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How To Make Bone Broth

How To Make Bone Broth

How To Make Bone Broth - PrimallyInspired.com


For centuries, almost every culture in history has made healing bone broths to strengthen the immune system, fight off infections and provide a rich source of nutrition. You can read all about the healing powers of bone broth and why you should consume it in my post HERE.


Health Benefits Bone Broth - PrimallyInspired.com

How do I make bone broth?

It’s super easy! Let me show you πŸ™‚



Bones from healthy, pasture raised animals

Any bones of any animal will work. The amount of bones is not important. The key to a perfectly gelatinous bone broth is in the ratio of bones to water that I will explain in the directions. The more bones you use, the more bone broth you will have. The less bones you use, the less bone broth you will create.

Here’s some examples of bones I like to use:

  • Chicken or turkey carcass
  • Beef bones or bones labeled soup bones
  • Lamb bones
  • Pork bones
  • Fish heads or fish carcass
  • Chicken or turkey feet
  • Oxtail

*Ask your butcher or chop larger bones into smaller pieces, ideally 2 to 3 inches thick. Smaller bones expose more bone marrow and allow for easier absorption into broth.

Vegetables or vegetable scraps

I usually use:

  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 celery ribs, broken in half or in thirds
  • 2 carrots, broken in half or in thirds
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • handful of fresh parsley

1 – 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

This helps draw the minerals out of the bones.


The amount of water you need depends on the amount of bones you have. You need just enough water to completely cover the bones. 



If you are using beef or lamb bones, roasting the bones first will produce a much better tasting bone broth. Roast them at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour.

1. Place your bones in a large stockpot (like THIS).

2. Pour 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar over the bones.

3. Add just enough water to completely cover the bones.

This is important! Adding too much water is the most common mistake of making bone broth. Often times, too much water is the reason why your bone broth did not gel.

4. Let sit for one hour. The apple cider vinegar will help pull the minerals out of the bones.

5. After the hour is up, add any vegetables, if using.

6. Turn the stove to medium high and let the water come to a slow boil.

7. If any foam floats to the top, skim it off.

8. Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting, cover and let cook for a minimum of 8 hours (if you are using vegetables, strain them out after 3 hours. They can make the broth bitter if they are left in the broth for too long). It takes time to pull all the wonderful nutrients and minerals out of the bones so be patient! Follow the recommend times below for the best tasting and most nutritious bone broth. Letting the bones cook any longer than 3 days can sometimes result in a burnt tasting broth.

  • Chicken and turkey bones: 8 to 24 hours
  • Beef, lamb and pork bones: 12 to 72 hours
  • Fish heads and fish bones: 4 to 24 hours

9. There should always be just enough water to completely cover the bones. If you need to add any more water to your pot, add hot water only.

10. Once your bone broth is done cooking, remove the lid and skim off any foam that has risen to the top.

11. Strain the bones, vegetables and herbs out of the broth.

12. Let cool.

13. Store in a container. Bone broth keeps for 5 days in the fridge. It also freezes very well and keeps for months in the freezer. I usually freeze half my bone broth and keep the other half in the fridge to use for the week.

Notes: You can also use your crockpot to make bone broth! Just place bones and any veggies/herbs in your crockpot, cover with just enough water to cover the bones. Turn to low, cover and let cook for the recommended times! 



Do you consume bone broth regularly? Bone broth from healthy, pasture raised animals is the best way to “heal and seal” your gut. And good gut health is the cornerstone of health.

I try to consume a cup of bone broth every single day. I just warm some on the stove, sprinkle some sea salt and pepper in it, put it in an insulated mug (I love THIS one) and sip on it throughout the day. Do you have a favorite way to consume bone broth?



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  1. Avatar

    I do consume bone broth daily- it’s replaced my cup of coffee πŸ™‚ I had two questions. 1) I’ve been using 2 chicken carcasses each time. My bone broth never gels. Am I getting the same benefits? I haven’t seen chicken feet at the store to add. I do have the powdered gelatin. 2) what do you think of the perpetual broths? I do your recipe above but at 24 hours I strain only half the broth out. I then replace that half with filtered water and go another 24 hours. I take half out and refill will filtered water for one more night, then I stain it all. So instead of one full crockpot I end up with 2 full crockpots broth-wise, which I like getting that much
    I really enjoy your website! Your banana bread is everyone’s favorite and my family inhales the pumpkin muffins. I also used 5 of your top 25 thanksgiving recipes and all of them were a success, I couldn’t have been more pleased. They were enjoyed by all.

  2. Avatar

    Would the celery need to be replaced by something else or can it just be removed? Celery isn’t exactly a favourite around here. Here in Denmark one of the traditional veggies to add to soups and broths have always been celeriac. Would that work instead of celery?

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    can you use bones from cooked chicken or beef? Like a leftover carcass from a roasted chicken – or is it better to start with raw?

    • Avatar

      I always use a picked-over carcass, so that I can use the meat first in other dishes (since boiled meat isn’t as appetizing, and I’d hate to waste a whole chicken just to get the broth). I like my broth pretty plain so that I can easily use it for soups, so I don’t add a lot of other veggies. That way I can add fresh garlic and onion to each recipe. I also make my broth in my large crockpot and let it run for a few days, jarring half of it each day and replacing with water.

      So usually I roast a chicken or two, we use the meat up (everything but the wings), and then we start broth in the crockpot right after dinner.

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    Just to confirm…do not add additional water after adding the veggies, correct? I’m asking because I would normally add enough water to cover veggies as well so that their flavor cooks into the broth.

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    Growing up, my mother would make our traditional turkey on Christmas Day. After left-overs the next day, she would gather up the carcass and skin to make her “broth” for soup. Yes, she would add enough water to cover the bones, along with an onion and celery. After hours of simmering, she would strain the broth and begin adding the meat that came off the bones, along with some carrots and herbs. The last ingredient to be added was the frozen peas an noodles (kluski)for the turkey noodle soup. And yes, it would gel when it was taken out of the refrigerator. There was nothing better than that turkey noodle soup, and to this day I make it just like my mother had done.

  6. Avatar

    A local chef (here in Cleveland) suggested straining the broth through a terry cloth towel. I have saved several old dishtowels, too stained to use in my kitchen but clean, and stain my broth through that. It really removes all the fine solids that a regular strainer misses. He also suggests saving all your vegetable ends like onion tops and root ends, carrot peels, celery tops, tomato cores etc. and freezing them until you have enough. I add them to my bones, or sometimes just make vegetable broth.

    • Avatar

      Saving the carrot peels and onion tops in the freezer is such a great idea. I don’t like using vegetables in broth, only to throw them out!

  7. Avatar

    I made some broth with beef shank bones that my butcher gave me. It still had the marrow in it, so I was excited. But now that the broth is ready it looks really greasy compared to the chicken broth I make. Now I am not afraid of fat, but I also don’t want to drink gobs of liquid fat for breakfast either. Is this normal?

    • Primally Inspired

      Don’t be afraid of the fat! LOL πŸ™‚ But as it cools, the fat will rise to the top and you can skim it off and use it for cooking.

      • Avatar

        I was just about to ask the same question. I roasted beef shank and marrow bones, then put them in the crockpot with a little ACV, covered with water and set to low about 48hrs ago. It is VERY fatty and smells unappetizing. I didn’t add veggies yet. I wanted to just do a pure bone broth. I will add it to veggies and make a soup or something later, but I can’t get past the look and smell of it right now. I tried the same thing with the Thanksgiving turkey carcass. The bones crumbled and the broth was a deep brown from roasting them. But by the time it was done in the crock pot for a couple of days, I couldn’t stand the smell anymore and stuck it in the freezer. Am I doing something wrong, or is it just the lack of aromatic veggies that is making it smell like that? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  8. Avatar

    Really enjoyed this post as well as the great comments & questions. I collect chicken bones (cooked) and put them in my pressure cooker until the bones become soft enough to crush between my finger. My dogs then get the bones as treats or added to their food and I get wonderful gelatinous broth.

  9. Avatar

    I used to make chicken soup back in the day before grass fed or organic were in vogue. I generally used chicken thighs and drumsticks and cooked them down for a couple hours on low heat. The soup always turned out very gelatinous. So I’m wondering if my chicken soup was giving me the same gelatinous nutrition in 2 hours that takes 8 to 24 hrs for chicken bones?

    Anyway I’m making my first bone broth as I type. No foam so the bones must come from good grass fed beef as advertized. I have to leave the lid cracked or the broth will boil even at barely any heat. Smells great but a little overpowering for me. I might have t do the next one down it the basement to minimize the smell.

  10. Avatar

    Hi there

    this is all new to me and I was wondering if after straining the bone broth what happens to the meaty bits and the marrow? Would that be taken off of the bone and eaten? I want to give this to my dog who suffers with IBS/IBD/Leaky Gut (?) and who suffers with epilepsy for the last 2 years and I strongly feel that the seizures are GUT related. So I am healing his gut and am focused on that!!

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Viola! The meaty bits (and broth!) would be great to give to your dog! The remaining meat probably wouldn’t taste so great to us (texture-wise and it’s pretty flavorless after being cooked so long – all the flavor gets infused in the broth), but my dog loves it πŸ™‚ I hope you have much success healing your dog’s gut!

  11. Avatar

    Can I make this in a pressure cooker?

    • Avatar

      I roasted beef back rib bones and pork rib bones with shallots, onions, garlic, carrots, and celery, drizzled with olive oil, for one hour at 400 degrees. I then took them and put them in my electric pressure cooker. Set it for high pressure and 99 minutes. The house smelled wonderful and the bone broth was awesome! I took out all the bones and stuff, strained it, cooled it, and removed the grease layer from the top, and what I had left was a jar full of wonderful! I think the pork bone are the reason it turned to gel so easily. I don’t know this for a fact, but I was told it would be even healthier done in the pressure cooker because the nutrients are sealed in. I just know I don’t have 24 hours to cook anything and these new electric pressure cookers are very safe and efficient!

  12. Avatar

    Also, is it okay to drink while nursing and/or pregnant?

  13. Avatar

    Hello just wondering how many bones to use . I bought a six pack of beef bone similar size as you have pictured in the photo above . Will two do in a large pot or should I toss all six ? Help lol

  14. Avatar

    To freeze it, would you just put it in glass jars then into the freezer. How long does it keep frozen?

  15. Avatar

    Could you put turnips in this? Have one in the fridge. Trying to empty the drawer.

  16. Avatar
    Lila Ruth Hackenberg

    Have you ever pressure canned this? Would it affect the health benefits?

    • Primally Inspired

      I have not, but I don’t think it would affect the benefits.

    • Avatar

      I totally can mine in a pressure cooker, and it shouldn’t effect the nutrients at all because you are already cooking them at high heat. Also, calcium and gelatin shouldn’t be effected. Most minerals can take heat.

      Also, I just thought I would mention that I too was grossed out by the smell of my bones cooking in my house for 2 days and was upset when I tasted the final product (before canning). It didn’t taste that great. I canned it anyway, unwilling to just toss the expensive grass-fed, organic bones and effort and I can tell you it was REALLY good. I don’t know if it mellowed after canning or what, but it tasted much better than when I first tasted the broth after it was all done cooking. It’s pretty awesome to just reach for a quart of your own broth to cook with.

      Lastly, we buy 1/4 or 1/2 cows at at time. If you can find a nice butcher, ask for bones. Not soup bones, which are pretty expensive, but just the cut up bones. They have to pay to toss them. I found one butcher in town that sold them as “dog bones” for .25/lb. Now that we get a portion of cow, I ask for ALL bones (I got 50lbs with our last half cow) and they cut them up. You are paying for the whole cow and are entitled to any parts you want to keep. They are just used to people not wanting all the bones. And don’t forget to ask for the oxtail and beef cheek…the VERY BEST part.

  17. Avatar

    Hi there! I also make bone broth for healing purposes. I use a whole raw chicken….(recipe I found last yr) and simmer all day. After several hours I break apart the chicken and continue to simmer meat and bones. It def gels and is delicious. Is this still ok….that I use the whole chicken?
    Thank you! PK

  18. Avatar

    Hello, I am totally new to making my own broth. I got big chunks of beef bone at the butcher (they couldn’t chop it in smaller pieces or they may not have understood my request, since my Portuguese is not so good πŸ˜‰ ) and have slowly boiled them for a whole day. Everything has cooled down overnight (with the bone still in the pot), which has left me with a large pot full of gelatinous substance with a lot of white fat on top and the bones still inside. I was planning on warming it up now, strain it and put half of it in the freezer as suggested in the article. How do you drink broth? May I assume you warm it up, cause otherwise you drink just jelly? πŸ™‚
    Thank you for all your recipes, I totally love them!

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Hella! Yes, I warm it up, season it with salt and pepper (and any other spices I’m feeling like!) and drink. When you warm it up, it will turn back to liquid, but all that wonderful gelatin will still be in there πŸ™‚

      • Primally Inspired

        And you can also use your bone broth as a base to all kinds of soups! It makes THE BEST base to any soup – you’ll really love the flavor it brings to any soup recipe πŸ™‚ If you find yourself not liking the taste of plain bone broth, definitely try it as a base for soups!

        • Avatar

          Thank you heaps for the quick reply! I’m on it now. πŸ™‚ And I am sorry, cause I should’ve read more clearly. You already mentioned in the article that you warm it up…

  19. Avatar

    Hi There, I Know You MaY Be Paleo, HowEver, The Consistency, Is A Bit Tough For Me To Ingest, Could Mixing IT With Rice Or Some Other Food Still Provide Ths Same Benefits?
    Thank you

  20. Avatar

    If using a slow cooker do you still roast the bones first?

  21. Avatar

    Is it okay to put salt in while it’s cooking, or should it just be seasoned after it’s fully cooked?
    Thanks! Love your blog! πŸ™‚

  22. Avatar

    Hello Kelly. Thanks for sharing these instructions. I was telling my organic butcher about bone broth yesterday, including your recipe. He asked me whether there was a particular reason you use apple cider vinegar and whether plain white vinegar would do the same job. I said I’d check with you.

  23. Avatar

    Hi…I was wondering if you had a good source for grass fed beef bones or pastured chicken bones. I live outside of Phila and our Whole Foods doesn’t have them. I contacted a butcher and he doesn’t either. Any suggestions?

  24. Avatar
    Pamela McQuilliam

    I am so glad I stumbled onto this page.About bones and broth..I love it!About a year ago,I bought beef ribs..the ones that are mostly big bones.(for the 1st time ever).I have an electric roasting oven.I let them soak for about 2 hours in a mixture of worcestershire sauce,onion powder,salt & pepper.I baked them,but was unsure what I would do with them.They were so super good…I could have slapped myself!I could have scraped off all the meat and marrow and ate it all.However,I have a 6’5 husband,an 18 yr.old son,and 4 yr. old daughter to feed as well.Okay,so there wasn’t much juice in the roaster when they were done cooking…but I put in a small cast iron,and cooked it down for a stronger broth,then added steamed carrots and onions.We put the meat,marrow,broth & veggies over mashed potatoes…and all live happily ever after.I am sure that starting a meal and/or broth with baked/roasted bones is now something I will play around with for the rest of my life.I do intend on making your broth recipe,and going healthier.I will freeze and keep your recipe on hand!I recently found out I am having big trouble with gluten.It’s done a doosy on my health!I honestly feel like my poor gut health was killing me…and highly encourage us all to live/eat as though you are allergic to gluten,and have diabetes.Your body will feel better,and get much healthier,plus you will have more energy!I wish we all would take care of our gut as a daily habit…it’s critical that we do.I learned the hard way.I don’t eat much white potatoes,and have learned that the health benefits of sweet potatoes is so much better…but that day,that beef/rib and broth got the best of me.Being diabetic,I’ve started to serve myself more liquids/broth with vegetables in them,at least a time or two a day.I feel way better than ever before.Now,I crave broths,and vegetable juices homemade with my juice extracting machine.Huge difference.People,be blessed…enjoy your bodies,put effort in your health,eat well!Oh,and get out in the sunshine every possible day.

  25. Avatar

    Bone Broth: after #4 recipe calls to let sit for one hour, is this sitting on the heat of the stove or, just hanging out?

  26. Avatar

    Has anyone used pork bones for their broth.Our local butcher only has pork and lamb right now and I’m not fond of lamb.

  27. Avatar

    Hi! First time attemping bone broth. Can I use roasted left over pork bomes? Also, if I use my slow cooker (crock pot) will I need to top up the water or just set and forget. …

  28. Avatar

    Hi! Thank you for the great information on this site. I was wondering how long bone broth will last without spoiling if stored in a refrigerator after it’s thawed from your freezer?

    Thank you,

  29. Avatar

    Need to heal leakey gut, multiple myeloma, amyloidosis
    any suggestions?

    Please help me.
    anyone and everyone who reads this.
    feel free to call also. Sometimes I am in too much pain to type.

  30. Avatar

    Would the bones keep in the freezer? We eat chicken often, but rarely a whole one since it’s just the two of us. I wonder if I could keep a “bone bag” in the freezer and add to it until I have enough for broth.

  31. Avatar

    i have been making a perpetual bone broth in my crockpot weekly now for a month. I use organic chicken, celery, carrots, onion, acV and parsley. I cook it for 4 to five days in crock pot. My bone broth is dark like coffe and never gelatinized. I use a whole chicken. Is my crockpot too hot, it is on low the whole time,or not enough bones? Please help

  32. Avatar

    i just roasted mybeef bones. I’m quite excited to make my broth but there is a lot of fat in the roasting pan. Does this all go in with the bones or do I just put the bones and water in the pot?

  33. Avatar

    Can I use roasted/broiled pork neck bones to make a pork broth? And how? thanks for the info

  34. Avatar

    I’ve been doing this bone recipe for about a year now and I love it! I have a question though, I do a 72 hour simmer in my crock pot with beef bones. Do you think a 4 day would be ok? I only ask because I won’t be able to get to my bones till the 4th day to stop my cooker. Thanks in advance

  35. Avatar

    A few years ago I took a cooking class from a classically trained French chef from Lyon. He was wonderful! He taught us how to make duck broth with bones. He said to cover with water, bring to a boil, then pour off all the water and start fresh, skimming foam if necessary, and simmer for 3 days on lowest heat. Do you know of any significance to pouring off the first water? He explained that it was very important but I don’t remember why. Maybe specific to just duck? I’d love to hear your insights. When we make bone broth I don’t use this method with beef, chicken or turkey. A second question: is any nutrients lost if the bones are roasted first? I mean, clean the meat off then roast just the bones to create a darker chicken or turkey broth. Thanks!

    • Primally Inspired

      Wow Rena, I’m so jealous about your cooking class!!

      I haven’t researched your question, but I have a good guess. The first water would contain any impurities from the bones. That’s why I suggest to skim off the foam because that foam contains the impurities. I bet he dumped the water to thoroughly get rid of all the impurities so it would make a “cleaner”, clearer and ultimately probably a tastier broth. Does that sound right? I’m very curious to this and have it written down to research it when I have a little more time.

      I always roast my bones (other than chicken) first because the taste is SO much better! I do not think any nutrients are lost, especially since they will be heated anyway when they are simmering and releasing minerals in the water.

  36. Avatar

    Hi! I am very grateful for your post & info! Currently making my first batch of bone broth from pork neck bones. I am writing to ask if I made a mistake of not. I missed the part about boiling the bones & then skimming off any risen foam/impurities. I simply put vinegar on my bones then placed them into my crock pot with vegetables & covered with water. Should I be concerned that I missed the opportunity to skim off impurities? Thanks so much for you time!

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Ashland! I wouldn’t even worry about it. I oftentimes forget to skim the top and it’s not a big deal. Also, when I make it in my crockpot, it never really “comes to a boil” and foams so I never skim it when I make it in my crockpot.

      Skimming off the foam is a good idea and something I try to remember to do, but it’s not something I’m worried about at all if I forget. Hope that helps!

  37. Avatar

    I should also note that my bones were previously frozen & thawed for two days in my refrigerator. Worried my broth could contain impurities!

  38. Avatar

    What is your take on mixing different types of bones (i.e. Chicken and beef) in the same batch?

  39. Avatar

    The skimming and first rinse of bones seem to be Asian methods. Look up recipes like pho (an amazing Vietnamese soup if you’ve never heard of it), and the methods are mindblowing. Very time and labour consuming for some REALLY great grub!

  40. Avatar

    Hi, I just made my first batch of bone broth. Had 50 lbs of veal bones that were roasted and then cooked in a very large pot for 40 hours. I strained the broth 3 times and chilled it. I had a 2 inch layer of fat that I skimmed off and now a large pot of completely jelled broth.
    Questions: Do I freeze the broth in this gel state and add water when I want to heat it up and drink a glass?
    Is there any value to the fat that I removed? Do I want to have a portion of the fat in the broth?
    When using the broth in cooking do I add it in the gel state or take the concentrated gel and add water?
    Thanks so much for your help.

    • Primally Inspired

      I am so jealous of all your veal bone broth, Elaine! That is amazing to make that much! So cool πŸ™‚

      Yes, you can definitely freeze it gelled. You don’t need to add any water to it when you go to drink it. Once it’s warmed up, it will turn to a liquid state (don’t worry – all the gelatin is still there!)

      There is a ton of value to all the fat!! Oh man, there’s so much you can do with it! I like to cook with it (I use it like I would bacon grease and fry things in it), but it also makes the best lotion. I know that seems crazy, but I promise you it’s one of the best skin lotions ever. Here’s a super simple recipe that I like to use: http://www.healthstartsinthekitchen.com/2013/11/04/whipped-tallow-body-butter/

      It’s up to you if you want to eat a little bit of fat with the broth. I typically enjoy a little bit of fat in my broth – I love the silkiness the extra fat provides and there’s some great nutrition in that fat. But most people generally strain it all off. It’s totally up to you and your preferences.

      To use the broth in cooking, just add it as is.

      I hope that helps!! Enjoy all your broth! And keep me posted if you decide to make the tallow lotion – I think you’ll love it! It would make really luxurious gifts, too πŸ™‚

  41. Avatar

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I’ve made it several times now and am enjoying it immensely. I’m super excited about trying out different bones in the future, too. πŸ™‚
    P.S. I’m even introducing some of my family members to bone broth. They’re amazed at the health benefits it has.

  42. Avatar

    This would be great with some fresh steamed or day old Asian jasmine rice eaten like a soup. Yum!

  43. Avatar

    Have you ever used venison bones??

  44. Avatar

    Someone told me that you can freeze and reuse beef bones after making a batch of bone broth. What to you think of that? I think it would be great if the second batch would be just as nutritious, as the bones are rather expensive. Thanks!
    Also, I took advantage of the group buy and purchased a Sauna. Ive had it for a month and love it! Thanks so much!

    • Kelly from Primally Inspired

      Hi Laura, yes, with most bones you can! The only type of bones I wouldn’t recommend doing that with is chicken bones only because they are softer and all of the nutrients are for the most part extracted in the first batch. I am so glad that you were able to buy a sauna!! Bone broth and sauna sessions are some of the very best things you can do for your health πŸ™‚

  45. Avatar

    i am making bone broth for the first time today. how about if i simply add the veggies 3 hours before the broth is done?

  46. Avatar

    Hello! I’m in the β€œmy broth never gels” camp, I make it weekly with one chicken carcass, and I’m glad to learn I’ve been using too much water, thank you! Does this mean though that the gelatin is NOT releasing into my broth? Or is there just too much water for the gel effect? I’m so curious about the science of this!

  47. Avatar

    In my house we call this Jewish Penicillin! Chicken with skin and bones, a yellow onion with skin on, unpeeled carrots and celery slow baked in a cast iron Dutch oven all night long @ 200*. Makes a great base for yummy rich tasting Matzo Ball Soup.

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