How to Make Bone Broth

How to Make Bone Broth

We have soups and stews year round, but they are especially comforting in the cold winter months. I love that they are easy to put together, you can load them up with veg, and they are deliciously cozy. By using bone broth as the base of your soup or stew instead of boxed broth, you can elevate your recipe both in flavour and nutritional value. And, it's really easy to make!

How to Make Bone Broth

The benefits you'll receive from homemade bone broth go beyond the incredible flavour. Not only will you take in valuable minerals and nutrients extracted from the bones, you will also get a nice dose of gelatin which helps keep your skin, hair, and nails healthy and youthful. Not gonna lie, I'm hoping that my daily broth intake will help prevent, or at least delay, those inevitable wrinkles!

The gelatin in the broth is also known to be excellent for healing and nourishing your gut which is amazing because gut health has been found to be very important for overall health. You can tell your broth is full of gelatin when, once chilled, the broth becomes firm and gelatinous. You can pretty much guarantee some good gel action if you add lots of beef knuckle bones to your beef broth and chicken feet to your chicken broth. The first time my broth gelled, I did a little happy dance! And to be honest, I still get a little zip of excitement when I can stick a spoon in the broth and it holds up! But don't worry, that firm jelly-like broth melts away into a rich liquid when heated.

How to Make Bone Broth

Bone broth has been around for a very long time. Back in the day, our great-grandparents wouldn't dare throw out the bones from dinner, instead, cooking them down with water and vegetable scraps to create an amazing soup base with what many today would have tossed in the trash. Next time you roast a chicken or turkey, strip the carcass of all the meat and simmer the bones along with some vegetables and let it transform into beautiful broth. No waste and basically free broth to make the most amazing chicken or turkey soup! Win, win!

Because I make a lot of broth, I purchase bones from the farmers market. I try and get the best bones available, and if possible, you should too. Look for bones from animals that were grass fed or free range, and not exposed to antibiotics or other chemicals. The way the animal was raised will ultimately infuse your broth so you want to start with quality ingredients to create the best broth. In terms of veg, I like to use the same principle and use organic vegetables when possible.

How to Make Bone Broth

There are three main cooking methods for making your own bone broth: on the stove, in a slow cooker, or with a pressure cooker. All three methods are super simple; however, the stove top and slow cooker take about 24 hours to produce a rich and gelatinous broth, whereas the pressure cooker only takes about two hours.

My very first batch of bone broth was made on the stove in a large stockpot, but I quickly switched to a slow cooker because I wasn't comfortable leaving my stove on when I was sleeping or away from the house. Until recently, I was making broth constantly in my slow cooker (about six days a week), but have since switched to the pressure cooker method after I received an Instant Pot for Christmas. The beauty of the Instant Pot is that I can make multiple batches of broth in one day on the weekend and be set for the week!

Bone Broth

Ingredients:

  • quality beef or chicken bones (beef knuckle and/or marrow bones; chicken feet, backs, and/or necks)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 chunk of fresh turmeric
  • 1 strip of kombu or kelp seaweed (optional)
  • filtered water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

Stock Pot and Slow Cooker Method:

  1. Place bones, vegetables, garlic, turmeric, and seaweed in a large stock pot or slow cooker, and add filtered water to cover bones by about an inch.
  2. Add the apple cider vinegar and let sit for 30–60 minutes before turning on the heat.
  3. Turn the stove on to medium/high heat or set the slow cooker "High", and bring water to just before a boil before turning the temperature down as low as possible to hold a low simmer. On the stove, you may want to put the pot on the smallest burner on the lowest setting; in the slow cooker, you may want to simmer the broth on "Keep Warm" if the lowest setting is too hot (like mine was). Please use a kitchen thermometer to ensure the temperature of the broth maintains a safe temperature.
  4. Gently simmer for 18–24 hours.
  5. Once the time is up, use tongs to remove the bones and discard the vegetables. Reserve the bones to repeat a second or third time, if desired.
  6. Strain the broth into a glass storage container and cool slightly before chilling in the fridge.
  7. The fat will rise to the top and can be removed easily once chilled completely.

Pressure Cooker Method (I use the Instant Pot):

  1. Place bones, vegetables, garlic, turmeric, and seaweed in the pressure cooker insert and add filtered water to just cover the bones.
  2. Add the apple cider vinegar and let sit for 30–60 minutes before turning on the heat.
  3. Secure the lid and ensure the steam release valve is turned to "Sealing".
  4. Cook on "Soup" setting for 120 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 30 minutes to reach pressure and then the timer will begin.
  5. Once the time is up, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure, approximately 45 minutes. I don't recommend quick release for broth and soups as the liquid will spit out of the steam release valve, especially if the pot is quite full.
  6. After the pressure has released fully, unlock and lift the lid, using tongs to remove the bones and discard the vegetables. Reserve the bones to repeat a second or third time, if desired.
  7. Strain the broth into a glass storage container and cool slightly before chilling in the fridge.
  8. The fat will rise to the top and can be removed easily once chilled completely.

Blushed Tips:

  • Optional step: roast bones in the oven at 400°C for approximately 30 minutes. Roasting the bones will provide a richer flavour to your broth, but I often skip it to cut down on time.
  • I prefer to use all chicken bones or all beef bones when making a batch of broth.
  • I like a very firm broth so I use a lot of knuckle bones (beef) and feet (chicken).
  • I like to use a large glass batter bowl to store my broth because it comes with a lid and I can easily see how much broth I have. You can also store the broth in mason jars; however, it may be more difficult to remove the fat.
  • To get a very clear broth, my preferred method for straining is through a fine mesh strainer lined with a flour sack towel.
How to Make Bone Broth

I've been making bone broth for about a year and a half now and it's become a staple in our kitchen. It's not only great for soups and stews, but you can also use it to sauté vegetables, cook quinoa or rice, or simply enjoy drinking it from a mug.  

Do you make your own bone broth? What's your favourite way to enjoy it?