Nutritious and wholesome slow cooker bone broth is healing, promotes physical wellness and health, and is so easy to make at home in a slow cooker or stockpot. It's packed with protein and natural collagen to promote gut and skin health. Sip it on its own or add it to soups, stews and sauces for incredible flavour and nourishment.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a restorative medicine-like food that a magic elixir for physical wellness. Bone broth is a liquid that is made from meaty animal bones and connective tissues (joints like necks, feet and knuckles) that is simmered in water for a long period of time. You can make bone broth using bones from any animal. Chicken, beef and pork are quite common. It is also often also simmered with vegetables, herbs and spices for flavour, and an acidic ingredient like wine or apple cider vinegar to help break down the protein and pull out all the nutrients from the bones to yield a protein-rich broth that is thick, gelatinous and highly nutritious.
Bone broth is different than stock due to its longer cooking time. But similar to stock, it can be used as a base for many foods such as soups, stews, sauces, and gravies.
Health Benefits of Bone Broth
There are numerous health benefits to consuming bone broth.
- contains important vitamins and minerals - as the bone broth is simmering over an extended period of time, it releases nutrients into the water in a form that is easily absorbed by humans.
- rich in amino acids such as gelatin - bone broth is associated with collagen, which is broken down into gelatin and other amino acids.
- promotes gut health - bone broth is easy to digest and the gelatin in bone broth can aid in digestion, helping food move along your gut easily.
- promotes skin health - amino acids in bone broth have been shown to form collagen to improve the hydration and elasticity of the skin which also improved the appearance of wrinkles.
- other health benefits - bone broth has also been found to improve joint health, promote weight loss, improve sleep, help fight inflammation, and improve brain function.
To make bone broth you will need the following ingredients:
- bones - 2 lbs. bones. I used beef marrow bones.
- connective tissues - 2 lbs. of connective tissues. I used beef back ribs and oxtails.
- vegetables - onion, medium carrots, and celery, to add flavour to the broth.
- seasoning - garlic, ginger, bay leaves, and black peppercorns, to also add flavour to the broth.
- apple cider vinegar - to help break down the proteins in the broth.
How to Make the Best Slow Cooker Bone Broth
- Roast the bones. Pat dry beef bones with a paper towel and place them in a single layer on a quarter sheet baking pan, along with the onions and garlic. Roast in a preheated 375°F oven for 45 minutes until browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Add ingredients into the slow cooker. In a 6-quart slow cooker (crockpot), add carrots, celery, bay leaves, ginger, and peppercorns. Transfer the roasted bones, onions and garlic into the slow cooker. Add enough water to just cover the bones and vegetables. Then add apple cider vinegar and cover the lid.
- Cook in the slow cooker. Set to cook for 8 hours on the low temperature setting. Turn off the slow cooker and let the broth cool down to room temperature.
- Strain the broth. Separate the bones and vegetables from the broth by straining the broth through a fine mesh strainer.
- Refrigerate. Store the strained broth in a large mixing bowl and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour. You should notice the fat from the broth start solidifying on top of the broth. Remove the fat with a spoon.
- Store. Store the broth in an airtight container like a large Mason jar. You can store the broth in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How to Make Bone Broth in a Stockpot
To make bone broth in a stock pot instead, follow the same steps above, except instead of adding everything to the slow cooker (crockpot), add it to the stockpot. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Then, reduce to low heat and simmer for at least 8 hours. Check the water level occasionally and remove foam that gathers around the rim. If the water level gets below the bones, add in more water. The longer you simmer the broth, the richer and more flavourful it will be.
Tips for Making Bone Broth
- Roast the bones. By roasting the bones first, it adds a caramelization to the bones and releases some fat which adds better flavour to the broth.
- Don't use too much water. You want to just add enough water to just cover the bones and vegetables. You won't want to end up with a watery diluted broth. You want it thick.
- Save the fat layer on top. Refrigerate the broth for an hour and then spoon off the fat from the top. This will help your broth stay clear rather than muddy. You can save the fat that you spoon off and use it in cooking.
- How to store. Store bone broth in an airtight container like a large Mason jar. You can store the broth in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The broth will thicken up quite a bit when refrigerated. Once reheated, it will liquify again.
- How to freeze. Store bone broth in an airtight container like a large Mason jar and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using. You can also freeze small portions in an ice cube mold. Then transfer to a freezer bag for quick and easy use.
How to Use Bone Broth
- Sip on a cup of protein-rich bone broth on its own as a snack.
- Add it to soups and stews such as mushroom barley soup, roasted butternut squash soup, creamy corn soup, or vegetarian ramen.
- Use it to make sauces like easy homemade gravy.
- Cook it in rice or grains like one pot rice pilaf with carrots or creamy parmesan risotto.
More Health Focused Recipes
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.