Bone broth is delicious, rich in nutrients and a versatile staple to have on hand. Learn how to make homemade bone broth using 3 different cooking methods: Instant Pot (pressure cooker), slow cooker and the stovetop.
- 2–3 lbs or 1-1.5 kg bones (chicken, turkey, beef, pork, lamb, etc.)
- 2–4 cups roughly chopped onions, carrots and celery (or collected scraps)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Optional aromatics: (herbs, peppercorns, etc)
- Cold filtered water, to cover
Roast The Bones
If using raw bones, roast them first. This is important if using meat bones like beef, pork, lamb, etc. It is not necessary with poultry but does add a nice flavour. You can skip this step if you are using saved bones from previously cooked or roasted meat.
- Preheat oven to 400F (or 200C). Toss the bones in a touch of oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes (flipping halfway through) or until golden brown.
Place Everything In Your Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or Pot
- Place the bones, vegetables, bay leaves, apple cider vinegar and any additional aromatics into your Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or stock pot. Fill with water until it just covers the bones.
- Note: If using the Instant Pot, make sure the water stays 1 inch below the Max Fill line (it’s ok if the bones are not fully covered).
Cook The Bone Broth
- Secure the lid and set the steam release valve to the “Sealing” position.
- Press the “Soup” button (or Manual/Pressure Cook button) and set to cook for 120 minutes or 2 hours (high pressure) followed by a natural release.
- Bring pot to a boil over medium-high heat and then immediately reduce heat to low so that it is at a very gentle simmer.
- Cover with a lid left slightly ajar and cook for 12-24 hours for poultry and 24-48 hours for beef and other meats.
- Skim off any scum if it develops while cooking. You may also need to add a little extra water after a few hours if too much has cooked off.
- Set to cook on High for the first hour and then set to Low for the remaining time (same time frame as stovetop method).
Strain + Quick Chill
- Strain the broth by first using tongs to pull out all the large pieces and then pouring the rest through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl, pitcher or pot.
- Cool down the strained broth quickly before storing by using an ice bath. Simply fill a sink or large bowl with ice water and place the bowl or vessel containing the strained bone broth into it. Alternatively, you could also add a few ice cubes directly into the broth. Quick chilling prevents bacteria from growing and your fridge heating up.
- Pour into storage containers and store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.
- Once chilled, the bone broth should be jiggly with a solid layer of fat on top that can be scraped off with a spoon before using. The bone broth will return to liquid once reheated. Season to taste after straining or when using for added flexibility.
- Bones: Use a variety of bones that include some bones with connective tissue (i.e. necks, backs, wings, knuckles, feet, etc.) as well as some meaty bones for a bone broth that has great flavour and is rich in protein and gelatin. Preferably use high quality bones from well-raised animals: grass-fed and pasture-raised. Source them from a local butcher, farmers market, etc. You can also save bones from day-to-day cooking (roast chicken carcasses, bones from roasts, steaks, etc.).
- Additional Aromatics: You can make a basic bone broth or have fun playing with flavours and aromatics. I tend to also add garlic, peppercorns and fresh herbs to my chicken bone broth. Whereas, with beef bone broth I tend to also add mushrooms, tomato paste and a splash of tamari to build a richer flavour. Note: If using the stovetop or slow cooker methods, it is best to wait and add garlic and fresh herbs during the last hour of cooking (if using) or they can be a little overpowering.
- My Preferred Cooking Method: I use my Instant Pot the majority of the time since it is so easy and takes a fraction of the time vs. the other methods.
- Storage Tips: Portion out into various size storage containers for different uses. My favourite storage options are mason jars and silicone molds. Wide mouthed mason jars (like these Ball 16 oz, 24 oz and 32 oz ones) with plastic storage caps are great for storing larger quantities that will be used in soups or stews. Silicone molds like muffin trays, baby food freezer storage containers and Souper Cubes are all great for freezing smaller portions to be used in a variety of recipes (freeze on a baking sheet, pop out your frozen “broth pucks” and store in a freezer bag).
- Freezing In Glass Mason Jars: Prevent cracks with these 2 tips: 1) Leave Space: Leave at least 1 inch of space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion. If the jar curves at the top, keep liquid below the curvature. 2) Never Place A Hot Jar In The Freezer: Make sure jars are completely cool first. I like to first cool them down in the fridge overnight before transferring to the freezer.
- Broth Didn’t Gel: Don’t worry if your broth doesn’t gel up after chilling in the fridge. It just means it isn’t super high in gelatin but is still delicious and nutritious. This could be due to adding too much water or not using enough collagen rich bones. Next time, try adding in a few more bones that are full of connective tissue like necks, backs, wings, knuckles, feet, etc. You can also add in some quality gelatin (I like this one) for an added boost.
Keywords: bone broth, how to make bone broth, bone broth recipe