When making stock at home (i.e. with a combination of chicken parts and vegetables), I am often at a loss for how to get the last bits of liquid out of the stock. I often use a mesh strainer, but this doesn't let me apply force to squeeze the liquid out of all the vegetables.

I'm making homestyle stock, so I'm not interested in coagulating proteins or making the stock as clear as possible (e.g. What's the best way to strain stock?) Instead, I'm interested in extracting every last bit of liquid for use later.

What's a practical way, using items that would normally be found in my kitchen, to squeeze my stock remnants as much as possible? I'm imagining something that actually resembles juicing a fruit. Currently I pour the stock into a colander and press on the top with a wide bowl, but I'm worried about breaking the colander and think I could do better.

Possible approaches I've considered, that aren't optimal:

  • Filling this 'milk bag' and twisting it. I'm be afraid of ripping the bag by twisting it too hard.
  • Using a potato ricer. But it would take forever to process a large pot of stock this way.

2 Answers 2


Not difficult at all if you truly want to get every possible last drop. Choose a large clean tea towel for this purpose only. After you've drained most of the liquids out, line your colander with the tea towel and pour the last bit with meat and vegetables in. I found using clothespins to the towel in place is best. Gather the corners up and you can either use a heavy thick elastic to secure the contents into a bagged ball or use heavy twine tied around it. I prefer twine. Less risk of breaking and you've got a long end to hang the ball.

I've done similar but not with soup stock as I always use meat with bones. If you tie one end of the twine up (on a cupboard door handle, for instance),you can put a bowl under it to catch the stock. Start at the top of the ball so when you squeeze, ut runs down lower. Work your way to the bottom. I doubt you'll be able to extract much more after that.

Make sure you scrape the remains off the tea towel right afterward and rinse off any bits left on. Then rinse well and include in the laundry. Otherwise, it's just about impossible to clean later. I know as I got busy with other things and forgot.


i would use a cheesecloth (very inexpensive and available at grocery stores or Amazon) to hold the vegetables, etc. Place a rack (maybe a cookie-cooling rack) over a lipped pan like a broiler pan, and then press the veggie-filled cheesecloth against the rack using a cutting board, a rolling pin, or whatever.

i'm not familiar with the milk bag you mentioned, but maybe you could follow my suggestion using that instead of the cheesecloth.

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