So many times I’ve felt so intimidated by something, and then once I tried it, I felt so empowered! But only after failing at it a time or two first…
Making bone broth was one of those things. The first time I tried it, I failed at it miserably, but learned so much. After making a few very simple adjustments, my second go round was much better, and I’ve only gotten better at it from there.
So that I can spare you that initial test, and skip straight to the empowered part, here is my step by step guide for making bone broth!
Today, I’m making a chicken bone broth (here’s the Chicken Bone Broth recipe card). Beef Bone Broth has one more step, but check out our Facebook page, if you want to see step by step video guidance on how to make the beef bone broth.
Step 1: Gather all your ingredients and very gracefully chunk them into a large stock pot. You can have a game of kitchen H-O-R-S-E if you want, but I’m not good at basketball, and I’d end up splattering chicken bones all over the kitchen.
Step 2: Cover items in pot with water. If a little bit at the top peeks out of the water, that’s OKAY. It will shrink into the water as the broth cooks.
Step 3: Bring the broth to a rolling boil. You can choose to skim off any ‘scum’ (fat that rolls to the top), but I don’t bother…it’s just adding a step where you’ll have to do it again later anyway.
Step 4: Reduce the heat until the broth comes to a slow simmer. Cover the pot, and leave the broth to simmer for the next 24+ hours. (We say 24+ because you can choose to go longer if you want, up to 72 hours even, but 24 is really the minimum for a good, rich bone broth.)
My favorite part about this whole process is that about 4-6 hours into the simmer, your entire house starts to smell like you’ve lit up meat scented candles all over the place, and it is INCREDIBLE.
Step 4 Notes: You can always add water if you feel like your broth is cooking down more than you expected. If you feel like the broth is weaker or want to strengthen it, you can remove the lid for a few minutes and allow some of the water to evaporate.
DON’T leave it off overnight – this was my biggest error the first time I made broth actually. I came back and ALL my water was gone…what…a…mess.
Step 5: Once the broth has cooked to your desired length of time, you can taste it. If you’re following my recipe, you may be surprised that it tastes very bland. That’s because I only use 2 tablespoons of salt. At this point, if you’d like to add more to get the broth to your liking, please do! Bone broth is not an exact science.
Step 5 Notes: The reason I don’t use a lot of salt is because one of the main things I use bone broth for is to reduce to make sauces. If you have a salty broth, this will make your sauce waaaaay saltier than you intended. You can always add salt when cooking a dish later if you want to, but you can’t take the salt out once you’ve put it into the broth.
Step 6: We’re ready to remove it from the heat. After the broth stops simmering, all of the fat will float to the top. Take a ladle and ladle off the fat. You can store this separately, or discard it. Some people may choose to just keep the fat in their broth. It’s totally up to you!
Step 6 Notes: When ladling fat, SLOW is better. The faster you go, the more you’ll disturb the mixture, making it difficult to separate. If you feel like you are doing this, just walk away from it for a minute. It’s been on the stove for a day or longer, it can wait another 5 minutes.
Step 7: You’ll need a fine mesh strainer, and container. Your container might be the same container you’re going to store your bone broth in, it may be something else. Again, it’s totally up to you! Just scoop the broth out of the pot, and ladle into the strainer/container combo to filter out any solid pieces that might still be in the broth.
Step 7 Notes: You’ll notice beef bones have large chunks of bone left, while chicken bones will break down until there is almost nothing left. I usually end up tossing some of the broth at the bottom of my chicken batches, because it gets really hard to run through the strainer, and that last 12 ounces just isn’t worth the hassle.
Once you’ve finished straining your broth, you can leave your containers on the counter to cool slightly, and then place into the refrigerator (or freezer for long term storage). Placing hot containers in the refrigerator or freezer can cause the temperature to increase to an unsafe level for your other foods, or may cause your container to crack if using glass.
Now all that’s left to do is enjoy your broth in all your favorite recipes! I will make my broth in batches of about 6-8 quarts at a time, and that will last me several months!