Making Bone Broth

 In Local Food, Nutrition & Health

Bone broth is one of the best parts of the pasture-raised chicken experience. While homemade bone broth used to be a standard in every kitchen, it is now a secret gold mine that few know about, and even fewer take the time to make. The funny thing is that when you start making it, you’ll see how easy it is, how great you feel, and how much value is in the bones of your chicken that most people simply throw away.

Homemade bone broth from pasture-raised animal bones is one of the most nutritious foods you can consume and yet you cannot buy it in most grocery stores today. You see, all broth is not created equal. Remember how chicken soup used to be a home remedy for sickness? That’s because homemade broth from pasture-raised animal bones is packed with vitamins and minerals.

Now, if you’re like me, the phrase “packed with vitamins and minerals” sounds like one of those empty health claims since it is written on all sorts of unhealthy products in the grocery store. So why is bone broth different?

When you make broth, you are actually extracting calcium, phosphorus, gelatin, and magnesium from where they are naturally found. You are not taking a pill or eating something fake. You are taking the minerals directly from where they naturally occur. Pretty cool! That’s why it is so important that you make broth from the bones of healthy, pasture-raised animals.

Here are the simple steps to making bone broth:

  1. Prepare and eat a delicious chicken dinner — this is clearly the best and most enjoyable way to get the meat off of the chicken bones so that they are ready for the stock pot.
  2. Place your chicken bones in the stock pot and fill 2/3 full of water (so that all the bones are underwater)
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and let sit for 30 minutes
  4. Chop and add 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, and 1 large onion to the water
  5. You can season to taste with other spices and herbs (not required)
  6. Turn the stove on “high” and bring the water to boil
  7. Reduce heat to lowest setting and let simmer for 24-48 hours
  8. Turn stove off and discard bones
  9. Strain broth into glass jars and let cool
  10. Seal and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve


  1. Sub for water when making rice — enhances flavor and adds nutrients
  2. Use as the base for homemade soups and stews
  3. Drink from a mug — it’s not as strange as it sounds!

Share your experience in the comments below! We’d love to hear about how you use bone broth in your kitchen. Enjoy!

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Showing 7 comments
  • Susan

    Craig and Jen, have you tried Instant Pot for your stock? Done in 2 hours, and some of the best stock that I’ve ever made. I use your chicken carcasses along with any other leftover bones or other body parts, some feet and the veggies that you mention. Lots of ancestral/paleo chefs are using Instant Pot — including The Domestic Man, Nom Nom Paleo, and many others. It’s also a great slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and it does and incredible job with things like cheesecake or custards.

    • Craig Thompson

      Hi Susan! We haven’t tried Instant Pot but it sounds really cool! Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  • Susan

    I love that Rockside Ranch logo mug in your “making bone broth” photo!

  • Carolyn

    Hello Craig,
    Could you possibly explain the importance of apple cider vinegar in you bone broth recipe? I’ve been making my own chicken & turkey stock for 15+ years and the only difference between my “stock” recipe and your “bone broth” recipe seems to be the addition of cider vinegar and the much longer simmer time. I was taught that the stock is ready when the bones are clean – about 3 to 4 hours of low simmer after the initial boil. I’m curious, what does vinegar and 24 hours of simmering actually bring to the broth? And how on earth do you actually watch the simmer for 24 hours?!? 🙂 Of course, maybe I should just try your recipe and find out for myself!

    • Barbie Aknin

      Hi Carolyn,
      I think I can answer your question. Remember the science experiment of soaking a raw egg in vinegar? The vinegar pulls out the minerals in the shell and softens it. Soaking the bones with a bit of vinegar will pull minerals out of the bones (I have never seen the science to prove it but after that science experiment, it seems true). As far as 24 hours of simmering, this has become popular lately but I disagree with it. You don’t pull out more flavor and vitamins by cooking broccoli for 10 hours and I think the same is true for stock. It gets cloudy and a bit rancid to my taste. Chicken or turkey stock should be no more than 4-8 hours, maybe 12 max if you are a “more is better” person. I also top it off with additional water to keep the bones completely submerged. After you strain it, you can always simmer the clear stock gently (to avoid a cloudy stock) until your happy with it. I also save my Rockside Ranch eggshells in a bucket in the freezer with parsley stems, onion skins (for color), carrot tops, etc. and add it to the stock for the last hour or so. You will get the minerals from the shells plus the albumin left in the shell acts as a sponge and attracts the scum giving you a lovely clear broth or stock. My 2 cents~ Barbie Aknin

      • Cheryl Minardi

        Barbie is right on….I’ve tasted her bone broth. It’s delicious! 🙂

  • Johnny

    I’m looking forward to my next Rockside delivery. I’ll be firing up my All American pressure canner to put up some great bone broth and chicken soup for the pantry. The pork and lamb will find its way to many wonderful dishes with friends around the table. Happy!

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