $4.49, Bed Bath & Beyond); discard bones, vegetables, and seasonings (or use for another use).
  2. Make an egg white-water mixture. Separate an egg (discard the yolk or save for another use). In a small bowl, combine the egg white and ¼ cup cold water.
  3. Stir the water mixture into the hot, strained stock. Place the mixture in a saucepan and bring to boiling. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. (As the egg white cooks, it will coagulate and trap fine particles from the stock.)
  4. Repeat the straining process. Place a large sieve or colander lined with several layers of 100%-cotton cheesecloth over a large heat-proof bowl (like these 7.5-Quart Mixing Bowls, $18.49 for two, Walmart). Pour the stock through the cloth to strain out any particles and egg white.

Test Kitchen Tip: If using the clarified stock while still hot, skim any remaining fat. Or chill the broth and lift off fat before using. Use your clarified stock right away, or store in a container in the refrigerator up to three days or freeze up to six months.

With a little advance planning, you can keep clarified stocks and broths on hand for a variety of cooking needs. After your family tastes the results, you may never go back to store-bought stocks again.


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