Chicken Bone Broth (Revisited)

March 9, 2012 in Categories: , , , by

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I have been experimenting with the best way to maximize the nutritional content of my chicken bone broth (learn why bone broth is a superfood).  Essentially, the longer you boil the bones, the more they break down, the more calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, proline and glycine you get in the broth.  By 48 hours, the bones are so brittle that you can eat what’s left of them when you strain your broth (which I do and find delightful).  I make this on my stove top, but this would be a great time to break out the crock pot if you have one (I still don’t, but it’s on my wish list).  I like to get my bone broth started first thing in the morning for supper the next night (or the one after that).  Enjoy on its own or use as the base for soups and stews.  Yields approximately 8-10 cups.

Bone Broth-003
Ingredients-Chicken Bone Broth:

  • Giblets and carcasses from 2-3 chickens (I might use the carcasses from two chickens but also bones saved from a night of wings)
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 medium yellow onions, roots cut off and halved
  • 4-5 carrots, washed and cut in half (or about 2 cups of baby carrots)
  • 6-8 celery stalks, washed and cut into thirds
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 gallon cold water (enough to cover the ingredients)

1.    Place chicken giblets and carcasses into a big stock pot.  Add enough water to cover the bones (approximately 1 gallon) and the apple cider vinegar. 
2.    Cover and bring to a boil on top of the stove, then turn down the heat to keep a low simmer for 24-48 hours.  Stir once or twice in the first few hours, and then stir at least a couple of times over the next couple of days.
3.    Add the vegetables, garlic, salt and bay leaves to the pot.  Increase heat to bring back up to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to maintain a simmer.
4.    Cook for 4-8 hours more, stirring every hour or so.  Let simmer with lid off for the last 2-3 hours.
5.    Strain all the ingredients by pouring bone broth from one pot to another through a colander or strainer. 

Comments

I made my first bone broth ever this past weekend. I was so impressed with the color and texture that I told my husband I will likely never buy broth from a store ever again! Wow.

Your posts are always so informative and I really look forward to reading them. Thank you for your time and your gift of sharing them with us! Your recipe looks much like mine, I add a whole head of garlic though (we love tons of garlic in our house!). I love the chicken bone broth so much better than the beef ones I have tried to make. I can’t seem to get a good tasting broth when I am trying to make Beef Bone Broth :~(

We found that you need to cook beef bone broth much longer. Last batch we made, we cooked it for three days in a slow cooker, and it was (and still is as we have it frozen into cubes) amazing! We drink it straight and use it to cook with.

I love to make bone broth but whenever I do, I get really grossed out by all the fat that rises when it cools. Also there is always this nasty grimminess left at the bottom of whatever container I store it in. Does this happen with you? Do you have any good tips for straining it well or removing the fat?

If you strain through a colander first, then strain through a fine mesh strainer, you should get rid of all the grimy bits (yes, it does happen to me). For removing the fat (which I do for chicken stock but not beef stock since I usually have grass-fed beef bones), the easiest way is to freeze it. After frozen, the fat just scrapes off with a spoon. I usually freeze in 4-6 cup portions and then scrape the fat off when I first pull it out of the freezer. But you could freeze, then have a day where you scrape all the frozen fat off, then put them back in the freezer. The other option is to refrigerate, remove very carefully from the fridge and skim the fat off with a spoon (I find this less effective and much more time consuming).

Another method is to put the hot stock in a glass bowl and leave it set for a few minutes. When the fat is separated, use a baster to suck the liquid from the bottom of the bowl and transfer it to another container. When you have transferred all the liquid and the fat remains behind, we pour the good stock into ice trays. That makes them easy to handle and portion!

I use my crock pot for making bone broth quite frequently, it is great to just throw everything in there and leave it for 24 hours. Thanks for the tip about cooking it for longer, will perhaps try 2 days next time.

I make bone broth in the crock pot all the time. It is so easy! I always have the conflict of if I want more gelatin content (12 hours of cooking chicken bones) or more mineral rich broth (24-48 hours). I have bad knees so I rotate about 50% of the time. The dog also likes the over cooked bones that are soft. They are safe for dogs to eat too! Great addition to the raw dog food we feed.

It is not for flavor. It is simple to help break down the bone and get more minerals into the broth. It’s quite dramatic. If I boil bones for 48 hours without ACV, they are still intact bones. With just that tiny amount of vinegar, the bones are so soft they crumble when you pinch them.

Is it ok to use the fat scraped off the top of beef broth if the bones are organic/ grass-fed? I seem to remember reading somewhere (don’t know where) that the fat isn’t healthy after the long heating?? Any thoughts appreciated!

I do. I actually leave it in and drink it with my broth. But I also keep my bones at a gentle simmer rather than a rolling boil. I suppose some of the polyunsaturated fats may oxidize during the cooking process (the saturated fats are very stable), but since the temperature is quite a lot lower than oven cooking temperatures where fats are known to oxidize, I don’t think it’s a huge concern.

I sure hope the beef fat is ok to use! I use a crockpot for my beef bones, with ACV, on low for 30+ hours. After I pour the liquid into a 2-qt glass mixing bowl, I put it in the fridge. Once the fat solidifies on top, it forms a half-inch thick disc, easy to remove. Then I scrape any gelatin from the bottom of the disc, and save in the fridge. I use the fat for roasting vegetables, or sauteing. My husband doesn’t care for the flavor so much, but I enjoy it.

Thanks so much for your quick reply. I’ve tried to drink it with the fat in but didn’t like it. I add coconut oil instead. I make broth in a slow cooker, so it shouldn’t get overly hot. I will try reserving the fat. I have roasted veggies in mind 🙂 I need to increase the fats in my diet and it seemed such a shame to throw it away.

Question. I made chicken bone broth the other day using the recipe from your first post where you throw everything in the pot at once and let simmer (no vinegar in that recipe). I let it go a lot longer than I typically do (about 36 hours) and the broth came out very dark. So dark it looks more like a beef broth. Should I be concerned?

Is apple cider vinegar on the autoimmune diet? I thought I read somewhere that vinegar wouldn’t be good people with AI problems.

Hi! So glad to have found your site. I have recently been trying to convert to a Paleo diet and find your website helpful when it comes to both information and recipes. (I will donate, I promise! I have to wait till after the first of the year – spent way too much on the holiday.) I have a question. What purpose does the apple cider vinegar serve in chicken bone broth soup? I’m assuming it helps extract all the goodies from the bone. And I guess I have two questions. I am going to include the chicken livers in making the broth. Will I get the nutritional benefits of the livers even if I take them out after the 2 days of simmering? Thank you for your help.

The ACV helps to deminieralize the bones. It’s quite dramatic. If you boil bones in regular water for 1-2 days, they are still hard bones at the end. With even just 1-2Tbsp of vinegar in the whole pot of water, the bones will be so brittle and falling apart that you can just eat them. Yes, you will get nutrients out of th eliver, but if it’s in the pot for that long, much of the nutrients will be in the broth rather than the liver (still worth eating them at the end… Another option is to add the livers for the last 3-6 hours).

Wow! Such a fast response. Thank you. I will be back many times. Not sure if you can help on this one – I can’t seem to find a ‘science-based’ site to answer this question: is quinoa considered okay for a Paleo diet? I have found information that says no because of three things: quinoa contains some anti-nutrients that other grains contain, such as phytic acid, lectins, and saponins. Just when you think you’ve found something that might take the place of the grains we crave so much….

Yes, quinoa is very high in saponins. Typically, a paleo diet does not include any grains or pseudo grains whatsoever, but many people use on gluten-containing grains like rice and quinoa for occasional treats, some (healthy) people even up to 2-3 times per week.

I just made a chicken bone broth and it turned out very gelatinous. After I strained it and removed the fat layer, I had a big bowl of jelly! I’m not quite sure what to do with it, so any direction you can provide would be great. Thank you for sharing your expertise, experience and heart with us!

I scooped a couple of tablespoons of my “chicken jello” into my morning berry smoothie in the blender this morning. It improved the texture and the flavor, so it’s nice to know I can sneak it into something like this. I am averse to cooked foods in the morning, so it’s a good thing this worked!

Can the quantities be doubled (or tripled) in a larger pot with the same results? I keep reading how quickly people consume their broth (I have yet to try this), and so I was thinking about trying to make a larger batch. Thank you!

Hi PaleoMom, My daughter and I love your site. thank you for all this wonderful information. I want to try cooking chicken bone broth for 48 hours…I don’t have a crockpot and am not comfortable simmering it on the stovetop when I am not home, would it be okay to cook it for 12 hours, then refrigerate bones and broth until the next day or so when I could simmer it for the remaining time?

Hello, Loving your site. It’s so very helpful, so thank you for that. I’m in the planning stages for going AIP Paleo with considerations of FODMAP’s and SIBO. Just wondering…because I have chosen to eliminate celery, onions and garlic from my diet, will I have issues if I include them in a bone broth recipe like this one? Or would it be best to try and make the broth without the vegies I’m trying to eliminate? Thanks 🙂

It depends on exactly how you react to them, some of the FODMAPS will go into the broth and some won’t. So, it’s way less than if you were eating those foods directly, but it will depend on just how sensitive you are.

So if I’m just starting on this journey and I’m currently not sure how sensitive I am, would you advise to eliminate them? Thanks so much.

No. I always recommend starting with standard paleo first, give it a couple of months and the move to modifications (except in the case of extremely ill people or really obvious sensitivities).

I have intolerances to MANY foods (approx 80 % of what I tested at USBiotek), so I have VERY leaky guts. What do I do? They say to stay away from all food that I react to, but there is little left, mostly fruit. I have tried now for two months to live on smoothies with what is left, but I am always hungry and do not feel satisfied. I must heal my guts, not just avoid things. Was told to take l-glutamin. Is that good? Want to go Paleo (could have all sorts of meat and fish). Should I start standard paleo? I tolerate celery and carrots.

I’ve finally gotten around to making bone broth! Any idea how much you should drink for a good boost to calcium?

Hey!
What are your thoughts on pressure cooking the bones for 12 hours? Does this cut down on the time you have to boil it? Does it affect the fact that you won’t be able to skim off the top of the broth as frequently? Obviously you’d have to open the pressure cooker every couple of hours to add more liquid…just wondering if you’ve tried this.

Actually, pressure cooking for 8-10 hours is now my standard method of making broth. 🙂 I find that as long as it keeps its seal, I don’t need to add more liquid and I just skim at the end.

I am completely new to this. The carcass… Am I to cook the chicken first, take the meat off and just use the bones for the broth or should I be cooking it all together?

Are all bones created equal? One of the farmers at my market sells chicken necks that I sometimes buy just to make bone broth. I assume thats a bonus…should I be roasting them in the oven before I put them in the broth?

What if the chicken you use was fed a diet of soy/corn? In my area it’s impossible to find a non supplemented chicken

It certainly means there’s more omega-6s in their fats, which I always skim off if I’m using conventional chicken), but there’s not evidence for intact soy or corn proteins being in the flesh or bones of the chicken.

Great. Thanks for the info. I always skim the fat off since I knew it wasn’t bad. It is otherwise a pasture raised chicken though.

Hi, for my (Paleo-beleiving) doc I’m supposed to be tracking fat, carbs and protein. I’ve found info for homemade beef bone broth, but not for chicken bone broth. This is from pasture fed chicken and cooked in the crockpot for the best part of two days. Any idea where I might find this info?

I haven’t been able to find that information. I think because the exact nutrients depend greatly on exactly how it’s made. I would just sue beef broth numbers for chicken broth and assume they are at least fairly similar.

Making this right now, so thank you for this recipe. Two quick questions: Is there a reason you don’t cut up the vegetables more thoroughly? My grandmother always told me you get more nutrients and flavor from cutting up the vegetables in smaller chunks. Is this not true? Two: Would it be okay to add a few radishes as well? I am blessed with an overabundance of these, and am a reasonably healthy person. Thanks!

Hi! Just wondering.. i normally make beef broth from grass fed only cows but if I only have an organic chicken carcass is using it for broth ok?

also how much broth do you drink/eat a day? thank you!

(hope you can tell i can’t get enough of your site!! 🙂 – just started the AIP and having a bit of a UC flare but trying to stay positive that I know this is the right path to getting healed)

Hi! Just wondering.. i normally make beef broth from grass fed only cows but if I only have an organic chicken carcass is using it for broth ok?

also how much broth do you drink/eat a day? thank you!

(hope you can tell i can’t get enough of your site!! – just started the AIP and having a bit of a UC flare but trying to stay positive that I know this is the right path to getting healed)

Is there a difference between bone broth and chicken stock? Why not throw in a whole chicken. Debone the chicken and save the meat for other dishes and put the bones back in to simmer longer.

Broth and stock mean the same thing. You could put the whole chicken in there if you want. I find the flavour of the chicken and texture isn’t as good, unless you have stew hens.

When I have a whole chicken (with meat) I will cook it for a couple hours, take it out and take the meat off the bones (save for later) and put the bones back in the pot and continue with stock making. Chicken meat does taste good then. First time I tried leaving the chicken for the whole time and did not like the texture/taste of the meat cooked so long.

Thanks for your website, I love it! When you say you eat the bones, you just pick them up and eat them? Or do you mix them into something? Also, can I use bones that are from a slow cooked chicken– or have most of those nutrients already left given it’s been slow cooking for a while? Thanks in advance for your help!

We make bone broth all of the time, but we make it in a large pressure caner with the frozen bones left over from meals. In 3-5 hours it is done and looks great. We have tried the crock pot method twice, but our crock pot got so hot after 2 days that the handle melted off. It does not get that hot when we cook other things, but I think the amount of liquid just super heats it.

The best broth we have EVER made was actually collard green juice that was left over from blanching collards. We pressure cooked meat with it and then put it in a jar in the fridge. Then we used it to pressure cook meat every week for over a month. It was AMAZING. Chocolate brown, super gelatinous when cooled, with a nice thick creamy layer of fat on top. Then we put some of it in with the bones/organs from a turkey. Pressure cooked it 3 different times (because I needed to leave it unattended) for a total on the stove time of 5 hours. Excellent stuff.

Hi Sarah, thanks for so much great information. I have two questions. Firstly, what pressure do you use when making the bone broth in your pressure cooker? 8-10 hours seems so long, if I do it for 4 the bones are mush and I can squish them between my fingers, even without vinegar, which I have been avoiding due to histamines. I am quite intolerant. Is that the point that is enough? When the bone crumbles? I have only been using chicken carcasses, as they cause less of an amine response for me. The second question is regarding the vinegar. I gathered that it is in there to bond with metals? So therefore any other acid such as lemon juice or citric acid would do? Or is there another reason for vinegar?

Thanks very much,
Sarah

My pressure cooker only has one setting, so I don’t know. But, if the bones are crumbling, yes, that is far enough. Yes, any acid should help demineralize the bones.

Coming from GAPS, they differentiate between broth and bone broth One has a shorter cook time and supposedly less glutamines. This is so confusing because l-glutamines helps heal the gut like you said, but is that the same as the glutamines in the long cook broth? Have you had any issues consuming broth at all?

I was just reading an article on the 20 Something Allergies and Counting blog. She differentiates between bone broth and meat stock saying: “A quick and easy way to remember the difference between bone and meat broth is that bone broth is long-cooking and mineral-rich and meat broth, or stock, cooks faster and is full of gut healing gelatin, chondroitin sulfates, and glucosamine.” (http://www.20somethingallergies.com/healing-food-allergies-baby-step-5-broth/).

She also has a recipe that starts by cooking the whole chicken in a stockpot covered with water, removing the chicken after an hour, removing the meat (for use in soups, salads, etc.), placing the bones back in the stockpot and cooking for another 6 hours (she says ideally it should be 24-26 but finds the flavor changes after 6 hours so she only cooks it for that long because she doesn’t like the taste of the broth when it’s cooked longer). She doesn’t include any spices or veggies so she can use it straight in other recipes and for her pets (which makes sense since some things like garlic and onions can be deadly for dogs and cats if they ingest too much).

I made some stock using her method and found I had a much more gelatinous broth than I ever got from just the carcasses. I also followed her advice to cut open the larger bones to expose the marrow when cooking.

You write about the benefit to the fats of the temperature being lower than oven cooking. Then you write about shifting to pressure cooking, which raises the temp I think. Can you explain how this is ok to do? Thanks so much. Really love everything (EVERYTHING) you write.

I think there’s a couple other distinctions to be made. Broth made from a stewing hen is different than broth made from a roast chicken carcass. I strongly prefer broth made from a roasted carcass, which is browner, and more full-flavored, than the yellower broth from raw chicken. Also, you get crunchy poultry skin from roasting, which I just love. 😉

Broth made from beef, veal, pork or ham bones is always best when the bones have been roasted; it doesn’t taste good at all made from unroasted bones, IMO. You don’t have to buy bones, though I often use beef marrow bones this way as the marrow adds a lot of nutrition. You can also just save bones, from pork chops or whatever, until you have enough to make broth.

I have done in crockpot, stockpot and pressure cooker. Stockpot is best for really big batches, but crockpot requires little attention and pressure cooker gives you a thick, gelatinous stock really fast.

I do turkey broth right in my roasting pan, after pulling the meat off the carcass, putting the roasting pan over 2 burners of my stove. Also helps clean the pan! 😉

Besides using in soups, stews and braises, in winter, there is nothing yummier than a cup of hot chicken broth topped off with some coconut cream and sea salt. Warms you right down to your soul.

When you say “chicken carcasses”… you do mean whole chickens, with meat… correct? Do you throw out the meat after it’s done simmering for two days? I’m assuming you would have to… it would probably be very dry and tasteless… correct?

Do you usually add more water to the pot, or should I just let it simmer? If the water gets low I probably have the heat too high?

It really depends on how rapid a simmer you have and how tight fitting your pot lid… if you notice the level dropping, top up with water. If you have a fairly low simmer and good lid, you probably won’t need to.

Never mind! I asked too soon, the water didn’t get too low. This recipe is amazing, I will be using it annually, thank you!

I have read some controversy about pressure cooking vs slow cooking, and I figured that you as a scientist would be the best person to ask…is it possible that the high heat of pressure cooking could cause damage to the amino acids in the bone broth? or because of the low oxygen do they remain protected similar to the fats? Thank you so much for all your informative posts….I´m addicted to your plantain pancakes…..

Question: I roasted my chicken in the oven first and saved the drippings and scraped the fat off – is it healthy to eat the drippings from the chicken minus the fat? Sure tastes good! And it’s almost pure gelatin. What do you think

One more question: My drippings from roasted chicken were amazingly gelatinous. However, after cooking my broth for two days, then chilling there is no gelatinousness to it (nor was there a layer of fat on top). What did I do wrong? It has a nice brothy flavor, but I was very surprised to not see fat nor gelatin.

I think the reason may be that the longer you cook it, the more the gelatin breaks down. I was never getting any gelatin from my long, crockpot cooked chicken broth. However, when I did a 6 hour cooking on the stove top, I actually got a gelatinized broth. I also have a feeling that if you cook it in a pressure cooker, you’re more likely to get the gelatinous broth everyone talks about because it shortens the cooking time. I posted this link on on earlier comment I made when I was trying to figure out why my broth never seemed to have any gelatin in it: http://www.20somethingallergies.com/healing-food-allergies-baby-step-5-broth/

In that article she cites another one that is the source for her information: http://www.townsendletter.com/FebMarch2005/broth0205.htm

Also, I ran across this bit on About.com (http://homecooking.about.com/od/specificfood/a/gelatintips.htm)

“Firmness varies on the ratio of water to gelatin and temperature. You can successfully melt down (gently using a double-boiler) and re-chill gelatin several times before the mixture loses its thickening ability.”

“Do not bring gelatin mixtures to a full boil or you risk losing its thickening properties.”

In the case of my crockpot broth, it never came to a full boil because it was always set on low. In the case of the gelatin filled broth I started by cooking a whole chicken in a pot of water on the stove top, taking the chicken out after an hour, removing the meat and putting the bones and skin back into the pot to cook for another 6 hours. I also followed Jennifer’s advice and cut open the larger bones to expose the marrow before putting them back in the pot. So, whether it was the shorter time frame or beginning with a whole chicken rather than just the bones, I don’t know which was the “magic” ingredient in getting a gelatinous broth.

I recently got a bunch of chicken necks to try adding to my chicken carcass to use for making broth. I want to try both adding them to a chicken carcass from a roasted chicken and adding it to a pot where I cooked the whole chicken in the water first to see if the type of bones makes a difference (I’ve been trying to get some chicken feet to use but so far haven’t been able to secure any).

Hi,
I have heard it is not good to cook chicken bone broth as long because chicken is higher in polyunsaturated fat that can oxidize when exposed to prolonged heat. Is it OK to boil the carcass for 48 hours? That seems like a long time, Id like to try this recipe but I am a bit hesitant because of that.

If you keep it to a low simmer, it should be fine, but I generally recommend skimming chicken broth anyway since even pasture-raised chickens don’t have great omega-6 to omega-3 ratios. So, once you’ve made it and it’s cooled, just scrape the fat off the top and toss it.

I have a question that I cant find the answer to. This is the first time making bone broth as it is simmering and water is evaporating do I keep adding water ? Or by the time its done simmering for 24-30 hours I wont have any broth.

Thank You. I topped it off , Its done and its delicious but I have another question, has anyone ever broken out in a body rash from this? My son has broken out with a rash and we are trying do the process of elimination of what he has eaten.
I did put alot of spices in it like, cloves,onion,bay leave,parsley,peppercorn,basil leaf,and turmeric.

I absolutely appreciate your site, and I’m anxious for your book. Thank you for all that you do!

I see that we can use a crock pot, and that is my preferred method. It is ok that it doesn’t come to a boil at first? Can I just cook it on low for 24-48 hours, add the veggies and other ingredients, and cook (again it won’t boil) for another 4-8 hours? Or in a crock pot can it all (carcass and veggies) go in at the same time and cook for 24-48 hours?

I only have one carcass, do I just half the ingredient list?

My bone broth always has a very distinct flavor – and it isn’t very pleasant. I’ve tried it with veggies, without veggies, various seasonings, etc. I always do it on the stovetop for at least 24 hours, and sometimes over 48. It is beautifully gelatinous, and I do not separate the fat. But the flavor – it is strong, and I can’t get it past my husband no matter what I put it in. Is this just the way bone broth is??

Do you skim the broth the first 30-60 minutes? Skimming the foam off at the beginning can make a huge difference to the flavor at the end, especially if you’re using raw or meaty bones.

Hi! I’m going to attempt this recipe tomorrow but am going to have to get the bones from a local butcher – can I just use them raw (possibly with some raw meat still left on them) or should I roast them before using them for the broth? Thank you!

You can use them straight, but skim the foamy stuff off the top for the first 30-60 minutes of simmering (you’ll get more with raw meat on the bones and doing this step makes a big difference to the final flavor).

What is the difference between this broth and buying broth from the store? We use Organic Free Range chicken broth. Is it the same thing?

Hi. I love your site. I have a few questions. I have seen at my local grocery store that they sell chicken backs, chicken necks and chicken feet. Would it be ok if I just use a bunch of those to make bone broth? Approximately how much of each should I use? Andonce cooled it should be gelatinous correct?

Absolutely! Just throw some in the pot and add water to cover about 2″ over the top of them. Usually feet give a wonderfully gelatinous broth. You’ll also want to skim the foam off the top for about the first half hour, especially using feet.

Hello,

I’m a little new to making bone broth, but decided to try it when I ended up with the carcass of a grocery store rotisserie chicken I had bought for dinner. I put it in the crockpot on low for 24 hours, with a little ACV, onion, celery and carrots. I strained it in a mesh sieve and put it in the refrigerator. Only an extremely minimal layer of fat was on top and my broth didn’t gel at all. The broth tasted a little oily and sort of bland.

I was wondering if you have any advice?? I’d really like to get some of these nutrients/collagen.

I’m sure you still have nutrients in there. The gelling comes from lots of connective tissue and I usually only get that with chicken broth if I add feet. You’ll still have all of the minerals and some collagen there. As for bland, you could try adding a little sea salt to see if that helps, or simmer it down to concentrate it.

Reading up on your bone broth and its’ benefits. My husband is a renderer so getting an ample supply of bones isn’t a problem! What I am wondering, however, is how much I need to eat/serve to consume enough of it’s benefits per serving.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Someone else asked a similar question recently, Sarah’s answer was: “You can use them straight, but skim the foamy stuff off the top for the first 30-60 minutes of simmering.” — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

That is preferred, but not always possible for everyone. If you use a conventional chicken, it means there’s more omega-6s in the fat, which Sarah recommends skimming off (when using conventional chicken). — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

Yes, but the cooking time may vary depending the specific slow cooker. There are several comments from others discussing their experiences making broth in a slow cooker. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

So appreciate the valuable information on this website – and Sarah’s new book. I’ve purchased three for friends – hoping it will do some good!
Quick question re bone broth – and this question applies to chicken and beef bones.
Re: raw or roasted/precooked bones: are the health benefits increased using roasted bones over raw, or is it just the same either way – (as long as one skims the foam/impurities of raw) – re nutritional value and bodily absorption?

What do you think about using a pressure cooker and how is this different from chicken soup? I usually toss about 3 pounds of chicken quarters (they’re cheap) into the pressure cooker along with the veggies and water. After about 30 minutes of pressure it’s done with the meat completely falling off the bones. I could take the meat out at this point and cook the bones longer but it always turns to jelly in the fridge like this.

It turning to jelly is a sign you’ve made good bone broth. Bone broth has more nutrients from the bones than removing the bones with the meat yields. You can make bone broth in a pressure cooker in 30-60 minutes. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I’m not sure what you mean but I think you’re saying that it’s ok to remove the cooked meat before it turns to mush but to continue to cook the bones longer. Is that correct? 30 to 60 minutes in a pressure cooker sure beats 24 to 48 hours on a low simmer and saves a lot of energy.

I’m confused please help me. I’ve been cooking the chicken bone broth for 48 hours on the stove for the best nutrients are you saying if we have a pressure cooker we can do it that way and get the same healthy benefits from the bones?

Yes, remove the meat when it starts to fall off the bones, but return the bones to the pot and cook until they begin to crumble. This is about 48 hours on the stovetop, or about 1 hour in the pressure cooker. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Just made bone broth with chicken feet for the first time this past weekend. Amazed at how much more incredibly wonderful that was over my regular bone broth!

Do you follow the same steps for beef bone broth? Can you add a ham bone for flavor? How often should you eat this for optimal benefits?

Hi, do you have to keep putting water in, since 24-48 hrs it’s a long time and i guess the water will evaporate? I wonder…..

Ok.I’ve been doing the beef bone broth and just last week I was “up all night”. I mean “up”. The only thing I can think of is the bone broth kept me up because every other food I ate I have eaten many times and no reaction. I think it was the glutamates. I thought that if a food was “natural” it could not harm you. So even though I was “up” could the glutamate harm my brain or is it just like coffee…harmless? Can it actually damage brain cells? Also if I don’t cook the broth as long maybe 3-4 hours that would be better for me?

Others have found that bone broth bothers them, possibly due to the glutamates. You could try reducing the amount you consume, reducing the cooking time, or trying packaged gelatin instead. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

OOPs! I did not do that. I did not add it in until after 48 hrs for the last few hours. Will that do anything? And the water pretty much was gone so I added more is that supposed to happen? I am all new to this. Sorry! Any help you can offer I would appreciate it. Thank you!

The liquid should not evaporate during cooking. The seal on your lid may not have been tight enough. You will not get as many nutrients out of the vegetables if you add them at the end, unless you leave them in and eat them with the broth. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I use my crock pot to cook the bones for days. I see 1″ of evaporation per day which i just top off with more water. Also i don’t add the veggies since they seemed to add a burnt flavor with the long cooking time. I just add veggies to whatever i am using the broth in instead.

I didn’t skim the fat off the top in the first 30-60 minutes….I accidentally mixed the soup before skimming it off, and it never came back up. Is that a big mistake? What’s the effect of not skimming the stuff in that first hour?

The fat will separate when you refrigerate the broth. You can scrape it off then. Taking the fat out yields a less-greasy consistency, and I also recommend removing the fat if the bones you used were not grass-fed/pastured. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

The instructions aren’t that clear as to when you input the vegetables as the last commenter made above, it makes it seem like you add them after the 48 hours and then cook for additional 8 hours? So you basically add everything in at first and cook everything for 48 hours?

Sorry, yes, Sarah does add the vegetables 4-8 hours before the stock is done. She has an older bone broth recipe that places them all in at the beginning, which I was getting this one confused with. My mistake! – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I wouldn’t worry about the veggies. The important ingredients are the bones not the veggies. You get an abundant amount of veggies on this diet. As long as you cook the bones long enough, make the broth the way you like it. Veggies could be added the last 15 – 30 minutes if you want to eat them whole or even cooked for a short time in finished, strained broth. You could even cook them as long as the bones cook so that they become completely liquefied and part of the broth. IMO

Thanks so much! I put everything in all at once and it’s been 24 hours, 1 more day to go. Really looking forward to it.

I have attempted to make bone soup a few times but can not tolerate the smell. I could use some help. For some reason it smells like bad cheese. Is this normal? I don’t know what to do to make it smell better. My whole family makes a big deal about the smell and I end up having to throw it out. I cook it in the crock pot.

Bone broth does have a strong smell, which may become more appetizing when a taste for bone broth is acquired. You could try adding aromatic herbs and/or spices, like cinnamon, to see if that helps make it more palatable. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Crock pots can be really bad about letting off a lot of cooking aromas. I have three slow cookers in three different sizes and none of them have tightly sealing lids. A friend uses hers in her garage and I put mine outside on a covered patio when I was cooking a curry dish. So, if you can’t move the crock pot out of the house, maybe you could switch to a cooking vessel that has a tighter sealing lid.

I have made broth in a large crock pot (7 quarts I think) and the lid does not have a tight seal so I do add water once in the 48 hour cooking time. I added water once I’d seen my original liquid level drop by a couple inches. It dropped again a bit later but I added all my veggies at that point so didn’t need to add more water. I used once carcass, a few drumsticks and skin, and a couple feet (all chicken) and put in as much water as the crock would hold. It gelled like a champ. If your pot or crock has a tight seal and you’re still losing too much liquid maybe that means your cooking temp is too high? I eventually want to switch to a pressure cooker but I do wonder if those newer slow cookers with the lids that lock for traveling have a tighter seal.

What do y’all do with the bones, meat, and skin that you strain out once the broth is done cooking. Toss all of it? Eat some of it? I know we can eat the veggies just wondering if people do anything with the bones and skin other than tossing them.

I plan to grill some pork spare ribs (from grass-fed pigs). Is it a bad idea to make bone broth out of bones that have been on the grill? I can’t bear to throw bones away until I’ve made a batch or two of broth!

That should be fine. Roasting bones prior to making broth tends to improve their flavor, and I think the only concern about grilling is that very high temperatures can produce carcinogenic compounds (only a very small amount, not enough to concern most people for occasional grilling). – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Recently I was informed by my MD that bone broth does not contain all the calcium that the experts (Sally Fallon) have claimed it has. However he did say that it contains minerals collagen etc. that help build bones but said that because I am autoimmune and going through menopause I must supplement calcium and not rely on broth for the calcium. Very disappointed to hear this as this was a major part of my meal plan. I really thought all this information had been researched but now I must question the validity and science behind all the recommendations especially when it comes to preventing bone loss. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.

Ok. Glad you pointed out her list and I will include more fish bones (sardines or salmon) in my diet. Is it safe to eat sardines out of the can daily since they are coming out of aluminum cans? Thanks again for your prompt response.

I roasted my chicken first, picked off the meat, and put the bones with some meat still on them plus the giblets in a crock pot with water and veggies for 48 hours.

My question is should I break the bones to get more marrow in the broth?

Sarah states in her book that “ideally” the bones should be sawed open with the exception of fowl and fish bones. It would be interesting to know how much of a difference this makes. I can’t see it being an easy task unless you have some surgical tools handy 🙂

I just use a large serrated knife (on chicken bones). You only need to cut part way through and then they’ll snap fairly easily. If I’m making beef broth, I just buy the joints which have been cut from the main bones by the butcher.

One more question. Why skim off the fat? Isn’t the fat one of the reasons it’s more nutritious than store bought brands?

Many people can’t stomach the taste or texture of the fat if drinking the broth plain, and if you aren’t using grass-fed bones, it isn’t recommended to eat the fat. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

So let’s say I cook a whole chicken tonight- after I pick the meat off the bones is it ok to freeze the carcass to save for enough bones for making the broth? And also- this may be a dumb question- but do you all worry about leaving your stove on all night? Maybe I’m dumb but that makes me nervous…I do have a slow cooker but I don’t think I can fit a lot in it…

Yes, you can save the bones in the freezer. If you’re worried about the stove, you might consider a larger slow-cooker. Mine is 6 quarts and fits an entire chicken or 3 carcasses. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Just a thought, please do your research on slow cookers . Lately I have, because mine dyed after 20 years. Some Slow cookers are glazed with that pretty glossy shine from china that when heated it can expose lead into your food. Food for thought.

Christina, Thank you for your answers! One more question. Can I add unflavored gelatin from the store (Knox brand, etc) if my broth doesn’t gel?

One more dumb question. Can I pressure cook a whole chicken, then debone it, then make broth from the bones? Or does pressure cooking not have to be done twice because the bones will be too done? Just making sure.

I pressure cook a whole chicken or parts in plain water for about 20 – 30 minutes, debone it and remove the meat. If you pressure cook the meat too long it won’t have a good texture. Then I pressure cook the broth, bones and some veggies and spices for another 30 – 60 minutes. I don’t think you can over cook the bones. I then strain the bones out and if I want a clearer broth I’ll also strain out the veggies that haven’t dissolved. If you want it as a soup leave the veggies in and maybe add some more to cook under pressure for a very short time so they don’t get mushy. I’m going to make broth tomorrow with the frozen bones from about 10 pounds of chicken quarters I roasted last month. I’ll add 2 or 3 fresh drumsticks because I don’t like the taste of broth made just with bones. My broth has never not turned to jelly using fresh chicken so it will be interesting to see if it jells using mostly roasted bones.

I just made beef bone broth, it does have an oily consistency. Is it better to let it cool and skim the fat? Will I be missing out on any of the benefits if I don’t eat the fat?

If you used grass-fed beef, the fat is full of fat-soluble vitamins and can be saved to use for cooking after you skim it off. Otherwise, it’s fine to throw it away. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I’ve made my own broth for months but have never had it gel. My recent batch gelled completely! Do I just reheat it for cooking and soups or is there another use for the gel?

I just made the chicken broth in the crock pot. After straining it through a cheesecloth I do notice a thin and what I would call a waxy layer on top. It’s not foamy. I’m wondering what this is?
I have already put some of the broth into muffin tins to freeze is this okay?

It’s probably the fat, which you can remove if you want to by refrigerating the broth and then scooping the solid fat off the top. Freezing it is fine. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Has anyone canned their broth instead of freezing? Is there a significant loss of nutrients with canning versus freezing? I like to make large batches of broth but this time of year the freezer is just too full!

Does anyone have any idea why my broth is pink? I used one chicken carcass, one liver, and a handful of necks and gizzards. The first batch was a beautifully golden color,. then I added some more water to the pot after straining to make one last batch and its pink! Any ideas?

You may have answered this question already but I am new to bone broth. I just came across a site where they say not to cook the broth but 3 ot 4 hours. Here is the statement: When making bone broths (a good source of some of these non-inflammatory amino acids including glycine), it’s important to simmer for no longer than 3 to 4 hours or you’ll degrade delicate amino acids, while increasing toxic free-radicals.
I need it for healing and want to do this right. Please advise which is correct. Thank you.

Can this be done with a turkey? When making this do the giblets have to be cooked before putting them into the pot? I’m new to this and don’t want to mess it up!!

Relax. It’s hard to mess it up. I think about the only way to do that is to forget to put water in or to put it on and forget about it for a week. I simply throw in any any kind of bones (I just stick to one species at a time, i.e. all chicken, or beef or lamb, etc.). Fill up the crockpot with water and turn it on low. Come back 48 hours later, strain the contents and store it away. I freeze it in 1 and 4 cup amounts. I don’t bother with the veggies because I figure I’m going to be adding veggies to whatever dish I’m making anyway. I”m mostly interested in the minerals and gelatin. If you add things like extra necks or feet (for chicken) or joints (for beef), you’ll see how much more gelatinous the broth will get (noticeable after it’s refrigerated).

What about Nonnas question? I also wonder what happens if you boil the broth, will it destroy nutrients and create MSG? My crock pot keeps 100 C on both high and low setting so it really boils and the broth evaporates and the veggies get dark. It is new and I was really hoping to be able to make bone broth in it 🙁

My research on SIBO and FODMAP points otherwise. My understanding is that if you boil the onions the fermentable sugars from onions will be extracted. If you are trying to avoid bloating and other symptoms corresponding from feeding bacteria you should avoid cooking with onions and garlic. The exception is the green parts (don’t use the white part) of green onions and chives.

I can’t even cook with onions, never mind eat them. Simply cooking with them has the same effect on me as eating them, so I only use the green parts (which still sometimes get to me)

I am also onion/garlic intolerant. I add ginger and tumeric root/lemon grass/black pepper corns/coriander seeds/bay leaf at the start and carrots/coriander roots in the last 3/4hours.

Have had this bookmarked for some time and finally had occasion to make broth. I was saving a carcass from a Whole Foods roasted chicken in the freezer and decided to throw it (frozen) into my small crockpot. I covered it in water and set it for 24 hours on low. After 25 hours, I strained it and put it into glass jars for the moment until I figure out what I’m going to do with it. It was pretty tasteless, actually, since I didn’t use any spices or veggies or anything. The little chicken that was left on the bones came off very easily and I’m using that for something else, but the bones themselves were still hard. Did I not cook it long enough? Do I now take the liquid (which probably won’t be liquid by the time I get a reply) and attempt to make chicken soup with it? If it’s no longer in liquid form, do I just throw it in a pot and heat it up, gel and all, assuming there is any? Any other suggestions for uses since it’s rather unpalatable as-is? Sorry…totally new to this…thank you!

Yes, you can make soup with the liquid and re-heat it once it’s gelled. The bones usually don’t crumble until you’ve cooked them longer, i.e. in a second or third batch. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

So I am new to the fodmap diet 6 weeks new. I followed the directions exactly and what I smelled and what I tasted were two different things. I LOVE chicken broth. Could drink it three times a day strait. But this I literally choked on. Should it taste the same as broth that you buy in the store? I am hoping I did something wrong because the after taste reminded me of the aftertaste I get after vomiting :(. Oh did not include the garlic and onion as they are fodmaps. PLEASE HELP!!

Homemade bone broth tastes a little bit different from canned/boxed chicken broth. The flavor relies heavily on the seasonings/vegetables you add during cooking, so leaving out the garlic and onions definitely made a difference. You might try using other vegetables/herbs instead. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Do you have to strain the bones?

In theory, wouldn’t not straining lead to a healthier broth in that there are still some bone fragments left?

I thought Sarah had suggested a stock pot with an insert to use for bone broth but I can’t find the post. Can someone point me to the item?

I’m guessing that it isn’t a good idea to make bone broth from bones of animals that aren’t organically grown? Also, have you ever made venison bone broth?

I’ve made tons of broth, from whole chickens and beef bones (organic / wild). From the chicken my stomache does not get very happy 🙁 I let it simmer for 24 hours, remove the chicken, peal off the meat, add vegetables & herbs, and cook it for half an hour. Maybe it is too strong?

I’ve heard some suggestions to leave it only for 6 hours to reduce stomache problems. I’ve a fodmap-intolerance, I don’t know if that has to do anything with it?

Chicken broth is not a FODMAP unless you add FODMAP vegetables to it, but many people do report digestive issues from broth. If chicken bothers you but beef doesn’t, it may be the fat content or a sensitivity to chicken. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

It may be a histamine issue. Bone broths are notorious to cause problems to individuals with histamine intolerance. What about using a pressure cooker? The cooking times will be reduced. I always wondered if this is a good option. Does anyone know if this method reduces histamine?.

I think you are onto something Denis – I just restarted Paleo with very slow simmered 24-48 hr bone broths for the first time (in a slow cooker) and the first few times having it, just a gurgling stomach and thought it would pass, but the last time, within 5 minutes of eating it literally – itching all over, brain fog, and awful feeling for about 6 hours, flare of psoriasis. Then I knew there was a problem. Discovered it’s very likely a histamine reaction – and I don’t consider myself histamine intolerant (never a problem with other high histamine foods that I am aware of). I was trying to eat bone broth 2x per day, I may just have maxed out my histamine tolerance/capacity with this. I have the same question – bone broths less often, reduced cooking time, chicken vs beef? I will have to experiment.

I have just been diagnosed with SIBO. I also know I have issues with methylation. Recommendation from my ND doctor is to follow the step 1 of the introductory GAPS diet. She recommends that bone broths should be cooked in a pressure cooker for a couple of hours to reduce histamine and freeze in batches. Bone broths should not sit in your fridge for longer than 2 days.
I hope this helps. The bone broths will be less gelatinous but will still have healing benefits.

I can’t tell you about histamine but I pressure cook bone broth for about an hour and it’s very gelatinous. After Thanksgiving I pressure cooked the roasted turkey carcass for an hour and got very gelatinous broth. I don’t know what the bones weighed but the turkey was a 13 pounder. The amount of water I added was 2 quarts. I saved the bones and cooked them again in 2 more quarts of water for an hour and it was still gelatinous but not as thick. I decided not to try for 3 times. After removing bones right away and most of the fat after it sits in the refrigerator I put it back in the cooker and add some carrots, celery, onions, dry oregano and a tsp or so of turmeric powder and cook it again at high pressure for only 10 – 15 minutes to soften up the vegetables. The vegies and spices really improve the flavor. They can be removed or left in whole or blended in. Oh, and don’t forget to add some apple cider vinegar when cooking the bones. I also add fish sauce at the beginning stage for the flavor as advised here. http://nomnompaleo.com/post/16004110328/quick-pressure-cooker-bone-broth

Using a Thanksgiving turkey carcass for this recipe which produced a lot of broth. Do I remove the fat from the broth before adding to the Bone Broth Recipe or leave it in?

I followed the recipe in your cookbook for chicken broth and let it simmer for 5 days like you suggested. My broth turned bitter tasting. Any ideas why this happened? I’ll still eat it, but doubt the rest of the family will go for it 🙁

Eh, 5 days? Yes, it will taste bitter, especially if you have veggies in there. Read the recipe again. She doesn’t list 5 days of cooking. Max is 24-48 *hours*. That’s 2-3 days. Again, veggies shouldn’t cook in the slow cooker that long. She adds them for just the last 4-6 hours.

48 hours is 2 full days. At the most. And with chicken you remove the meat from the bones after the first two hours, then keep boiling the bones.

I am gluten and nightshade free. I recently bought Rachael Ray’s all natural chicken stock – gluten free. It’s supposed to be natural and after reading the ingredients, I thought it was nightshade free..but now second guessing myself due to some I’ll feelings. Do you know if it is nightshade free or maybe it was something else I ate. I was really hoping it was nightshade free bc it’s a little too time consuming to make my own stock.it had chicken stock, sea salt, natural chicken flavor, yeast extract, chicken day, garlic powder, vegetable stock (carrot, celery, onion), bay, thyme, marjoram,carrot powder.

My wife is gluten and nightshade free and has discovered she has problems with garlic powder. Garlic is fine but something about garlic powder gets her every time.

I made this and it seems so greasy to drink.. Is all that supposed to be good for me too?? I am afraid it will give me an upset stomach.. Gonna have a cup of Peppermint tea now as I drank a cup of it and my stomach is a tiny bit queasy..

I find that if you add a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt before drinking that it is much more tolerable. My husband, kids and I all enjoy it this way.

[…] of the stuff, hot, every morning before breakfast and generally brew 2-3 batches a week.  I use this recipe, roughly, for beef, chicken, upland game and antelope bone […]

I know that it is important to purchase grass fed beef and poultry that has not been given hormones so our family pays extra for those meats. I buy a quarter of beef every 6 months, but there is not enough bones to make beef broth for 6 months. My question is, is it okay to purchase bones from the regular grocery store where the beef is grain fed, but the bones are more readily available and less expensive? Let me know, thanks.

Do you know roughly what the nutrition facts of the recipe in the book are? Regarding fats, carbs, and protein.

I’m wondering if breaking up the simmering time will work for bone broth? For example, a chunk of hours one day, then refrigerate and continue cooking the next day. This may be the only way I can get the simmering time past 8 hours.

I save chicken and turkey carcasses after they have been roasted. I also save the trimmings and skins as these add massive favors. Add these to boiling filtered water and let it cook for a minimum of 8 hours. Now I add my veggies (nothing from the cabbage family) and cook for another 1-2 hours or until veggies are totally broken down. Then strain this broth into a large pot and allow to cool. I save any bits of meat and veggies and give them to the cat and the dog. They both love this! Skim any fat that rises to the top. I usually cook this fat down to its pure form and add it to chopped liver pate or matza balls (dumplings), yummy. This broth may be canned in a pressure canner at 10 lbs pressure for 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts. Higher altitudes at 15 lbs. I try to use it before 6 months although it never lasts that long. Enjoy.

Sarah,

Can you tell me exactly how they are making chicken bone broth in regards to the meat on the bones still? What do you do since it is so hard to get everything off?

I’d appreciate any help.

Thanks,
Mara

Mara, it’s totally fine if there is still some meat on the bones when you go to make your bone broth. It will just add some extra chicken-y flavor which is great. However, you’re using a whole chicken and it’s cooked well (i.e. cooked long enough so the meat is cooked through, but not so long that it’s dried out), the meat should fall off the bone pretty easily. Whole chickens cook really well in a slow cooker (usually takes about 6-8 hours depending on the size) because it keeps the chicken really moist. Sarah’s recipe for roast chicken is also really delicious and makes great broth. You can find that recipe here: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2011/11/recipe-roast-chicken-and-chicken-bone.html. -Kiersten

Is it ok to drink a cup of chicken bone broth daily when on the autoimmune protocol. Is it too much omega 6. I eat fish at least 4 times a week and also grass fed red meat a couple of times and some chicken thighs and wings about 3 times a week. Can I drink it daily or would it be too much omega 6 for me.

If you’re eating plenty of fish and grass fed ruminants, I wouldn’t worry too much about poultry consumption. In addition, if you’re skimming the fat off your broth, you shouldn’t be getting much fat (and as such very little omega 6 fatty acids) from your broth. -Kiersten

WAIT!!! I read on the other blogs that Dr. Ballentyne certified that too much chicken and broth can generate too much Omega 6.

Yet, you are advocating it?

– Confused

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