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I just made my first vegetable stock (I chopped everything roughly and started by sauteeing the onions celery and carrots a bit, added a lot of veg like celeriac and leek tops, then I added 3 liters of liquid, brought it to a boil and simmered it uncovered for 1.5 hours.)

I feel like I only have 2.5 cups of stock after and am upset. It's a waste.

I simmered it uncovered. Should you simmer it covered? Any tips for not losing so much stock liquid? Also, do you use the leftover stock veg for anything?

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    If your remaining stock is strongly flavored, as it should be with that much reduction, you can always add water back to the concentrated stock. – moscafj Jun 2 '20 at 15:44
  • @moscafj it's a bit sweet from the carrot. Is stock often sweet or did I put too much carrot? – drivegg Jun 2 '20 at 16:09
  • Carrot certainly adds sweetness. – moscafj Jun 2 '20 at 16:25
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If you uncover the stock, liquid will evaporate. For maximum yield, keep the stock covered. There are no downsides to this as far as I know.

The leftover vegetables are likely very completely mushy and flavourless, depending on how long you have cooked the stock. They have given their flavour to the stock. Any vegetables with flavour left you can use however you want (although their texture might still make them less than desirable). If not, composting is an option.

Regarding cooking time: if your stock tastes good (I like to add a small pinch of salt to a spoonful of stock to taste), and most of your vegetables don't, there is no point in cooking the stock further.

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  • what's funny is they have flavor left. I did simmer them for more than an hour. Plus I love the taste of cooked celeriac and I put it in there. Do you think I should have simmered it longer? – drivegg Jun 2 '20 at 14:26
  • also I couldn't unscrew the top of my pepper mill so I didn't use whole peppercorns instead just put a teaspoon of ground pepper :( which was of course a mistake that made it very spicy. – drivegg Jun 2 '20 at 14:28
  • what should the stock taste like when it's done? (I included the usual celery onions carrots along with leeks celeriac and tomato) – drivegg Jun 2 '20 at 14:32
  • @drivegg Some of the more hardy vegetables might have flavour left. Use those however you want, although their texture might not be great for eating. Your stock should taste 'good': full of complex, deep flavour. Assuming you haven't added salt to the stock when starting out (which you shouldn't!), add some salt when tasting. – LSchoon Jun 2 '20 at 14:47
  • Oh dear, one recipe told me to add it (I used the kitchn and a couple other sites' recipes). It tastes pretty decent, a bit tomatoey cause I added tomato.. though it's hard to tell under the flavor of the ground pepper I added by mistake instead of whole peppercorns :/ – drivegg Jun 2 '20 at 14:57
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First, don't even simmer the stock - it should probably be around 85C.

You should make sure the food is covered so all the flavour transfers to the water.

Reduced stock is a godsend to those of us who need to store it! Why not simply add water if you want more? Obviously this will dilute the stock.

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  • Wait do you mean to keep it at extremely low heat so it doesn't bubble at all and keep it covered? Would you still cook it for only an hour? Sorry I'm a bit of a novice and don't have a cooking thermometer. Do you bring it to a boil first before reducing to 85C? – drivegg Jun 2 '20 at 15:42
  • Yes. But even at that temperature you'll get evaporation. Yes, only about an hour for veg stock, if that - meat and poultry stock is different. – Dan Gravell Jun 2 '20 at 15:44

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