How to make Beef Bone Broth
It may seem like I always have a fresh batch of bone broth in the works, because I make 1 or 2 batches every week. We enjoy a mug of bone broth every day as a part of our healthy lifestyle! My secret to no fuss bone broth is using my crock pot/slow cooker (but you can easily translate this recipe into stove friendly if you don’t have a crock pot/slow cooker or want to make a GIANT batch!)
Many of you have asked for my recipe and I’ve typed it up on Facebook and Instagram so many times.. I decided I should probably do a quick post showing my exact process 🙂 Today, I’m talking specifically about Beef Bone Broth, but the same basic principals apply to chicken bone broth which I will cover in a separate post soon.
What’s so Great about Bone Broth?
Bone broth is known as a super food. The cooking process breaks down bones and connective tissues – including proteins, minerals and fat – that heal the body in various ways. And because bone broth comes from pure nature, it’s sometimes more beneficial than taking supplements, especially for people with severe digestive problems.
When you ingest bone broth, it feeds the body with collagen, which is the building block of cells to bones, ligaments, cartilage and the brain. Gelatin, a form of collagen used in food, is used (among other benefits) to help digestion because the liquid gets absorbed into the body quickly and without much effort. Making bone broth excellent for people with food sensitivities and gastrointestinal disorders because it is usually very safe and tolerable for the body.
There are other virtues of bone broth. Bone marrow helps the immune system by carrying oxygen to cells in the body. Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are essential for maintaining healthy bones and generating energy. And using cartilage-rich bones such as knuckles and chicken feet is said to be effective in treating arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases.
For example, people with food intolerances who suffer from a variety of digestive problems, often find bone broth is a way to superfeed the system without causing digestive discomfort. In this example, the immune system has become so hyper-sensitive (from food intolerences) that it may also attack beneficial foods such as celery, navy beans and chicken. The body uses the collagen and other connective tissues in the broth to rebuild the damaged tissues like the intestinal lining. In this way, the bone broth heals the gut (i.e. leaky gut) without irritating the body.
Here’s what you need to make Beef Bone Broth:
- Grass Fed Beef Bones – Any beef bones will work with or without meat. Knuckle and Marrow bones are best, but not necessary. If you do not have a local source I recommend order thing them from US Wellness Meats (click HERE)
- Slow Cooker/Crock Pot – No matter what size you have, it will work. However, I prefer to use a large oval 8 quart model so that I can make enough broth to last us a full week. Bigger Pot = More Bones = More Broth 🙂 (click HERE for the slow cooker/crock pot I have & recommend)
- Raw, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar – Just a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar helps to draw the minerals out of the bones (This is the only ACV we use, buy HERE)
- Salt & Pepper – We only use Celtic Sea Salt (buy HERE) and Real Salt (buy HERE) in our kitchen, and so should you. Cheap Iodized Table Salt is bad for your health, where as Sea Salts are full of essential vitamins and minerals!
- Filtered Water – It’s a no brainer really. We all know that our tap water is horrible. It’s contaminated with everything from fluoride to chlorine. At our house we have 2 filters for drinking water, we recommend both equally (they both remove all the regular yucky stuff PLUS 99% of Fluoride) Berkey (learn more HERE) is a free standing, gravity feed water filter (no electricity needed) and Aquacera (learn more HERE) is an inline filter with a separate drinking water faucet at your sink, ours is also used to filter the water in our refrigerator’s automatic ice maker.
How I Make Beef Bone Broth in my slow cooker/crock pot:
1. Put your bones in your slow cooker/crock pot…
2. Season your bones with lots of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper….
3. Roast your beef bones (dry, do not add any water) for 6-8 hours on high…. (feel free to nibble at the meaty bits, they are super yummy! If you’re bones are very meaty you can pull the meat off the bones to eat then return the bones to the pot for broth)
4. Add water (preferably filtered) and a splash of ACV,to fill your slow cooker/crock pot and cover…
5. Let your (covered) broth cook on LOW for 48+ hours (that’s 2 days)…
6. Taste your broth, add additional sea salt as needed.. You can enjoy your broth right out of your slow cooker or Strain and store it in jars in the fridge (Like we do at my house)
When your broth is chilled in the fridge, the fat will solidify on top and can be removed, if desired (my hubby likes the fat in his broth, I do not) and your broth will gel (like jello) .. the stiffer gel your broth sets into the more gelatin it has in it (more gelatin = better broth)
Now you’ve made a beautiful batch of gut healing, nutrient dense bone broth – have a mug every day!! If you’ve made more than you can eat up in a week you can freeze, can or make into bouillon (get my recipe for Homemade Bone Broth Bouillon, click HERE)
I haven’t used the slow cooker dry before- do you put the lid on during the roast phase?
This is the BEST beef bone broth recipe I’ve ever seen. It’s delicious and (most of all) EASY. 🙂 I’ve got the same crock pot that you used in this recipe and I was wondering if you had some kind of rough estimate as to the nutritional info in 1 cup of this stuff? It would have to be a rough estimate, but I was just looking for a general idea. Most ‘bone broth’ nutritional info that I’ve been able to find includes carrots and other veggies, spices added to the broth, sigh. THANK YOU for sharing this recipe. Very easy for those who are wrestling with various health issues. 🙂
it’s so tough to determine the nutritional content… honestly for us, we don’t “count” stuff like fermented sauerkraut and bone broth when we track our macros because they are so essential and healthy.
I make my bone broth in the pressure cooker.
I prefer to make my beef bone broth with roasted bones then slow cooked, however I make my chicken broth in my pressure cooker.
I have a problem when cooking bone broth in my slow cooker for 48 hours–the liquid evaporates. Between the bones taking up a lot of room in the slow cooker and the liquid evaporating, there is very little broth remaining at the end of the 48 hours. For the amount of broth I get, it’s very expensive and time consuming, not to mention the smell is difficult for my 9-year old son. I am using the Elite Platinum 8.5 quart slow cooker, and I use the low setting. Any suggestions?
Just add back in more water 🙂 Easy solution. As for the smell, I’m sorry that you son is not used to it yet. You can even add more water and do another batch using the same bones to get out every last bit of nutrition. For a quicker way you can use a pressure cooker.
I use the slow cookers out on my back porch or in the garage. I don’t like the smell either. The chicken is tolerably but the beef is stinky!!
I never knew you could roast bones in the crock pot but that’s what I’m doing now – thanks for that tip. They have been in for about 3 hours and are beginning to brown. I’m off work for a few days so this is a perfect time to make a good pot of beef stock. I had wanted to make some bouillon but my body could use the nutrition this week so I’m probably going to end up drinking all of this batch.
Do you have a print option for your recipes? It’s hard to print up this recipe since your instructions are spread out between your pics. Thanks!
Sonya – This really isn’t a “recipe” you don’t need a recipe to make bone broth it’s just a guide, but you are welcome to PRINT the blog post if that helps you.
So you roast them in the crock pot? I have been roasting in the oven then putting them in the crock pot. That would save a hot kitchen and another dish! AND no veggies at all? Would it make much of a difference in the bouillon if I did do carrots, celery, onions and garlic? I also mix beef bones with chicken bones (feet, backs, whatever I have in the freezer).
Mona – Yep just like I have shown in this post, everything is done in the crock pot. You can add veggies if you wish as well as mixing bones 🙂
How many pounds of bones ?
Peyton – that will depend on the size of your crock pot. I never weigh mine or even pay attention to a weight when purchasing them – just eyeball what will fill your crock pot 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full 🙂
I have only tried this once, but my broth turned out very pale. Any thoughts on what I may have done wrong?
There’s so many variables. the bones, how much meat was on them, the quality, how long you roasted them, how much drippings they made… how concentrated the broth was… etc. How did it taste?? was it weak?
That’s so interesting to me that you roast the bones dry first. I’ve never heard of doing that! I can’t wait to make this over the weekend and then concentrate some into bouillon cubes from your other post. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing! I just finished up a batch last night, but will definately be using this method for my next batch. 🙂
Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve done chicken broth in the crockpot about 5 times and I just love it. Now that it is getting cold (I’m in SC) I want to make it all the time! I have a bag of grass fed beef bones from a local farmer in my freezer that I’ve not been sure what to do with! They’ve been there since July, I wonder if they are still good. Do beef bones go bad?? I have no clue. 🙂 I really enjoy your posts!
If they are well wrapped, your bones would probably be good for a year, but I don’t keep much of anything that isn’t vacu-sealed more than 6 months. Regardless, your bones are fine for this. And even if you kept them a little too long, or they had a little freezer burn, they would still be fine for this application.
I think they are in good shape! Thanks for your reply.