Here's Why You Should Store Homemade Stock in Ice Cube Trays
Making a batch of homemade chicken or vegetable stock is not only a great way to reduce food waste (it's a great way to use up vegetable scraps and chicken bones), but it guarantees that you'll have a delicious base for risotto, soups, and potpies on hand at any time. Many homemade stock recipes yield several quarts of stock, which means you'll probably have enough delicious stock to last you several months. However, finding enough containers—and room in the freezer—to store the stock can be a challenge. Whether you frequently need a couple of tablespoons or a full cup for recipes, try storing your homemade stock in ice cube trays or muffin tins. Both are great ways to keep your stock readily available; it's so much easier and faster to defrost individual cubes of stock versus a large quarter container of frozen stock. Genius, right?
To store homemade stock in ice cube trays, first cool the stock to room temperature. Not only does this prevent the risk of melting a plastic ice cube tray, but fat separates from the stock as it cools which makes it much easier to skim off the top.
We recommend using a small gravy ladle or angled measuring cup to pour the stock, as well as storing it in silicone ice cube trays ($19.95 for two, williams-sonoma.com), which makes it much easier to remove individual cubes. Before pouring your stock into the mold, measure the capacity of each cube with a tablespoon or two of water. That way, if a recipe calls for ½ cup of stock, you will know exactly how many cubes you need to use.
You'll follow the same method with muffin tins—these generally hold more stock than ice cube trays, so it's a good idea to keep a mix of both in the freezer at all times, ensuring you'll always have what you need for your recipe. Once the stock cubes have frozen completely, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag and thoroughly wash the ice cube tray.