All your questions about bone broth!
I’ve been making bone broth for many years, both for personal use and commercially and I get asked lots of questions about it. So in this article, all your questions about bone broth are answered!
What are the benefits of bone broth?
So many! Broth is an ancient, traditional healing food found in many cultures. Bone broth is nutrient dense, easy to digest and helps your body heal. Read more about bone broth benefits.
Why do you need to add apple cider vinegar to bone broth?
You don’t have to add it if you don’t want to, but it will help draw the minerals and gelatin from the bones and into the broth. Soak the bones in filtered water and up to 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar for an hour. Then add your veggies and seasonings and cook.
How is bone broth different to stock?
Bone broth and stock are two different things. Here is why:
- bone broth is simmered rather than boiled at a high heat
- bone broth is cooked for a lot longer time
- bone broth is usually made with raw bones, not roasted or cooked bones
- bone broth contains apple cider vinegar to draw out the goodness of the bones
- bone broth is a healing soup rather than a flavouring base like stock
- commercial stocks are made with added flavours/preservatives/MSG and provide little healing benefits
Read more here about stock powders versus bone broth powders.
Is bone broth still good for you even if it doesn’t gel?
Yes, it is still has all the amazing nutrients and healing benefits. It just doesn’t contain as much gelatine.
Why didn’t my bone broth gel?
There are a number of reasons why broth doesn’t gel.
- cooked too hot and fast
- not enough bones to water ratio
- not enough bones with cartilage and connective tissue
- not allowing resting time in the fridge
- cooking the broth too long
For more detailed information, read my article on why didn’t my bone broth gel?
Do the bones need to be organic or grass fed for bone broth?
I always recommend you use grass fed bones of the very best quality you can afford. The organic certification is not easy or affordable for all farmers to get, so if you know your farmer and their practices, don’t worry about the bones being organic. I always prefer grass fed bones over grain fed organic. Read more about what goes into my broth.
What type of bones do you use for bone broth?
My motto is never waste a bone! All types of bones can be used for broth from fish to game meats as well as chicken, pork, lamb and beef. You can mix and match bones – they don’t all need to be from one animal in your broth. I do make sure I use a good amount of cartilage rich bones like chicken wings, necks and feet and knuckles, marrow and trotters.
Start a broth bag or container in the freezer and add all your bones and vegetable scraps to it. When you are ready to make your broth, you might like to add some fresh cartilage bones.
Can I use bones we have chewed on for broth?
See above – never waste a bone! As you are boiling the stock for an extended period of time, any bacteria will be killed. However I only use fresh bones for Take A Broth Tasmania!!
Do you have to roast the bones for bone broth?
Personally I don’t because roasting bones is more used for stock to add flavour. I figure that roasting leaches out some of the goodness too. But if you like the flavour of roasted bones, by all means use them.
Can you reuse the bones for another broth?
Yes can reuse them for another broth. Some people use them three or four times, especially when making a broth with a shorter cooking time.
Is using food scraps in bone broth (such as onions peels, carrot tops, potato skins, celery leaves etc) okay?
Yes, but use organic or spray free produce and wash them well. If you can’t access spray free produce, don’t use the peels, use the vegetable.
How long can I store bone broth in the fridge/freezer?
If your broth has a layer of fat on top, it can stay in the fridge for a week or two sealed by the fat. If you don’t have a fat layer, store in an air tight container in the fridge up to seven days. Store in the freezer up to six months.
What do I store broth in?
Personally I prefer glass jars because plastics can leach toxins into your broth. See all my tips for freezing and defrosting bone broth in jars (without cracking!)
You can also freeze bone broth in ice cube trays (stainless steel is best) for quick and easy use in recipes.
What do you do with the fat on top of bone broth?
Use it! It’s a healthy, nutrient-rich fat that is really good for you. Use in the place of oil or butter when cooking or mix it through the broth and consume it. Try tossing your potato chips in it before roasting. Yum!
It also functions as a seal for your broth to lengthen the storage time in the fridge.
How do you use broth if you don’t like drinking it?
Use it in your cooking. It’s easy to use in any recipe that calls for stock like soups, stews, curries, risotto etc. But there are loads of ways to use it in cooking that you may not have thought of, like adding it to salad dressings and dips. Find out more ways to use bone broth in cooking.
Is it ok to freeze bone broth, then use it in cooking and then refreeze?
Yes! I have checked this with food safety information and it’s totally fine.
What if you don’t have time to make bone broth?
While making broth is relatively easy, even for beginner cooks, it does take a bit of time and effort. That’s why I make bone broth powders and strips – so you can get your daily broth quickly and easily but still get all the goodness and nutrients of high quality, homemade broth.
Want to talk more about broth?
Do you have any other questions? Please drop a comment below and I can add them to this article and answer them for you.