You know the saying, “Nothing beats a home-cooked meal”? Well, nothing beats homemade bone broth, too, as it turns out. We are all about that DIY life over here at BROYA, and we figured you might be too! Though it can require a long cook-time, making broth can be an extremely easy process if you approach it with the best tools and the right rules (though we prefer “guidelines” to be honest!) Love the idea of making your own bone broth? Keep reading. We won’t give away all of our secrets here… just the most important ones!
Before you Begin
Save your Scraps
DIY projects often involve getting a little scrappy, and here, we mean this quite literally. Cooking your own bone broth is an excellent way to make use of things you might otherwise throw away like chicken carcasses, beef bones, veggie scraps and even pork bones. Consider freezing these scraps in freezer bags during your everyday meal prep, so that they’re ready to go when it’s time to make broth. When we say veggie scraps… we mean skin and other parts you’d usually throw away, as well. Bone broth doesn’t discriminate!
Pick the Right Bones
Quality is key when it comes to making broth. We recommend using grass-fed or pasture-raised beef, or pastured chicken or pork meat that you can source from your local butcher or farmer. Why? These bones will be much more humane than any you would get at the grocery store, and far more nutrient dense.
Poorly raised animals are fed on a diet of corn, soy and grain. This is not a natural diet for farm animals and results in inflammation. This inflammation remains in the meat and bones and is not ideal for consumption.
For Chicken Broth: Use chicken carcass as the base (with some meat still on it is fine). Add chicken feet or wings.
For Beef Broth: Use t- bone as the base. Add beef knuckle and/ or marrow supplementally.
For Pork Broth: Use rib bones as the base. Supplement with feet bones or wings.
Assemble your Tools
There are three common ways to make bone broth, with distinct advantages and disadvantages to suit your needs:
- On the stovetop in a large stock pot (longer cook time, open flame, larger quantities)
- In the Slow Cooker or Crock Pot (longer cook time, no open flame, larger quantities)
- In the Instant Pot or pressure cooker (shorter cook time, smaller quantities)
Other things you will need:
- A mesh strainer: for straining solids out at the end of the process
- Large Mason Jars: for storing broth**
- Ice cube tray: a great alternative to mason jars, as this allows you to use smaller portions of bone broth at a time. You can easily drop a cube into some rice or any other meal to add some flavour and nutrients
- Sea salt (optional)
**If you decide to go the Mason Jar route, be sure to leave one inch of clearance in your jar. As it freezes, the liquid expands, and the last thing you want is broken glass in the freezer!
Making your Bone Broth
Step 1 - Roasting your Bones (optional)
Want to ensure optimal richness and flavour for your broth? Pop your bones into the oven at 375 F for 15 - 20 minutes at the beginning of the process.
Step 2 - Adding Bones and Water
Place the bones into your pot of choice and fill it with filtered water. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches of space at the top. Another trick for eyeballing the right amount of water is to use just so much that it barely covers the bones. This will allow the broth to be more gelatinous and richer. Keep in mind that the amount of water you add will affect cook time.
Step 3 - Adding Veggie Scraps
When you’re ready to start cooking, add your veggie scraps to the concoction. You can either use the scraps you’ve been saving or use some go-to broth-friendly veggies. We recommend roughly chopping carrots, celery, garlic and onion and adding them to the pot. Also, add in a few bay leaves for added flavour. You don’t need to peel your veggies in this instance or bother with cutting off the tops or ends. By including every part of the vegetable, you will be maximizing the nutritional power of your broth, and saving on food waste, while you’re at it! Feel free to make things a little spicy and interesting by adding jalapeno and/ or ginger as well.
Step 4 - Cooking the Broth
Once you’ve added everything, it’s time to get cookin’.
Stove top/ Crock pot: Turn your stove or crock pot upto high until you reach a rolling boil. Once you’ve reached that boil, lower your heat to a simmer (or crock pot to low heat) and partially cover your pot, leaving some space for heat to escape. Set a timer for between six and twenty four hours, depending on how much liquid you’ve started with, how much time you have and how rich of flavour you are looking for. Remember that your broth will reduce while cooking, so feel free to check on it every few hours to see how it’s doing. Add sea salt as needed/ desired.
Pressure cooker: Add ingredients as stated above and cook for two hours. Add sea salt as needed/ desired.
Step 5 - Cool it Fast
Once your broth is done, we recommend cooling it down by adding it to a pot or metal bowl and placing that bowl into a larger pot or vessel filled with ice. This allows it to cool quickly (to avoid bacterial growth) while also maintaining flavour.
Step 6 - Strain and Store
You can strain your broth in any number of ways. You can place a small mesh strainer over a coffee cup and scoop big spoonfuls of the broth directly into the strainer, or imitate this process with a bigger strainer and pot. Store the broth in mason jars or ice cube trays, as discussed above. Store in glass because plastic leaks phytoestrogens and you certainly don’t want chemicals to be the final ingredient added to your carefully crafted broth.
Enjoying your Bone Broth
Perhaps this doesn’t need a section of its own, but as producers of bone broth, we just couldn’t resist! If you’ve gotten to this part of the article, than chances are you are well on your way to sipping your own homemade broth. Congrats!
You can enjoy your broth heated up on its own as a rich and nutritious drink or use it in everything from rice to soup. What about those weeks when there simply isn’t enough time to make your own? We’ve got you covered. Check out our range of grab ‘n go bone broth options here.