Learn how to make homemade bone broth three different ways in this simple tutorial. Healthy and delicious, this bone broth is easy to make and I show you three different ways to suit anyone’s needs.
Homemade bone broth is such a simple but necessary thing to make in a real food, from scratch kitchen. I use it in several meals and for such a good reason. Get into a routine of using up leftover bones (nothing goes to waste!) to make bone broth for soups, casseroles, or even cooking up a pot of rice. Bone broth can be utilized year round.
Bone Broth Benefits
Bone broth has a lot of benefits for our health. Studies have shown that it can aid in the following:
- Reduce Inflammation ultimately boosting the immune system and healing the gut
- Aid in digestion- from a healthier gut!
- It is a source of Essential Amino Acids
- Help with joint issues- Back to the inflammation
- Source of necessary vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus
- Improve the appearance of skin
It has even been studied and reported that bone broth can reverse food intolerances. Check out the GAPS diet.
Is it Worth Making Bone Broth at Home?
In short- YES!
For one, it is so easy. I am already buying whole chickens and beef soup bones when I purchase half of a steer. I already have everything I need on hand and do not have to think about purchasing when I am at the store. It also decreases grocery costs since I am using what I am already buying.
Also, homemade bone broth has added nutrients. Store bought may or may not have the same nutrients as homemade thus less benefits. There are some store bought options that will be similar in nutrients but these are more expensive and harder to come by. Homemade truly is the easiest.
Regular Stock Versus Bone Broth
As stated before, store bought stocks and broths are not really bone broth. They have higher salt contents and less nutrients. They will not offer the benefits (if any benefits) of a true bone broth.
Bone broth, when made correctly, is full of gelatin and collagen as well as many vitamins and nutrients. Store bought is usually made with meat flavoring and salt. No gelatin, no collagen, no vitamins- no benefits.
You can buy some bone broth or bone broth supplements but they are usually more expensive and just another list item to add to the grocery bill.
Which Bone Broth is Healthiest?
In our home, we consume beef and chicken mostly. While one may be higher in nutrients than the other, I am more concerned about the quality of the bones and leave which type we consume up to the type of meal I am making.
I would suggest using only bones from grass fed animals, preferably organic. I try to find this locally but local chicken is harder to come by. I just use the carcass from my store-bought chicken that I am already cooking and I am picky about which I purchase.
How to Use Homemade Bone Broth
We use bone broth in a lot of ways. The easiest and most obvious is in soups. Soup is great for the fall and winter months, but not always so great in the spring and summer. I also use bone broth in casseroles, pot pies and to cook rice and beans. It can replace water in some recipes. Many people even drink it like their morning coffee.
- Homemade bone broth will gel up when it comes to room temperature or is in the fridge. This is normal from the gelatin pulled from the bones. It is also a great sign that your bone broth was properly made!
- Add vegetables in with your bones for added flavor and nutrients. Sometimes I will throw leftover bits of carrots, garlic and onion in. Celery and bell pepper would also work.
- Save bones in the freezer and make one big batch in a day. After a meal with bones, throw it in a freezer safe bowl or bag and save until you have enough.
- Slow Cooker, Dutch oven or stock pot, or Instant Pot
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Vegetables (Optional)
How to Make Homemade Bone Broth
Most of the work is hands off. I do prefer the Instant Pot method because it is much faster and I get a better gel, but any are fine and have been used for years and years.
- Add bones and vegetables to your pot. I would fill it up as much as you can.
- Add a few tablespoons of ACV over the bones.
- Fill the pot with water about 1/2 to 3/4 up the way of the bones. Too much water will keep the broth from gelling the way it needs to.
- Set slow cooker on high and let it go from 12-24 hours.
- Complete steps 1-3 from the slow cooker instructions.
- Bring pot to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 12-24 hours.
- Complete steps 1-3 from the slow cooker instructions. Be sure to not go over the max fill line with bones or water.
- Add seal to lid and close the Instant Pot.
- Set Instant Pot to low pressure for 240 minutes. If yours does not go this long, just do it the max amount of time and repeat.
- Allow to naturally release.
Straining and Storing your Homemade Bone Broth
You will want to strain your broth off of the bones with a regular colander first. After, you will still notice bits and pieces. If there is not much, you may just leave it. If this is weird to you (it was to me at first) you can strain again with a fine mesh strainer and your broth will be clear, just like a regular stock.
When storing my broth, I like to use quart and half gallon jars. Sometimes I freeze the broth so be sure not to fill it too full if you plan to do this as well. We have a smaller family currently so quart works better for our family so I am not thawing too much broth and wasting it. If you have a larger family, I would suggest using half gallon jars.
After you strain your broth, allow it to cool for a bit on the counter and then refrigerate. I always refrigerate before freezing just to be sure it gels properly. Even if it does not, we still eat it because I do not want to waste but it does not have as many benefits.
The next day I usually pull out the broth and pop it in the freezer if I do not plan to use it soon. Usually I am making this for a meal and will use it right away or the next day straight out of the fridge but any leftovers go straight in the freezer!