bone broth recipe

Bone Broth Recipe for Beginners | Foolproof + Healthy

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We have been making bone broth for years. So, when more stores started selling it, the idea of anyone paying that much for broth baffled us! Making bone broth is so incredibly easy. We have just the bone broth recipe for you.

The health world has been touting bone broth benefits for a while. With all the purported benefits and commercial bottling, you would think making bone broth requires special skills.  

Well, you would be wrong! Once you see how simple our bone broth recipe is, you will never consider buying it again.

You don’t have to be a good or even a mediocre cook for this bone broth recipe. I even hesitate to call my bone broth recipe a “recipe,” since precise measurements aren’t required. However, I know how specific instructions can be comforting the first time around.

If you’re newer to bone broth and want to learn a little more, let me give a brief overview first.

What is Bone Broth? 

Quite simply, bone broth is water that has been simmered with bones (and even connective tissue). Not only do the bones provide flavor, but they are an amazing source of minerals and vitamins. 

Funny tidbit: “Broth” traditionally refers to muscle meat simmered in water, while “stock” refers to bones simmered in water. Thus, “bone broth” should be called “bone stock” in actuality, but the term is too popular to change now.

Bone Broth Benefits

bone broth recipe

Here is a brief overview, but feel free to read a more extensive overview in our article, An Honest Review of Bone Broth Benefits: 4+ Health Claims Reviewed.

Bone broth contains vitamins and minerals such as the following: magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, Vitamins A and K2, glucosamine. Thus, the longer you simmer the water, the more nutrients that can get drawn out from the bones. 

Bone broth is also touted as an excellent source of collagen, which your body uses for skin, nail, and connective tissue health, among other roles. However, it is questionable whether your body actually uses the collagen in bone broth for these purposes. 

The collagen content also produces gelatin, which is why your broth can become a “jello” consistency in the fridge. Gelatin is touted for several health benefits like bone health, hair, and brain functioning.

People even tout bone broth’s ability to heal gut issues, which is now widely prevalent due to the modern diet. 

Thus, as you can see, bone broth is clearly beneficial for your health! You should drink it whenever you can, not just if you’re sick.

Why Make Your Own Bone Broth?

Quality Control

“Broth” that you buy in the store is simmered from meat, not bones. You’d miss out on all of the above health benefits . If you put store-bought broth in the fridge, it usually won’t turn to jello like your homemade bone broth. Thus, you can visually see the difference in collagen content alone!

You can also control the quality of the bones you use. For instance, buying from a trusted butcher or grass-fed source is ideal. Note: using bones from grass-fed animals is better.

Economical

bone broth recipe

Our bone broth recipe is very economical.

Firstly, making your own bone broth is significantly cheaper than buying bone broth, if you were to do the latter.

Plus, you can be resourceful by using bone-in meat. Bone-in meats are usually cheaper than boneless, so you save money buying meat and then can use the bones! We save all sorts of bones from our meals – chicken, beef, ribs, turkey, lamb, etc. Even when hosting dinner parties, we’re not ashamed to ask our guests to save their bones.

You don’t even have to strip the bones clean. Just save them with any meat or cartilage attached. We just through our bones into gallon-sized bags in the freezer, which we constantly reuse. 

We also tend to save vegetable trimmings when cooking (e.g. carrot peels, onion ends, celery tops/bottoms). These also go into the freezer, and then we add these trimmings to our next batch of broth. That way, we don’t even buy veggies specifically to make broth. If we don’t have any trimmings on hand, we’ll just make bone broth without them. 

Different Uses for Bone Broth

Drinking Bone Broth Straight 

bone broth recipe

Whenever we have a supply of bone broth on hand, we drink a cup nightly before bed. Although the idea of drinking broth before bed may not sound appetizing, it’s actually quite soothing as a warm beverage.

As long as you properly salt the broth to your liking, then the flavor is rather pleasant. We usually add little salt to our broth initially, so that we can later add more per our use. 

Don’t worry if your bone broth becomes a jello-like consistency in the fridge. It will liquify when you reheat it.

Use in Recipes

bone broth recipe

We use bone broth in place of stock or broth in any recipe, especially soups. Believe me, 

bone broth can enhance the flavor of soups more than store-bought broth, so don’t be afraid to use it. 

Also, using bone broth in your recipes makes your recipe instantly more nutritious!

I often interchange broth types in recipes without compromising the flavor. For instance, I’ll use beef bone broth in place of chicken broth, or vice-versa. No one has ever complained about my soups tasting too rich. Rather, everyone is always raving at the flavor!

What Do I Need to Make Bone Broth?

All you need to make basic bone broth is water and bones. As mentioned, we’ll add any saved vegetable trimmings, but consider vegetables optional. We tend to add a little fish sauce for “umami,” but this is also optional.

In terms of tools, you need either a stockpot to cook the broth on stovetop, or an Instant Pot. Honestly, if you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, you should get one. It’s usefulness transcends well beyond bone broth!

Your broth extracts the most nutrients when you simmer it for hours. That’s why the Instant Pot is handy. I feel more comfortable leaving the Instant Pot on than leaving a stove running for hours.

In fact, we often let the broth sit in the Instant Pot for hours after it’s done cooking. Just run it through another brief cook (5 minutes) to kill anything that may have flourished during the rest.  

Funny tidbit: many sources add vinegar to purportedly increase nutrient release from the bones. We’ve found no solid support for this practice, so don’t do it. Our broth seems sufficiently rich with adequate collagen content without it.

Tips Before Making Bone Broth

  • To strain most of the grit that usually settles in the broth, use a fine mesh strainer like this one after removing the bigger bones/veggies from the broth and before separating the fat.
  • To skim the fat from the broth, our favorite method is to put the broth in a big bowl in the fridge until the fat solidifies at the top, and to then scrape the fat off. If you don’t want to wait or go this extra step, we found this fat separator works really well when the broth is still hot.
  • We like to store broth in half gallon mason jars in the fridge, which allows us to just pour broth out when needed, versus scooping the broth out of Tupperware.
  • If you don’t use the broth right away, you can freeze it into space-efficient ice cubes. For example, we use these ice trays, which equate to about 1/3 cup per cube if we need an exact amount later.
  • We don’t salt our broth when cooking, aside from adding fish sauce. That way, we preserve the versatility of salting the broth to taste for recipes or drinking.
  • If you’re using really big bones, like ham hocks, then try to crack the bones before or after simmering for a little bit, to maximize nutrient release.
  • If you’re using frozen bones, and the bones are frozen together, let the water run over the bones while filling the pot so that they will become thawed enough for you to separate and fit them better into the pot.
  • Feel free to let the broth sit in the Instant Pot for a while after it’s done cooking. We sometimes even let it sit overnight and then just do a brief cook (5 minutes, manual high) before removing the broth.
  • If we only do one run in the Instant Pot, we will usually do another batch of broth using the same bones afterwards. The broth will be weaker, but the bones still have nutrients and minerals to give away. This also stretches the resourcefulness of the bones further before we dispose of them.
  • Thicker, more gelatinous bones like beef bones will produce thicker broth than chicken bones with less time, so if your chicken bone broth doesn’t gel too much, cook it for longer.

Our Bone Broth Recipe for Beginners

bone broth recipe

Bone Broth Recipe

A bone broth recipe for beginners! Foolproof and and an easy way to reap all of bone broth's health benefits. Instant Pot and stovetop instructions.
Course Soup

Ingredients
  

  • 2.5 lbs bones (more, if you can fit it)
  • 10 cups filtered water (or until pot is full)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
  • vegetable trimmings (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Put the bones into a large stock pot or Instant Pot. Add any vegetables, if using.
  • Next, add the water to the pot. Note: We just fill to the maximum line in our 3-quart Instant Pot. If you want to add fish sauce, add it now.
  • For the Instant Pot: use the manual, high pressure setting for 120 minutes. 
    For stove top: bring the water to a boil and then simmer for at least 8 hours. (If you’re comfortable with it, let it go for up to 12 hours.)
  • For the Instant Pot: you can either do a slow release and remove the broth whenever you get around to it, or if not in a rush, let it go for another run on manual, high pressure for 120 minutes. (See "recipe notes” below.)
    For stove top: Turn off the stove.
  • Remove the bones from the pot and strain the broth to remove any grit. 
  • Skim the fat from the top, if desired.

Notes

  • We linked some helpful equipment in our “Tips before making bone broth” section right above this article.
  • To strain most of the grit that usually settles in the broth, use a fine mesh strainer after removing the bigger bones/veggies from the broth and before separating the fat.
  • To skim the fat from the broth, our favorite method is to put the broth in a big bowl in the fridge until the fat solidifies at the top, and to then scrape the fat off. If you don’t want to wait or go this extra step, a fat separator works really well when the broth is still hot.
  • We like to store broth in half gallon mason jars in the fridge, which allows us to just pour broth out when needed, versus scooping the broth out of Tupperware.
  • If you don’t use the broth right away, you can freeze it into space-efficient ice cubes. For example, we use ice trays that equate to about 1/3 cup per cube if we need an exact amount later.
  • We don’t salt our broth when cooking, aside from adding fish sauce. That way, we preserve the versatility of salting the broth to taste for recipes or drinking.
  • If you’re using really big bones, like ham hocks, then try to crack the bones before or after simmering for a little bit, to maximize nutrient release.
  • If you’re using frozen bones, and the bones are frozen together, let the water run over the bones while filling the pot so that they will become thawed enough for you to separate and fit them better into the pot.
  • Feel free to let the broth sit in the Instant Pot for a while after it’s done cooking. We sometimes even let it sit overnight and then just do a brief cook (5 minutes, manual high) before removing the broth.
  • If we only do one run in the Instant Pot, we will usually do another batch of broth using the same bones afterwards. The broth will be weaker, but the bones still have nutrients and minerals to give away. This also stretches the resourcefulness of the bones further before we dispose of them.
  • Thicker, more gelatinous bones like beef bones will produce thicker broth than chicken bones with less time, so if your chicken bone broth doesn’t gel too much, cook it for longer.
Keyword Healthy

Again, you don’t need to overthink making bone broth. Once you get the hang of it, you don’t even need a bone broth recipe with exact measurements. People made bone broth way before fancy kitchen gadgets and measuring tools existed, so just go for it!

We really appreciate you reading this bone broth recipe article. Please leave a comment below with any questions or tips you have about bone broth!

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