Bone Broth: Take Frugal to a New Level

I am pleased to introduce to you a great article on making frugal bone broths by Amanda Rose. I asked her to write this guest post because I thought that her thoughts on the topic would be helpful, and they certainly were!Β  I love bone broths, from chicken broth to lamb broth. I also think they are an excellent source of calcium. Thanks Amanda for giving us more tips!

Bone broth is a culinary and nutritional treat. Rich broth adds a depth of flavor to any of your soups and it will bring a great sense of fullness and satisfaction as it provides nourishment to your body.

Many of us are looking for healthier ways to feed our families and struggle increasingly with doing so on a budget. Bone broth has long been heralded as a budget-friendly mineral-rich ingredient. As budgets get tighter, it is time to reflect on bone broth and figure out how to get even more flavor and nutrition out of our bone broth dollars.

Earlier this year, my mother and I challenged ourselves to stretch our bone broth projects to their limit and discovered some incredible budget-friendly tidbits that will help you do the same.

Where to Buy Bones for Bone Broth

If you are on a tight budget, you will not be able to afford $5/pound (and more) organic beef bones at a health food store. Depending on the size of your crock pot or soup pot, you will likely want to fill it with two or three pounds of bones. Ten to fifteen bucks for a base ingredient is a bit high.

Many of us are looking for animal foods from animals raised on grass, but soup bones from grass fed animals start at about $5 per pound and go up from there. These bones will make an exquisite broth and I recommend them highly if you can afford them. However, if you cannot, I am here to reduce your guilt: The major health benefits of consuming grass-fed meats come in the fats, not in the bones. The bones of any animal will have a good amount of nutrition that you can integrate into your menu planning.

To find budget-friendly soup bones, look for a local ethnic market. In our area, Mexican and Asian markets have bones as stock items. Better still may be a local butcher if you are lucky enough to have one. In our area, local butcher shops process animals from family farms and small producers. These are not animals in large confinement systems. Our butcher actually sells “dog bones” because there is such a small market for soup bones. I can buy them for $1.50/pound and turn them into soup instead. You might check your phone book for butcher shops. Call and ask if they have “soup bones” or “dog bones.”

KH: I also wanted to note that in my area mostly grassfed soup bones are sold for around $1.50 per pound at my local store, and I can also get a whole box of grassfed beef bones (40 pounds) for $25 dollars through a private food co-op. So check out your local resources and see what you can find. You may be able to get better deals than you think!

Use Your Bones Again and Again (and Again)

Consider reusing your bones in batch after batch of broth until your bones disintegrate or until you simply get tired of the whole process and want to clean out your crock pot. Each batch of broth will have less flavor than the previous, but it will have nutrition nonetheless.

Earlier this year, we actually got twelve batches of gelatin broth from one batch of bones — soup bones high in gelatin called “beef feet.” (Gelatin is a component in bones that adds a richness to your broth and may even have healthful properties in its own right.) Every day for twelve days we poured off our broth and covered our bones again with water and a bit of vinegar and made another batch.

With our first three batches of broth, we made wonderful soups. As the broth lost flavor compared to the previous day, we would use the broth instead to cook beans or grains.

You can imagine that using this method you can have a continuous pot of broth going in your kitchen for an exceptional price.

For those wishing to test the limits of their soup bones, here are some recommendations from our kitchen:

bone broth

  • Plan to use your broth right away. Do not worry about storing it–just pour it right from your stock pot into a soup pot. It is hot and your soup is now halfway done. (With this approach you may want to roast beef bones in advance so that some of the fat is already removed and you may want to spoon off more fat as your broth simmers unless you want all of the fat in your soup.)
  • After you pour off your broth, simply cover the bones again with water and add a bit of vinegar. You are onto the next round.
  • Let each batch simmer for about 24 hours. We find that when you get into the 48-hour mark, beef broth can get a bit bitter. Chicken may get bitter sooner than that. KH: I find that after 24 hours, chicken broth can start becoming bitter.
  • Consider adding vegetables to your broth for flavor, especially as your bones begin to lose flavor. If you do so, you will see that they get dark and may impart an “off” flavor to your broth if they are allowed to stay in your pot batch-after-batch. When we have vegetables in our crock, we tend to scoop them off the top and compost them before we pour off the broth. We may add a fresh onion to the new batch and scoop it off in the same way before the next batch. If you are pressed for time, it is easiest simply to let the bones simmer by themselves.
  • Add a culinary vinegar to your broth. Vinegar does draw out minerals from the bones and will make each batch of broth that much more nutritious.

A Note on Chicken Broth

Our experience in testing the boundaries of broth-making was with beef bones, bones which have far more substance than chicken bones. Chicken bones will disintegrate long before twelve batches of broth, so do not be disappointed if this happens in your kitchen. I try to get about three batches of broth from a chicken carcass; my adventurous mother shoots for five. You can add chicken feet to your broth for a broth higher in gelatin, but you will not get anywhere near the gelatin you can get from beef feet. You can check at your local ethnic market for chicken feet for your chicken broth.

Your Bone Broth Experiments

In our experimentation, we have created a process that works for us in our kitchen and I share it here with you. (Find our bone broth resource for more.) The great thing about broth, however, is much like all cooking, the method that works best is the one that you can manage. If you tire of broth after three batches, by all means, you have had a good run and can stop. If you do not like to add vinegar to your broth, you will still have a great end-product without adding vinegar.

That said, I encourage you to begin your own bone broth experiments in your kitchen. Report back here to tell us what is working for you.


Find Amanda and her mother Jeanie at their free video course on broth and soup-making on Facebook. Learn how to get the most nutrition out of your bones and flavor out of your soup ingredients, all for the most frugal of prices — free.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. says

    Oh my, multiple batches even on chicken? Now I feel guilty for throwing out my beef bones after just one batch. And considering that the broth turned into absolute jello in the fridge, it is almost certain there was more to give in those bones. *sigh* Live and learn…

    • Alicia says

      I wish I had read this earlier today! Just made a lot of chicken stock and tossed many bones…didn’t realize I could have made a couple more batches! They got picked up with the trash this morning. πŸ™

      • Heather says

        Yep, definitely a live and learn from me, too! Thankfully, it is about time for another round of chicken broth….beef broth I seem to never run out of, though! Need more ideas of ways to use beef broth! πŸ™‚

  2. Michelle K says

    Thanks for this post. I love making soup and with fall and winter around the corner, I will be using your tips a lot!

  3. Stephanie says

    Great post, I didn’t know I could get so many batches of broth out of the bones! I’ve always made chicken broth with the carcass but now I see I must venture into beef broth. When I put in my order for my fall side of beef, I am going to request the bones as well. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Peggy says

    I have contacted my grass farmer to try to get beef feet, but was told the USDA will not allow them to be retained as a cut. Bummer! My aching knees really need that gelatin!

    • says

      Hi Peggy. I think the farmer may be confused about the cut. It’s the bone right above the hoof. I have found it in regular grocery stores. I have had great luck with knuckle and marrow bones too.


      • Lynne says

        Regarding the “beef feet” – we just took a young grassfed bull to the local butcher today (and a goat wether). I told him I wanted the “beef feet” – he said, “I cut the leg off at the knee and don’t even skin the lower leg but I can put those in a bag for you if you want to do the skinning, etc. for yourself”. I said, not a problem. He said nothing about the USDA not allowing this “cut” – it was a personal preferrance for him as the butchter. Now, the “oxtail” cuts from the tail *is* one that the USDA discourages being used due to it being so close to the central nervous system/spine and they are worried about “mad cow” (BSE) disease. But my animals are born and raised here at home, no where close to other cattle, so I’m not worried about BSE. I use the oxtail. Can they be used to “beef stock” since there is bone in them? I would think so….I always use them for soup.

        • KimiHarris says


          I had no idea that the USDA discouraged using the tale “oxtails”. I’ve bought and used it before (it makes really good soups). Is this recent?

          • Becky says

            I’ve never heard that about the oxtail either. I have 2 in my freezer and just put one in my pot. (I’m on day 3 of making my bone broth!)

        • Duke l says

          Interesting. But my girlfriend has mad cow and she’s a vegan. Just kidding about the gf. And the mad cow. I think its overblown.

  5. says

    I love making bone broth, but I never thought of reusing the bones and making continual broth. I typically cook my chicken one day and make broth over night then use the broth the very next day for a soup. I rarely get ahead on my broth.

  6. says

    wow, i also didn’t know that you could use bones for so many batches! i am always running out of bone broth when i need it, and this will help us keep it stocked!

    thanks also for the tip about conventional bones. i only buy organic meat for our house, but i may try conventional bones to save money.

  7. shannon says

    Great info. What about pork bones though? I have access to pasture raised pork though given feed though no antibiotics. I make chicken and beef broth often but have wondered about pork.

      • NancyO says

        Pork broth is very gelatinous. I make it, but since I’m not really crazy about the taste, I usually use it for rice that will be used for fried rice, Mexican rice, etc.

        • Heather says

          That’s good to know. I hadn’t been keeping my pork bones since I’d heard it made for a strange tasting broth – maybe I’ll start keeping it and try that.

          • octopod says

            In order to avoid the strange taste, pork bones for stock need to be treated in the Chinese manner: first cover them with cold water, bring it to a boil, and once they look cooked and the scum rises, just throw out that first wash. There’s not much in it besides weird blood flavors — it takes a lot longer than that to get anything good out of a bone. Then rinse them quickly and proceed with making the stock just as you would for anything else, except that you won’t need to skim it.

            You can use this for other stocks too, to avoid the skimming part, but I think it’s really crucial for raw pork-bone stocks.

      • Rebecca C says

        I would imagine you could use p0rk broth in anything you might otherwise throw a ham hock in. Beans and collard greens for sure.

    • Choymae Huie says

      I save the bones from every meal I eat. Last week I made spareribs and saved every bone. Once a week I try to make a fish head soup and eat all the meat from it and suck up all the gelatinous stuff inside the head and save all the bones. I also had oysters on the half shell and saved all the shells, plus the pulp from my daily juicing and dump it all into my stock pot along with all the chicken backs, necks, feet and bones from a chicken. I always made stock before with pork bones and the neck, back feet and wing tip from a chicken. I never tried this before, but since I’ve been reading all the posts on throwing everything in, I decided to save everything and to my surprise, after five hours of boiling last night and another few hours today, even the spearib bones were soft enough to chew. The marrow inside had absorbed all the flavor of the soup and it was delicious. My husband, hurt his back last week and after he had a bowl of bone broth and chewed half a spearib bone, he was surprised that his back actually felt better. I knew it would cause I had injured myself and have been recovering now for 2 1/2 years and I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but my injuries seems better also. Thanks for this great community to help each other.

    • KimiHarris says

      Five days. If you want it to last longer, at the fifth day, bring to a boil on the stovetop. Cool, and then you can refrigerate it again for another 5 days. You can continue to do this many times.

  8. says

    I love making stock, but I have a hard time justifying buying bones separately, since I can’t seem to find them inexpensively.
    Instead, I buy a whole chicken (cheaper per pound than buying different cuts), and butcher it out myself. I get 5 meals out of it: two breasts, thighs, drumsticks, wings. – not to mention the leftover bones and giblets, which make a wonderful stock, which I then pick over and have another meal (usually soup) from the stock meat.
    This post has inspired me to save those leftover bones (maybe in the freezer?) to make a second or third batch of stock from.

  9. Jessie says

    The last time I made chicken stock I did two big batches on the stove & then after that was done, I dumped the bones into the crock pot & made another batch there. (I didn’t reuse all the bones – but I sure reused all the feet. It was not as gelatinous, but was good.

  10. AmyM says

    To make the broth even cheaper, use “unwanted” parts of veggies to add to the broth. Anytime I chop an onion, I save the root end in the freezer and throw it in my stock when I’m ready to make some. I do the same with carrot skins/tops, pastured eggshells, and the bottom/leaves of celery.

  11. says

    I will have to try this! I usually make two batches from my chicken bones (and a foot too) and any veggie scraps I’ve saved. Then, I pull out crumbling bones and skin (and usually the foot because it’s generally super soft) and mix them in the food processor with fresh, raw pastured organ meats from the farm (odds and ends) to make our dog food go a bit farther (we feed a raw diet to our pups). A splash of kombucha, an egg or two and we’ve got doggie meatballs from something we’d throw away! πŸ™‚

  12. Willie Mitchell says

    This is wonderful. Have never used chicken bones for more than one batch. Have never done beef broth at all. Just called a friend of mine to find out if a certain place she used to work (they kill and butcher cows and hogs) to see if they sell the bones. When I make a roast with veggies, I always keep the broth and any leftover veggies and freeze it to put in my vegetable. Makes it so tasty! Love your blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. says

    These are some wonderful ideas for extending broth and making it even more budget friendly. We share a whole cow with friends and have to ask for the all of the bones. I never thought to boil them more than once, though.

  14. Sarah W says

    I have a question for Amanda regarding crock pots. You recommend making stock in the crock pot. I’ve heard that most crock pot/slow cookers have lead in the lining of the insert. Is this something you have read about and do you have any recommendations in that regard?
    Thank you.

    • KimiHarris says

      Sarah W,

      I take a more conservative view on this, as some independent tests showed lead leakage, when families had their crockpot tested. Amanda feels like she hasn’t found convincing reasons to be concerned, so hasn’t worried about it. I personally make my broths most of the time on the stove.

    • says

      Hi Sarah. I haven’t been concerned as Kimi mentioned. If you are, definitely cook it on the stove top so that you don’t worry about it. Either way, just make sure there is plenty of water in the pot through the night.


  15. Karen says

    Great information. Didn’t our great great grandmothers keep a pot of stock simmering on the stove at all times? How did they avoid having the broth turn bitter? And if you boil a broth again after it’s been refrigerated for several days to extend it’s storage life, will it then become bitter from repeated boilings? I suggest getting halal or kosher meat at an ethnic grocery. It’s less expensive than organic and I suspect it’s better quality than grocery store meat. I’ve never seen a crock pot that was big enough to make a batch of bone broth. How many quarts does yours hold? Thanks!!

    • KimiHarris says


      I suspect that they also used their broth on a regular basis, and didn’t allow it to simmer for days. It won’t make it bitter to simmer it once the stock ingredients are taken out.

    • Clara says

      I’ve read somewhere that it’s the vegetables that make the stock bitter if you simmer it for a long time (more than a couple of hours)

  16. Brooke says

    Okay, feeling a little intimaded by this whole bone broth thing… never tried it but we could use the calcium so I think I’ll need to try it. Couple questions though… first, what sorts of soups do you make to have a variety? Do you ladies really eat soup everyday? Can you give more ideas for using your broth with soups and without soups?
    Also, what is a “culinary vinegar”? Just something like Apple Cider Vinegar?
    thank you

    • KimiHarris says


      For a first time broth maker, I would recommend a chicken broth (you can follow my link above). It’s really really easy. πŸ™‚

      I always use apple cider vinegar as it’s not as processed as other vinegars and cheap too.

    • says

      Hi Brooke. On “culinary vinegar,” I just meant one with a better flavor for cooking. White vinegar is a bit harsh, but certainly works. That’s a taste preference more than anything else.

      In terms of eating soup everyday, if you are on Facebook, do check out that broth class for soup ideas (which I continue to add). You can use broth to cook in, not just for soups. You can also just salt and pepper your broth and have a cup in the morning or during the day. Personally, I go through cycles where I get sick of it and take a few weeks off. That’s OK too. We do enjoy those weeks on.


    • Ella says

      We do eat soup everyday here. I make several kinds of soup. With pork neckbones I make one with white beans, spinach, habenero and jalapeno peppers, onion, and orange bell peppers. With beef bones, I make either beef stew, chili, or broth with udon noodles and swiss chard. I use mirin and soy sauce in that one. With chicken, I make chicken and vegetable, or chicken and rice. We pretty much gave up eating bread, so ya gotta have something and we could eat soup all day long. πŸ™‚

    • Choymae Huie says

      You can cook any kind of grains in it, like rice, wild rice, quinoa, amaranth to add richness. Use it as a base for chicken pot pie, stews, beef stroganoff, gumbos, Jambalaya.

  17. says

    Every time I make stock using bones, in the back of my mind I’m always thinking about hormones that are injected in the animals,especially chickens. When you hear &see the videos about the chickens that are barely able to take more than two steps and then they collapse because they are just too heavy and their bones are not strong enough to handle their weight, I’m thinking huh, wonder how healthy those bones are? Should we really be boiling those bones?
    What do you think?

    • KimiHarris says


      I personally use bones from organic or pastured chickens and, if my beef bones aren’t completely grassfed, they are well treated and weren’t fed and injected with gross stuff. πŸ™‚

    • says


      I’m of the view that some broth is better than none and so it becomes a budget issue basically. I think we should buy what we can afford and do the best we can.


    • MaryEllen says

      The federal government forbids the use of hormones in raising pork or poultry. Chickens that are raised for meat are almost always a certain breed which has been bred to just want to eat. Even when raised in a pastured setting this particular breed will not forage, it will just sit at the feeder and gorge. This causes rapid growth and it is butchered before it is old enough for health problems to set in. They don’t get that big because of hormones. Some farmers raising pastured poultry use other breeds, so they take longer to reach processing size, which contributes to the higher cost. I’m not defending confinement poultry, I’m just letting you know that none of your chicken will have added hormones, no matter what kind you buy.

      • says

        We raise pastured broilers on our farm (in Oregon), and we raise Cornish Cross birds (that are also used in confinement facilities). It’s true that these birds are lazy and don’t want to move! We raise them in 10 foot by 10 foot pens that sit right on the grass, and daily, my husband moves them to fresh grass. They love the fresh grass and especially the bugs, but we have to make them eat it!
        There is an incredible difference in the meat compared to grocery store chicken. Our meat has a ton of flavor to it! The broth is darker, richer, and wonderful!
        The problem with raising heritage breeds is that they are smaller and not as tender–it would take re-educating all of our customers about what is “good food” before we could really make any profits selling birds that forage. We’re intending to try some next year–in hopes that people will “get” it and want to buy our chicken even if it’s not plump and as tender as the grocery store variety! πŸ™‚
        Chickens in confinement are usually fed antibiotics, unfortunately. They have to be, because they’re not out on grass or in the sun and they’re getting sick. We’ve had issues with our birds starting to get some kind of bacterial infection when they were confined in the brooder (the first few weeks), and all we had to do was put them on pasture, give them apple cider vinegar in their water, give them a little yogurt, and it totally went away! Big chicken factories don’t think like this though! They just medicate them–right from birth, to make things easier on themselves.

        • MaryEllen says


          That’s funny that you have to force the chickens to eat the grass. I agree with everything you said.
          I was trying to point out to the previous poster that there are no “Hormones” in poultry, according to federal regulations. Antibiotics are another issue though. Fortunately, I can buy a local brand that is antibiotic free.

      • Gigi says

        Here are the tricks that the government allows BigFarm and BigPharma use to in order to lull consumers into a false sense of security.

        The government allows the injection of antibiotics in poultry eggs.

        I read that this is also the case with hormones:

        We have to leave no stone unturned when asking questions, we must go deep and make no assumptions.

  18. Molly says

    Hi Brooke!
    I’m doing the gaps diet intro right now, so I’m having soup at least four times a day (to heal digestive issues).

    For non soup broth uses: use broth to cook beans, other legumes or grains like rice, quinoa or wheat to add nutrition to these dishes. Brown rice is great cooked in broth with just butter, salt and cracked pepper on top. Any of these cooked items make a great salad when you add vinaigrette and chopped veggies (cucumber, red pepper, jicima, avocado, tomatoes, red onions, etc.). Making an aspic (meat jelly dish) is something you could look into on line. You could also look for saucers recipes that call for broth or use it for a healthy warm beverage with some lemon juice and salt or whatever added to it.

    For soups the varieties are endless. Basically I’ve been sautΓ©ing onions and garlic and maybe mushrooms then adding broth along with any other veggies I have on hand and any cooked meats as well. Sometimes I add coconut milk or oil, herbs or an egg yolk to the soup as well. Sometimes I roast a tray of veggies and then throw them in a pot of broth , boil and then blend them up with a stick blender. I’ve discovered that lemon juice, salt and pepper can bring just about any random combo of soup ingredients together into the realm of yumminess. Borscht, onion soup, mushroom soup, meatball soup, chicken soup, egg drop soup, broccoli soup, minestrone, lentil soup, ribollita are some of the types of soups I like a lot! Good luck!

    • says

      We’re on GAPS too, so we make a lot of soups in our home as well. This week we had a curry lentil soup and a chicken & squash soup. My kids love butternut squash or pumpkin soup, and I love easy tuna or clam chowders (quick, with protein–an easy dinner with a salad on the side!). Meatball soups are great (I make meatballs in advance and freeze them, ready to pop into a pot of soup). I think soups are one of the best ways to get the most bang for your buck as far as nutrition and frugality go. I always feel so good about a cheap dinner I’ve made with chicken stock, some leftover meat and a few veggies. It fills us up, nourishes us, and we hardly spent anything! Woo hoo! πŸ™‚

  19. Heather says

    One problem I have is using my beef broth. I made it, it’s great, but I don’t find a lot of uses for it. In fact, most of it is frozen right now because I was using it so rarely. My husband’s digestive tract cannot handle garlic or onions, so I’m trying to find things to do that do not incorporate those. For now we’ve also cut out potatoes, so that makes a beef stew more difficult. Help?

    • says

      Check out paleo food blogs; we rely heavily on meat but avoid potatoes. I know that primal palate dot com talks about FODMAPS, which are a group of foods, including onions and garlic, that some people react badly to.
      I use broth anywhere I need a little liquid: before sauteeing, in sauces, to kick-start a pna of roasted meat or veggies, by itself as a drink (more addictive than you’d imagine!) and of course as the base for any kind of soup. I usually freeze half in ice cube trays for little-at-a0time needs, and refrigerate the rest for one pot of soup per week and as an alternative to coffee in the morning.

  20. Lucy says

    I usually simmer my chicken carcass for about 36hrs. The bones start to disintegrate by then, and the broth is nice and concentrated. Then, it’s easy to store and add water to to add volume.

    • says

      Gristle is fat and cartiledge. It would likely render nicely – I’d leave it on your brisket for cooking then remove for serving. Thereafter I’m not sure it’s much good though. If you’ve cut it off raw, try roasting it with your next batch of beef bones and see if it looks good to add to the pot. Can’t hurt!

    • MaryEllen says

      I don’t bother roasting chicken bones, although I always save the carcass from a roast chicken dinner to use in broth. For beef bones, place in roasting pan in a 450 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes. Remove bones to stock pot, deglaze pan with some water and add to the pot. Continue with stock making process.

  21. Jennifer says

    I am gearing up to start GAPS and have been incorporating more broth in our meals. I really enjoy having a warm cup of clear broth with breakfast. It is something I would never have considered doing before.
    One thing regarding frugality to consider is the cost of cooking the broth. I have a gas stove and therefore need to keep the kitchen exhaust fan running the entire time a flame is burning to exhaust the products of combustion. When I do that, I have to leave my kitchen window open to allow make up air so that I won’t get any backdrafting down the flue for my gas hot water heater which is in the basement. I did not leave the window open one winter night and the entire house was full of the flue gasses. It was not at a dangerous level, but it needs to be considered. It’s not a problem in the summertime, of course, but we now have had our first frost and it is pretty chilly in the house. I just wonder if it is worth keeping broth going day after day considering the cost of the electricity and the natural gas. I therefore try to always use a really large stockpot and fill it as much as I can. A larger pot also allows me to keep the flame large enough so it won’t be blown out by the open window but not so hot that it can be a very gentle simmer.
    Sorry for the novel. I just had never seen this mentioned before. Thank you for the post.

    • says

      Jennifer, do you have a wood burning fireplace? One option (if you do!) is to install a metal hook in your fireplace and keep a cast iron pot hanging from it with your broth. It’ll heat your room up as well! AND, you’ll feel so much like Ma Ingalls that you’ll be giddy! (Ok, so that’s how I feel, anyways!). πŸ™‚

  22. Natalie says

    Lovely post. I never would have thought of using bones twice or more!

    Kimi, I’m a local girl, would you be willing to share which butcher shop or co-op you get your beef bones from, that is some wonderful price on grass-fed bones! I would be forever grateful to you! πŸ˜€ My local natural store sells soup bones at around $5/lb, I cannot afford this price!

  23. jen says


    I used to be a frequent bone-broth maker, but i stopped because my broth was never good. i’d roast a whole chicken in the crockpot, we’d eat it and then return the bones to the pot for another 8-10 hours or so.

    My broth is always darker than the ones pictured on your website Is my crock pot cooking too hot (i am thinking this is my problem, as other things have come out over-done)?

    If so, do you reccommend a certain brand? leave it on the stovetop in a pan overnight without it being a fire hazard?


    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Jen,

      When I’ve tried to make chicken broth in a crock pot, this has happened to me as well. I believe it is because my crockpot runs hot even on low. I don’t like the taste of it at all. If you are worried about doing 24 hour simmers on the stove, just do 12 (8 in the morning to 8 at night). You can then save the bones to do another run the next day. πŸ™‚

  24. nickyb says

    Hi Kimi
    I’m a bit late to comment on this but I have a question that you (or other readers) might be able to comment on. I’ve been recommended to follow the Body Ecology Diet to heal my candida. My naturopath has told me to have as many bone broths as I can. The B.E.D book talks in part about foods suitable for blood types. I am blood type B and it says that Type B’s should avoid chicken & beef broths. I usually buy an organic chicken & then make stock from the bones but now wonder if I should only make lamb or fish stocks. I’d be grateful for any insights as to the importance of eating for your blood type (or not)!
    By the way, I feel so lucky that your recent posts have been so helpful for my new eating needs….almond & coconut milk and the bone broths in particular.
    Thanks heaps,

  25. Tracy says

    I have always made broth with bones. It tastes great IN things but even when adding the vegi’s I find it really bland in comparison to store bought broth. I tried making a 2nd batch with chicken bones that last time I had bones & was sorely disappointed as my broth looks almost white in color & just looked weird…wondering what I did wrong.

    • KimiHarris says


      It sounds like your broth was boiling rather than gently simmering. It turns white then. Homemade should taste much better than storebought, but you need to add a lot of salt to broth! Storebought is full of salt, even “low sodium”. Since broth is water based, it’s going to taste really bland unless you add a surprising amount of salt.

  26. Jessi says

    I’m completely new to making broth but I’m really interested in figuring out how to do this! I’m confused though- the jelly that comes from cooking the bones is actually good for you? that’s not just fat? I’ve saved broth before after cooking a chicken to use in chicken noodle soup and threw it out in the morning because it turned to jelly in then fridge…but that stuff is actually good stuff?

    • salixisme says

      sorry but you threw out all the good stuff!

      the jelly that comes out of bones is not fat, it is a protein (gelatin – the same stuff that refined again and again and then flavoured and has artificial flavours and colours added to make jello).. But in its natural broth state it is actually good for you (unlike those packets of jello!)

      But not only does it contain loads of protein, vitamins and minerals, it also tastes damn good…. use it to make the most unbelievable tasting risotto or soup…. not only will your taste buds thank you but your body will too!

  27. Jennifer Monk says

    This is a great idea. I love bone broth. By adding a few veggies and garlic it becomes a real treat.
    Here is a tip – frugal veggie broth is made from the leftover ends of your veggies. Save carrot,parsnip,onion,celery and kale tops or anything you would normally discard in your compost and put in freezer baggies(except lettuce and potato peel). Then when you get enough to fill a large pot half full of veg put enough water in to cover and simmer for a few hours. Strain the broth into a bowl and add salt(just a bit to flavor)herbs (any you like) and freeze. I have saved so much money doing this with things I would have normally thrown out!

  28. says

    This is a really informative post. I have reused my bones nearly every time I make broth, which is 2-3 times weekly. I always have broth going since I’m on GAPS. I’ve noticed that all I have to do is keep pouring water into my pot when it gets low, add a little more ACV to pull minerals out and soak for 1/2 hour or so, and then heat to boiling and start the process all over again. I can’t do this with my chicken bones, as the stock starts to start smelling “off” if I leave it on my stove or in my crockpot for longer than 24 hours. But, with beef bones, I can do this for days and days. The longest I’ve done the beef bones for is about 6 days.

    I wanted to share that my health food store always has frozen dog bones from grass-fed cattle, but when I told the guy behind the butcher counter that I wanted to use them for stock because they were cheaper, he advised against it because he said those particular bones are not handled in a manner that would make them suitable for human consumption. This concerned me enough that I stopped making stock from them. I don’t know how true that is, but it seemed like something I should heed to be safe rather than sorry. And I personally know the farm the bones come from is safe, it’s a certified organic, 100 percent grass-fed family farm. But for some reason, some aspect of how the bones are handled between slaughter and packaging is less than optimal for people to eat them.

    Jennifer – I love using my leftover veggie scraps! I usually put all my leftovers and scraps into a freezer container and gradually let it build up until I have enough to use for soup. It’s awesome and a great money saver…not to mention, I hate wasting anything. πŸ™‚

  29. karen b says

    thank you, thank you — once again the internet answered my question — I’m the only person I know who makes their own broth — I was going to try to call an upscale restaurant but turned to the internet first — thank you again

  30. says

    This was great! Only I read it AFTER I put my used bones in the freezer for future use. Was this a bad idea? I didn’t plan on putting them in the freezer again. Am I zapping the nutrients?

    • Rebecca C says

      The freezer won’t hurt as far as the look taste. I don’t know about nutrients. It might just depend on how long it’s in there. Considering I keep my bones in the fridge six days sometimes before making stock, I don’t think a stint in the freezer would be worse.

  31. Melissa says

    I too am on my second batch of beef broth in two days, and know my bones have more to give, but don’t want to put another pot on this week since I won’t be home during the day to tend to it. Can I put the bones in the freezer and use them again next weekend?

  32. Rebecca C says

    I just want to say I love this post and have started using the bones more than once. I have never made beef stock, but am making lots of chicken stock now. I recently decided to stop buying cream soups because of the msg and other things. I hope I am ok posting a link, but I use this recipe to make my own condensed soup:
    It makes a portion comparable to soup in the can which I freeze or fridge for later depending on how soon I will be using it.

    Thanks for the great idea!

  33. Andy says

    Great article!! I am new to making bone broth and am wondering about reusing the bones. Can I put them in the freezer or refridgerator if I dont plan on making another batch for a few days or a week? Also, what about the meat that fell off the bones, do I reuse that?


  34. Tracy says

    I have only ever read people storing their stock in the freezer. Is it possible to can the stock so it can be stored on the pantry shelf? I already have a spare fridge/freezer and an upright freezer in the basement & I still won’t have room to store enough to be stocked up for GAPS.

  35. Sonia says

    Thank-you, thank you, this site is so helpful. I’m gearing up for the GAPS intro diet, but eating bone broth the last couple of days without being strict yet is already really helping my mood and my Crohn’s symptoms. At this stage in the diet all I am supposed to have is broth and two egg yolks a day but I’m so encouraged by the results of me dipping my toe in the diet that I’ll be making my homemade goat yogurt and taking teaspoons of sauerkraut liquid by next week, I’m picking up the freezer on Saturday. I paid 5 dollars a pound for the pasture raised bones at Whole Foods and I was horrified but with making the broth for days even that price becomes reasonable. I saw a 20 quart stainless stock pot for 19.99 on Amazon today but they are back-ordered, I wonder if the bone broth revolution has begun.

    Thanks to everyone, great comments.

  36. Rudi Pittman says

    How much is “a bit of vinegar” in your instructions? I have a 5 quart crockpot….I cooked a whole chicken and made my first batch with no vinegar (2 quarts water) (should I have used vinegar then also?) and fear I may have used to much vinegar in 2nd batch which has 1 quart of water to cover the bones.

  37. Phaedra-sf says

    just wondering…I roasted a chicken over veggies and then picked the bones off the carcass…planning on adding the bones back to the chicken juice and roasted veggies adding water and baking the stock….any ideas if this is ok? better? worse?

  38. Kassandra says


    I’ve just tried reboiling chicken bones for broth for the first time. I used bones that I had stored in the freezer added veggies and water and let it simmer on the stove for about 12 hours, then tossed the veggies and refrigerated the bones. 2 or 3 days later I repeated the process. Refrigerated the bones again and made a 3rd batch of stock maybe 4 days later. I just used this 3rd batch in a stew and found there was a sour almost lemony flavour when I hadn’t used any lemon or vinegar either in the stock or in the stew. Is it possible that cooling and reheating the bones several times could have caused them to go bad?

    • KimiHarris says

      If it smells funky, I would use it. How long was the broth kept in the fridge? I found that a broth goes bad after about 5 days, so you need to use or freeze it before that point.

  39. Linda says

    We have a dairy and always have chickens and a pig or two per year. I have always used bones for broth – not pork or venison though. Two years ago after making soup from the Thanksgiving carcas I decided to reboil the bones to see if I could push the envelope. It was so worth the speck of trouble that I had to tell everyone how good it was and have been reboiling bones ever since. When we do a cow I get the butcherman to save a banana box full of bones and he cuts them small enough to fit in a 5 gallon pot that I use. Years ago when I asked for the bones I said I want all of them. He said, ma’am, that’s about a 55 gallon drum full! Still makes me laugh all these years later. I wish I knew someone who I could share the bones with. No one seems interested in such things here.
    I feel like my canned beef gel is better than money. Delicious…nutritious… Nothing on a bullion label makes you glad that you are adding it to your food! My newest use for it is the base for tomato soup – something I never liked till I made it with beef gel.
    Also recently a friend was going to a family thing where everyone was supposed to bring a soup ingredient but someone had a corn allergy and another couldn’t eat preservatives. She knows I make this liquid gold and asked for some to take to the soup party since it’s safe. It just made me happy to share my treasure with them. Seems people are afraid of anything different and everything is “gross” if it doesn’t come hermetically sealed from the store. I was excited to read all these comments and wish you all were my neighbors!

    • Sue says

      I have just completed 3 days with a chicken carcass and 5 or 6 chicken feet. I add 2 T of Himalayan pink salt and 2 T of apple cider vinegar (that has the mother in it.) That is to bring out the minerals. I used filtered water (a must), several carrots and celery (also for the minerals) and then add other things like entire cloves with the skin on because they have so many nutrients,a whole onions too. I just wash them well. Whatever veggies I have been eating has leftover scraps that I have peeled or cut off (the ends of carrots for other things, outer leaves of Brussels sprouts, etc) I have even tossed in apple peels and cores. It makes the broth a little sweeter. Particularly good for day 3 or so.

  40. says

    I am so happy I just read this! I am about the make a whole turkey and I want to utilize every bit of it. I plan to make lots and lots of soup after. Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

  41. Leehart says

    I boiled the bones (turkey) and organs, veggie peels from carrots, onions, seeds from squash, apple cores and stems..drained and got my broth/stock. I refridgerated the bones and all the veggie/fruit peels so I could reboil. Is this a no no? Should I just fish out bones and toss everything else? Pls help!! All I can think is all those peels are rotting in the fridge!

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