Simple Bone Broth

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I spent a large part of the day listening to and discussing natural health through food and nutrition, and bone broth definitely came up several times! So, it seems fitting to share with you my bone broth recipe.

I’m currently in a sunny, but rather chilly, Santa Clara, California, attending the Weston A. Price Wise Traditions Conference, which is a conference emphasizing traditional nutrition, farming, and cooking.

What is bone broth? It’s really what it sounds like – broth made from bones. It’s something that’s been around in the traditional cooking of many cultures around the globe because it’s nutritious, delicious and helps absorption of nutrients!

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There are quite a lot of different bone broth recipes adding a variety of ingredients to flavor the broth, and Nom Nom Paleo’s recipe (here) is one of my favorites. But I also really just want a simple recipe that I can make over and over again (without going through the hassle of chopping up vegetables).

Bone broth is so full of flavors that even without all the vegetables and spices, you’ll find it most definitely Not Bland! To give the broth different flavors, I also like to add spices to it after cooking it or to use it as the base stock for other soups (see here for an egg drop soup recipe using bone broth).

The main thing you need for bone broth is of course the bones! I got these from my CSA, but you might be able to find them at your local butchers or even at Whole Foods (I saw them selling it one time). I found that beef bones tastes the best (don’t use pork bones – it doesn’t taste good).

Paleo Bone BrothI love making this broth in my crock pot (I use this one), because you can just put it in and forget completely about it (it’s totally fine to overcook it even)! Of course, you can also make this in a large pot with lots of water. So just fill up the crock pot with water and add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (2 tbsp for each gallon of water). The vinegar draws the minerals out of the bones and makes the broth even more nutritious.

Paleo Bone Broth

It goes into the crockpot for around 10 hours on low heat (more is good if you have the time). Let it cool down. Then simply strain it (because who wants to have bits of bone in their broth!) into a large container and refrigerate it.

As you can see the from the photo below, after refrigerating it, the broth will thicken (due to the gelatin in it), and form a sort of jello. Don’t worry, as soon as you heat it up, it’ll be a broth again.

Paleo Bone BrothOh, and let me tell you this is a great tip that I learnt from Nom Nom Paleo. After the broth cools, all the fat (and there will be a lot of it) will congeal and form as a large layer on top of the broth (it’s like ice on top of a pond during the winter). Although the fat is great, it’s just a bit too much for me to drink in! That smooth yellow layer you see in the photo below is the congealed fat.

Paleo Bone Broth Fat

So, once it’s congealed, you simply scoop it out and you’re left with the de-fatted broth. Now you can just take some out whenever you want a bowl of the broth and heat it up in the microwave. I love adding my own spices into it (e.g., turmeric, cumin powder, nutmeg, and salt).

And what do you do with those bones? Why, simply throw them back into the crock pot and fill the pot back up with water (and the vinegar). The bones are good until they fall apart! Here are my bones back in the crock pot for the second round.

Paleo Bone Broth Second Round

5 from 1 reviews
Simple Bone Broth
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add everything to the crockpot.
  2. Cook on low setting in crockpot for 10 hours.
  3. Cool the broth, strain and pour broth into container.
  4. Store in refrigerator.
  5. Scoop out the congealed fat on top of the broth.
  6. Heat broth when needed (with spices, vegetables, etc).

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Comments

  1. Jeanne says

    What purpose does the apple cider vinegar serve? I’ve never seen that in a broth recipe so I’m curious.

    • says

      Hi Erin, I don’t see many people recommending more than 24 hours (usually 24 is the upper limit, although I’ve seen some people do it for around 24 hours). It’s great if you have time to cook the bones for longer as more of the minerals and gelatin will seep out, but I’ve found that the results are pretty good after just 10 hours. I’m not too sure if there is a saturation point (i.e., a point after which no more of the minerals and gelatin can dissolve into the water), but with beef bones, I find the broth pretty rich after 10 hours. Then I like to add a new batch of water and vinegar into the crockpot and re-use the bones for another batch. Hope that helps!

  2. Kate says

    Have you tried (or considered) roasting the bones beforehand? I do that when I make beef stock, and find it adds a great flavor to the final result!

  3. Diane says

    I love your website but I wonder if you have looked into microwaves. You talk about using them but from the research I have done I would NOT recommend their use

  4. says

    Thanks for the level-headed suggestions. As for the gel at the top once refrigerated, I’ve read on several sites that the most nutrition is found in this gel. I’ve, also, read recommendations to remove it–and some say to only eat the gel. . . . Sounds like you’re suggesting eating it if you want, and if it’s too fatty tasting just remove (and throw away?) excess? The whole gel versus broth and what to do with it from a health stand-point confuses me. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kris – once refrigerated, the bone broth will separate into a gel (sort of jello-like substance) at the bottom and a layer of fat on top. The fat is healthy of course, but there’s a lot of nutrition in the gel/jello part. Hope that makes it a bit clearer?

    • David says

      This fat layer that sires to the top is very similar to what the Brits call ‘dripping’. When i was young my sisters and I would have a slice of bread with the dripping and a sprinkle of salt spread on it. Absolutely delicious. i can’t have this anymore because I am now Paleo and totally Wheat free. I now make my own bone broth and drink a whole cup of it including the fat every day. since starting this practice I no longer have achy hips or knees which at 71 years old is a nice thing to have go away. my advice. Get into bone broth.

  5. says

    I disagree that pork bones don’t taste good in broth… I find that as long as you are using good pork, and you roast the bones well first to caremelize them it tastes pretty good. I have also used the bones from ham to make ham-bone broth. I do make beef bone broth quite often, but I also use chicken carcases to make bone broth as well. And of course I used the turkey carcass from last weekends Thanksgiving turkey….

  6. Christine Piechura says

    Hi Louise, I love your blog and have a question about the fat in the broth that you remove. I was just diagnosed with colon cancer and start chemo and radiation this coming Monday, I feel like I will need the calories to keep my weigh up, can I keep the fat in or should I remove it to be healthier?

    • says

      You can definitely keep the fat it – it was just a bit too fatty for me, but I often drink the broth fresh (prior to removing the fat), and it tastes great. Good luck with chemo – all the best :)

  7. Meridee says

    How long does the bone broth last in the refrigerator? I froze some in a jar, thawed it, but I don’t know how long to keep it. Thanks

    • says

      Hi Meridee – I’m afraid I don’t the answer. I would probably drink the broth quickly (probably within a day or two).

  8. Judith says

    After being healthy for 68 years, I was diagnosed with lymphoma. It was a aggressive and so was the chemo. I lost 50 pounds in several weeks. When I was discharged from the hospital, I was fortunate to have a home health care nurse who made bone broth for me. I could not believe how only after a few days on this broth, I felt so much better. I could feel the power of the “brew” giving me strength as I drank it. It was absolutely amazing. I am a believer! I also give my dog one of the bones!
    Thank you for the quality of your site.

    • Lori says

      I hope it was an uncooked bone. Cooked bones are not recommended for dogs as they may splinter and break. My friend made that mistake years ago and lost her chocolate lab after giving her a cooked ham bone. I was recently looking into the raw diet for dogs where they’re even eating chicken, bones and all. Very interesting.

  9. yulia says

    My toddler actually loves bone broth “jelly”. He calls it “ice” and finds it very exciting to eat. When he doesn’t feel like drinking broth, I offer some “ice” to him, and always loves it. We are Russian, and in Russia bone broth “jelly” is a traditional and much loved food. People usually cook it with some carrot slices and sometimes add gelatin to make it thicker. You slice it up and eat it with some horse radish or mustard. Yum!

    • Teresa says

      Yulia – thanks for the recommendation! I’ll try this with my son – he has a hard time with the texture of many meats (no molars yet), so this will be a great way to introduce a bit more nutrition into his diet. Thanks again!

  10. Harry says

    I use a pressure cooker to make my bone broth. Same ingredients as Louise’ except using balsamic vinegar or pickling vinegar or lemon juice. If it is beef joint and soup bones – 1 hour of high pressure cooking. Same with pig bones. 30-35 minutes for chicken, turkey, duck or goose carcasses. For extra gelatin I add one pig trotter to either beef or pig bone recipe. For chicken or other poultry I use 8-10 chicken feet. When done and filtered through a mesh strainer, I store the result in clean, sanitized mason jars, and once cooled sufficently, transferred to the fridge. The gelatinized broth lasts 3 to 5 days for me. I have yet to have any broth go bad on me. Just finishing a new batch as I type this. The pressure cooker I use is the Instant Pot Duo 60.

  11. lynn says

    Hi! If you use a whole chicken to make this broth, can you then use the meat to create another dish and eat that as well? Or does it just cook away and there is no meat left? Thanks!! Lynn

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