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Basic Bone Broth

Basic Bone Broth

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!

Basic Bone Broth Recipe

Makes: 1 gallon Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 6-72 hours Difficulty: Easy

 
T = Tablespoon; t = Teaspoon

Equipment
 
Large stockpot, 6-8 quart slow cooker or Instant Pot
Baking sheet
Chef’s knife and cutting board
Slotted Spoon
Strainer
Large Bowl
Ice 
Ingredients
 

1 gallon filtered water
1 t kosher salt 
½ t ground pepper or whole peppercorns 
1 T vinegar of choice or wine (optional)
2 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
2 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
1 celery stem, coarsely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
1 bunch fresh parsley (optional)
3-5lbs. mixed bones of choice (chicken, beef, bison or pork bones)

Additional Options 

Green onions
Mushrooms
Leeks
Bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, sage 
Ginger or turmeric (1in fresh or 1 tsp powdered)

 

Stovetop Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400F and position rack in middle of oven. 

2. Arrange bones in a single layer on a sheet tray. Roast bones for 15-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

3. Transfer bones to a large stockpot. Add water, salt, pepper, optional vinegar, garlic, ONLY half the vegetables and herbs (Keep the rest in the fridge to add in 24hrs).

4. Bring water to a rapid simmer over high heat. Then turn heat down to lowest possible setting. Skimming foam is an optional step! 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. Add additional water to keep all ingredients covered. Cover with a lid and keep broth at a low simmer for 24 hours. 

5. Then add the other half of the vegetables, herbs and spices. Continue to simmer for 12 to 24 hours more, adding more water to keep ingredients covered. The broth is done when it’s a rich golden-brown, plus the bones are soft and falling apart. 

6. When 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. 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 to about 50F. Transfer to airtight containers or jars. Refrigerate up to one week or freeze up to 3 months. 

 

Slow Cooker Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F and position rack in middle of oven. 

2. Arrange bones in a single layer on a sheet tray. Roast bones for 15-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

3. Transfer bones to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker/Instant Pot. Add water, salt, pepper, optional vinegar, garlic, ONLY half the vegetables and herbs. (Keep the rest in the fridge to add in 24hrs)

4. Turn slow cooker to the HIGH setting and bring to a simmer. If using the Instant Pot press Slow Cook.

5. Skimming foam is an optional step! 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. Add additional water to keep all ingredients covered. 

6. Cover with a lid and keep broth at a low simmer for 24 hours. If using the Instant Pot on Slow Cook, it will only set a timer for 20 hours, so make sure to add those additional 4 hours to that timer.

7. After the first 24 hours, add the other half of the vegetables, herbs and spices. Continue to simmer covered for 12 to 24 hours more, adding more water to keep ingredients covered. The broth is done when it’s a rich golden-brown, plus the bones are soft and falling apart. 

8. When 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.

9. 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 to about 50F. Transfer to airtight containers or jars. Refrigerate up to one week or freeze up to 3 months. 

 

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Instructions 

1. Preheat oven to 400F and position rack in middle of oven. 

2. Arrange bones in a single layer on a sheet tray. Roast bones for 15-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

3. Transfer the bones to the Instant Pot. Add water to max line, along with salt, pepper and optional vinegar. Skimming foam is an optional step but use the sauté function on low to bring to a simmer with the lid off. When broth comes to a simmer, occasionally, skim off any white or gray foam that collects on the surface. Sauté on low for about 15 to 30 minutes or until there is almost no foam to skim off. Add additional water to keep all ingredients covered. 

4. Cover and lock Instant Pot lid. Make sure the pressure valve is closed. *Set to manual, high pressure for 120 minutes. 

5. When 120 minutes is up, allow Instant Pot to release its pressure naturally. Do not adjust the steam valve. This will take about 15 to 30 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 steam valve to release pressure to check on broth right away.

6. Open lid and add garlic, vegetables, herbs and spices. Cover and lock lid. Make sure the pressure valve is closed. *Set to manual, high pressure for 120 minutes if using chicken bones, or set on high pressure for 240 minutes if using beef, bison or pork bones, as they take longer to cook. 

7. When 120 or 240 minutes are up, allow Instant Pot to release its pressure naturally or open steam valve to release pressure. Then remove lid and check bones. The broth is done when it’s a rich golden-brown, plus the bones are soft and falling apart. 

8. When 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.

9. 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 to about 50F. Transfer to airtight containers or jars. Refrigerate up to one week or freeze up to 3 months. 

 

*Please note chicken & beef bones 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 120 minutes. You can either allow the Instant Pot to release its pressure naturally or open 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.