If you aren’t already making bone broth regularly, I’d encourage you to start today! It is an incredibly healthy and very inexpensive addition to any diet, and the homemade versions beat store-bought broth in both taste and nutrition (although there is some amazing homemade organic broth you can buy pre-made now).
This is the one nutrient rich food that anyone can afford to add!
What is Broth?
Broth (or technically, stock) is a mineral-rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs. and spices. You’ll find a large stock pot of broth/stock simmering in the kitchen of almost every 5-star restaurant. It is used for its great culinary uses and unparalleled flavor, but it is also a powerful health tonic that you can easily add to your family’s diet.
Broth is a traditional food that your grandmother likely made often (and if not, your great-grandmother definitely did). Many societies around the world still consume broth regularly as it is a cheap and highly nutrient dense food.
Besides it’s amazing taste and culinary uses, broth is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system (chicken soup when you are sick anyone?) and improve digestion. Its high calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus content make it great for bone and tooth health. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin, and nails due to its high collagen content. In fact, some even suggest that it helps eliminate cellulite as it supports smooth connective tissue.
It can be made from the bones of beef, bison, lamb, poultry, or fish. Vegetables and spices are often added both for flavor and added nutrients.
Why Drink Bone Broth?
Anyone who has read Gut and Psychology Syndrome knows the many benefits of bone broth and how it can improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health, and much more.
What isn’t as well known is that broth can help reduce cellulite by improving connective tissue, increase hair growth/strength, improve digestive issues, and remineralize teeth.
Broth is also helpful to have on hand when anyone in the family gets sick as it can be a soothing and immune boosting drink during illness, even if the person doesn’t feel like eating.
Broth is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine which are vital for healthy connective tissue (ligaments, joints, around organs, etc). The Paleo Mom has a great explanation of the importance of these two amino acids:
In addition, glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body. As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing. Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid. It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant. Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver). Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland. This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system. In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect. Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits. It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels. Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.
What Kind of Broth?
Homemade, nutrient-dense bone broth is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. There is no comparison to the store-bought versions which often contain MSG or other chemicals and which lack gelatin and some of the other health-boosting properties of homemade broth. However, if you’re short on time, I recommend Kettle & Fire’s grass-fed bone broth because it’s pretty gelatinous and made with organic ingredients.
In selecting the bones for broth, look for high quality bones from grass fed cattle or bison, pastured poultry, or wild caught fish. Since you’ll be extracting the minerals and drinking them in concentrated form, you want to make sure that the animal was as healthy as possible.
There are several places to find good bones for stock:
- Save leftovers from when you roast a chicken, duck, turkey, or goose (pastured)
- From a local butcher, especially one who butchers the whole animal
- From local farmers who raise grass fed animals (ask around at your local farmers market)
- Online from companies like US Wellness Meats (also where I get grass fed tallow in bulk- they sell pre-made high quality broth), Butcher Box, or Healthy Traditions (I order high quality beef, bison, lamb, and chicken bones from them at good prices)
This recipe for broth is my favorite and is an adaption of the recipe in Nourishing Traditions.
Bone Broth Recipe (Stove Top or Instant Pot)
- 2 lbs bones from a healthy source
- 2 chicken feet (optional)
- 1 gal water
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 TBSP salt (optional)
- 1 tsp peppercorns (optional)
- herbs and spices (to taste, optional)
- 2 cloves garlic (optional)
- 1 bunch parsley (optional)
- If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350°F.
- Place the bones in a large stock pot or the Instant Pot.
- Pour cool filtered water and the vinegar over the bones. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
- Rough chop and add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot.
- Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
- Bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done.
- During the first few hours of simmering, you'll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
- Simmer for 8 hours for fish broth, 24 hours for chicken, or 48 hours for beef.
- During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.
- Add the garlic and parsley to the pot if using, place the lid on the pot, and set valve to seal.
- Cook at high pressure for 2 hours, followed by either a quick release or natural pressure release. Either is fine.
- Let cool slightly, strain, and store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.
Bone Broth Instructions
The first step in preparing to make broth is to gather high quality bones. As I said, you can find them from sources listed above or save them when you cook. Since we roast chicken at least once a week, I save the carcass for making broth/stock.
I usually aim for 2 pounds of bones per gallon of water I’m using to make broth. This usually works out to 2-3 full chicken carcasses. If possible I’ll also add 2 chicken feet per gallon of water (completely optional!).
You’ll also need some organic vegetables for flavor. These are actually optional but add extra flavor and nutrition. Typically, I add (per gallon of water and 2 pounds of bones):
- 1 onion
- 2 large carrots (if from an organic source, you can rough chop and don’t need to peel)
- 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
- 1 bunch of parsley
Since I make in bulk, I usually use about 4 times the amount of each of these. You can make in any amount, just multiply or divide the recipe up or down.
If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350°F.
Then, place the bones in a large stock pot (I use a 5 gallon pot). Pour cool filtered water over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
Rough chop and add the vegetables (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
Now, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done. These are the times I simmer for:
- Beef broth/stock: 48 hours
- Chicken or poultry broth/stock: 24 hours
- Fish broth: 8 hours
During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.
How to Use Bone Broth
Homemade Broth/Stock can be used as the liquid in making soups, stews, gravies, sauces, and reductions. It can also be used to saute or roast vegetables.
We try to drink at least 1 cup per person per day as a health boost, especially in the winter. My favorite way is to heat 8-16 ounces with a little salt and sometimes whisk in an egg until cooked (makes a soup like egg drop soup).
In times of illness (which doesn’t happen often) we will usually just drink bone broth until we start feeling better as it supports the body but is very easy to digest so the body’s energy can go to healing. In cases of stomach bugs or vomiting, bone broth often calms the stomach very quickly and helps shorten the duration of the illness.
If you don’t want to DIY, this is a great pre-made bone broth option shipped straight to your door!
If you aren’t already, make bone broth a regular part of your kitchen routine. It’s health boosting, inexpensive, and easy… you can’t afford not to!
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Lauren Jefferis, board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor or work with a doctor at SteadyMD.
Do you already make bone broth? Will you try it now? Share your tips or questions below!
Discussion (1503 Comments)
is pastured pork not a good source for bone broth?
You can use it too, especially I’d it isn’t a cut like cured ham where even the bones are salty
Thanks for asking (and for the reply)! I’ve got about 5# of roasted Berkshire bones in the freezer.
Throw it away. It’s full of chemicals.
Hello, can I refill the water while it’s cooking?
Hey friend! I just made this recipe for the 3rd time for my baby and if it is slow simmering (very light bubbling) you shouldn’t need to add water:)
Hi! I got an instant pot but am concerned about cooking anything acidic in it as it is proven to leech toxic nickel into your food. This limits me to only a few things I can cook. What is your take on this?
Thank you for the recipe!
I cooked my bone broth for about 30 hours. During the course of that time I noticed the broth getting low and added water. It still came out terrific. I pretty much followed recipe other than this.
Side note: Originally, I felt like my pot wasn’t big enough for the amount of bones I had and water I wanted to add (gallon per 2 lbs. as suggested in recipe). As it cooked down and liquid boiled off, I added water more than once.
Glad to hear, as we raise our own pigs, and I came here looking for how long to cook the big pot of bones I have going on the stove!
What’s wrong if broth does not gel ?
Can you purée the chicken bones in the bone broth?
I have a 6 month old who was given antibiotics while I was in labor, well I was because I had a blood infection I could tell it bothered his little tummy and I want to help his tummy before starting foods he’s 6 months and a friend told me he’s too young for bone broth is that true? If so when should I start and how much do I give? What’s the safe doses from 6-12 months. I want to start soon as he is tired of his bottle and he is on goat milk formula and doesn’t seem to want the bottle anymore.
Great post. You might address someone on the GAPS diet, who is trying to heal autism or some other brain issue…OCD, bipolar, dyslexia, etc. It is very important that they not use bone broth until their symptoms are gone and the gut has been sealed. The free glutamates from the bone broth can act very much like MSG…these patients need to avoid this, b/c it can trigger their condition. For this type of patient, they would continue and only use meat stocks, which are cooked for just a few hours. It can make a big difference in their healing.
This is all very interesting, and I am so confused. I started w/GAPS about 14 months ago, and even though I didn’t do it strictly by the book, I feel that there has been significant healing of my intestinal lining. This is based on the fact that I’m going to the bathroom much better and can tell that my adrenals are healing as well. What I DON’T understand is why lately I have gotten SO BIG! I’m suspicious that it’s the way I’ve been making the broth, and drinking it on a daily basis. Here’s what I’ve been doing: Put a marrow bone in the crock pot and fill w/water and cook on low. After about 6 hours the marrow is ready, I take it out, eat it and have a cup/cup and a half of broth. I add water and keep cooking (on low) until I go to bed. Then I put the pot in the fridge until the next morning when I add another marrow bone and repeat the process. Needless to say that after the 3rd, or 4th day there’s a lot of fat, but according to GAPS, that’s supposed to be good, right? Any insight, or suggestions? I feel so thick from the waist down as though I’ve been od’ing on estrogen, or something. I’m going to start making my broth according to WM instructions, and I’ll see if there’s any change, but like I said, I would love some insight. Another thing that confuses me is on another website the woman claims that bone broth is an ANTI-ESTROGEN! I’m definitely NOT having that experience…
We work with a nurse practitioner who is GAPS certified, and prior to that she worked specifically with specialists who work in the area of autism treatment, and she told us that none of that is true regarding the bone broth. What she did tell us was not to use roasted bones. But other than that she wanted my daughter (with autism) drinking bone broth.
I use the pressure cooker also. It takes less time and I haven’t had a bad batch yet.
https://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooked-chicken-broth-lesson-6-making-chicken-stock-in-the-pressure-cooker/ This is a great site for those who might want to give it a try.
I make mine in a pressure cooker. It takes about an hour, and the chicken bones are basically disintegrated after that.
This may seem silly but is it safe to leave the stove on overnight? Kind of freaks me out. =)
I had the same thought….not a silly question. It says to cook the beef broth for 48 hours. That’s two nights of leaving the stove on. Would cooking it in a crock pot be a safer way to cook it?
You can use the crock pot too… I don’t like the flavor quite as much, but it definitely works…
I just started doing this with chicken. I cook the chicken in the crock pot first, no liquid but with seasonings, onions, herbs, on high for about 5 hours. this last time I made broth, I threw in the egg shells I’ve been keeping, figuring they will add calcium. I’m wondering your thoughts on this. also, with thanksgiving coming up, we’ll be eating at a relative’s and don’t have control over the quality of the bird. I’m new to all of this (and don’t have unlimited funds) and haven’t fully switched everything to organic/free range, etc. but I’m wondering just how bad it is for this one day (plus leftovers) to eat a conventional bird and also use the carcass for broth.
Recipe looks amazing! Do I leave the lid on or off while doing this on the stove? (Sorry that’s probably a silly question!)
Off will lead to a more concentrated delicious broth. If for some reason you forget about it and too much water evaporates, you can always add some water back in.
I make a big stock pot so my much smaller crock pot wouldn’t work. Just keep the heat down low and check to see if you need to add more filtered water before bed to keep the bones covered as the water does evaporate.
Kristi Gamble Taylor
Do you have a gas or electric stove? I have gas and I’m scared to leave on for 24 hrs or more.
I have a gas stove too, and I’d be way too nervous to cook it for that long! Is there a way, I wonder, to cook it all day, fridge it overnight, and then resume the next day?
I have an electric stove and I think it is never a good idea to leave a stove on overnight, no matter what kind it is. I turn it off when I go to bed and then turn it on high briefly in the morning until it starts boiling vigorously and then I turn it down to a simmer until I go to work. Then I turn it off. When I come home I make it boil again and then turn it down until a simmer until bedtime. I do this for several days. 48 hours is a basic guideline of how long it takes to get out all the good stuff. What I do is every so often is take one or two spoonfuls out and put it in a tiny bowl into the fridge. When this gels in the fridge…its done. You are trying to get out the collagen and gelatin and when you have these you also have the minerals and amino acids too. Chicken bones don’t take as long as beef or pork. Fish bones take even less time from what I understand
Jennifer and everybody for that matter!
I have been a health care provider for over 25 years – along with doing preventive medicine for much of that time – YOU CANNOT LET IT GO BELOW 140 DEGREES!!!!
Bacterial growth happens at temperatures below 140 degrees and can be really dangerous! While I share in your concern about not keeping the stove on – if you are going to take it off and then put it back on later – YOU HAVE TO rapidly chill it to below 45 degrees. Several professional chefs that blog here also recommend doing an ice bath and then refrigerate.
I keep mine on simmer for the entire time – call it what you will, but I have seen botulism poisoning – its not pretty – and it is a silent bacterium, meaning there is no smell, no taste, no anything that tells you that the bacterium has grown into the substance that it is living in. It does not need oxygen, and to kill it by heat you would have to basically cook it at a boiling rate for a really long time. And that is just one of many that can grow if you don’t do this properly.
PLEASE take heed and either do the entire process right or don’t do it at all!
Please, all heed Shawn O’Reilly’s great advice. All of us need to be crazy about kitchen cleanliness and food temperatures. The US is a bit behind on this and you even notice it in restaurants where the food is delivered at unsafe temperatures on cold plates, very different in Europe.
I prefer to cook my broth on the stove and leave it on for 48 hours with the exhaust fan. Everything is on low and works just fine. I have a thermometer (a MUST) to monitor the broth temperature and to set the stove to maintain that temperature. I always try to keep the broth above 190 and below a boil. If you are adding a lot of water then the broth is too hot (boiling).
The BEST advice I have found here besides the lovely recipe and support from our gracious hostess is the use of an ice bath. As I graduated from the 12 to 20 and now 32 quart pots, I found it a challenge to cool off the mass of broth. Now I save up some ice, load it in the sink with the pot and some water and a stir now an again and the whole batch is ready for the fridge or freezer in a short time, even faster than putting it out on the porch in the winter and I don’t worry about critters getting into it.
In an effort to get rid of the plastic and glass containers, we have invested in some Vollrath Super Pan V Stainless Steel Storage Containers, they will last a life time (well I’m on the wrong end of the curve on that one). These are available in many sizes and with plastic or stainless steel lids. The rectangular, stacking containers are much more efficient than round containers. I have not tried them in the freezer yet but do not think it would be a problem if you don’t fill them to the brim. There are a lot of web restaurant supply shops online where you can find them or similar containers.
Now if I could only get rid of that morning cup (or two) of Joe!
Are all these ingredients okay to use if the broth is being used for transitioning my baby to solid foods?
(Sorry if this was already answered and I missed it!)
It worried me the first couple times too but you keep it on really low heat and I’ve nver had trouble with it…
I have a gas stove and I do leave my stockpot on low at night. LEAVE THE LID ASKEW if you decide to do this! One night at 11pm the top blew off the stockpot and half its contents went all over the kitchen. Good beef broth is sticky, so it was a mess to clean up and would have been dangerous if any people or animals were close by. Apparently, the sticky broth glued the lid down and pressure built up inside the pot. There is a little hole in the top of the lid but that must have gotten clogged too (or it just didn’t release enough steam). I still leave my stockpot on at night but I just make sure the lid is slightly tilted so that steam can escape. That also helps the broth cook down and makes it more concentrated, which I prefer. If you don’t want to leave the stove on at night (which I can understand) then just use a crockpot. I have done it both ways and either way is fine. I just prefer to make larger batches so I use the stockpot.
Yes, leaving it on all night freaks me out. I don’t want a fire!! So, I think I’m going to invest in a crockpot.
Do you think you could cook it during the day, put it in the fridge at night to stop germs from growing and then put it back on the heat again? It would probably take about four days.
You could certainly try it, although I have heard that changing the temperature dramatically like that can make it bitter. Let us know how it works if you try it!
A little late in the convo here but I’ve read it actually encourages bacterial growth to drastically change temperature like that, especially to heat then cool, then reheat then cool again (similar to how they recommend using thawed out meats within a couple days rather than refreezing them). A technique many people use to be on the safe side is to immerse the soup pot in the sink filled with ice water to safely and slowly bring the temperature down. I’ll be honest though, I just pop my pot in the fridge when it’s done. But I’d discourage cooking and cooling it multiple times.
When I went to culinary school we had time limits to cool things down from the danger zone. Basically – “Foods that are cooked and then cooled must get from 135 degrees down to 41 degrees quickly to prevent bacterial growth. The temperature range from 41-135 degrees is known as the danger zone since it is the range of temperature that bacteria can grow in. Temps below 41 degrees are too cold for bacteria to reproduce and temps above 135 are too hot. When cooling foods back down after cooking, there is a time frame of 2 hours for food to go from 135 down to 70 degrees and an additional 4 hours to get from 70 down to 41 degrees. “
So MANY merry musings about the magic of Bone Broth that I’m not sure if I missed this tip! Living in earthquake country (California) I’m not comfortable w/ all night gas stove on, but prefer to get it first to a gentle bubbling boil, scrape any frothy bits, then pop it in the oven, set to 210-215 degrees. (Water boils at 212 degrees F.) At least it’s contained within confined space in case we have a shaker! I’m on my 8th round of broth and lovin’ the results. BTW, I’ve heard (and experienced) that the fat is the elixir… so welcomed by bodies starved for healthy fats! Not to be thrown away! Love the tip about rinsing it just a bit to be sure the broth is off… lasts longer!
Thanks, Wellness Mama!
Such good information, my question is do I use Bone Marrow bones? It seems that what I am reading just indicates organic meat bones…? I am a cancer patient , and this is very important to me.
Katie - Wellness Mama
I’ve used both, but organic meat bones should be fine… prayers for a quick and easy recovery for you 🙂
Use induction cooker. It is safe, it doesn’t even work without propper pot. It cannot cause fire. Also it is most efficient, since it generates the heat in the pot’s bottom (must be a propper, iron bottom pot). I started with a standalone induction cooker. Then I went to induction hob. Try it and you’ll never use a conventional heather again. At least I didn’t. But I see, that in the US it is not very common.
I saw that too but the recipe says:
Cook Time 8 hours
Have you ever heard of “Perpetual Soup?” I read about it somewhere and made it a couple times. You basically do everything you said, except place everything in the crock pot on high for an entire week. After 24 hours you can start to use the broth, and it was suggested to use 1/2 the broth a day (then replenishing with water) so it doesn’t taste burnt or too watery. I was concerned about having fats heated for that long a period of time, but I haven’t been able to find any good info telling me it was dangerous. Do you have any thoughts on this?
I actually do something similar sometimes too… if we’re eating a lot of broth, I’ll just keep it on perpetual simmer on the stove and replenish the water as we go. As long as it isn’t at a constant boil, the fats shouldn’t be affected and you will get a really high concentration of minerals this way…
If I did this in a crock pot how long until I would need to replenish the bones? How often do you replace bones?
Every few days
I use elk bones all the time in my bone broth. Sometimes I do a mixture of bones I have saved from the freezer but I do roast the elk in the oven. I love using organic chicken my neighbor raises and butchers,even the feet. [remove the toenails or you might loose your appetite discovering one in your soup] or organic pigs feet. Lots of gelatin. I cook it forever. [at least 2 days] Adding extra water as needed. After I strain it. I use the pointed end of my meat thermometer to make sure any bones with rich bone marrow are emptied into the broth. I put them into two to four cup portions in zip lock bags in the freezer. When I get done with the bones even the dogs aren’t interested in them.Get addition to any diet. Takes a bit of effort but great benefits.
How much electricity do you consume running a crockpot for an entire week?
Crock pots use barely any electricity. Even when I lived in rural Alaska and paid 50 cents per kWh I never worried about using the Crock-Pot.
Try buying a Kill-a-Watt reader. The Kill-a-Watt reader plugs into the outlet, and then you can plug any 110v appliance into it. You plug in the cost that you pay per kWh from your electricity bill, and the reader calculates the usage for you (you can even calculate how much it would cost per day, week, month, year, etc.). They are pretty handy.
I just checked this website to see how much “juice” you would use with a slow cooker-GOOD INFO!
The info I plugged I was for me-make sure you change it to your specs 🙂
I can’t believe you posted this today, I was searching for bone broth recipes YESTERDAY! thank you!
I love this site and in theory I would love to be able to make the broth…however we cannot even begin to afford organic meats to get these bones to make this amazing broth. I know you never advocate nonorganic but for those of us who have a stringent budget would it provide some of the needed nutrients???
I’m in the same boat. But I just called one of the butchers in town and found out they have bones for broth for $1.09/lb. And the bones are from grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free beef. I can handle that price. I was shocked it was that inexpensive. I still can’t afford the beef but I can afford the bones at least. Maybe you could find the same situation in your town? Good luck!
I get them in five pound back from a local butcher–all grass-fed, organic, hormone and antibiotic free! Also, another butcher gives me scrap and bones from butchering lamb and has tons of bones every hunting season. All I have to do is go into the shop on a butchering day with an empty box and he’ll give me all I want for free!
Now when you say butchers are you referring to Sprouts, Albertson’s ect? I’ve never ever ever seen just a butcher shop. Please explain!!
I’m sorry, perhaps it is different where I live (Oregon). We have local butchers who butcher and wrap meat from local ranches and also for hunters who bring in their venison. But we are in a more rural area in central Oregon. Maybe try googling butchers in your area? When I lived in Albuquerque, I talked to the butchers at my local Whole Foods. they carried grass-fed beef and free range poultry. Might try there or talk to the butcher at your local grocers like Albertson’s and see what they can recommend.
Sorry, but today’s Supermarkets simply import their meatcase supplies these days. Butchers were considered too expensive and the way meat is “processed” these days (I remember when it was “raised”), I doubt any butcher worth a damn would touch it.
Check what is available within 50-100 miles of you. Check online. Check any local ranchers. I know how difficult it can be, but once you find someone, you may find like I did that if you can find 4-5 families/friends, you can all go in together and buy an entire side of cow. We did that and found we can get grass-raised, hormone-&-antibiotic free beef for as little as $4.38/lb. And that’s down the road from Notre Dame on the IN/MI border.
Also try your local farmers markets – which is where we get ours at $1.47 a pound, and they usually are in a 5 lb batch, which we make into nearly 3-4 gallons of broth! Yes I did say GALLONS! When your drinking a pint a day – sometimes up to three of them it goes fast! We also use our bones until there is little left of them, then it gets turned into dog and cat wet food (see another post). Just keep putting more bones in the pot… I usually use bones for 2 batches, and then add more to them. on the 3rd or 4th time through, the older ones are really soft and mushy when straining out, these are put to the side for other purposes.
Hello there if buying organic meats at your local natural food store is too expensive, there are also places where you can buy a half of a cow ect. for a great price. My family buys one every year, you get so much meat for a great price overall. You end up saving more buying that way. Also its great because you know exactly where the meat is coming from & what the cows ect. were fed.
Can you please share any info on where to buy a half cow from?
I believe you can google that information. Just search “buy half a cow, near me” That should give you results.
My husband’s grandfather buys from 4H. Maybe look into that?
Love the 4H idea, these kids so deserve your support, plus you get a far superior meat quality. Still, you should know that these usually cost more. Please do support your local 4Hers when ever possible. Another source is small farmers. For example, my parents usually raise 3 each year. One to keep and 2 to sell. If you can’t find this, call a “meat packaging” company. They can usually sell quality meat or give you bones. They can also give you names of farmers who can get you what you want. Finally, most states have County Extension Offices that can help with all this. (Extensions of agricultural university) Phone numbers can be found on Google or local phone book.
I found local farms with organic, pastured meats through http://www.eatwild.com/products/index.html. You may also want to try Googling “CSA near [your zip code]” to see what farms offer purchasing programs for organic produce, eggs, and meats. For example, one local CSA is $20/week and meets for distribution on Wednesdays in the parking lot of a local Walmart; it’s enough to last a family of four an entire week! It’s also a great way to network with other crunchies. 🙂
Thanks for sharing. I am going to call the butchers in my area and check into that.
Go to eat local grown website and put in your zip code. It will list farmers and farmers markets in your area.
We are so lucky that the cheapest place that I buy groceries has Amish chickens. I am assuming that they are pastured and “organic”.
Try to check that. While they do farm “simply,” they do not have the greatest track record for care of animals.
I would ask, just the same. While at a farmer’s market a few years ago, I overheard a gentleman asking an Amish woman if her tomatoes were organic. I thought the question to be ludicrous but was shocked to here her reply that they used insecticide on their vegetables. She said it was too difficult to grow without them.
I was shocked to HEAR her reply, too! LOL!
Everyone thinks that the Amish is so trustworthy…don’t let them fool you…they are the biggest offenders for puppy mills….this is another reason I have been checking out bone marrow broth, because my rescue Labradoodle, at 7 years old, he has severe bilateral hip dysplasia and arthritis in his neck and spine…this is a product of backyard breeders and puppy mill dogs…I mention this because, this broth is suppose to do wonders along with the gelatin, to ease the arthritis pain and inflammation ….
Never assume Amish chickens are organic. Our local Amish chicken rancher said, when I asked if they used GMO feed, replied; “Of course we do. If we used organic feed we’d have to raise prices and people wouldn’t buy our chickens.” Depressing news.
Agree about Amish communities. There’s an Amish store nearby and I found what they do is buy their spices in bulk, divide it up and sell it for profit. There’s nothing organic about it.
I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments and I’m currently cooking my first pot of bone broth in the slow cooker (I have leaky gut due to long term use of NSAIDs). And, I’m ecstatic to read that I can feed these broken down bones to my dogs for dog food (I’ll continue to research on how to make the dog food) to supplement their diets as well.
Thank you for this wonderful post!
Sylvia De Rooy
Where I kive (northern California) I have had to pay $4.99/lb for bare, no meat at all, beef bones from grass fed cows. That’s too much for me so I use chicken bones I can get for less. I think word is out about broth so butchers have upped the price of bones.
I live in Northern California as well. (Redding). We have a butchers here, you can also google CSA with your zip code and it will come up with a list of farmers in or close to your area. Just a thought. Also, while traveling around stop at one of the many farms and speak with the farmers. They might be willing to just give you the bones. Just another thought.
Does anyone know about Harris Ranches cattle practices?
It would, and definitely do that if you need to, but I regularly find grassfed bones here from butchers for less than $1 per pound. They can sometimes be tough to find, depending on the area, but I’d bet you can find some near you…
I am single and can’t eat a whole chicken by myself but I love to
drink and use a lot of bone broth. I was trying to think of a way to get
just the bones when I asked the deli of my local Whole Foods if could
buy the left over roasted chicken bones after they removed the meat for
use in the prepared foods they serve. At first the deli gal had to ask a
few of the Higher ups at the store before it was decided that I could
have them for free anytime I wanted. Now when I want to make broth I ask
them to save a few frames for me and I pick them up after they close.
They still have some meat on them, sometimes most of the dark meat is
left on ( free meat bonus!!) I save the larger pieces of meat and put
the frames in my biggest pot with celery, carrots, onions, garlic, bay
leaves, peppercorns, salt, apple cider vinegar, and what ever veggie
scraps I have saved in the freezer. I bring it to a boil for 20 minuets remove any scum and reduce the heat to the lowest my burner can maintain and cook for 2-3 days then I strain it through a fine metal strainer and use what I need then and cool and chill the rest as fast as I can. after its chilled completely its the consistency of jello. I remove the solid fat to use for other things and either freeze what I don’t use then, (if I only made a few quarts)or pressure can it if I made a few gallons. (I make enough to can only in the winter because I can keep the broth at a safe temp outside in a cooler filled with snow without taking up all the fridge space.) I try to can as much as possible during the winter so I have enough to get me through the
warmer months. Its so nice to have it ready for me when the mood strikes
for a mug of broth or a quick soup dinner. It only coasts me about $5 to make 4 gallons and that is mostly the cost of the veggies.
I know the meat isn’t the ideal pasture raised organic meat I go out of my
way to buy for myself, but the Whole Foods roasted chicken is bound to be better/healthier than the roasted chicken from anywhere else. One day I will have a family and a farm to raise all of my own meat the way I believe is
right, but for a poor single gal in her 20?s this is the best I can do
That is awesome 🙂
I’m wondering if you notice a difference in the bone broth you keep in the refrigerator and the bone broth you can. I am interested in canning my broth because of lack of freezer space but am having trouble finding any information other than directions on how to do it.
I used an old Ball cookbook and used my pressure cooker since I’m dealing with a meat product (water bath CANNOT get hot enough to be safe!). They didn’t have a technique for stock, so I just used the direction for vegetable/beef soup. Check out the FDA’s or Ball’s canning site; I’m sure it’s there somewhere.
As for taste, my husband and I cannot detect a difference between our canned broth and our frozen. So use whatever you have the most room for.
So much misinformation about pressure cookers. Pressure cookers are a healthy way to cook. This is backed by studies. https://www.foodrenegade.com/pressure-cooking-healthy/
I pressure can broth year round from chicken and turkey left-overs and beef bone broth made from scratch. I cook it all for 24-48 hours before canning. I generally do not put any vegetables in it except for an onion and minimal seasoning. I use the least recommended amount of salt before pressure canning and can everything in pint jars. My canner holds 17 jars and ocassionally one of a load will not seal. Check USDA for recommended times for chicken, turkey and beef broth pressure processing. I think they taste the same as the fresh and we actually use them because we can see the jars on the shelf. Many things that go into the freezer just get forgotten. Hope this helps.
See “Lindy’s Pantry” on UTube.
Proud of you dear! Very wise for being on your 20s 😉
Donna Marie Paradowski
You can find great poultry these days … Purdue has whole chickens with no hormones, antibiotics etc. pastured chickens and I get them at Price rite for about a dollar per pound. Just look around
Purdue has pasture raised chickens?
If you are under the assumption that Purdue farms quality or humane chicken I suggest you watch the documentary Forks Over Knives, if only to see the disgusting conditions in which Purdue gets its chickens. None are pastured, and they are all very sick animals. Also, that speil about hormone and antibiotic free… no chickens in the US are given hormones because it is illegal, and the antibiotics are not injected directly into the chickens but they are consumed in their GMO feed. Buying from a large corporation such as Purdue farms the lowest quality sick poultry you can buy.
Then use the non organic. I understand because I can not afford all the organic foods either. I do buy organic carrots, celery, spinach…greens for smoothies but the meats no I don’t. I buy what I can afford. Still get the nutrients from the non organic.
That was my comment too. I peel everything. and Cut out ALL grains because of the same reason.
We are lucky to survive what is being sprayed by planes and with tractors ect. God Save us from this maddness.
As far as the meat goes, go to Eat wild .com and find a rancher in your area that sells grass-fed beef. I find it is less costly than the junk you buy in the store. They tell you all about the differences in the two. Yes you do LOSER all the good nutrints and Gain all the bad stuff by eating cattle that are from a feed lot. check it out. could save you money . You cant buy in the store or even on line the stuff that is processed and shipped to you is Way to high.
Thank you so much for the Web address! You completely opened up my world with your one little comment! Thanks to you, I just found three places to buy grass-fed meats and they’re all within a 2-hour radius. Living in Eastern KY has made it hard to locate the healthy foods I want. We’re an organic farm, but we don’t raise meat animals, just eggs and plants. I can’t wait to make some fabulous beef stock!
Thanks for the info — I had no idea I had local vendors right in my area!
I’m with Heidi: Thank you for that web address!
From what I understand, the bones from animals that are not pasture-raised contain concentrated amounts of contaminants like heavy metals. I would rather go without than make broth from conventionally-raised animal bones.
You can buy pasture-raised gelatin and collagen hydrolysate in powder form and use those if you cannot afford to buy soup bones from a health food store or butcher that processes grass-fed animals. Buying a deep-freeze is a great suggestion, there are also some local co-ops that sell organic meats. I have always prioritized organic food in my budget, there are classes like Dave Ramsey’s FPU if budgeting is an issue.
“I would rather go without than make broth from conventionaly-raised bones.” That’s a pretty harsh statement to make to someone trying to be healthier, lucky you that you can manage healthier meats but not all can. I would think you would encourage someone to do the best they can with what budget they have. Not everyone can afford organic but they will still be dealing with many illnesses. Should they just suffer? It seems that anything is better than running out and buying store bought broth. Every step towards good health propels you to the next step. Remember encourage and lift up, not judge and put down.
The factory farmed meats are bad for you. It’s not a value judgement; it’s a nutritional fact.
Thank you! Yes, not all of us can afford organic! I’m making this broth right now with non-organic bones and it smells wonderful. Can’t wait to try it!
Organic Free-Range whole chickens have been ~$3/lb in both CO & CA grocery stores where we’ve been living. This has been a great investment in my mind. First a roast chicken meal, then leftovers for another meal, then bone broth or the best chx noodle soup that lasts several more meals. And all for $10-14!! I make broth/soup from just 1 carcass using a similar recipe as listed here so no need to freeze & wait.
I’m curious to know, how much does this meat cost all of you?
I’ve searched pretty much all over where I live (in San Antonio), and maybe prices will go down at the farmer’s market after spring really gets here, but organic, pasture-raised/fed chicken here is $6-10 per pound, depending on if there are any sales going on. I’m still looking around for somewhere to get the best meat here for a low price (as a one-income family with a toddler, there are certain things we just can’t buy on our current budget hehe), but until then, I get the best quality that I can afford.
After reading some of these comments though, maybe–at least for the broth–I should just start hitting up some butcher shops for bones!
Costco (in Austin at least) has good prices on whole organic chickens. They come two to a pack for approx $24 which is about $3/lb. Not bad for organic meat!
I live in-town on the southern Maine coast. I have had laying hens for 12 years so that I can have fresh organic eggs – no roosters. I generally let my girls enjoy life after laying and die naturally because my in-laws have an organic farm and we raise our meat birds there. You can of course butcher your own hens after they slow down production – they will not have enough meat on their carcass but they will make a rich calcium bone broth. Laying hens have added calcium in their feed – organic too – for strong shells, so their bones will be richer than a roaster. Too much calcium for a meat bird reeks havoc on their digestive system. Our family shares in the butchering, we have the chicken feet and the healthy organs like liver and heart which also provide many nutrient. In addition, when I make my bone broth I add dried seaweed – kombu, dulse – that is harvested from pristine locations on the Maine coast which add many trace minerals. My kids have grown up eating the strips of seaweed in their soup from a young age, but it can be added to the broth stage and removed too. In terms of organic vs. inorganic, the Environmental Working Group assesses the health of foods, soaps, etc. and provide the toxicity of them. They have a “dirty dozens” list that suggest which food are the worst and should be organic, and preferably local/seasonal because “organic” is becoming an over-used buzz word. Not all organic companies are sound – in fact, Monsanto controls many companies such as Muir Glen and Santa Cruz. Knowing the source of where your food comes from and how it is made – homemade – is the best choice you can make. In fact, a first edition (~ 1945) of the Joy of Cooking explains how to butcher the hens from your back yard. We do have some choices.
What an informative comment! Thank you for sharing.
But of course. Where I live, the bones are regarded as some kind of a waste material. Lucky me 🙂
Enjoy this moment, that they haven’t woken up yet to the true value of bones. This reminds me of the time when chicken wings were 10 cents a pound. ( They were considered poor peoples food) until one day someone come up with Buffalo Wings. Now they are $5.00 a pound and I can no longer afford them. I hope your luck holds out !!!
I’m with ya on the high prices. I really believe organic/grass fed/no antibiotics are so much better, but here in the cornfields of Kansas, prices for good chickens is $4.50/lb and up. I bought some beef bones yesterday, all excited about making bone broth, now it kinda feels like I’m better off throwing them away (pretty sure they aren’t grass fed, etc). How discouraging…:(
In the north IN/southern MI area, it depends where you shop.
For chicken, I’ve only seen it in the grocery, but I’ve only been in the region for less than 2 yrs. I’ve a feeling down in Goshen, Amish area, some are done organically, some not but probably cheaper.
My local market has only 2 kinds of chicken brands – Tyson and Amish Farms. Only Amish Farms sells a purportedly (and priced 2X) organically raised bird that gets only non-GMO, organically grown feed and no “un-necessary” antibiotics. For just boneless breasts, runs about $6.99/lb., whole birds clock in about $3.59/lb.
Check out real butcher shops. The prices are not really that much higher than say wally world or a discount store (we have Cash saver). I was really surprised. If you have a large family to feed a butcher makes it even easier because instead of buying say 2 roasts to get a meal, he can cut you a really big one with a bone.
Mark a freezer bag “STOCK” and throw any and all bones in it until you get enough. I never thought I would spend what I do on organic foods but the money I save going to a doctors (no insurance) makes a huge difference and you’ll find that your family stays “fuller” longer with really good food.
I make my dog food, and go thru 2 organic chickens a week making their chicken stew. I’ve always felt there should be something I can use those chicken carcasses for rather than just toss them. This is excellent news! I can do a batch of broth every week from the 2 carcasses. Outstanding.
You don’t have to buy meat – just bones… I got some from the butcher shop in our area that sells
“home grown” not mass grown meat. I got about 6 LB. of frozen beef knuckle bones and used only those
along with the veg. etc. the cost for the bones – about $5.00…. I hope this helps. Happy cooking.
You got 6lbs of bones for $5?! Were they organic & grassfed?? I live in an area with lots of health food stores but grassfed organic beef bones are all about $5 per pound. “Natural” bones are $3.50/lb. I’ll check with the small butchers to see if they’re more reasonable. Though bone broth is also becoming much more popular, esp in my area, so they may raise their prices too, because they can…
How many chicken carcasses do you need to make a couple pounds? Also, this is probably a stupid question, do you only save the carcass as bare as possible? or does the carcass have fat left on it at all?
I just pick what we eat off and leave the rest. So, most of it is off, but some is one, which is fine. It usually takes 2-3 carcasses to make over 2 pounds.
I roast a chicken every Sunday. I have a small crockpot that I use for my broth and it is perfect for the bones from one chicken. Sometimes I have a few bones from other chicken legs or thighs I may have cooked earlier in the week and throw them in. I cook it about 24 hours, strain the broth then cook the bones again with new water for another 24 hours. It’s not as gelatinous, but I use it for cooking.
HOW DO YOU COOK FOR 24 HRS…WHO WATCHES THE POT?
NOT SAFE TO LEAVE A STOVE ON UNATTENDED….
Why are you yelling?
Agreed! How irresponsible to promote 24 hours of a gas stove being on….anyone care about the environment?
@Michelle, I don’t know if this is the case with @MARIA, but I know that for my grandmother, she has to type in ALL CAPS so that she can read what she’s writing on the screen. Her eyesight is starting to go and it’s the only way to spell/grammar-check her work.
Haven’t you heard of a crock pot, for crying out loud.
When you understand that you’re using a GIANT pot NEARLY FULL OF WATER that has already boiled, now turned down to a mere simmer, a tiny flame, and that the pot has a well- fitting lid on it, there should be almost no evaporation at all, maybe only a quarter inch over a long night, then you will realize it is safe and not irresponsible. Naturally, you have nothing flammable near the stove, and well out of children’s reach. Further, most crockpots these days use aluminum in the outer shell, which some of us don’t want to use because it’s an unstable metal and toxic when exposed to heat, off- gassing into the air we breathe, even if it doesn’t touch the interior food. Thus, to use a giant stainless steel stock pot on the stove for a very long simmer makes cooking sense for our health of breathing and drinking the broth.
Lowest simmer. You’re not going to have it at a rolling boil. Lid it and it won’t lose the volume it would if the steam can escape. Lid it, lowest flame and it’s fine. Clearly, you’re not going to leave a kitchen towel near the flame.
I freeze mine till I get enuff
You said you roast a chicken about once a week, but also that you make your broth in bulk… how do you store the carcasses until you have enough to make broth? I have made broth in the crockpot with a single chicken carcass but it obviously didn’t have enough gelatin because it was very runny. Your way seems much more efficient, as long as my bones wont go bad in the fridge before I get a chance to make it 🙂
I just freeze them… the they can go straight in to the pot… don’t even need to be defrosted.
Donna Marie Paradowski
I do the same with leftover chicken bones .. or fresh ones that I remove from the breasts before freezing. I also freeze all veg scraps eg: onion skins ends of carrots/asparagus etc. and make my broth from all that. It’s like free food really
I’ve always thrown my vegetable scraps in the freezer to make stock as well. But I’m always on the fence about whether to make the vegetable stock separately first, strain and then use that liquid for the bone broth- or probably better yet, bone broth first and then strain and then add vegetables. My two concerns are: if I’m doing a chicken carcass I like to really pick the meat clean after the stock is done so I’m afraid adding the vegi’s will make it too hard to sort through the strained material. I also wonder if I add vegetables to beef broth do they just get cooked to death? I guess after that long it’s really just the minerals that remain and that’s what we’re going for anyway so maybe it doesn’t matter? Any thoughts on that?
Also- I’ve always used my pressure cooker to make bone broth because it’s so much quicker and gets the bones really soft. Can you think of any reason this is not a good idea? thanks a bunch!
I’m interested in hearing if pressure cooker is ok too
I’m reading nourishing traditions right now and they recommend not using a pressure cooker ever because it’s an unnatural way to cook food that can destroy essential vitamins that are heat sensitive. I’m sure you probably still get the benefits of the gelatin and some vitamins and minerals but I’m sure there would be more vitamins in traditional broth making techniques.
Regarding the vegetables, they do kinda get cooked to death.. they are still in whole pieces, they don’t disintegrate, but if you taste one it just tastes of…. nothing.
I cook in a slow cooker for 24 hours though so it might be different on the stove. And I have no idea about a pressure cooker 😛
pressure cooker will give more flavor
u wont b able to eat the vegetables or whatnot but all the flavor from the veggies/chicken will b throughly infused with the broth.
Here in Slovenia we cook bone broth mainly from beef bones. But we also leave some meat on them. Usually the cooking time is no greater than five hours. The carrots from the broth are used, also the bone merrow and what comes of the bone. (This I eat alone, to my wife and kids is disguisting).
The main reason for posting this comment at all is, that I was quite sick a couple of years ago. From flu, pneumonia, bronchitis and sinusitis at the same time. It is hard to describe, how bad I felt at that time. Then I said that that’s enough. A year ago I started a diet with daily bone broth of 500ml with added a teaspoon of turmeric powder, ginger powder and chilly powder to what I can bare. Also I started using essential oils regularly, mostly putting a few drops on my pillow before sleep (mix of tea tree, mentha, basil, eucalyptus and lavender. Beleive me or not, I wasn’t sick from then. I don’t know, what helped me most, but I’, thankfull that I’m healthy now.
I know I went a bit off topic and sorry for my grammar.
Stay away from artificial chemicalls and processed foods and be well,
I would avoid the use of a pressure cooker (presumng its made of aluminium) or any other aluminium pan for that matter. Use of an acid is recommended in the making of a broth to dissolve some of the nutrients from the bone (such as apple cder vinegar) and acids attack aluminium too. The aluminium is in part dissolved into the broth and is toxic to the body. A slow cooker that sits on your side is probably the safest option n the long run.
Srecko- thanks for mentioning the added spices you use.
I first, looked into broth as a food for my baby, but now after some more reading I’m very excited to make it for the entire family. 🙂
If you are cooking the meat with the carcass you could take the meat off when it is done and return the carcass for its long haul. At that time you would add the veggies which are intended for flavor, as well as their own nutritious contribution. Remember, you are making broth, not soup. The whole thing will be strained and the solids discarded. You would add back the meat, and any new veggies when the broth is done.
To MaryLou and others who asked about fat – sorry for some reason I can’t reply to you directly, only the comment that you replied to. The layer that forms on top of the broth after you’ve refrigerated it is not gelatin it is pure fat. The gelatin is in the broth. The fat layer on top can be skimmed off and used for cooking. I take the fat off, give it a rinse under running water (to remove any traces of broth that will go bad) and store it in an airtight glass container in my fridge. This fat is high-heat safe, making it wonderful for sautéing veggies, pan-frying meat, etc. It also lasts a long time in the fridge & can also be frozen.
Living in the mountains in a trailer cooking on propane limits my options. Pot-and-pan storage space and fuel are at a premium. My partner in town started making bone broth trying various recipes and simmering times (6 hrs., 12 hrs., 24 hrs.) and her results got better and better. Beef and bison. I got intrigued enough to try making my own, but again, the limitations up here were space and propane. So I did basically what she did (roast the bones, add carrot, onion, celery, garlic, spices–I also use mined sea salt from Utah, she goes salt-free), only I used a stainless 4 quart Presto pressure cooker (NEVER aluminum, NEVER Teflon when cooking). I achieved in about three and half hours pretty much what she does in 24, with fresh, local grass-fed beef bones, co-op and garden vegetables. I pressure-simmered till the marrow fully dissolved into the water (the vegetables were of course discard mush), and the stuff smelled so good I wanted to just drink it standing over the sink while straining it.
I freeze the strained broth in 2 or 4 pint Ziploc freezer containers (they stack nicely in my tiny trailer freezer) Omega 3-rich fat, gelatin and all. I do no skimming. When I make bean and rice soups and stews (a mainstay of what my ex-girlfriends have called my “cowboy” diet), instead of co-op cartons of organic broth for $4-$5 a pop, out comes a container of frozen bone broth.
Great for gravies, too. Anywhere you’d use bouillon or meat juice.
Bachelor roast chicken broth: Eat all the good stuff (drumsticks, breast slices, whatever else suits), break up the rest and put it in the 1 gal. stainless pressure cooker with all juices and scrapings. Sufficient filtered, distilled, or spring water to bring it up to the 3 quart level. Pressure cook for 20 minutes or so (till the remaining meat is falling off the bones).
Intermission phase: quick-cool/depressurize the pot in the sink under cold tap water. Use tongs to remove everything solid or semi-solid from the warm broth, put it on a plate. Put the pressure cooker back on simmer without the lid. Sort through the previously boiled results, pulling out every bit of meat you’d want to bite into if it were in a bowl of soup placed in front of you. Anything which doesn’t fit that description, toss it back into the simmering open pot. Scrape the plate into the pot as well.
Now add a tablespoon of raw vinegar, a teaspoon of mined sea salt, a few peppercorns, onion-carrot-celery-garlic, spices as desired. Add sufficient healthy water to bring it back up to the maximum 3 quart level. Put the lid back on and bring to a boil, lower it to simmer (gently rocking pressure regulator). Pressure simmer it for two hours. Watch a game or a movie.
When it’s done (mind you, you can only undercook bone broth, it’s pretty hard to overcook) let it stand to cool. Pour the results through a fine mesh strainer. Dump the junk–any nutritional value it once possessed is now dissolved into the water. You have bone broth.
Beef, bison, venison, elk, javelina, pig…same basic drill, only go for three hours or so instead of two. When doing larger (or longer) cuts of bone, use a wooden spoon handle to push the marrow out into the broth during the intermission phase. If you want to get fanatical about it, take a hammer to the bones so the inner nutrients are more accessible to the pressurized acidified water. You can also add rinsed crushed eggshells, for more minerals. (Don’t scrub out the inner membrane, there’s valuable stuff in there, too.)
I’ve never tried fish, I imagine the time requirements would depend on the size of the fish. But you can only screw up bone broth in one of three ways: Don’t use enough bones; don’t simmer them long enough; don’t try making this marvelous stuff at all (your loss).
I really want to add bone broth to my diet. I see that simmering for 24 to 48 hours is mentioned. My question is….does it become necessary to add more water at some point? I plan to try this in my crock pot so I’m assuming the lowest setting is the temperature to use but my experience with other foods tells me that moisture escapes during long cooking periods. Any recommendations or advice is appreciated.
Kit, I am currently simmering beef bones on the stove and have been adding water as it needs it.
I always cook the veggies and bones together. It’s not too difficult to pick the meat after.
I throw the whole pot in the oven for 24 hours at 250 its out of the way and is a more traditional way of cooking.
I agree that the veggies cooked for long hours turn to mush and perhaps the vitamins dissipate, however, the flavor is so enhanced by the veggies and the little bit of meat left on the bones. I usually add the onion skins, outer layer of onion and veggie scraps to the crockpot for the 12-24 hours. Then, I strain out everything. If I use part of the broth for soup I will add in fresh carrots & celery that only cook till tender. Although I have not added parsley to my broth for the long cooking, once I did add the carrot tops to beef bones. That was the first batch that did NOT gel. When I asked the farmer about it, she said it was because of the greens. Since every other batch of bones, from the same farmer, gelled nicely, I’ve never used greens again. But it sounds like gelling is not an issue with parsley.
I’ve been making broth for 20 years and I love it! (I’m also a professional chef) If your vegetables and meat from the broth are not mushy and tasteless, then you didn’t cook it long enough. When making broth, you want every ingredient going into the pot to give up 100% of it’s essence to the water. Chicken should be tasteless fiber. Vegetables should be flavorless mush. I also taught my students to not only roast the bones, but roast the vegetables too. It adds a warm caramel color and under flavor that will set your broth apart. Enjoy!
Thanks for that comment Snoozie! I have a gas stove, not interested in having it on for 24 hours so I was going to use my slow cooker. I was wondering how I would know it was done.
I have read that it is better to put raw bones and meat into the slow cooker as more of the goodness goes into the stock which may be lost through cooking them first – especially at high temperature roasting – also I have recently read that there is quite a lot of glutamate released when bones are cooked over a long period and I’m not sure if that will suit everyone – my son suffers with Crohns disease and I have to be so careful with what he eats. Great website wellness Mama.
I also cook on gas(propane) stove and do not want it on for that long. In fact I think the tank would run out at 80-90 a pop, no thanks. A crock pot would have to do for me.
Thanks for making this interaction possible. . I am just learning the benefits of Bone cooking. . I listened to kaaya Daniel,phd. And has written a book on Nourishing Bone Broth..she discusses the history and benefits..I wish to add the process of bone broth cooking to my routine.. the meat , broth were so delicious. . I drank the broth from chicken bones and it arrested an inflammation that was starting.. I have chronic pulmonary problems and want learn more as I put this into practice. . Thanks Srecko for your comments. .I hope my reply is beneficial.
Thank you for your excellent comment. This one makes sense and caught my eye.
While that carmelization is oh so delicious, most choose to make bone broth for health moreso than taste. That caramel yuminess is actually full of AGEs -advanced glycolsylated end products-which damage the lining of blood vessels and promote wrinkles with their oxidative and inflammatory effects.
Roasting the vegetables might actually counteract the health benefits of bone broth!
I appreciate this post and all the comments. Since I juice, is there any reason not to use the pulp from the juicer to make broth? Thanks
Love idea of roasting vegis too. Do you just put them on the same pan as bones and roast for the same amount of time? Also, does the lid stay on or off, for how long or never? Thank you Chef!
Do you really need to simmer the soup for 48 hours? I don’t feel comfortable leaving my stove on overnight. Pls advise your cook time.
Thanks Susie! Good to just hear the facts and not all the mushy confusing questions! I’m gonna be getting some bones this week.!
Richard St John
I freeze my venison bone / veg. broth soup after straining all solid particles. my first couple of batches at room temp. when poring into pan to warm up I would discard the solidified white/yellow fat and it tasted great. Today I decided to leave the solids in and warm up and it seemed to greasy . probably 2 tbsp. per 20 oz. Any insight as to leave fat in or remove. Would hate to miss out on valuable nutrition. Thanks Richard St John
This is a (late??!) reply to Andrea, and anyone else who is concerned with leaving the stove on for 48 hours. (There was also someone concerned w/ burning so much propane…? I’m a propane user too, so I get it — expensive!!)
My brothing life was changed by getting a Hamilton Beach 22-qt. oven roaster. (NO affiliate association here, just my honest testimonial.) Basically, it functions like a GIANT crockpot and does broth beautifully. I feel fine leaving it on for 48 hours, and I put it in the dining room so it’s not taking precious space in my wee kitchen.
And Katie, THANK YOU for this wonderful information & forum for us to learn!!
Author, “Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers”
Have you ever added organ meat to your bone broth? I have trouble getting my family on board with organ meat, so thought adding it to my bone broth might be a way to extract some of the nutrients from the organ meat. I’m afraid it might make my broth taste to “liver-y” though. Anyone had any experience with this?
Katie - Wellness Mama
I have and it works well, but it does have a liver-y taste and I definitely don’t like it as much…
I’m nervous leaving my stove on for 48 hours for beef bone broth. No one is home while I’m at work. Suggestions??
I’m with you on also roasting the vegetables. I’m making a batch as I write. My butcher gives me beef bones for free (all grass fed, I’m in Ireland), so I usually roast a kilo of beef shin, sawn into three or four pieces, an onion sliced, two carrots and two sticks of celery chopped, a tomato and a Portobello mushroom halved, a head of garlic and half a small turnip (swede). I put half a glass of red wine in the bottom of the roasting pan and give the lot an hour at 220C, by which time everything’s nice and caramelised, and the wine has prevented any burning and added richness. Then I simmer with the same amount of fresh veg added on top of the roasted veg for six to eight hours. I add peppercorns, bay, thyme, sometimes rosemary (scantily, I find it’s a bully in the flavour department) and sometimes a teaspoon of yeast extract. It is to die for. Nectar! I just hope that this doesn’t become one of those gimmicky faddish things that prompt butchers to start charging for bones. I remember when you could get a lamb shank for 50p. Gone are the days. Chefs: leave peasant food alone for us peasants! Stick to haute cuisine and leave our cheap cuts and bones alone! [Wink.]
Do you let the beef broth cook for 48 hours? On simmer?
Susan, how long do you simmer your broth for? Is 24hors necessary? Thanks?
Thank you for all the comments. I’m pretty new to cooking, and I attempted a bone broth yesterday and nearly burnt down my house. I woke up due to an awful smell. Yhe pot was bone dry and everything was charred. I added water before going to bed even though the recipe didn’t mention adding water. What did I do wrong? I even covered the pot, hoping to reduce evaporative loss. The gas stovetop was on 4, which is the lowest number that produced any bubble. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
Thank you – I have not made bone broth but would sure like to learn
Can I use lemon instead of ACV as my husband is taking an herbal tonic (for cancer) that is neutralized by Vinegar?
Can I have your bone broth recipe
but the scraps contains pesticides, chemtrails, other poisons…
Not if they are organic.
I think it goes without saying, if you are attempting wellness, organic is the only way. I wouldn’t imagine gmo/pestcide ridden veggies would make a good broth.
Just made my first batch of beef bone broth in the crock pot. When finished, I placed into Mason Jars and refrigerated. This morning there is a layer of gelatin/fat on top.
Should I discard this before drinking or am I losing valuable nutrients if I do?
After juicing yesterday, I looked at all the scraps of carrots and celery pulp and said to myself that there has to be a use for these (other than doing compost). I make broth like this regularly. Why I never put the two together? Well Idk! smh at myself, lol! Thanks for connecting the dots. Eating health hurts the pockets enough, so every little bit helps.
I also juice, but howdo you get anything out of the vegetables that have been all squeezed out and juiced? Is there anything left in them for the broth?
I also juice, but find the pulp to taste bitter. All the pleasant flavor of the veggies is in the juice. So, for me I wouldn’t want my broth to be more bitter, but heck, I might try it at least once!
Dear Wellness Mama,
Ok, so it’s now 36 hrs and my beef/lamb bone broth is smelling and looking an tasting so good, I helped myself to about a pint of it. Now, my question is:
“Can I add water to the remaining stock to make up for this 16 ozs of guilty pleasure and will the product gel if I do?”
Katie - Wellness Mama
Yes and yes 🙂
I just finished my 4th batch of bone broth. This one mostly beef bones with a chicken back. It didn’t gel like it normally does after I put it into the fridge. I did add more water to this batch because it kept loosing water levels over night. I simmer for typically 48 hours. It still tastes a great as ever but my question is should I not replace the water that evaporates? I do cover it at all times, and it still evaporates. I also add my garlic, celery, onions and carrots the last 5 hours. Don’t know if that makes a difference but I always feel if I put them in the beginning I cook the nutrients out of the veggies…and it’s less nutritious. Thanks for any tips.
The first time I made bone broth from beef bones from grass fed cows it formed a gel after refrigeration. The second time using bones from same cow the broth did NOT gel after refrigeration. I simmered both batches for 48 hours. I did add more water to the non- gelled batch.
Is the non-gelled bone broth just as nutrition.
Somewhere I read different bones help it gel, so make sure you have joint bones in there.
Katie…. whats your suggestion on the simmer period as i too dont want to leave my stove overnight
Katie - Wellness Mama
You could just start early in the morning and do an all-day simmer and remove from the heat at night
Excuse any ignorance but can you advise me how many cook the broth for 24 hours let alone 48?!
I wouldn’t leave anything cooking while out or asleep which leaves me with pockets of time.. I Imagine I could time getting the bones when I know I’ll be home for as long as possible, just also the idea of cooking up broth for 6 hours and stopping maybe overnight and again cooking for another 6, having left the pot to sit???? Is that safe re bacteria?
(No budget to go and buy a pressure cooker either)
REALLY looking forward to a helpful solution so I can start introducing broth making into my routine and start getting it into my toddler and my mealtimes!
Can anyone explain to me why you want your broth to “gel”? Ichh. Is that healthier than just plain clear broth?
Kate, when you make bone broth the marrow inside of the bones contains collagen which is what they use to make Jello. That is what is making your broth gel and is desirable because of the wonderful effects it has in your body beyond hair and nails being shinier and stronger. The marrow also houses more minerals that are healthy for your body.
MaryLou above asked about taking off the cooled layer of gelatin/fat on top but it is only fat. The healthy gelatin is in your broth and is probably like Jello when cooled. The fat can be used as a grease but even an organic animal has junk in their “cover fat” which isn’t healthy like the marbled fat in the muscle. I personally don’t use it but many others do. Many older people have told me they purposefully melted the fat and would reseal the broth or broth and meat if meat is in the broth and it would last much longer refrigerated. These older people grew up in an era that didn’t have refrigeration and when sealing it in this manner being careful not to have air pockets if there was meat in the broth, it would create a vacuum and preserve the food on a shelf in the pantry, covered with a cloth and banded. Interesting but I don’t feel brave enough to try it.
When you roast the chicken first, do you use the juices left over in the roasting pan for your bone broth? (See your pic above of the chicken in the roasting pan). Thanks!
I usually toss the pan juices (and the skin that stuck to the bottom of the pan!) in with my broth. I don’t know if that’s “officially correct”, but I do know it adds a lot of flavor. 🙂
Yes me too! I do the same with beef bones after I coat them in coconut oil and roast them with herbs and half the veggies – I pour the fat and juices into the crockpot. You’re not going to eat the fat (you skim it off at the end) but it deepens the flavor while the broth cooks.
I’m in a tiny apartment with a tiny fridge and freezer. Would I need to pressure can if I were to can instead of refrigerate or freeze?
Canning is the best way to store for up to a year (sometimes I will go beyond this, but if you read any literature on canning, it is not recommended to consume post 12 months). I learned from my grandparents how to do it… which is many moons ago, and I have never looked back!
When choosing a pressure cooker, look as if your going to have it for a lifetime – cause more than likely you will! As far as brands or recommendations, I really can’t speak directly to one over-another. The new models out have great features but have a price tag that goes along with them. You can find some older/used ones on Craigs list, or Amazon that will serve the purpose just as well. If you go used (which I have a done as well), ensure you talk with whom ever your purchasing it from and try and get all the paperwork that goes with it – usually these are pressure recommendations, they might have replacement part lists and other such things. I have only had to replace one pressure cooker and it was because the original company went out of business 45 years ago and I could not get replacement parts which I found later with another company who started making replacement parts. Had I not had the part number they would not have been able to help me.
Size is your next decision… I chose mine with the idea that I would do as many as I could in one batch, and then I would be done with the process – which means I went REALLY BIG!!! If it is only you at your house, I would probable go with something that can hold quart size jars in hight, and between 4-6 in a round pattern on the bottom. This will equal out to about 6-8 smaller quart size jars, and you can stack pint jars if you go that size. You can always go bigger later… I have three now!
As you go through the posts you will see people that cook in their pressure cookers, and which ever you choose will probable have recipes; I caution against using them as a cooking utensil – Many of them are aluminum and while many would argue that they don’t ‘off gas’ I am of the club that says they do, and aluminum hydroxide is a known carcinogen. Be assured this does not mean that your goods will have aluminum inside the jars, those are sealed and there is no exchange as long as they are sealed properly.
Finally, I know it has been posted here before, but I will reiterate in case you missed the posts, when doing any sort of meat product in a can it MUST be pressure cooked! Water bath boils will not kill off the bacterial growth and consuming any product that has not been properly canned can lead to serious illness and death! If you get a pressure cooker that does not have instructions, there are several sites online that are good sources for the processing of foods. Ball, Kerr, and USDA to name a couple.
As a Master Food Preserver, may I suggest the best sites to go to for information are the various agricultural extension sites. These organizations test recipes constantly to assure that they are safe. Unfortunately, a lot of individual sites will post information that is outdated and sometimes outright dangerous. One of my favorite sites for safe canning recipes is https://nchfp.uga.edu/index.html
I’m new to making bone broth….can I use chicken bones after roasting the chicken or do they need to be fresh?
I’ve used the bones from roasted chicken many times. I’ve always used to to make chicken broth type soups, I never thought about bone broths. I would simmer the chicken bones for about 4 hours and it would come out great, but never gel. I’m sure this is because I didn’t cook it long enough and only used the bones from one chicken. I’m sure if I froze the chicken bones until I have 2 or 3 carcasses, then It would be much better for a bone broth than just one chicken.
Melissa, I don’t think there are too many people out there that know exactly where gelatin (collagen) comes from. If you buy the bulk gelatin, it will usually say on the label somewhere how the gelatin is sourced. I believe both Great Lakes and Vital Proteins come from the skin of the animal. This made perfect sense to me as collagen is very beneficial for skin regeneration and maintenance. I mentioned this before on another thread that young chickens SKIN has tons and tons of collagen…Do NOT throw out the skin! My mom told me this years ago, and she is absolutely correct. We usually buy 6 chickens at a time, my husband butchers and skins them and throws the bones AND the skin in the roaster for me to deal with. That isn’t to say you can’t use only one chicken, you just use a smaller pot and less water and get a smaller amount. Our rule is to use the right size pot for the amount of bones and skin you have, and fill with just enough water to cover it all. I do add water when it cooks down, but IMO, you don’t have to. It will just result in a more concentrated broth. You can always add water later if you find it too strong. Better that than having watered-down broth to start with. Do this, and you will have great broth with lots of gelatin in it.
Everyone seems to agree that roasting adds a deeper flavor. I find that it does. As a matter of fact, my broth never ever has anything, not even salt added to it. I like it “virgin” because to me it makes it more versatile in recipes where you may not want the salt or other flavors.
I want to mention too, that the young chickens (at least the ones we buy) seem to have more fat also, so you will have more fat to skim….BUT don’t throw that out either! I separate it and freeze it in 1/4 cup portions usually. It is an awesome substitute for other fats, including breads and even cookies. I am a frugal person and I love butter so I just use butter on my popcorn LOL. Pound for pound, chicken fat is waayy cheaper and you would be shocked at how good it tastes in your baking.
My sister just found about about this site and called me; I have lupus and I’m recovering from a gunshot wound to my foot. This is the perfect time for me to start making this recipe. I also look forward to trying other recipes.
I just made my first batch of bone broth (beef). It’s almost done, but I am having a problem with how to store it. I want to freeze it, but what type of containers do you use. I am trying to stay away from plastic as much as possible.
mason jars work wonderfully you can also freeze them I do all the time
The dollar store has great clear containers! I would like to know if it’s alright to use beef bones that don’t have the marrow??
Kate says she puts in in a 5 gallon glass containers.
Hi Katie thanks fir your tips and info. I am making bone broth for the first time. I hope it comes out ok.
Dont’f forget to leave about an inch of empty space for expansion. I didn’t my first time.
I use lansinoh breast milk storage bags to store my stock. They are bpa free and store up to 8 ounces or 1 cup. Perfectly premeasured for most of my recipes. Lay them flat to freeze and they take less space. I’ll sometimes lay them on a rimmed cookie sheet or 11×13″ pan until frozen. This way they don’t slide all over and freeze in goofy shapes. If I forget to place in the fridge to thaw, I simply put it in my quart measuring cup with hot water and it thaws pretty quick. The storage bags are not cheap, but often on sale at the grocery store or target. They are even available in 100 ct box. I have tried Ziploc and can only say they don’t make them like they used to. They leak out the sides or are not sealed directly under the zippered part. In addition they are not bpa free. I have problems detoxing with my liver. So I am off plastics as much as is possible.
Adding a Parmesan rind or two makes it good enough to sip by itself!!! Most cheese places will sell them to you CHEAP.
What if alot of the water evaporates, is it okay to keep adding water?
Can you use vegetable broth with no bones
After you make beef broth and refrigerate it, should you scrape off the fat and discard it?
Katie - Wellness Mama
Is that good fat that should be consumed?
Hi is it normal for a beef bone broth to have a very strong smell? I’ve finished cooking it for 2 days and it stunk out the house. So much that we put the slow cooker outside after 1 night! Now its finished the smell of the broth is also quiet strong. They were organic beef bones and roasted before slow cooked. Not sure if this is normal? Thank you for your reply ?
Hi is it normal for a beef bone broth to have a very strong smell? I’ve finished cooking it for 2 days and it stunk out the house. So much that we put the slow cooker outside after 1 night! Now its finished the smell of the broth is also quiet strong. They were organic beef bones and roasted before slow cooked. Not sure if this is normal? Thank you for your reply ?
I don’t normally notice something that strong…
Tegan- organic beef is not equal to grass- fed. Organic is fed organically grown grains, not pastured to graze on grass. Grass-fed is what you need. Its cooking aroma is wonderful, never stinks. For those who cannot eat grains due to a damaged small intestine, those with Leaky Gut and auto- immune conditions, the grain that is fed to organic beef, albeit organic, will be discerned, identified by the body, and could give a negative reaction and immune response to it. Grass- fed is really the way to go. Even worse is the non- organic beef, and those organ meats are so filthy and putrid that my dog won’t even touch them. Talk about stink! Check your local Farmer’s Market for grass- fed, or a local buying group that orders in bulk. I think Westin A. Price Foundation website has listings of buying groups around the country for such healthy purchases, where you might find a group for your area. I would consider a horrid stink to be a very bad sign of something very wrong.
Hi Katie! Do you try to remove the meat from the bones before cooking bone broth? Or just leave it on while cooking?
You can… basically you want to make sure that the joints are exposed so that the good gelatin is able to be broken down and absorbed.
Do you really have to simmer the broth for such a long time? I typically put mine in the crockpot in the afternoon and leave overnight so around 16 hours. It seems to soften the bones up nicely. Would you say that would be long enough?
I have been looking forever for a good 6 qt crockpot that allows me to slow simmer bone broth soup, but they all seem to cook too hot. Is there a good one for this? Thanks!
I have been saving bones to make bone broth but with the first batch of bones I saved it didn’t occur to me that I should freeze them so I left them sitting on my counter for over a week before putting them in the freezer. Can these still be used or are they bad?
I’d be leery of using them if they’ve been on the counter.
Since you are cooking the broth for so long, do you have to keep adding water?
My husband has Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer) and I am researching the benefits of broths during his worse treatment days, and/or on a regular basis to help him boost his immune system. Just to make sure I read correctly: you simmer your broths for 24/48/8 hrs at a time? isn’t this costly when it comes to your electric bill? just wondering if a slow cooker might do the job as well. Any thoughts on this?
I use a slow cooker to make my broth. I had a really bad GERD episode. Was looking for anything that would help. This broth is amazing. So far, I have used a whole organic chicken, pour water from my brita and pour in a tbsp of Apple cider vinegar with the mother. I let it sit for 30 min at least, The slow cooker on high to bring it up a bit then Switch to low. And cook it for about 24 hours. I do find that the chicken bones get soft in about 12 hours.
I add veggies and herbs for flavor and I”ve found adding a couple of beef marrow bones to give it a depth of flavor. I roast them first or retrieve them from my beef broth.
With Everything your husband is dealing with, I really believe that he will find this very tasty and nourishing.
Jennifer, This will be my 1st time making bone broth. I don’t have a stock pot, just a slow cooker. When you say the whole chicken into the slow cooker, is it an entire raw chicken, an entire previously cooked chicken or just the left over bones from a previously cooked chicken? Also, how long do you leave it on high before switching to low? And is it to be cooked 24 hours in the slow cooker as well? Thank you!
Do you eat the chicken after it is done or discard
We eat it as do all of my relatives. After all, it is traditionally a peasant dish that comes from a time when nothing was wasted. When we were kids, the broth was a meal served with small pasta or what we call pastina, and the meat and veg were eaten after. Sort of entrée and main meal in a sense.
I know this is old, but my understanding from Katie’s recipe is that she roasts the chicken in the oven, takes the meat of the bone, then takes the empty carcass and makes the broth with it.
I know this is old and even the newest post to it is old but I cook the whole raw chicken in the crock pot (sometimes two whole cut into pieces so they fit) and then take the meat off the bones and use/eat or even freeze, put the bones and skin, all scraps back in the crock pot add water and veg and let that cook on low for 24-48 hrs.
I’m doing this for the first time , with chicken. l got the bones from a butcher shop. When l was ready to put it the pot I noticed a lot of chicken meat on it, so l cooked it in the oven a bit before putting them in the pot of water along with the veggies required. It started off in the pot on the stove but, because l have to sleep and go to work, l put it in crockpot. it’s been a few hours and l just tried a little bit, is it suppose to be greasy?
Is beef better?
Thanks for any info!
I read your post with interest because I was diagnosed with non-Hodgins Lymphoma, specifically Indolent Lymphoma, in my bone marrow in August. I am 78 years old and have been pretty vigilant about eating right for a number of years. I would rather, if possible, not do chemo. I have dogs and rescued cats I care for in my old age and want to continue to do so.
I am researching how to eat even more carefully. Juicing, bone broth, etc. You young people are teaching me so much about nutrition and cooking more healthily. I am very grateful for your wisdom.
I believe in Jesus and have no fears about death, but would like to continue to do the job I have right now. I pray for your husband’s strength and continued recovery.
Saying a prayer for good health for you, Jean.
Yes, a prayer for your good health.
I made my first batch. I bought a crocpot to do it.
It never came to a boil. I waited like 2.5 hours. I had to leave so I put it on low and left. When I got home it was the same, a really low simmer just barely a bubble. Do you think it’s ok?
Thats perfect. I just start it on high and watch it when it starts to boil then put on low I cook mine for up to 72 hours. Get a crock pot that does not shut off after eight hours unless you put in on late at night so you can make sure it dosn’t turn itself off.
what slow cooker do you use that doesn’t shut off? Mine shuts off at 12 hours.
I have an all clad slow cooker and it will go up to 24 hrs.
I also cook mine up to 72 hours, per my ND. I have a super old Crock Pot that doesn’t turn off til you tell it to!
I make mine in a crockpot and I use the cheapy old fashioned one that doesn’t shut off–I think it is 2 Qt. I buy a rotisserie chicken at Costco, pull off the meat, put the bones, skin and pour the juices in the crock pot, cover it with filtered water and cook it on low for 24 hours. The resulting broth is SO good and I use it for chicken soup. The flavor is just SO good. Sometimes I also cook bone in chicken from raw in the crockpot, pull off the meat for enchiladas, cover with water and cook another 24.
I get my marrow bones from US Wellness grass fed beef and have been very happy They arrive in a frozen state. I take what I am using – usually 2-4 lbs of lamb, beef bones – and put in a pot of water on stove. Bring this to a boil – then transfer to crock pot which has been on high for about 30 minutes with about a cup of water.
I then add this to the crock pot after about 30 minutes after it comes to a full boil. As soon as you put it in your crock pot on high it will quickly come to a boil. After it comes to boil, put it on low for 48 hrs. I add carrot, celery, onion (with skins) and then 30 minutes before I am ready to put it into jars or serve I add fresh parsley and garlic (about 4 cloves).
Sounds good, Susan! I just received some big bison bones from US Wellness Meats & am excited to try this with them. Do you turn on your crockpot with nothing in it? Is that ok so it doesn’t damage the pot? Thanks!
She mentioned to add 1 cup of water to the crock pot set on high for 30 minutes 🙂
I have been looking forever for a good 6 qt crockpot that allows me to slow simmer bone broth soup, but they all seem to cook too hot. Is there a good one for this? Thanks!
I had to get my wife used to the “Bags ‘o Bones” in the freezer, I freeze them all. Finally bought 32 and 20 quart dream pots, frankly you can’t cook anything in an 8 quart pot as I have been trying for years.
So the first batch of chicken stock using web recipes and an abundant amount of additional spices rendered a fantastic stock I subsequently used as a Chicken Soup base for wifies cold and to stock up the freezer.
Oh we did buy a bigger freezer, wish it was bigger again to hold the big batches of soups and stocks I now make as well as bone shipments. Frankly if I am going to go through the trouble to make a stock, why not ten or fifteen quarts, almost the same time commitment.
My lovely Lass is now consuming the beef stock daily after her rotator cuff surgery, she’s hooked! The beef stock definitely has a deeper richness and is more satisfying than plain chicken stock.
A few hints regarding stocks: No onion skins! makes it bitter; I am now cooking the beef stock for 72 hours, the first 24 or so with only grass fed beef bones and apple cider vinegar; then the veggies and hard spices go in, and the last 12 or so hours the remainder of spices go in. Do not be afraid to spice it to your liking, cardamom, star anise (a MUST), fennel, pepper, rosemary, thyme all go a long way to kicking up the flavor dial. It will also get some tomato paste and coconut aminos, all depends on your troops taste buds.
Roasting the bones is critical, I use 400 degrees until well cooked, then the carrots and onions get caramelized in the pan with the drippings and finally the pan gets water, is scraped and put in the broth. The broth cooks at about 190 degrees for the three days, the exhaust in the stove hood keeps the house from smelling, which I don’t mind except when trying to sleep. lol
Love the idea of the egg drop beef stock, can’t wait to home and try it!
Anyone on the edge, just go do it! It is easier than you think after you get used to having the stove on for three days.
A little safety advise, keep your stock above 140 degrees at all times it is not in the fridge or freezer, basic food safety, no cooling on the counter overnight, use an ice bath if you want to cool it for the fridge.
Your reply is very informative and thank you for sharing it. I’m just wondering if doesn’t roasting of beef bones and bone marrow destroy it in a way (in nutritional sence)… Also, why simmering for so long? Is it more beneficial or more nutrients destroyed? We cook bone broth (beef soup) for about five hours. But I wid definitely try the 72h version 🙂
Thanks and best regards,
Can you go into detail about how to cool it properly before fridge or freezer? How do you properly do an ice bath with it? Sorry I’m very new to all of this
I just put a load of ice into the sink (after cleaning it) and fill it about a third with cold water. Place the put in the cold bath and let it cool off, stirring from time to time. This drops the temperature quickly so I can bag the broth for the freezer (2 qt ziplock freezer bags), some in ice cube trays to freeze or put some in the fridge.
Jim’s advice is all good, but I’m not sure it’s necessary to go to the bother of an ice bath. Just let it cool a bit on the hob, strain it into another pot or two or three smaller ones, and stick it in the bottom of the fridge. Skim it the next day (reserving the omega 3-rich fat from the top for roast potatoes!) and freeze in food bags. I freeze in pint and half-pint portions. Half-pints are handy for gravies and sauces, and two pints will do soup for three people. I’ve seen some people fussing about plastic bags for freezing here too. It’s rubbish, as long as you’re using plastic made for food storage, you’re fine. The only caveat I’d add about using plastic bags is that I wouldn’t defrost in the microwave. Do it in the fridge overnight. It may not fully defrost but it’ll come out of the bag and then you can heat it from frozen in a pot. Enjoy!
Love broth but curious! can you use venison instead of beef??
I don’t see why not! I bet it would be fabulous!
I am just now starting my first bone broth. I went to the grocery store today and got beef bones. I was nervous about asking for bones…..apparently, I am not the only one locally who is doing this!!
I am diabetic, have high blood pressure and a finicky tummy – I am hoping this broth will give me a real boost in my health.
I use venison bones and it is fabulous! I was looking to see if anyone asked about using the crumbly bones afterward. I give some to my dog, but was wondering if they can be ground up and used for dog food, human consumption or fertilizer?
I contacted my local DNR – Department of Natural Resources – and they said deer can be used for bone broth as long as the animal was healthy and properly processed.
I just made my 2nd batch of beef bone broth, ever. I’m still getting the hang of it. I am not as fancy as you. Love yours. I just don’t have time with a 5 month old. I just reintroduced beef into my diet after going beef free for 20 years. I am drinking bone broth for medicinal purposes to heal my leaky gut syndrome. Wondering if after straining it’s good to drink? After straining with a cheese cloth is it good to go–store and eat???:-)
I know what you mean about not having time with kids! There really is nothing time consuming about making bone broth. Just get in the cupboard to grab spice, clean few veggies, place bones in crock pot, add water, and keep an eye on it until it boils, then drop down the heat. Once you try making your first batch, even if it does not come out perfect, you gain benefits from drinking it.
Personally I had the most awful dry skin on my elbows. Embarrassed for anyone to see them. I drank a batch of this baby up, and my elbows are baby soft now. Imagine what it is going to do to my face. I am personally drinking it to heal my gut up and gain any other benefit.
There are plenty of helpful tips here on this page to guide you into making a better batch if yours did not turn out. I pray you find time to try this awesome healing drink out that will be to an advantage to you and your baby too.
How do you leave a stove on for 24hrs? Isn’t that a bit dangerous; running all night unless
you have someone up to supervise. I would love to make this. Is an 8 hr cooking time as
If you simmer for only 8 hours your making stock NOT bone broth. I use a stainless steel pot and cook it for 36 hours on the stove top. I always make sure it has liquid and I’ve NEVER had an issue. The broth turns out perfect every time. Ultimately if your not comfortable then just simmer your bones for 8 hours.
I make mine in a slow cooker, since that is what it is designed for; long cooking. I too wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving the stove on (semantics I guess)
Same cooking time, I roast in oven for 30-45 min, then transfer to a crockpot that’s been on high, bring to boil then turn to low
I have been making bone broth for about 2 years now. There are times when I will simmer the broth for 12 hours, cool down in an ice bath and then refrigerate until morning. The next day, I bring it back to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer for another 12 hours. It still gels properly and tastes wonderful!
Hi, Can you make it in the oven as well as on the hob? For one I’d be scared of it burning dry overnight, also I’d like to aviod all the steam from this long term boiling.
ps., my first bone broth effort about to begin!
It should be simmering so low that it does not evaporate much at all (It’s an art, trust me). It will still steam in the oven, it just won’t be easily accessible to add water to. Good luck!
I’ve read a lot of the comments for making bone broth. Maybe I’m doing mine too simply. I just add my raw bones (beef or poultry), ACV, filtered water, salt, pepper and veggies or herbs to my crock pot. Set it on high for an hour to get it going good then to low for another 12 to 15 hours. I just peek through the lid to check the liquid level. When strained I get a lovely broth with a nice flavor that gels every time. I’ve been doing it this way 2 to 3 times a month for the past year. I use my broth to cook other veggies or just sip it. Is it really supposed to be as involved as I’m reading here?
Well, to really get those lovely nutrients, you do need to cook chicken bones 24 hour and beef for 48.
I assume we do this by crook pot as you don’t really want to leave this unattended as we sleep
Hi all. I’m having trouble figuring out what kind of simmer we’re talking about here. The first attempt, I burned my bones to the bottom of the pot. Now I’m afraid my simmer is too low, and the bones won’t cook/render completely. It seems silly to ask for a bubble-per-second count here, but I could really use some simmer insight!! Thanks!
I set mine at the lowest possible setting on my stove. There is very little bubbling, but the surface of the broth vibrates a bit, so I know that the temperature is at or near boiling.
Karen S., thank you for your response. This helps me very much! I think my concern is heightened because I read somewhere that when bone broth is made correctly, the bones should be soft at the end. I’ve been simmering my beef bones (rib and marrow bones) for about 36 hours now, and they don’t seem to have softened much at all. I have to push my fork pretty darn hard to even make an indent. Should the bone density/softness be a concern for me?
I don’t own a crockpot, so I cook it on the stove, and it’s only about 12 or 13 hours. So I never get to the point where the bones are very soft. They do soften slightly, and they feel like they’ve dried out a bit. Hopefully, somebody else can give you a better answer.
I use the low setting on my crockpot and it burbles in a few spots. I let it do this for 48 hours. I never lose liquid either – maybe the lid has a good seal. I assume you can go beyond the 48 hours too, if you think the bones need more time. Enjoy!A
Using veggie and fruit pulp from juicing to throw in to the slow cooker 🙂
Is it necessary to use the vinegar and onion? Both seem to bother me raw or cooked!
I made the beef bone stock per recipe in a crockpot and simmered 48 hours. I have strained it and the broth is very very greasy or oily. Is this truly grease or gelatin? It leaves a film in my cup as I drink. I did cook the bones in the oven 30 minutes first. Did I do this correctly? I need help on this because I came down with diverticulitis this week and I want nourishing broth. Please help.
Katie - Wellness Mama
If you want to remove the oil, just put the broth into the fridge. When it cools, this layer will harden at the top and you can simply pick it up and take it off.
Katie, I am about to make the broth for my 18 mo who is not supposed to have vinegar due to his leaky gut. Is vinegar necessary? Also, our oven is on the fritz, is it possible to grill the bones? Finslly, he is allergic to chicken, are there any other feet I could add to get the gelatin effect besides chicken feet? Thank you
Vinegar is not necessary and you can leave it out if you must. Grilling the bones should be fine. As far as other feet go… I am not sure. I have not used anything but chicken feet, but maybe someone else has?
I would not use other types of feet, mostly because they are going to probable be pickled, like pigs feet, and therefore contains vinegar – The other thing is that most other types of feet are hooves, and really it is about the joint, unlike chicken feet, which are tissue.
Knuckle bones on the other hand would be really good – those would be the ankle bones on a hoofed animal, and contain a lot of gelatin and cartilage that would be great in a bone broth!
Fresh (not pickled) pigs feet (AKA trotters) have a huge amount of collagen. My local craft butcher gets whole hogs from local farms and saves me the feet. Make sure that he saws the bones horizontally or into 3 inch pieces to expose the marrow
To extract the gelatin from the bones it has to simmer for at least 6-8 hours but preferably for 24.
hi, maybe you can help – i just tried to make bone broth – cooked the beef bones for 8 hours in a crock pot. tried to get the fat from the top – decided to put in fridge so the fat would rise to the top and be easy to remove , but now i have a casserole full of gelatin. is this bone broth? what do I do with this? do i heat it up and strain it, won’t it turn into gelatin when i refrigerate it again?
any help would be appreciated, thanks, joann
Congratulations! You have your first pot of bone broth. 🙂 It will be gelatin when chilled and liquid when heated up. That gelatin is where the real benefit comes from. You will love the flavor it gives soups and stews and the health benefits are so great.
I’ve never had gelatin in my beef or chicken bone broth. What am I doing wrong?
I’ve used clean bones, but sometimes, not so clean.
@Annie – The bones can have meat on them or be clean. Doesn’t matter. Slow simmer, and you may need to extend the time you’re cooking it for. Did you go for a full 24 hours? When I said 6-8, I’ve gotten good broth but 24-36 hours will give you the full gelatinized brother you’re looking for. Good Luck! 🙂
Freeze bones until you have enough to make a broth.
I recently found a free download on Amazon, downloaded it out of curiosity and now i’m just discovering the broth! OMG, where has it been all these years.
Skin hair and nails hasn’t been like this in over a decade. Let the brothing begin!
P.S. perhaps it’s still free on Kindle; BONE BROTH FOR THE SOUL