70: All Bone Broth Is Not Created Equal with Justin Mares of Kettle & Fire

70: All Bone Broth Is Not Created Equal with Justin Mares of Kettle & Fire

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I’m a big fan of homemade broth and it is one of the first foods my babies get. I use it often in cooking and sometimes just drink a mug of it. Thanks to the Instant Pot, it has gotten even easier to to make homemade bone broth … but as busy moms we all need shortcuts we can feel good about and I recently found a non-perishable bone broth that I always keep on hand!

Today I’m talking with Justin Mares, one of the founders of Kettle & Fire, who tells the story of why he and his brother Nick chose to get into the business of making better bone broth commercially available.

I’m sure making and packaging “real” bone broth was a challenge. This stuff gels up just the way homemade would in the fridge … and I can’t think of any other packaged bone broths I can say that about!

Kettle & Fire: Beginnings

Most of us probably started our journey into wellness and better food because of a health problem that needed solving. Justin Mares and his brother Nick were no different. Nick experienced a knee injury, and Justin (like a good brother) started looking for ways to help his recovery process.

Some of Justin’s Crossfit friends recommended bone broth to speed joint and ligament healing, and so the quest began. As the brothers learned more about the gelatin, amino acids, and minerals that make bone broth so great, they also realized they wanted a shortcut option that didn’t take hours to make at home.

There didn’t seem to be much available. Shelf-stable bone broth wasn’t simmered in the way it is in your kitchen, didn’t gel, contained additives and preservatives, and often didn’t come from grass-fed organic sources.

Through trial and error Justin and Nick pursued their dream of a better bone broth, and Kettle & Fire, the first shelf-stable, long-simmered commercial bone broth from only organic grass-fed sources, was born.

In This Episode, You’ll Learn

  • the unique nutritional and amino acid profile of bone broth
  • what each amino acid does for health
  • reasons why your bone broth defies you and doesn’t gel (yes, you’re not alone!)
  • what scientific studies do (and don’t) show about the benefits of broth
  • the role of glycine and methionine in the body
  • why the type of bones used to make bone broth matter
  • how to get the most out of your bone broth
  • why Kettle & Fire is so different from other commercially produced broth
  • some downsides to other commercial broth brands (we try to be gentle … kind of)
  • how to customize homemade broth and use it more ways than you ever thought possible

Resources We Mention

Thanks to Today’s Podcast Sponsors

This podcast episode is brought to you by Perfect Supplements. If your family struggles with the taste of certain foods like liver or kale, Perfect Supplements might be your answer. Their concentrated superfood capsules and supplements give you all of the benefits without cooking something no one will eat.

Our family uses Perfect Supplements’ desiccated liver capsules (from 100% grass fed cattle). I can see why Tim Ferriss and Dave Asprey recommend this product! We also use Perfect Supplements collagen, greens powder, and fermented kale.

Perfect Supplements is USA made, incredibly reasonably priced, and super selective in purity and sourcing. You can get 10% off of any order by going to PerfectSupplements.com/wellnessmama and using the coupon code WELLNESSMAMA10. They always offer bulk discounts too, which is a real budget saver in my family!

This episode is also sponsored by The Wellness Mama Cookbook. I came up with these recipes for my own family, so they’re quick, easy, packed with veggies and fruits, and definitely kid-approved. They’re also mom-approved, and here’s why.

Like all of you, I’m a busy mom. I made sure the majority of the Wellness Mama Cookbook recipes can be made in under 30 minutes and many of them only one pan (who wants to wash dishes?). All of my 200+ grain-free recipes replace processed sugar and flour with nutrient-dense foods and vegetables kids love!

You can check out the cookbook at any major bookstore or on Amazon. I’d love to hear what you think!

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.

Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. I love this bone broth. I am all most 70 and have some problems with my right knee and since I have been drinking 8 to 16 oz’s of this broth a day, the knee is feeling so much better and does not go snap crackle and pop as much as it did before the broth.

  2. I get very confused with all the bone broth info out there. What I would like to find is an organic, gelling non-beef/pork product. Would like to make some gummies but not use a beef product. Is there such a thing?

  3. I can not have any MSG or derivatives of MSG because of a rare disorder. If a product is truly free of MSG or derivatives of MSG the individual spice will be listed individually. The issue isn’t MSG (the most palatable form of glutamate) the issue is free glutamic acid, its prevalence in foods. Exposure to excessive dietary glutamate can cause nerve cells to fire UNTIL THEY DIE.

    It is CODE for MSG. No MSG means it’s called something else. Natural Flavors, spice, spices. organic spices etc. All mean MSG.

    I use Kettle Fire Organic Beef Grass Fed Bone broth as a back up if I am out of my homemade rare but happens. That has NO MSG: Beef broth, onions, organic carrots, organic celery, organic parsley, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, black peppercorn, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary extract.

    There chicken broth has MSG at the end of the ingredients you will see organic spices. SPICES in any for is MSG. There beef has all the individual spices listed no organic spices. A shame I do not get sick from the beef but get extremely sick from the chicken broth. for one week and it was horrific.

    The beef is very good but I make my own chicken, beef and turkey bone broth.

  4. What about the Bonafide brand? Their website seems promising as they don’t use any powders . I don’t like buying online and kettle and fire is only online :(. Bonafide is sold in whole foods

      • I got K&F at Whole Foods at $5.99 each. That’s a steal. But I plan on using it only for travel.

  5. Would this Bone Broth be a good option to give toy 6 month old baby? I have not started him on solid foods yet. He has only been breast fed . After reading your article on baby first foods, I wanted to start of with bone broth. How much do you recommend I give my 6 month old son during a feeding and how many times a day? Thank you!

  6. Hello,
    GREAT information! Very helpful.
    I bought bone broth online from a couple places but they didn’t gel. Doesn’t that mean they’re lacking collagen and gelatin?
    FYI: Later I bought some homemade frozen chicken stock and it did gel, plus, it tasted a lot better — but, it’s more expensive. But, does it provide the same benefits as the bone broth?

    Thank you for your time and the invaluable information.


  7. I just found out that my local Sprout’s started selling Kettle & Fire Bone Broth. 🙂
    I am 7 months pregnant. How much bone broth do you recommend I consume daily/weekly?
    I also just started adding 1-2 scoops of Vital Protein Collagen Peptides to my daily morning smoothies, it that makes a difference. Thanks so much!

  8. What do you think about Ancient Nutrition bone broth, powdered? Had been using that a bit, but then heard that it could be unsafe for kids with immune issues? Also, how do I find out what to feed our family every day to make sure we are getting everything we need? Thanks!

  9. Hey there, just curious to see why you think K&F is a better bone broth brand. This brand is not certified organic, they use pre-made chicken broth base in their recipe, and they pasteurize with ultra-high heat to make their broth shelf-stable? Outside of convenience factor, I’m not really sure where this broth has any merit.

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