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What's the minimum water temperature for making stock? (from either meat and vegetables, if they're different)

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Do you really want the minimum, or do you want the ideal? – Jolenealaska Nov 10 '13 at 0:33

Traditionally, you want it at a very slow simmer, approximately 200 F, 94 C. This is essentially the same for all stocks. This is one case where very few people actually use a thermometer; the visual indication of slow occassional bubbles is a good sign you are the right temperature.

You could probably go lower, but without the visual indication, a thermometer would be required, or even a feedback loup such as is present in a sous-vide setup or immersion circulator. In that case, anything above 140 F / 65 C should be safe, and reasonable extraction amd gelatin conversion times are likely starting around 180 F / 83 C. The lower the temperature, the longer it will take to get a good result.

In the other direction, the main reasons not to go to a full boil are:

  • The agitation from the bubbling at a full boil will emulsify and suspend more particles in the body o the stock, leading to a cloudier end product
  • The more rapid evaporation may require you to top off the stock pot with fresh water more often in order to keep the ingredients covered by the liquid
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