How to Make Bone Broth (Plus, A Big Shortcut)

Posted by Ethan Boldt on

By Dr. Josh Axe

Not only is bone broth delicious, but it can also be highly beneficial in a variety of ways — such as by supporting healthy joints, healthy digestion, skin health and much more. No wonder it was consumed by our ancestors centuries ago and now has become a staple in many modern-day diets, especially those of the keto and Paleo variety.

Something that may deter you from consuming more bone broth is the time commitment involved in making it at home from scratch. But thanks to the creation of powdered bone broth, you can now whip up a batch almost instantly.

Ancient Nutrition’s Bone Broth Protein Pure is a great option for making homemade bone broth in mere minutes. And just like real homemade bone broth, it provides you with beneficial compounds, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and 19 amino acids.

How to Make Bone Broth From Scratch

There are a few important basics to consider when making a good batch of bone broth, whether from scratch or from bone broth powder.

Nutrition researcher, Sally Fallon, of the Weston A. Price Foundation says that for a quality bone broth recipe, it’s important to use body parts that aren’t commonly found in the meat department of your grocery store, such as chicken feet and neck.

What kind of bones are best for homemade bone broth? Make sure to buy animal bones and parts that you know are organic, grass-fed, and free of antibiotics and hormones in order to truly optimize bone broth benefits.

You can make bone broth with animal components alone, but the combination of animal products and vegetables seems to have synergistic effects, working together to be more beneficial than either is when consumed alone.

Here are some tips for making traditional, slow-simmered bone broth at home:

Tip 1 — Most classic bone broth recipes call for these essential ingredients: bones, fat, meat, vegetables and water.

Tip 2 — Like to make a weekly roast chicken? Don’t throw away that carcass — it’s the perfect start to a batch of bone broth.

Tip 3 — Add in whole vegetables, such as carrots, celery, onions and garlic, and/or use the scraps of these vegetables, including onion skin, carrot tops, etc. These odds and ends that you wouldn’t normally put in other recipes make very nutrient-rich and flavor-enhancing additions to your broth. And since you’ll ultimately strain the stock before storing/serving it, there’s no worries about ending up with onion skin in your final product.

Tip 4 — Next, add in water, sea salt, peppercorns and a little apple cider vinegar. Another popular addition is bay leaf. You can also add in any other additional herbs and spices that you enjoy.

Tip 5 — If you’re making grass-fed beef broth or lamb broth, you should brown any of the leftover meat or organ meat before putting it into a stockpot. Beef bones don’t need to be cooked beforehand.

Tip 6 — Fish and poultry (chicken or turkey) are fine to put in a pot without browning first. Don’t forget to add a bit of apple cider vinegar to your pot to help draw the minerals from the bones.

Traditional Bone Broth Recipe Directions

Servings: 20

Prep time: 10 min

Cooking time: 24 hrs

Total time: 24 hrs 10 min

Common ingredients:

  • chicken or beef bones, such as the bones and carcass from your roast chicken
  • (optional) chicken neck, kidney, feet, etc.
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • chopped up carrots, celery, onions and garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • (optional) 3 sprigs fresh thyme and parsley
  • cold water, to cover

Basic directions:

1. Place bones into a large stockpot or slow cooker and cover with water.

2. Add apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps pull out important nutrients from the bones.

3. You can also add in sea salt, peppercorns, vegetables — such as onions, garlic, carrots and celery — and herbs like parsley and thyme for added nutrient value.

4. Fill stockpot or slow cooker with filtered water to cover. Leave room for water to boil.

5. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove any scum as it arises.

6. Cook slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours. A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bone.

7. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Discard solids and strain remainder in a bowl through a colander.

8. Let stock cool to room temperature, cover and chill.

    If you use red meat bones, like beef or lamb, many people like to roast the bones beforehand at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes to enhance the flavor of the broth.

    Making bone marrow broth is exactly the same. Bone marrow broth just means that you use animal bones and parts that contain marrow, which is ideally what you want for any good bone broth.

    While there are the straightforward recipes for bone broth, there are also a good amount of variations on this classic recipe using different ingredients and/or different cooking devices.

    How should you store it? You should use your homemade bone broth within a week, or you can freeze it for up to three months.

    If making bone broth from scratch, be sure to strain your bone broth carefully to ensure there are no bones left behind. Also, allow the broth to cool before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer.

    Common Mistakes to Avoid 

    Making bone broth isn’t hard, so don’t think you need to be an expert in the kitchen to make bone broth recipes. However, there are some common pitfalls you want to watch out for as you learn how to make a bone broth.

    These tips can also help you to learn how to make bone broth taste better too!

    Too much foam: Sometimes foam can be a sign of impurities that are releasing from the bones as they cook. This foam should be skimmed off as the broth cooks. Many people find that when they use organic, grass-fed bones, there is little to no foam.

    Rushing the process: As mentioned earlier, a long cooking time is key to a bone broth’s nutritional power as well as its flavor profile so don’t try to rush the process and cut down on the very important lengthy cooking time.

    A cloudy broth: Your broth is still perfectly fine if it’s a bit milky or cloudy, but you likely cooked it at too high of a temperature.

    Using the wrong pot: With all those big bones and additional ingredients, make sure to opt for one of your larger stockpot. Typically, you add enough water to cover everything but not so much that you have floating bones. If you use too much water, you’ll end up with a weaker-flavored broth.

    No gel: If you’ve made bone broth before, you know that it’s normal for the broth to gel as it cools. This isn’t a bad thing because that gel is super high in beneficial gelatin. Your batch of broth can still be tasty and nutritious with less gelatin, but to ensure a higher gelatin content in your bone broth, make sure to opt for bones that have connective tissues.

    Selecting poor-quality ingredients: The best bones come from animals raised organically and grass-fed. These bones are free from antibiotics, hormones and other questionable ingredients that are not health-promoting. Plus, grass-fed animal products are known for their richer nutrient density.

    Bone Broth Recipes

    Bone broth is delicious on its own, but it can also be added to soups, stews, as well as meat, fish and vegetable dishes.

    Examples include our Butternut Squash Bisque, Creamy Broccoli Soup or Chicken Noodle Soup

    You can also use it in place of water to prepare rice, include it in mashed potatoes (or mashed cauliflower) … the options are quite endless!

    If you’re wondering, when should I drink bone broth? Any time of day is a great time to benefit from this nutritious and delicious elixir.

    A Bone Broth Shortcut!

    Want to reap the many benefits of bone broth — such as joint, skin and digestive support — without the hassle of buying and simmering bones? Then you’ll love Ancient Nutrition’s Bone Broth Protein powders.

    Did you know that we were one of the first companies to put Bone Broth Protein powder on shelves because we saw a void in the market for a simplified way to consume an ancient superfood?

    Our Bone Broth Protein Pure flavor tastes just like the bone broth you’d make at home, having a savory, chicken broth flavor.

    And like the real thing, it’s rich in collagen (specifically type II) and beneficial compounds like glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid that support the health of connective tissues throughout your body.

    Here’s how simple it is to use BBP:

    • Add one heaping scoop with 12 oz. of warm/hot water, plus a dash of salt and pepper for a homemade chicken broth drink.
    • Add some to your favorite savory recipes, such as stews, soups and casseroles.

    Bone Broth Protein is like getting the nutrients from days of simmered broth plus on-the-go collagen all under one lid. While there’s loads of reasons to enjoy traditionally made broth, using bone broth powder is a short-cut you can feel good about taking.

    Here are some of the highlights of our Bone Broth Protein powders:

    • Sourced from non-GMO, pasture-raised, made without hormones, cage-free and cruelty-free sources.
    • One serving provides 20 grams of protein, 0 grams carbs, and 1 gram of fat.
    • No fillers; made from only real food ingredients.
    • Features collagen type II, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and 19 amino acids
    • Supports healthy joints, a healthy gut, and skin health.
    • Our Pure flavor has a savory, chicken broth flavor, while other flavors such as BBP Chocolate and BBP Vanilla have a pleasantly sweet, versatile flavor that’s great in sweet recipes — like pancakes, muffins, energy bites and so on.

    Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition and founder of, and author of the best-selling books Keto Diet and The Collagen Diet and his new book Ancient Remedies.