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How to Make Bone Broth in 6 Steps

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Oct 2, 2020 • 4 min read

Bone broth seems to be all the rage these days thanks to the popularity of the paleo diet, but this liquid superfood has been around for over thousands of years. Made by simmering animal bones over low heat for a long period of time, bone broth is filled with protein, vitamins, and minerals. While you can find bone broth at many grocery stores, making bone broth at home is easy. So before tossing out the scraps from the short ribs or roast chicken you had for dinner, make homemade bone broth instead.



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What Is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is made by boiling beef, pork, or poultry bones. Simmered over heat for almost 24 hours, the collagen in the connective tissue breaks down, infusing the liquid with nutrients like amino acids, protein, and antioxidants. Bone broth can be used as a cooking base for many recipes or enjoyed on its own.

What Is the Difference Between Bone Broth and Traditional Broth?

While the basic approach to making bone broth and regular broth are similar, there are some essential differences between the two:

  • Bone broth is made with just bones. Bones are simmered in water over heat with vegetables and seasonings for long periods of time—up to 24 hours. This long cooking time breaks down the connective tissue in the bones, unlocking the benefits of bone broth: collagen and nutrients that support bone and joint strength. Compared to traditional broth, bone broth is more viscous and gelatinous when chilled.
  • Traditional broth, like chicken broth or beef broth, is typically made with both meat and bones. For example, chicken broth is often made with a whole chicken. It is cooked with seasonings and veggies over heat for a shorter amount of time—usually two hours. The shorter cooking process yields a thinner liquid and less health benefits than bone broth.
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5 Ways to Use Bone Broth

Warm, savory, and full of nutrients, bone broth is perfect on its own. It also makes a great addition to a variety of dishes. Here are some different ways to incorporate bone broth into everyday cooking:

  1. Pour hot bone broth into a mug and sip it instead of tea.
  2. Instead of water, use bone broth to cook pasta, risotto, or other grains.
  3. Use chicken bone broth instead of traditional broth for chicken soup.
  4. Step up your smoothie recipe by adding bone broth.
  5. Steam vegetables in bone broth.

What Are the Best Bones for Bone Broth?

After roasting a chicken or eating a steak dinner, save the bones to make bone broth—they keep well in the freezer in a sealed Ziploc. If you don’t have leftover bones, head to your local butcher or the meat counter at a grocery store. Marrow bones and sections that are a little meatier will have more nutrients for the broth. Here are the different types of bones you should use:

  • Chicken bone broth: Use the bones from an organic chicken. Chicken feet have a lot of cartilage, but entire chicken carcasses, including the neck, are perfect for chicken stock and broth.
  • Beef bone broth: Use grass-fed beef bones. The best ones to use for beef broth are meaty bones and bones that have a lot of tissue and cartilage or marrow like oxtail, shanks, and knuckles.
  • Pork bone broth: For pork broth, ribs and the neck bones work well, as well as cartilage-rich pig’s feet.


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3 Ways to Make Bone Broth

There are several different options for making your own bone broth:

  1. In a stock pot on the stovetop for six to 24 hours
  2. In a slow cooker or crockpot for six hours
  3. In a pressure cooker or instant pot for two hours

The method really depends on personal preference and how much time you have. While a pressure cooker and crockpot are both shorter than the stovetop method, those also yield less broth than a large stock pot.

Easy Bone Broth Recipe

Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
11 hr
Cook Time
10 hr


If you have the time, try making bone broth on the stovetop with this easy bone broth recipe.

  • 3-4 lbs bones, chicken or beef
  • 2-3 Bay leaves
  • Garlic
  • Vegetables like carrots, celery, garlic, and onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbs apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • Black peppercorns
  • Sea salt
  1. If you’re making beef bone broth, roast the bones first in a roasting pan at 450℉ for 30-60 minutes. Place three or four pounds of poultry or beef bones in a large stock pot and fill with filtered water, leaving a couple of inches at the top.
  2. Add an acid to the pot to help the meat release the collagen—a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice will do. Let the bones sit in the water and vinegar for half an hour before turning the stove on.
  3. Add chopped veggies to the pot. Try standard soup ingredients like carrots, garlic, onions, and celery. They don’t have to be peeled or cut into small pieces since they’ll be removed at the end of cooking. Also add the bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns. Bring the pot to a rolling boil. Then lower the heat and let the broth simmer, partially covered.
  4. Keep an eye on the broth, checking on it every few hours and skimming fat or foam that collects on top. If it cooks too fast it might burn off too much liquid. It should be on the stove for at least ten hours and no more than 24. (If cooking for 24 hours, don’t keep the stove on overnight. Refrigerate the broth, and resume cooking the next morning.)
  5. When the broth is done, remove from the heat. Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer to separate the solids from the liquid. Let the broth cool down to room temperature.
  6. You can store the broth in the refrigerator for up to five days, but if you’ve made it in a large stock pot you’ll most likely make more than you can use at one time. Pour the broth into ice cube trays, a freezer bag, or into mason jars (with an inch or two at the top to prevent the glass from shattering) and store in the freezer for up to six months.

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