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3 Ways to Make Bone Broth (Stovetop, Slow Cooker, Instant Pot)

3 Ways to Make Bone Broth (Stovetop, Slow Cooker, Instant Pot)

3 Ways to Make Bone Broth (Stovetop, Slow Cooker, Instant Pot)

Bone broth is made from animal parts including bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments. The broth is slowly simmered over several days, normally with veggies, an acid (optional), fresh herbs and additional animal parts, which allows all the ingredients to release their stored nutrients in forms the body can easily absorb.

Poultry bones should simmer for at least 8 hours or 12 hours for beef bones; less than that will likely not draw substantial amounts of nutrients or gelatin out. However, to get the maximum health benefits poultry bones can cook for 24 to 48 hours, while beef bones can cook 48 to 72 hours or until bones are soft. A good rule to follow – the larger the bones, the longer you’ll want to cook them! The longer it cooks, the better it tastes and the more nutritious it becomes. Depending on your cooking appliance, times will vary with specific bones but they're done when the bones are soft and brittle. There are many ways to make bone broth but it's all about experimenting and finding what works for your recipe!

If you have any questions we created Bone Broth FAQ page with some helpful tips we have learned along the way!

3 Ways to Make Bone Broth (Basic Recipe)

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2-72 hours
Makes: 2-4 quarts
*Please note poultry & ruminant animal bones (beef, bison, yak) have different cook times!

Basic Bone Broth
2-5 lbs mixed bones (beef, bison, chicken, pork) *If pressure cooking about 2-3 lbs of bones
½ -1 gallon filtered water (depending on cooking vessel)
1 tbsp vinegar of choice (optional)

Vegetable Add-ins (optional but we always add some in)
1 medium onion, peels and all
2 carrots
1 celery stem
2-3 garlic peels

Flavor Additions
Green onions
Parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage
Mushrooms
Leeks
Bay leaves
Ginger
Turmeric

Stovetop Instructions 

  1.  Preheat the oven to 425 F and position the rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Arrange defrosted bones in a single layer on a sheet tray. Roast bones for 15-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Transfer bones to a large stockpot. Add water and optional vinegar. Make sure there is enough water that all bones are fully submerged.
  4. Bring water to a rapid simmer over high heat (do not boil). Then turn the heat down to low. Keep the lid off in the first hour to check occasionally, skimming off any white or gray foam that collects on the surface or until there is almost no foam to skim off. Skimming the foam is an optional step! Add additional water to keep all the bones fully submerged. Cover with a lid and keep broth at a low simmer for 24 hours. Make sure to give the broth a good stir several times throughout the day.
  5. Add in the vegetables and additional add-ins in the last 12 to 24 hours. Adding the vegetables later in the cooking process helps to pull the flavor and nutrients without giving the broth that bitter taste. Depending on the type of bones continue to simmer covered up to 48 hours, adding more water to keep the bones covered and stirring occasionally. The broth is done when it’s a rich golden-brown, plus the bones are soft and brittle.
  6. When the bone broth is finished, strain and cool as quickly as possible. Start by setting a strainer over a large pot or bowl. Carefully strain and discard bits of bones and vegetables.
  7. Transfer broth into airtight containers or jars and let cool on the counter for a couple hours. To quickly cool, prepare an ice bath by filling the sink or large basin with cold water and ice. Set pot inside the ice bath, stirring regularly until cooled. Then transfer into smaller containers.
  8. Store bone broth up to one week in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker & Instant Pot "Slow Cook" Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and position the rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Arrange defrosted bones in a single layer on a sheet tray. Roast bones for 15-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Transfer bones to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker or Instant Pot. Add water and optional vinegar. Make sure there is enough water that all bones are fully submerged.
  4. Turn the slow cooker to the low setting. If using the Instant Pot press the "slow cook" function and close the pressure. Cover with a lid and keep broth at a low simmer for 24 hours. If using the Instant Pot on the "slow cook" function, it will only set a timer for 20 hours, so make sure to add those additional 4 hours to that timer. Give the broth a good stir several times throughout the day.
  5. Add in the vegetables and additional add-ins in the last 12 to 24 hours of cooking. Adding the vegetables later in the cooking process helps to pull the flavor and nutrients without giving the broth that bitter taste. Depending on the type of bones continue to simmer covered up to 48 hours, adding more water to keep the bones covered and stirring occasionally. The broth is done when it’s a rich golden-brown, plus the bones are soft and brittle.
  6. When the bone broth is finished, strain and cool as quickly as possible. Start by setting a strainer over a large pot or bowl. Carefully strain and discard bits of bones and vegetables.
  7. Transfer broth into airtight containers or jars and let cool on the counter for a couple hours. To quickly cool, prepare an ice bath by filling the sink or large basin with cold water and ice. Set pot inside the ice bath, stirring regularly until cooled. Then transfer into smaller containers.
  8. Store bone broth up to one week in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months.

Pressure Cooker "Instant Pot" Instructions 

  1.  Preheat the oven to 425 F and position the rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Arrange defrosted bones in a single layer on a sheet tray. Roast bones for 15-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Transfer bones to a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot. Add water to the max line (about 8 cups or so depending on the vessel), optional vinegar and vegetables. Make sure there is enough water that all bones are fully submerged. Use about 2 to 3 pounds of bones while pressure cooking. Don’t over crowd!
  4. Cover and lock Instant Pot lid. Make sure the pressure valve is closed. *Set to manual, high pressure for 120 minutes if using poultry bones or set on high pressure for 240 minutes if using beef, bison or yak bones, as they take longer to cook.
  5. When 120 or 240 minutes are up, allow Instant Pot to release its pressure naturally. Do not adjust the steam valve. This will take about 30 to 45 minutes. Natural release helps prevent spurting of hot liquids from the valve; however, it gives the broth a longer cook time, which means more health benefits! If short on time, open the steam valve to release pressure to check on broth right away.
  6. Remove the lid and check on the bones. The broth is done when it’s a rich golden-brown, plus the bones are soft and falling apart. *However, if this has not happened, place the lid back on the pressure cooker and cook on high for another 60 to120 minutes.
  7. When the bone broth is finished, strain and cool as quickly as possible. Start by setting a strainer over a large pot or bowl. Carefully strain and discard bits of bones and vegetables.
  8. Transfer broth into airtight containers or jars and let cool on the counter for a couple hours. To quickly cool, prepare an ice bath by filling the sink or large basin with cold water and ice. Set pot inside the ice bath, stirring regularly until cooled. Then transfer into smaller containers.
  9. Store bone broth up to one week in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months.

Pressure Cooker Time Tips

 *Please note poultry & ruminant animal bones (beef, bison, yak) have different cook times!

*Chicken bones do cook in a shorter amount of time with any method, while beef, bison, yak or pork bones will increase the cook time by about 2 hours in the pressure cooker, plus the optional natural release. This time will vary depending on bones of choice. Always check bones between pressure cook times. You will know when the broth is done when the bones are falling apart and brittle. However, if this has not happened, place the lid back on the pressure cooker and cook on high for another 60 to 120 minutes. You can either allow the Instant Pot to release its pressure naturally or open the steam valve to release pressure to check on broth right away. This recipe gives the basics but it's about experimenting and finding what works for your recipe!

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