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Homemade Bone Broth – A Lost Art

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In Traditional Societies all around the world, bone broth was a common kitchen staple not only because cultures wanted to use every bit of an animal, but also because broths are a nutritional powerhouse, full of minerals and micronutrients essential for good health.  These days, when people think of broth, they think of the carton on the shelf at the grocery store. Unfortunately, these broths include additives such as color, sugars, and salts to cover up it's poor quality.  Homemade bone broth is a lost art that should be reclaimed in home kitchens as it is incredibly simple to make and very economical as well.

When I first began this Real Food journey, making my own broth was one of the first things I learned how to do because of it's simplicity and low cost.  A good, wholesome broth can be prepared for pennies.  Using the bones left over from a roast chicken and any vegetable scraps that have been saved, sometimes all you have to pay for is the energy used to heat your pot!

So, what is so great about homemade broth?  As the broth is simmering (with the addition of apple cider vinegar), nutrients and minerals leach from the bones and infuse the water with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, gelatin, glucosamine, chondroitin, glycine, hyaluronic acid, and other trace minerals.  Chondroitin and glucosamine can help with arthritis and joint pain.  Glycine helps support liver health and is helpful in wound healing.  Gelatin is healing to the digestive tract and also aids in bone/wound healing.  Bottom line, broth is darn good for us.  One of my goals for myself is to have broth every day.  Whether it be in soups, a hearty risotto, or just a mug with a pinch of salt, I know that I could reap incredible benefits from this simple addition to my diet.

So, how do you make it?  You aren't going to believe how simple it is.  Throw your bones in a pot, add some aromatics like carrots, garlic, onions, or mushrooms.  Add some apple cider vinegar, and cover with filtered water.  Bring all of it to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for at least 4 hours, but up to 24 hours.  Cool, and then refrigerate (up to 5 days) or freeze!

I manage my broth in a few ways.  Once it is done, I strain it into a large bowl, or another pot.  I usually stick this in the fridge to solidify the fat, making it easy to skim off.  Once it has cooled and the fat has been skimmed, I strain again through a fine mesh sieve and store in quart sized mason jars and 1/2 pint sized mason jars.  I keep them all in my freezer.

Today I am going to share a recipe I used for the Beef Broth I made last week.

First, I roasted my beef soup bones for about an hour.  This is VERY important.  Don't skip this step if you are making beef broth.

Once the bones were done roasting, I threw them into a big stock pot and added what I had on hand.  In this case I had 2 carrots, and onion, some garlic, and fresh thyme and rosemary.

I added filtered water and brought it to a boil.

Once the broth was boiling, I added a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a few bay leaves and turned the heat down to a simmer.  Then, I forgot about it.  Initially I did not cover my pot, but after a few hours in, I added the cover and adjusted the heat as needed to keep the stock at a low simmer.  Be sure to replace water as it evaporates if you do not cover your pot.

After 24 hours, I had a lovely stock that I strained and let cool in the pot until it was cool enough to transfer into my jars.

This time I did not refrigerate my broth because I wanted the fat in my broth.  I figured I could skim it off later if I want to.  So, once it was cool enough, but still warm, I moved my broth into jars.

I moved my jars to the freezer, but kept one quart in my fridge.  My daughter had just broken her collar bone and I wanted to give that broth to her to aid in her healing.  When I pulled it out of the fridge I was super excited to see that it had gelled!!!!!  I haven't been able to get my chicken stock to gel, so I was thrilled to see that my beef stock had!

Making my own stock is one of the easiest and most nutritious foods I make for my family.  Since it is so inexpensive and simple to prepare, I hope you give it a try in your healthy kitchen, too!  

Learn More About Bone Broth

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Oh Lardy's Guide to Making Bone Broth


Simple Beef Stock


  • 5 to 8 pounds of grass fed beef soup bones
  • Vegetable scraps carrots, celery, garlic, onions, mushrooms, leeks
  • Filtered water to cover I like to cover by 2 inches
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Bay leaves if desired


  • Roast your soup bones in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. Your bones should be brown and fragrant. Do not skip this step, or your broth will smell and taste terrible!
  • Drain the fat from the bones.
  • Add the bones to your stock pot along with your vegetable scraps.
  • Add filtered water to cover by 2 inches and bring your pot to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the vinegar and bay leaves.
  • Turn down your heat to maintain a gentle, low simmer.
  • Cook for at least several hours. I simmered mine for 24 hours.
  • Cool and store!
  • Enjoy!


If you are short on time you can also buy grass-fed bone broth online!

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homemade beef broth - www.ohlardy.com



  1. I have not heard of adding apple cider vinegar, what is this for? Do you use in chicken bone broth too? I made a batch last year and thought it smelled a little strange, maybe this was what I was missing!

    1. Apple cider vinegar helps to leach the minerals out of the bones. Some recipes call for the addition of the vinegar, then letting the bones and water sit before cooking. Others call for the vinegar to be added during cooking. Probably doesn’t make much difference when it is added. But the vinegar helps get the minerals out of the bones. I use vinegar in chicken broth, too. -tm

  2. How do you feel about making this in a crock pot? I have hesitation leaving my gas-top stove burning all day, esp. while I leave the house. My crock pot eventually comes to a full boil, and eventually cools to a simmer on “warm.” Could work, right?

    1. I make my bone broth in my crockpot all the time. I, too, am scared of the gas stove on all night/day. I just turn it to low and leave for 24, sometimes even 48 hours. I add water as necessary if I notice the level getting low. -tm

  3. Also, for any hunters out there… ‘Tis the season to save deer bones for making a venison bone broth. Use as much of the animal as you can… if hunting is your gig.

  4. I love making homemade stock, although mostly I have only made chicken stock. As far as getting stock to gel, my chicken stock will sometimes be very thick and jelled, and sometimes much thinner. I think it has to do with how much the stock has reduced, although I am not sure.

  5. My chicken broth always gels – I think you either need to cook it longer for a stronger concentration or perhaps it will help if you broil the bones after taking all the meat off first. I love the rich flavor in the chicken broth when the broth is nice and dark.
    Growing up european Jewish we often had gefillte chicken or chicken in spe. It is basically a boiled chicken where one after removing the chicken cook the broth with the chicken bones for at least an hour. Once finished you decorate all the meat and veggies into a form and pour the chicken broth over. Next day you can pull out the entire dish of the form and slice it. Very yummy and a fabulous starter in the summer. I therefore guess the secret is to wether the chicken has boiled with its bones free from meat or not.
    The French does the same with pork.

  6. I do this frequently, mostly with chicken bones after the chicken has been eaten. I love to use the stock for bean soups or I use it for the liquid for rice or mashed potatoes. Such a great way to get even more mileage from a chicken 🙂

  7. Beef Broth: roast bones first or broth will smell bad. IS THAT WHY? I tried making it for the first time in Crock (didn’t roast) and it smelled so bad I decided never to make beef again! So if I ROAST the bones first…no stinky house, right?

    1. Yes, roast them first! Tamara made the same mistake and said that her house smelled like death. I am sure your house was similar?

      1. Ha! This is Tamara…it was the worst smell ever! I had to take my crockpot and put it out on the patio. My daughter refused to come into the kitchen. Even laying in bed, had to have the covers over my face. I can’t describe the smell but it was the worst thing ever. Never wanted to make bone broth again!!!! Then I read about roasting the bones…a totally different experience! Good luck!

      2. This is an old post that I found trying to figure out why in the world my first attempt at beef broth smelled so severely bad and tasted just as bad. We did not cook it first – I feel so much better knowing that is the problem!! Trying again tomorrow. My kids came home and were like – we aren’t drinking that!! LOL!
        I read about leaching out the blood overnight in water, then adding the bones to boiling water, then draining that out and then cook with them. (I hadn’t done that either). That seemed like a lot of work and wasn’t real sure about it. The recipe I saw just said throw them in and cook 24 hours – WRONG!! I love the roasting them first – thank you so much!! Excited to try this again!!

  8. I’m wondering if the initial step of roasting the beef bones takes out some of the nutrients? Seems like it would compromise the recipe a little. Do you know?

  9. Wondering if I make a large pot if I can “can” (pressure can) the broth rather than freezing. Would it kill/negate some of the nutrients? Bone broth has been my savior and healed a lot of damage done by an antibiotic. Use both beef & chicken all the time!!

  10. I’m making this recipe for my first time right now. I got beef neck and shank bones from a farmer. They still had a bit of meat left on them. Probably as much bone there is, there is equal amount of meat. I didn’t cut it off, just roasted it all and am now making the broth. What’s the rule of thumb? How much meat should there be on the bones?

    1. There are misc. bones from the cow that you can use to make soup. Any bones will do. Knuckle bones give good gelatin. I always like to include some meaty bones for better flavor. Ask your butcher or farmer!

  11. How long will beef bone broth last in the refrigerator? I made some awhile ago, 2 months, I think and forgot about it….I hesitiate to toss it out but……

      1. I’ve read that because bone broth is so nutrient dense, it is the perfect medium for bacteria to grow.. I usually thaw a mason jar at a time and consume it within a few days. If I leave it for a week, I’ll boil it before consuming..

  12. I’m wondering if you could do this with ham bone and if it is as good for you. I have saved my juice in the fridge from pressure cooking bone in ham and it gels very nicely and taste very good.
    I use some to heat up my sauerkraut and it is delicious. I’ve also spread the gel on toast and that is very good as well although I’ve had many “What the heck are you doing” comments. lol
    Thank you, I am enjoying your site.

    1. We get a whole pig from our farmer every year and yes, I make bone broth from all of the bones from that little piggy =) It makes delicious broth! I don’t roast them first. I just store them in the freezer until I am ready to make broth, toss them in the crock with raw acv and water and let them go. I get 2 batches out of them too. Happy “stocking”. =)

  13. Question. It is mandatory for it to simmer for the long hours or can it be made just as well by pressure cooking the bones?

  14. When using deer bones do they need to be roasted? My first batch of bone broth is on the stove now and I can’t say it’s a very pleasant smell. Would roasting the bones help with the smell?

  15. Nicely done Kelly Liston! I notice that you add your vegetables after the bones have roasted. I always roast my carrots and onions along with the bones to allow them to caramelize and sometimes depending upon how much meat is on the bone, I will throw in a pound of grass-fed hamburger and let that brown along with the bones. Once again, very well done blog post, enjoyed reading it!!

  16. Instead of vinegar, I add white wine to the chicken broth, and red wine to the beef broth. This helps leach out the calcium in the bones, without the vinegar taste. The alcohol cooks out, and the flavor is divine!

  17. Question: Why do you drain the fat from the roasted beef bones before making the broth? Is that step necessary? Just wondering. I have made lots of chicken broth but never beef… so I am learning. Thanks!!

  18. I tried making bone broth once…. I did roast the bones first but my broth still STUNK when I made it. The top was all foamy and gross. I stuck it out and strained and froze it but am to scared to use it. I would hate to have that smell again!
    The bones I used didn’t have any meat on them. Could that have been part of the problem?

    1. I have the same problem when I use beef bones without meat. I like to have a mixture of meaty bones and non meaty bones. I don’t have this problem with chicken broth, just beef!

  19. You can also sautee the bones slightly with onions..in the islands we sautee first, sometimes I don’t I boil the bones as is, but I add aromatics like scallion, clove, thyme, lemongrass etc…fresh green herbs, and it smells, and tastes great..
    We also marinate first too a little vinegar, salt, black pepper, and if you add the garlic, onions, thyme etc in the marinade, you can sautee the whole thing first, then add water..
    I’m glad to see a post on beef bones, enough people don’t realize the nutritional value…especially if you are dieting, it’s a great fulling, hot concoction that beats coffee, and overly heavy meals..
    We also do the same with fish heads and we call it fish tea:-)

  20. I’m sold on the health benefits! But no where have I seen how it tastes? Can you shed some light on this?

    Thank you

  21. Today was my first day drinking my first batch of homemade organic beef broth in my crock pot prescribed by my acupuncturist. I need this so bad in my life for strength and healing.
    I’m so disappointed not only does my house smell bad, but I got sick at work and couldn’t keep it down (because I drank all the oil?). and my co workers complained of the smell too…
    I realize perhaps it is because I did not “pre roast” them first? I do not own an oven so this is not possible for me. I do not want any of this broth to go to waste as a beautiful healthy animal perished for it. What can I do if I cannot stomach the smell? Can anything at all be done to save this batch and then I can try other ways for my next batch? I will simple NOT pour this down the drain! Help

    1. I find beef broth without roasting tastes and smells horrible. If you roast the bones first and add onions, carrots, etc. it is a much more pleasant tasting broth. It also helps to have some bones that have meat on them.

      If you don’t have an oven, I would try to do chicken broth then. You could get some chicken frames, necks, feet, etc. and don’t need to roast first.

      You could try heating the broth on the stove with onions, bay leaf, etc. I am not sure. Good luck!

  22. I made my first batch of chicken bone broth yesterday. I used the bones of a roasted chicken and put them on low in my crockpot with water, onions, carrots, garlic, apple cider vinegar and celery for 24 hours. My house really stunk and so did the broth. Did i do something wrong, had some this morning and taste isn’t very great. Is it still okay to eat, and any recommendations on my how to avoid the smell!

    1. I am unsure why it would smell bad. Beef bone broth can sometime smell if there is not enough meat on the bones but chicken bone broth usually smells like chicken soup. If you don’t like the taste, you could try adding some salt, pepper and other seasonings. Cooking broth will never be odorless by any means. It definitely will be fragrant. I wouldn’t describe the smell as bad, however. Not sure why yours did.

  23. I’m not too keen on the smell or taste on it’s own, however once it is stored in a glass jar in the fridge it’s okay. I make a soup by frying a little chilli, garlic, ginger grated carrot, grated zucchini and finely shredded kale. I then add the bone broth gel. Add fresh herbs like coriander and parsley. Salt pepper and lemon. Very quick and healthy!

  24. Hi I’m just wondering if is okay to used wild deer bones?? Will ill still get the same nutrition?

  25. Do you know any way to “rescue” a bone broth if you haven’t roasted the bones first? I tossed some fresh killed deer bones in a stock pot last night, and I wouldn’t say it smells like death but…I’m not really wanting to eat it either. Wine? Aromatics? Or is it just too bloody at this point and I need to let it go?

  26. I’ve come across a lot of recipes that only roast for 15 minute at 400 degrees. Is there a reason you roast for a full hour? Thanks!

  27. I’m on the last few hours of making my beef bone broth. The broth started out smelling really good, but is now smelling like my dogs bone he chews on (yuck!). The recipe I followed said to roast them
    For 30 mins, which I did. Now I’m afraid to try it because of the smell. I wouldn’t call it death like above though. Any tips? What would you describe it is suppose to smell like?

  28. Epicurious suggests to blanch the (beef) bones for 20 minutes, then roast for 40 in a 450 degree oven, then stove top simmer (with filtered water) 24-48 hours. I, too, did not want my stove top on all night, so I used the crock. Apparently, I did all the right steps and my house still smelled like death and my broth tasted awful and burnt. I can’t down it…..sorry. I’m sticking with chicken and putting magnesium and trace minerals in my drinking water instead!

  29. I have always used a turkey carcass left from Thanksgiving and it makes wonderful broth and smells divine; however I tried using chicken feet and I did not roast them and it was enough to make me gag. I am thinking it is the apple cider vinegar that is the culprit. I used the slow cooker. I wouldn’t think that that would make a difference. Any thoughts? Should I have roasted the chicken feet first? I have it cooling at the moment however I’m not sure after looking at cooked chicken feet I will be able to eat it.

  30. I would really love to make your bone broth recipe at home, It’s making me crave bone broth because of the pictures. It’s just unfortunate that I’m too busy that I don’t get the time, which is why I bought Au Bon Broth. It’s surprisingly delicious like it was home made and it’s organic too.

  31. I would really love to make your bone broth recipe at home, It’s making me crave bone broth because of the pictures. It’s just unfortunate that I’m too busy that I don’t get the time, which is why I drink Au Bon Broth. It’s surprisingly delicious like it was home made and it’s organic too.

  32. I’ve been told before that if you want your broth to gel and it’s not currently doing so then use less water/you’re using too much water. I always make mine in the crock pot and just leave it for 24 hours on low. Since I know that the bones and vegetables will shrink a bit I don’t put water over it to cover. I put it a little below to cover. Sometimes I have to add a splash of water after a few hours but just keep that in mind- it’ll reduce down in size. Me personally I don’t care if it gels.

    1. My easy/lazy method:
      I throw cooked/used bones and vegetable scraps in a gallon ziplock bag in the freezer as I go about my days. Then when I’ve determined that I have enough to merit doing a broth (or running out of room in freezer/in the bag then I’ll take it out rinse it off a bit to get any residual seasonings/sauces used on the meat.

      Then I throw it all in the crock pot, fill with water to just below covering it, add 1tblsp of raw apple cider vinegar per cup (rough approximation), turn crock pot to high and wait until it’s boiling. It usually takes a couple of hours for me. So the whole idea of having the bones sit in ACV and water prior to cooking actually gets accomplished while also waiting for the crock pot to heat up.

      Once boiling I turn it to low. I usually start this in the evening and then I check the water level in the morning, stir it up to make sure nothing is sticking, and then in the early afternoon I turn it off with the lid off to cool it down a bit.

  33. Once cooled enough I strain it really well to not miss a drop and then I either use right away or put it in the fridge to deal with another day or strain off fat or I tend to mostly just bag them up in the snack sized ziplock bags which end up being about 1cup of the mixture per bag. It can be a messy job so I make sure that after all the snack baggies are filled I clean up really well and wipe the baggies off so they don’t stick together in the fridge. I put a few baggies in a larger baggie and then freeze.

    I’ve also started putting a layer of wax/parchment paper in between the baggies sitting on top of each other in the larger baggies because I can sometimes have trouble with them sticking together if I didn’t clean them up good enough or if there’s a spill in one of the baggies.

    Then when I want to to use I just take one of the baggies out and microwave for a few minutes to get it back to a liquid form and use or just put it on the stove to liquefy for use. You can easily cut away the snack baggies when it’s a solid cube of frozen broth. Take a knife or scissors and peel it away from the frozen cube. Makes it so easy!

  34. I like having the broth in measured amounts so I can sneak bone broth in more recipes like for rice, beans, soup, couscous, etc. I tend to do about one bone broth every other month so doing it this way means I have enough bone broth to supplement us through out the months. Just using 1cup of it a few times a week is good enough.

    You can’t beat the flavor! It has more flavor than any store bought broth you’ll buy. You won’t regret doing it. It’s cheap, easy, and really amps up your meals. It adds that special touch that’ll make your family and guests think you are an epic cook. All you did was use real food with layers upon layers of flavor. That’s the key! It’s how my soups turn out so well. Soup can be boring really easily, but the homemade broth actually makes you want to eat it. The store bought broths have too much darn salt that’s why I started primarily using homemade. I do buy store bought (in the lowest amount of salt I can find) only for emergencies.

  35. Do you have to roast the bones to get rid of the smell even if they were frozen from cooked? I want to make porridge, but the smell of the broth (made it from cooked chicken bones) is a bit of a turn off.

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