If you’ve heard about the incredible healing powers of bone broth, it’s no surprise that you probably want to learn how to make bone broth at home. Not only is it absolutely delicious, but it’s also highly beneficial to health. In fact, it’s become a staple in many diets, especially those of the keto and Paleo variety. What are the benefits of bone broth? Some top bone broth benefits include improvements in joint and digestive health (such as leaky gut), a reduction in inflammation, and a better night’s sleep, just to name a few.
While you can easily buy bone broth or stock at grocery stores these days, making homemade bone broth trumps store-bought any day. Bone broth is not the same as stock, just so you know. What is the difference between bone broth and stock? True bone broth requires a much longer cooking time than stock. This additional time allows for much more of the bone’s nutrients to permeate the delicious broth.
How to Make Bone Broth and Bone Broth Recipe Basics
There are a few important basics to consider when making a good bone broth. Nutrition researcher Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation says that for a quality bone broth recipe, it’s important to use body parts that aren’t commonly found in the meat department of your grocery store. That includes things like chicken feet and neck. What kind of bones are best for bone broth? Make sure to buy animal bones and parts that you know are organic, grass-fed, and free of antibiotics and hormones in order to truly optimize bone broth benefits.
You can make bone broth with animal components alone, but studies show that the combination of animal products and vegetables seems to have synergistic effects, working together to be more beneficial than either alone. For the classic bone broth recipe, Fallon describes the essentials as bones, fat, meat, vegetables and water.
Like to make a weekly roast chicken? Don’t throw away that carcass — it’s the perfect start to a batch of bone broth. Add in whole vegetables, such as carrots, celery, onions and garlic, and/or use the scraps of these vegetables, including onion skin, carrot tops, etc. These odds and ends that you wouldn’t normally put in other recipes make very nutrient-rich and flavor-enhancing additions to your broth. And since you’ll ultimately strain the stock before storing/serving it, there’s no worries about ending up with onion skin in your final product.
Next, add in water, sea salt, peppercorns and a little apple cider vinegar. Another popular addition is bay leaf. You can also add in any other additional herbs and spices that you enjoy.
If you’re making beef broth or lamb broth, you should brown any of the leftover meat or organ meat before putting it into a stockpot. Beef bones don’t need to be cooked beforehand. Fish and poultry (chicken or turkey) are fine to put in a pot without browning first. Don’t forget to add a bit of apple cider vinegar to your pot to help draw the minerals from the bones.
Bone Broth Recipe Directions
Looking to make broth on your own? Here are the basics on how to make your own bone broth using either chicken or beef bones based on your preference:
- Place bones into a large stockpot or slow cooker and cover with water.
- Add apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps pull out important nutrients from the bones.
- You can also add in sea salt, peppercorns, vegetables — such as onions, garlic, carrots and celery — and herbs like parsley and thyme for added nutrient value.
- Fill stockpot or slow cooker with filtered water. Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
- Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove any scum as it arises.
- Cook slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours. A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bone.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Discard solids and strain remainder in a bowl through a colander.
- Let stock cool to room temperature, cover and chill.
If you use red meat bones, like beef or lamb, many people like to roast the bones beforehand at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes to enhance the flavor of the broth. How to make bone marrow broth is exactly the same. Bone marrow broth just means that you use animal bones and parts that contain marrow, which is ideally what you want for any good bone broth.
For more details, check out my recipes on how to make Chicken Bone Broth and how to make Beef Bone Broth. Either one is a great bone broth recipe for leaky gut. If you’re wondering how to make bone broth keto or you’re looking for a bone broth recipe that’s Paleo-friendly, both of these recipes are acceptable for both diet plans.
If you want to know where to buy bone broth, it’s not hard to find it in grocery stores or online, but homemade is really the way to go if you have the time.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Bone Broth
How to make homemade bone broth isn’t hard so don’t think you need to be an expert in the kitchen to make bone broth recipes. However, there are some common pitfalls you want to watch out for as you learn how to make a bone broth. These tips can also help you to learn how to make bone broth taste better too!
Too much foam: Sometimes foam can be a sign of impurities that are releasing from the bones as they cook. This foam should be skimmed off as the broth cooks. Many people find that when they use organic, grass-fed bones, there is little to no foam.
Rushing the process: As mentioned earlier, a long cooking time is key to a bone broth’s nutritional power as well as its flavor profile so don’t try to rush the process and cut down on the very important lengthy cooking time.
A cloudy broth: Your broth is still perfectly fine if it’s a bit milky or cloudy, but you likely cooked it at too high of a temperature.
Using the wrong pot: With all those big bones and additional ingredients, make sure to opt for one of your larger stockpot. Typically, you add enough water to cover everything but not so much that you have floating bones. If you use too much water, you’ll end up with a weaker-flavored broth.
No gel: If you’ve made bone broth before, you know that it’s normal for the broth to gel as it cools. This isn’t a bad thing because that gel is super high in beneficial gelatin. Your batch of broth can still be tasty and nutritious with less gelatin, but to ensure a higher gelatin content in your bone broth, make sure to opt for bones that have connective tissues.
Selecting poor-quality ingredients: The best bones come from animals raised organically and grass-fed. These bones are free from antibiotics, hormones and other questionable ingredients that are not health-promoting. Plus, grass-fed animal products are known for their richer nutrient density.
Bone Broth Recipes
While there are the straightforward recipes for bone broth, there are also a good amount of variations on this classic recipe using different ingredients and/or different cooking devices, including:
- How to make bone broth in a crock pot
- How to make bone broth in a instant pot
- How to make bone broth in a pressure cooker
- How to make turkey bone broth
How to Store and Use Bone Broth
You should use your homemade bone broth within a week, or you can freeze up to three months.
Bone broth is delicious on its own, but it can also be added to soups, stews, as well as meat, fish and vegetable dishes. You can also use the broth in place of water to prepare rice, include it mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower… the options are quite endless!
If you’re wondering, when should I drink bone broth? Any time of day is a great time to benefit from this nutritious and delicious elixir.
Make sure to strain your bone broth carefully to ensure there are no bones left behind. Also, allow the broth to cool before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer.
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