Broth is a staple for those of us who love to make hearty soups and stews. For many that means always keeping a steady supply of chicken or beef broth from the store in our pantry. For others this means making broth from bones leftover from previous meals. Making your own bone broth is actually not very hard and it becomes a source of cheaper, healthier broth as the base for your soups. The freezer is great place to store your collection of bones until you have enough. But what type of bones you can use to make a batch of broth? Bone broth can be made from just about any type of bone, but for healthiest and tastiest result, make sure you include some larger bones containing marrow and some knuckles and/or feet (chicken) to get plenty of collagen. Let’s look at some of the different types of bones you can use and where to find them.
Here’s something easy. Chicken bones are the perfect “gateway” bones to make your first batch of bone broth. Buy a nice organic chicken. Roast it and enjoy the meat for dinner. Throw everything else into a large stock pot, cover with water and simmer at least 12 hours. If you’re in a rush, you can even pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and use the bones when you’re done. It’s a great way to make sure you’re using up every little bit of the bird and you end up with some tasty broth. That rotisserie chicken becomes better value for sure when you end up with chicken broth too.
If you have a local farmer nearby that raises chickens for meat or eggs, ask what they do with the bones. You may just find a source of chicken bones free of charge. You can make broth from raw bones, but the flavor will be better if you roast them in the oven first.
Turkey works just as well as chicken and that may make you sick inside as you realize how much good stuff you threw away after every Thanksgiving dinner. You will likely need a larger pot because a big Turkey dinner will make a big batch of broth. Bone broth also freezes really well, so no worries about using it right away. Make a big batch and run the broth through a strainer. Store it in containers, like these stackable deli style ones and freeze until you’re ready to use it. If you use glass, such as mason jars, just leave room for expansion.
Bones can be boiled several times to make more batches of broth. Make one batch to freeze and then another one to use right away. Use less water the second time around to still get a flavorful broth.
Beef and Pork Bones
Both beef and pork bones make for some tasty and flavorful broth. They are a little bit harder to come by though. Talk to the butcher at your local grocery store and ask him to save the bones for you. Sometimes you can even find inexpensive soup bones in the meat department, and now you know why…the flavor they add! Your local farmers market is another great place to source your bones. Talk to the farmers. Even if they don’t raise beef or pork themselves, they can get you in touch with someone who does.
Roast your bones before you make the broth for best results. Just spread them out on a baking dish and bake at 450 F for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow them to cool and then place them in a large stock pot, add plenty of water and boil for at least 12 hours. Use a combination of marrow bones and knuckle bones to get the best broth with the most health benefits.
Bison and Wild Game Bones
If you’re lucky enough to have a hunter in the family, ask him to save the bones for you. Or call up your local game processing business and ask about buying bones from deer. You treat them just like pork or beef bones.
The same goes for bison bones. If you have a bison farm in the area, it is worth making a call. While you’re there, pick up some ground bison too for some of the tastiest burgers you’ve ever had.
Making your own bone broth will be one of the best things you ever did for your health and for your palate.