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What is, and how to make broth...

Oh my goodness, I recently went to a broth making course and I am so pumped I need to share what I learned. I also listened to an outstanding podcast discussing the nutrient density of meat in our diet, beef specifically.

First of all, I've been making broth for about 5 years now and let me tell you... I'm still a student. It can be easy and it can be done! There are simple ways to incorporate broth making into your life, I PROMISE. Also in my experience, if you don't follow all these recommendation your broth will most likely turn out and you are still gaining most benefits of broth! It might not be optimal, but it's still better than not eating broth.

Read why broth is so good for us here.

Second, this will be easiest explaining how to make broth step by step and incorporating my old/new knowledge. So let's go.

Step 1- Bones

Step 2- Pot and cooking

Step 3- Storing broth

Step 4- Discarding bones


Step 1- Get some bones. Oddly enough, in my opinion this is probably the highest stress point of making broth. Allow me explain... There are all sorts of blogs (ha like this one), social media pages, 'granola' friends, traditional moms/grandparents, etc etc telling you what kind of bones to get! How do I get bones, where, what kind... pasture raised, store bought rotisserie chicken, ham, fish, beef, turkey, chicken feet, do I use the meat, etc. It is overwhelming sometimes to the point that some might throw their hands up and say "NEVER MIND." I'd like you to take a deep breath and not do that.

My recommendations for bones- beef, chicken (including feet), ham. These are probably the most common and easiest to find on a regular basis. If you have a few bones from a pot roast, pork chops, chicken drumsticks or anything else that isn't enough to make a batch of broth put them in a labeled container and place in your freezer until ready to use!

  • First choice- local farms, pastured/grass fed preferred. Find a local farmer and ask about their farming practices! Animals deserve to live a life outside in the sun and have access to pasture. Here are some of my favorite local places, this is a few and there are many more I am unfamiliar with! (Not an all inclusive list).

  • Second choice- grassfed/organic store bought.

  • Third choice- conventionally raised, store bought ie) rotisserie chicken (incredibly easy for first time broth makers).

Step 1- Things I learned.

  • Don't use bones that have been deep fried, smoked or grilled for a long time, it is not worth it. There are no nutrients left and therefore defeats the purpose of making broth.

  • Don't use hot or frozen bones, let them cool or thaw overnight.

  • Cook all bones (not chicken feet) prior to use, consider it a primer.


Step 2- What kind of pot and how to cook. May I recommend one of the following to cook in; Instant Pot, crock pot, dutch oven or pot for stovetop.

  • Once bones are cooled from cooking or warmed from frozen, add enough water to cover the bones, add spices and vegetables (if desired). Then add some apple cider vinegar. This amount will vary depending on how many bones you have, I'd say anywhere from 1T to 1/4c. Let this rest for 1 hour.

  • Cooking:

    • Stovetop, crockpot, dutch oven- let simmer on low heat, cover and leave alone for 12-24+ hours. 12 hours for chicken, 24+ hours for beef.

    • Instant Pot- high pressure, 90min, let pressure drop naturally. This method I like to refer as the "set it, and forget it!" I have also used the slow cook method on my Instant Pot for 12+ hours.

  • After cooking, remove solids. Strain or use a ladle.

Step 2- Things I learned.

  • If cooking a whole chicken, ribs, etc and you plan to make broth immediately following... cook it in the same pot that you plan to make the broth in. For example, the instant pot or a dutch oven. That way you are working smarter not harder! Yes to less dishes.

  • Let bones sit in water and ACV for 1 hour before heating. Previously I would add immediately before cooking. Turns out ACV needs time to do it's work! Give it some time.

  • It can be easier to ladle broth through a strainer versus pouring through a strainer.


Step 3- Storing broth. Here is the best part! Your harvest, if you will.

  • Refrigerate. Pour into glass jars or containers and put in the refrigerator to cool. This can last up to 3 or 4 weeks depending on your fridge and if there is a layer of hard fat on the top of your broth. (That's a good sign).

  • Freeze. Once cooled in the refrigerator, you can freeze! I'm not sure the length of time here, I use mine so quickly it never gets a chance to stay in the freezer longer than a month. I'd say 6-12 months depending on how you store it. Vacuum seal bags could be helpful here.

  • Can. This method I am not familiar with, but it can be done! This method does not require refrigeration. Hot broth would go directly into jars to be canned. If you're reading this and know how to do this, please enlighten me!

Step 3- What I learned.

  • You can can broth hot immediately after cooking!


Step 4- Discarding bones. Don't make this too complicated, do what works for you.

  • Throw in garbage.

  • If you have chickens you can give them back to the chickens.

  • If you have a dog, you could ground up bones, and serve as treats or dehydrate and break into pieces as treats.

  • Throw into compost.


I hope this has either simplified your thought process or helped your current broth making regime. Please leave a comment or email me with any comments, questions, etc.

Happy Broth Making!

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