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Beef bone broth is an easy kitchen staple that's made by simmering beef bones for many hours. The liquid is incredibly healthy. It's delicious to drink on its own and makes the best soups. Make a big batch and freeze it for later!
Beef bone broth
See that thick jello in the jar up there? That's beef bone broth, and it's one of the best things that you can make for your health and your kitchen.
We ALWAYS have some in our freezer. With some homemade bone broth on hand, you can whip up a batch of super flavorful soup in no time at all. All you need are a few veggies, a little chicken, and some of this broth and your soup will taste AMAZING!
But it won't just take your cooking to new levels. It's great for you body, too!
Beef Bone Broth Benefits
Bone broth is a traditional food found in cultures all around the world and is highly nutritious. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which are essential for healthy joints.
It's also a great source of collagen, which is good for the joints, muscles, bones, and skin.
What is the difference between beef stock vs broth vs bone broth?
For the home cook (like us!) the difference is minimal and the three can be used interchangeably in recipes.
- Beef stock: made from simmering bones + vegetables for a few hours. Usually used in soup.
- Beef broth: made from simmering meat for a couple of hours and is seasoned with salt. Often served on its own. Think consommé.
- Beef bone broth: Made from simmering bones + vegetables for MANY hours. Is thick and jello-like when cool. Used in soups or as a warm drink.
How to store beef broth
We've found that the best way to store bone broth is in these reusable Stasher freezer bags. We love them! Other reusable silicone bags that seal tight should work well, too.
Tip: use a dry eraser marker to write on your reusable freezer bags!
Ziplock-type plastic bags are a little tricky as they can sometimes leak, so we don't recommend them.
Another option is to use canning jars. Make sure to only use wide-mouth jars (the narrow ones often break when the broth freezes).
- Leave an inch of room at the top of the jar.
- Freeze with the lid off.
- Once the broth is frozen, put the lid on.
How long does bone broth keep
Homemade bone broth will keep for 4-5 days in a sealed container in your fridge.
But bone broth freezes very well! For longer storage, freeze the broth. We like to use reusable Stasher freezer bags to store our broth.
Can bone broth be made in a crockpot?
Yes! In step 4 of the recipe, add the roasted bones to your slow cooker and cover them with water. Set the timer on low for 10 hours. After that time, turn it on again for another 10 hours. You can continue to let it cook on low heat in your slow cooker for 24-48 hours.
Do I need to add vegetables/spices to the beef broth?
No! We've been making bone broth for many years and have experimented with adding different vegetables and spices and making it with only bones. From our experience, vegetables and herbs add very little flavor to the end product.
So rather than waste them in the broth, we add veggies and herbs to the soup we are making with the broth.
If we are sipping the broth (rather than using it in soup) we add a little salt and pepper and it is perfect.
Note: While we don't recommend cutting up carrots, onions, etc. to use in this recipe, if you have vegetable scraps on hand, you can add them to the broth rather than throwing them in the compost.
Why is it best to pre boil the bones?
If you plan on drinking the bone broth, don't skip this step. Boiling the bones for a few minutes removes the impurities (blood, etc) and makes for a cleaner tasting broth.
If you skip this step, your broth will taste very strong, and not in a good way. While it's still great for making soup, it's not great for sipping. If you plan on drinking cups of bone broth, definitely pre-boil the bones.
Tip: Use a smaller pot so the water comes to a boil faster.
Why do you roast the bones?
The reason we roast the bones is to add flavor to the broth. You can skip this step if you're short on time; we do sometimes. But if you have the time, this step will give you a better tasting (and darker colored) broth.
Where to buy beef bones for making broth
Most grocery stores will sell soup bones in the meat department. If you don't see any, ask the butcher. They will likely have some in the back.
Another option is to save the bones whenever you make a bone-in roast, ribs, or steak. Store the bones in the freezer until you have enough to make broth. If you use bones that you've already cooked, you can skip the pre-boiling and roasting steps in this recipe.
How to make beef bone broth
Making beef broth is a time-consuming process, but the steps are all very simple. And making the broth is largely hands-off time.
- Put the bones into a pot and cover them with water.
- Boil the bones rapidly for about 15 minutes (to remove impurities!)
- Drain the pot and put the bones on a baking sheet.
- Roast the bones at a high temperature (for flavor!)
- Put the roasted bones in the largest pot you have.
- Simmer them gently for 12-48 hours (the longer the better!)
- Strain the bone broth through a colander.
- Strain it again through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Chill the broth overnight in your fridge.
- Scrape the hardened fat off the top then store the jello-like bone broth.
Here are some pictures to guide you through each of the steps:
- 6 lb beef soup bones (see notes)
- 48 cups water (see notes)
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the bones to a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil the bones rapidly for 15 minutes. Dain the bones through a colander.6 lb beef soup bones
- Place the bones on a baking sheet and put them into the oven. Roast the bones for 45 minutes, or until they are well browned. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. (Tip: save the oil that is on the pan and use it for cooking!)
- Place the roasted bones in a stockpot and cover with 3-inches of water. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat so that the water is simmering very gently. Continue to simmer the broth (with the lid on!) for 12-48 hours. Check the pot occasionally and add water if the bones start showing.48 cups water
- Place a colander in a very large bowl. Carefully strain the stock to remove the bones.
- Place a fine-mesh sieve over another large bowl and strain the broth a second time to remove any small bits of bones.
- Let the broth cool slightly then put it into your fridge to cool completely. Letting it cool overnight is best.
- Carefully scrape off the layer of fat that has hardened on top. Underneath the fat, the broth will be thick and jello-like. (Tip: save this fat and use it for cooking, too!)
- Store the broth in the fridge for up to 4 days or in your freezer for 6 months.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.