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If you’ve ever taken a class at Kitchen on Fire, you will often hear us talk about the benefits of Bone Broth. While you may have only started to hear about Bone Broth in the last few years, it has been traditionally used in cultures around the world for hundreds of years. We now have modern science to backup the claims that our ancestors made–Bone Broth is incredibly healing.

The healing power from the broth is based on the impact the nutrients have to heal and nurture your gut. The vital nutrients in broth are easily absorbed by the body–calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and other trace minerals. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin. The gut is the most important place to start for nutrition and wellness, because if you can’t digest and absorb nutrients they can’t do anything for your body. Additionally, Bone Broth contains gelatin and collagen (you will see this congealed when broth is cooled–that is supposed to happen!), which has been widely used to treat many diseases and ailments throughout history.

What is Bone Broth exactly?

Bone Broth is made by simmering and brewing bones and connective tissues from animals for an extended period of time. Broth can be made with just about any animal: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, etc. Bone broth differs from regular broth due to the time it is simmered and the parts of the animal it is made from. The longer cooking process allows for a greater amount of beneficial nutrients and gelatin to be released from the bones to support the digestive and immune systems.

Some people drink Bone Broth as part of their daily routine, similar to coffee or tea. Bone Broth can be sipped on its own, or incorporated into your cooking in delicious and nourishing ways: soups, stews, sauces, rice dishes, sauteing vegetables–the possibilities are abundant! Not only does it add a richness and depth to dishes, Bone broth can be used as one of your natural defenses during cold and flu season.

Benefits of Bone Broth

You may have heard Lisa Miller mention the positive comments from students that took her ’30-Day Challenge’ to include Bone Broth in their diet for at least 30-Days and keep a journal to track results. Bone broth may help with immune support, reducing stress and anxiety, healing of the gut, reducing inflammation, providing joint support, and increasing clarity and focus.

How do you make Bone Broth?

Bone Broth is relatively easy (and inexpensive) to make on your own. There are store bought options, however the freshest and most economical option is to make it at home. Plus, you have the opportunity to create less food waste in the process and are truly using the whole animal. You can also ask your local butcher for bones if you need more, or if you don’t eat many animal products at home.

There are various opinions out there about the best method for cooking the broth–some say the pressure cooker is best, and some say the traditional stockpot is best. We think that whatever method that works well for your lifestyle is the best one for you!

How to Make Bone Broth at Home

Steps for using a Slow Cooker

  1. Using a crockpot is a great way to make bone broth, rather than a stock pot on the stove, since it takes so long to cook. An 8-quart container can hold about three pounds of bones. Feel free to add a variety of beef bones (roasted meaty and non- meaty) for the flavor, though for maximum nutritional benefit I do not roast the bones for bone broth.

  2. Fill the pot with bones and 2-3 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and water to cover. Leave at least an inch between the water level and the top of the pot since the water will not evaporate as quickly as with a stockpot. Ensure the lid is weighted down and that simmering can’t move the lid around or you will have water everywhere.

  3. Put the slow cooker on high until it gets going then low is fine as long as your cooker stays hot.

  4. Strain the broth through cheesecloth or a strainer over a large pot. Cool and store in storage containers.

Instructions for the Instant Pot

  1. Follow the instructions for your Instant Pot for fill level and quantity. Add the vinegar and use the sauté function to bring the broth to a boil. When the broth comes to a simmer, use a wide slotted spoon to remove any white or gray foam off of the top.

  2. Cook on high pressure for 120 minutes. Cover and lock on the Instant Pot lid. Make sure the pressure-release valve is closed. Set to manual, high pressure for 120 minutes. The quickest way to 120 minutes is to actually press the (-) until the clock hits zero and then 120 minutes.

  3. Natural release for 90 minutes. When the 120 minutes is up, allow the instant pot to release its pressure naturally. Do not adjust the steam valve. This will take about 90 minutes.

  4. Repeat this process once or twice to get a super gelatinous broth! Note: You will not see the gelatinous texture until the broth is cooled.

  5. Natural release again for 90 minutes. When the 120 minutes are up, allow the Instant Pot to release its pressure naturally again. Do not adjust the steam valve. This will take about 90 minutes.

  6. Strain the broth through cheesecloth or a strainer over a large pot. Cool and store in storage containers.

NOTE // To Cool the Broth Quickly: 

Prepare an ice bath by either filling a sink or basin with cold water and ice and set the pot of broth inside the ice bath. Stir regularly until the broth is cooled to about 50°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer the broth to airtight containers or jars. Refrigerate or freeze.

Recipe from Lisa Michelle Miller, BS, NC