I've been making stock from vegetable scraps I've been keeping in the freezer (mainly carrots, celery, onion, tomato, and parsley). I read elsewhere that one could include egg shells in stock. Is this a good idea? How many should I include?

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    They will have no culinary benefit. I guess that adding shells in a slightly acidic stock will leach calcium from them, so there could be a nutritional reason for adding them. But then, we can't give you a good answer, because this site isn't for nutritionists. My unqualified opinion is that adding a calcium-reach vegetable like broccoli is less hassle. On a side note, stock is very susceptible to the "garbage in, garbage out" principle, you only get a mediocre stock by using "scraps". – rumtscho Nov 9 '11 at 11:53
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    I freeze the peelings and ends of fresh carrots, the skins of fresh onions, and the roots and ends of fresh celery. Last time I did this I added in a whole fresh onion because there wasn't much onion in the scrap container, whereas the amount of carrot peelings would have made up the mass of several whole carrots. – Michael Hoffman Nov 9 '11 at 18:18
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    My rule is that if I wouldn't eat it as it is, it doesn't belong in a stock. Carrot peels and celery ends are removed because they are too dry to be good, and onion skins are practically inedible. The whole point of a stock is to make a flavor concentrate, and recycling the things you wouldn't eat means you concentrate flavor which is missing, wrong, or gone bad. – rumtscho Nov 9 '11 at 19:03
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    Good on you for keeping your scraps and making stock yourself. However as long as you are freezing the items chances are you will always get a cloudier stock than if you had used fresh. The freezing breaks down the cell membranes and will cause smaller particles to float about. Of course you also get more flavour so it's a give take thing. Egg shells are just old school "I refuse to throw anything out!" French thinking. As you could use them in a raft as stated from others, and the stock should only simmer (90-100F) that means salmonella issues from the shells. Salmonella dies at 140F+ – Chef Flambe Feb 21 '12 at 8:44
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    @rumtscho I know this is super old but (and I don't know it's true) but I was always told to use the onion skins to add color to stock. – Catija Mar 10 '15 at 21:48

I've not heard of egg shells being used that way. I'm not sure what they would add.

The classic way of clarifying a meat stock to make it crystal clear (ie: for a consommé) is to whisk egg white (and I know at least one chef who adds crushed up egg shell to this mix) and finely ground meat into the cold stock and then gradually heat it. As the added ingredients cook they rise through the stock trapping all the bits that make it cloudy and the gunky 'raft' can be skimmed off the top.


Adding egg shells to a brown stock is a great way of clarifying the base. It creates a 'raft' which helps absorbs the impurity's which would otherwise spoil your stock.

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    Egg shells? I have heard of egg whites used this way, but never the shells. How do they absorb, and don't you risk ending up with crunchy pieces of shell distributed through the stock? – rumtscho Jun 17 '12 at 11:17

All the ends and bits of vegetables, including onion skins, etc., are the most nutritious parts of the vegetable and lend flavor to the stock. It's great if you can save them and add them in.

As for eggshells, it's some of the most bio-available form of calcium (add a little vinegar when boiling), very similar to our own composition. I haven't tried it yet, but will be saving my shells from now on. It always felt a little weird to throw them out, and am excited now that I can stick it in the freezer collection bag.


A classic way to clarify stock is to stir in some beaten eggs and then bring the stock to a simmer. The egg proteins coagulate, rise to the top, and form a sort of strainer that filters out the bits and pieces that would otherwise make the stock cloudy. I've seen some recipes that instruct to you to break up the egg shells and mix them into the eggs before adding to the stock. I always assumed that the shells just add bulk and structure to the egg raft, helping it to hold together and form a better filter.

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    The use of a raft (as correctly described by @Caleb) is for the production of consomme. If you do this, be VERY careful afterward (when separating the consomme from the raft and stock materials). If the raft breaks, all the 'crap' will come out and cloud your product. – mrwienerdog Jun 19 '12 at 17:25

If you watch the Travel Channel episode on The God of Ramen -- renown ramen soup shop in Japan -- you will see that the chef there uses the egg shells to clarify the broth. That is all that is said about it. You will see the egg shells floating atop the soup, which also has lots of ground pork and other ingredients simmering along with them.

When they serve the soup, they ladle it into a strainer first, so that the broth is clear.


I was told by my head chef who hails from italy that putting the shells in your stock with actually make it darker. He said there is a specific vitamin in the shells that does this. Havent tried it yet though.


Like many other posters, I think egg shells will not change any culinary property of your stock significantly. However I do have heard about egg shells being used by people who want to increase the nutritional value (egg shells are rich in calcium)

However I never use them since I rather go with more a pure and traditional taste. Something for example that seems being forgotten (specially at homes) but still enhance the stock are chicken feet. If I were making chicken stock, I would make sure that above all things, the feet are not missing.


Eggshells will absolutely not harm you. I have a friend that I used to work with at his catering Company. He is a chef from Scotland. Where he went to culinary arts school. He was also the head chef at HCA. Very good at what he does. He always used eggshells in his stock. And like I said he is the best.

  • The OP asked if including egg shells is a good idea, and how many they should include. This sounds more like a comment than an answer to that question. – Sneftel Nov 13 '19 at 9:46

yeah right !

Hair has immense protein... why dont we put it in our broth and simmer for hours.. or even better start eating it raw ??

There are some stuff that is inedible and no matter how much mineral content they have, they will never be edible.. eating hair will kill you as it will just accumulate in your stomach and the body does not know how to get rid of it

Egg shells I can guarantee you is not edible and will get create sludge in your body

Perhaps its not as lethal as hair , but your system definitely does not know what to do with it if you can't actually EAT it .. I mean your powdering it and forcing it down because its INEDIBLE !

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    The OP doesn't ever say that the eggshells are meant to be consumed, only added. – Catija Mar 10 '15 at 21:46
  • also, unlike hair, eggshels dissolve well in acid. – rumtscho Mar 11 '15 at 9:13

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