I’ve said it before, but good commercial bone broth is really hard to come by. It’s difficult to find broth with a decent taste, as well as a decent price tag.
I don’t always feel like making my own and I would love to have a good alternative cabinet-ready bone broth to use in a pinch. But, more often than not, I do make it myself. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy.
You’ll need a large slow cooker or crock-pot, water, apple cider vinegar, vegetables, seasonings and, of course, bones. Optionally, you can add more meat pieces and/or pig parts.
Pigs feet (or any other pig parts) are very collagen-rich, especially the feet. Additional meat, like chicken parts or neck bones, add more flavor. In this photo, I’ve added (frozen) drumsticks and a pig tail.
You may choose to roast beef bones beforehand. Roasting helps extract the collagen. Roast bones for 45-60 minutes at 400°F. Typically, with chicken, you are using the bones or carcass from chicken that has already been cooked. Apple cider vinegar also helps to extract the collagen and release nutrients from bones.
The seasonings I like to use include peppercorns, parsley flakes and a bay leaf. I don’t usually add salt, or seasonings that have strong or distinct flavors, in case I want to use the stock in another recipe that may not call for salt or those particular seasonings.
When I’m ready to drink the broth, I add Morton Lite Salt, as it contains potassium. Potassium helps with leg cramps or night foot cramps, which might sometimes occur on a keto diet, especially if you are also incorporating intermittent fasting.
I let my broth cook for at least 24 hours, up to about 40 hours. Then I cool before straining into a large pot, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The fat rises to the top and I skim off most of it.
Bone broth can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4-6 days. It can also be frozen, in ice cube trays, plastic containers or mason jars. If you choose mason jars, leave MORE than 1 inch of room from the top (I leave at least 2 inches) to keep the jar from cracking. It has happened to me. What a waste of precious bone broth.
To thaw the frozen broth, place the mason jar or other container in the refrigerator overnight. If you have a super cold or sub-zero freezer, or if you are using 1/2 gallon or larger jars, thawing can take 2-3 days.
To serve, just pour into a mug and heat in the microwave. Or reheat in a pan on the stovetop. Gelatinous bone broth will turn to liquid when it is reheated.
Slow Cooker Bone Broth
- chicken or beef bones
- vegetables - carrots, celery, onion
- 2 T. apple cider vinegar
- seasonings and spices (i.e., peppercorns, parsley, bay leaf)
- pure water (spring, purified or distilled)
- additional meat pieces (chicken legs, neck bones) (Optional)
- pig parts (feet, tail, ears) (Optional)
- Step 1 If roasting bones first:
- Step 2 Preheat oven to 400
- Step 3 Set bones on large flat baking sheet and roast for approximately 45-60 minutes
- Step 4 Slow Cooker Instructions:
- Step 5 Add ingredients to slow cooker or stock pot
- Step 6 Cook on low for 18-40 hours
- Step 7 When done, carefully remove the crock and set to cool slightly.
- Step 8 Place a colander into large pot. If you know that there are small bones in the broth, line the colander with cheesecloth. Pour broth into the colander. Remove colander and let broth cool
- Step 9 Refrigerate overnight or until the fat rises and can be easily removed with a large spoon. I like to leave a little fat for flavor, but I have found that too much fat can cause a bit of gastrointestinal distress.
Ideally, the refrigerated bone broth will be firm and jiggly, like thick Jell-O. If you didn’t have enough bones and/or if you used too much water for the amount of bones, your broth may not reach that consistency. There’s less collagen, but still PLENTY of nutrients.