How to Make Highly Nutritious Bone Broth in 24 Hours
Bone broth is one of the most nutritiously dense foods you can consume and it’s easier to make than you think! Making bone broth is a great homestead skill with huge impact. You’re utilizing every part of the chicken, so there’s no waste and you’ll really stretch your family’s dollar! Instead of buying chicken or beef stock for stews or soups you can make your own. Home made bone broth is practically free because all the ingredients are things already in your kitchen. Plus you know exactly what’s going in to your broth. You can have confidence that you’re skipping all the added artificial flavors in commercial broths.
Ingredients for Bone Broth
- 2 lbs of bones (chicken, beef, or pork)
- 1/2 c of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp of kosher salt
- Optional: vegetables
Start by saving bones! Do not mix chicken, beef, or pork bones. They have very distinctive flavors. The best bone broths are made with all chicken or all beef, etc. When I don’t have enough bones I save them in a container in the back of my fridge until I gather enough. That’s usually a few meals of wings, drumsticks or thighs over the course of a week or so.
The bones don’t have to be 100% clean either. The fat, tendons and ligaments will lend a tremendous amount of flavor to your broth. Add the bones to a crock pot with 1 tbsp. of kosher salt.
An optional step is to add some vegetables to your broth. I don’t do this every time. It really depends on what flavor profile I’m going for and what I have on hand. We had grilled fennel for dinner this particular week, rather than composting the stalks I added them to the pot for additional flavor along with some carrots.
For every two lbs of bones I like to use one cup of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is the key to making bone broth. The vinegar makes the bones porous so all the nutrition in the marrow can escape it. If you don’t use vinegar you’re technically making stock, not bone broth.
Maybe if you can remember all the way back to elementary school, every science teacher in America showed students that if you leave a chicken bone in vinegar overnight the next morning you can bend the bone like a rubber band without breaking it. The same thing happens here, however since heat is involved in this process, the bones will break very easily.
After the bones, vegetables (optional), apple cider vinegar and salt are in the crock pot, I fill the rest of it with water. Usually around 6-8 cups. Set it on High for 24 hours. This will cook down quite a bit.
After 24 hours… congratulations, you’ve made bone broth!
This part is my favorite. Put a strainer over large pot and pour the broth out. The goal is to separate all the broth from the bones. You can use it as a base for soup, brown gravy or whatever else you’d like.
If there is at least a 1/4 inch layer of fat on top of your broth you can store it in the refrigerator for about a month. The fat acts as a seal and will prevent air from feeding bacteria that might grow in the broth. You can also freeze it and use it at a later date. My favorite method is canning bone broth so it becomes shelf stable and will last for years.
I strain directly into the jar and pressure can at 11 lbs of pressure for my altitude at 20 mins for quart jars. If you want to learn how to pressure can bone broth for long term storage you can read How to Pressure Can Bone Broth.