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Broth is Beautiful PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sally Fallon   
Saturday, 01 January 2000 16:48

Stock Pot"Good broth will resurrect the dead," says a South American proverb. Said Escoffier: "Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done."

A cure-all in traditional households and the magic ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, puts vigor in the step and sparkle in love life--so say grandmothers, midwives and healers. For chefs, stock is the magic elixir for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces.

Meat and fish stocks play a role in all traditional cuisines—French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, African, South American, Middle Eastern and Russian. In America, stock went into gravy and soups and stews. That was when most animals were slaughtered locally and nothing went to waste. Bones, hooves, knuckles, carcasses and tough meat went into the stock pot and filled the house with the aroma of love. Today we buy individual filets and boneless chicken breasts, or grab fast food on the run, and stock has disappeared from the American tradition.

Grandmother Knew Best

Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons--stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.

Fish stock, according to traditional lore, helps boys grow up into strong men, makes childbirth easy and cures fatigue. "Fish broth will cure anything," is another South American proverb. Broth and soup made with fishheads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances.

When broth is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin. The use of gelatin as a therapeutic agent goes back to the ancient Chinese. Gelatin was probably the first functional food, dating from the invention of the "digestor" by the Frenchman Papin in 1682. Papin's digestor consisted of an apparatus for cooking bones or meat with steam to extract the gelatin. Just as vitamins occupy the center of the stage in nutritional investigations today, so two hundred years ago gelatin held a position in the forefront of food research. Gelatin was universally acclaimed as a most nutritious foodstuff particularly by the French, who were seeking ways to feed their armies and vast numbers of homeless in Paris and other cities. Although gelatin is not a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, it acts as a protein sparer, helping the poor stretch a few morsels of meat into a complete meal. During the siege of Paris, when vegetables and meat were scarce, a doctor named Guerard put his patients on gelatin bouillon with some added fat and they survived in good health.

The French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk. The American researcher Francis Pottenger pointed out that as gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut. Even the epicures recognized that broth-based soup did more than please the taste buds. "Soup is a healthy, light, nourishing food" said Brillant-Savarin, "good for all of humanity; it pleases the stomach, stimulates the appetite and prepares the digestion."

Attention to Detail

Stock or broth begins with bones, some pieces of meat and fat, vegetables and good water. For beef and lamb broth, the meat is browned in a hot oven to form compounds that give flavor and color--the result of a fusion of amino acids with sugars, called the Maillard reaction. Then all goes in the pot--meat, bones, vegetables and water. The water should be cold, because slow heating helps bring out flavors. Add vinegar to the broth to help extract calcium--remember those egg shells you soaked in vinegar until they turned rubbery.

Heat the broth slowly and once the boil begins, reduce heat to its lowest point, so the broth just barely simmers. Scum will rise to the surface. This is a different kind of colloid, one in which larger molecules--impurities, alkaloids, large proteins called lectins--are distributed through a liquid. One of the basic principles of the culinary art is that this effluvium should be carefully removed with a spoon. Otherwise the broth will be ruined by strange flavors. Besides, the stuff looks terrible. "Always Skim" is the first commandment of good cooks.

Two hours simmering is enough to extract flavors and gelatin from fish broth. Larger animals take longer--all day for broth made from chicken, turkey or duck and overnight for beef broth.

Broth should then be strained. The leavings, picked over, can be used for terrines or tacos or casseroles. Perfectionists will want to chill the broth to remove the fat. Stock will keep several days in the refrigerator or may be frozen in plastic containers. Boiled down it concentrates and becomes a jellylike fumée or demi-glaze that can be reconstituted into a sauce by adding water.

Cutting Corners

Research on gelatin came to an end in the 1950s because the food companies discovered how to induce Maillard reactions and produce meat-like flavors in the laboratory. In a General Foods Company report issued in 1947, chemists predicted that almost all natural flavors would soon be chemically synthesized. And following the Second World War, food companies also discovered monosodium glutamate (MSG), a food ingredient the Japanese had invented in 1908 to enhance food flavors, including meat-like flavors. Humans actually have receptors on the tongue for glutamate. It is the protein in food that the human body recognizes as meat.

Any protein can be hydrolyzed to produce a base containing free glutamic acid or MSG. When the industry learned how to make the flavor of meat in the laboratory, using inexpensive proteins from grains and legumes, the door was opened to a flood of new products including bouillon cubes, dehydrated soup mixes, sauce mixes, TV dinners and condiments with a meaty taste. "Homemade" soup in most restaurants begins with a powdered soup base that comes in a package or can and almost all canned soups and stews contain MSG, often found in ingredients called hydrolyzed porteins. The fast food industry could not exist without MSG and artificial meat flavors to make "secret" sauces and spice mixes that beguile the consumer into eating bland and tasteless food.

Short cuts mean big profits for producers but the consumer is short changed. When homemade stocks were pushed out by cheap substitutes, an important source of minerals disappeared from the American diet. The thickening effects of gelatin could be mimicked with emulsifiers but the health benefits were lost.

Most serious, however, were the problems posed by MSG, problems the industry has worked very hard to conceal from the public. In 1957, scientists found that mice became blind and obese when MSG was administered by feeding tube. In 1969, MSG-induced lesions were found in the hypothalamus region of the brain. Other studies all point in the same direction--MSG is a neurotoxic substance that causes a wide range of reactions, from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage.

Why do consumers react to factory-produced MSG and not to naturally occurring glutamic acid found in food? One theory is that the glutamic acid produced by hydrolysis in factories contains many isomers in the right-handed form, whereas natural glutamic acid in meat and meat broths contains only the left-handed form. L-glutamic acid is a precursor to neurotransmitters, but the synthetic form, d-glutamic acid, may stimulate the nervous system in pathological ways.

A "Brothal" in Every Town

Peasant societies still make broth. It is a necessity in cultures that do not use milk because only stock made from bones and dairy products provides calcium in a form that the body can easily assimilate. It is also a necessity when meat is a luxury item, because gelatin in properly made broth helps the body use protein in an efficient way.

Thus, broth is a vital element in Asian cuisines--from the soothing long-simmered beef broth in Korean soups to the foxy fish broth with which the Japanese begin their day. Genuine Chinese food cannot exist without the stockpot that bubbles perpetually. Bones and scraps are thrown in and mineral-rich stock is removed to moisten stir-frys. Broth-based soups are snack foods from Thailand to Manchuria.

Asian restaurants in the US are likely to take shortcuts and use a powdered base for sweet and sour soup or kung pau chicken but in Japan and China and Korea and Thailand, mom-and-pop businesses make broth in steamy back rooms and sell it as soup in store fronts and on street corners.

What America needs is healthy fast food and the only way to provide this is to put brothals in every town, independently owned brothals that provide the basic ingredient for soups and sauces and stews. And brothals will come when Americans recognize that the food industry has prostituted itself to short cuts and huge profits, shortcuts that cheat consumers of the nutrients they should get in their food and profits that skew the economy towards industrialization in farming and food processing.

Until our diners and carryouts become places that produce real food, Americans can make broth in their own kitchens. It's the easy way to produce meals that are both nutritious and delicious—and to acquire the reputation of an excellent cook.


Heads and Feet

If you've ever shopped in Europe, you've noticed that calves feet are displayed at the local butchers and chickens come with their heads and feet attached. Hooves, feet and heads are the most gelatinous portions of the animal and fetch high prices in traditional economies. In fact, Tysons exports the feet from American chickens to China. Jewish folklore considers the addition of chicken feet the secret to successful broth.

It's hard to find these items in America. Asian and Latin American markets sometimes carry whole birds and some butchers in ethnic neighborhoods carry calves feet. If you have freezer space, you can buy frozen chicken feet and calves feet in bulk from meat wholesalers that cater to the restaurant trade. Have the butcher cut the calves feet into one-inch cubes and package them in 1-quart bags. For the most satisfactory results, use 2-4 chicken feet for chicken stock and about 2 pounds calves feet pieces for a large pot of beef stock.

Sauce Basics

Meat sauces are made from stocks that have been flavored and thickened in some way. Once you have learned the technique for making sauces—either clear sauces or thick gravies—you can ignore the recipe books and be guided by your imagination.

Reduction Sauces are produced by rapid boiling of gelatinous stock to produce a thick, clear sauce. The first step is to "deglaze" coagulated meat juices in the roasting pan or skillet by adding 1/2 cup to 1 cup wine or brandy, bringing to a boil and stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen pan drippings. Then add 3 to 4 cups stock, bring to a boil and skim. (Use chicken stock for chicken dishes, beef stock for beef dishes, etc.) The sauce may now be flavored with any number of ingredients, such as vinegar, mustard, herbs, spices, fresh orange or lemon juice, naturally sweetened jam, garlic, tomato paste, grated ginger, grated lemon rind, creamed coconut, whole coconut milk or cultured cream. Let sauce boil vigorously, uncovered, until reduced by at least one half, or until desired thickness is achieved. You may add about 1-2 teaspoons gelatin to promote better thickening, although this should be avoided by those with MSG sensitivities (as gelatin contains small amounts of MSG). Another way to thicken is to mix 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons water. Gradually add this to the boiling sauce until the desired thickness is obtained. If sauce becomes too thick, thin with a little water. The final step in sauce-making is to taste and add sea salt if necessary.

Gravies are thickened with flour rather than by reduction. They are suitable for meats like roast chicken and turkey, which drip plenty of fat into the pan while cooking. After removing the roasting fowl and roasting rack, place pan on a burner. You should have at least 1/2 cup good fat drippings—if not, add some butter, goose fat or lard. Add about 1/2 cup unbleached flour to the fat and cook over medium high heat for several minutes, stirring constantly, until the flour turns light brown. Add 4 to 6 cups warm stock, bring to a boil and blend well with the fat-flour mixture, using a wire whisk. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or so. Check for seasonings and add sea salt and pepper if necessary. You may also add herbs, cream, butter, whole coconut milk or creamed coconut.


Chicken Stock

1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
gizzards from one chicken (optional)
2-4 chicken feet (optional)
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley

*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.

If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. (If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.) Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.

Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.

Beef Stock

about 4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
1 calves foot, cut into pieces (optional)
3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones
4 or more quarts cold filtered water
1/2 cup vinegar
3 onions, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
l bunch parsley

Place the knuckle and marrow bones and optional calves foot in a very large pot with vinegar and cover with water. Let stand for one hour. Meanwhile, place the meaty bones in a roasting pan and brown at 350 degrees in the oven. When well browned, add to the pot along with the vegetables. Pour the fat out of the roasting pan, add cold water to the pan, set over a high flame and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen up coagulated juices. Add this liquid to the pot. Add additional water, if necessary, to cover the bones; but the liquid should come no higher than within one inch of the rim of the pot, as the volume expands slightly during cooking. Bring to a boil. A large amount of scum will come to the top, and it is important to remove this with a spoon. After you have skimmed, reduce heat and add the thyme and crushed peppercorns.

Simmer stock for at least 12 and as long as 72 hours. Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer another 10 minutes. You will now have a pot of rather repulsive-looking brown liquid containing globs of gelatinous and fatty material. It doesn't even smell particularly good. But don't despair. After straining you will have a delicious and nourishing clear broth that forms the basis for many other recipes in this book.

Remove bones with tongs or a slotted spoon. Strain the stock into a large bowl. Let cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. Transfer to smaller containers and to the freezer for long-term storage.

Fish Stock

3 or 4 whole carcasses, including heads, of non-oily fish such as sole, turbot, rockfish or snapper
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
several sprigs fresh thyme
several sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1/4 cup vinegar
about 3 quarts cold filtered water

Ideally, fish stock is made from the bones of sole or turbot. In Europe, you can buy these fish on the bone. The fish monger skins and filets the fish for you, giving you the filets for your evening meal and the bones for making the stock and final sauce. Unfortunately, in America sole arrives at the fish market preboned. But snapper, rock fish and other non-oily fish work equally well; and a good fish merchant will save the carcasses for you if you ask him. As he normally throws these carcasses away, he shouldn't charge you for them. Be sure to take the heads as well as the body—these are especially rich in iodine and fat-soluble vitamins. Classic cooking texts advise against using oily fish such as salmon for making broth, probably because highly unsaturated fish oils become rancid during the long cooking process.

Melt butter in a large stainless steel pot. Add the vegetables and cook very gently, about 1/2 hour, until they are soft. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add the fish carcasses and cover with cold, filtered water. Add vinegar. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum and impurities as they rise to the top. Tie herbs together and add to the pot. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 4 hours or as long as 24 hours. Remove carcasses with tongs or a slotted spoon and strain the liquid into pint-sized storage containers for refrigerator or freezer. Chill well in the refrigerator and remove any congealed fat before transferring to the freezer for long-term storage.

About the Author


Comments (69)Add Comment
What matters in making a goodbroth
written by Natascha Stefanowski, Apr 04 2014
@Larry: Why did you turn it off? I really think you should let it bubble, not simmer (to strong heat actually destroys collagen), at night also so soonly you'll have that done and it will congeal supposing you do everything else correctly.
I buy non-pastured beef bones, a knuckle particularly, and it always congeals into tough jelly mass, after (again) BUBBLING, NOT SIMMERING, for 24 hours. Even, no vinegar at all. Don't like it.

Good luck!smilies/grin.gif
written by Larry, Mar 31 2014
Chicken broth - first batch, in a crock pot for 30 hours, produced a clear dark broth, organic chicken.

2nd batch on the stove, turned it off each night started again each morning, for 36 hours. Bones 80% gone. Broth is a light yellow through the whole broth. Did not settle out after 3 days in the refrigerator. Organic chicken. Question is, is it good to use. Could not find any comments on multiple sites about a yellow chicken broth.

Thank you
written by Doreen St.Onge, Feb 13 2014
I am just starting to make bone soup and was looking for a recipe book that was published by Weston Price but have not been able to find it. I saw it at the home of Heidi Ship, Nova Scotia. Do you know where I can purchase it. I have been diagnosed with osteopenia and would like to. Improve my health.
written by Kate, Feb 03 2014
Great article, I love bone broth! I know this mentions using heads (fish and chicken) but what about heads from larger animals? Does the brain need to be removed?

My boyfriend recently snuck a pig head into our stock to get it out of the freezer. It may as well have been Halloween, I did not expect to see a big skull with teeth when he stirred. It was from a pig roast earlier in the year - this was a standard pig, not pastured. I am new to eating brains and although it is a delicacy in some countries, I am a bit apprehensive. I know some parasites and diseases make their home in the brain and spinal cord. Then again, how is that any different from throwing chicken backs into the stock? Has anyone used a big brain in their stock?
written by Toni, Jan 30 2014
I made chicken broth today it had meat on it I jus left that on the whole time. Strained it all out the bones crumbled! Is that normal? I didn't put vinegar I didn't have any. Is it good to drink jus like this? It seems like there is a bit of fat. Put Real Salt in it. I guess just drink and enjoy right? Also can I give these super soft bones to my little dog or can we eat them? Than for any comments that will help.
bone broth
written by lin, Jan 21 2014
After the beef broth (grass fed bones only) has simmered for around a day, I'll scoop the marrow out of the bones and we eat it just on the spoon. Of course we have to fight the cat for it, too. He loves marrow! (And so do we), Then the bones go back in the broth for another 8-9 hours.
@Joan Whitaker
written by Norm, Jan 20 2014
I think leaving the floating marrow (that detached from the bones that were split lengthwise) in the broth and eating it is fine. Many people rost marrow bones and eat the marrow directly out of the bones with a spoon. It is an expensive delicacy in some French restaurants.
Jodi - re: canning stock
written by Anonymous, Dec 18 2013
Canning stock is always an option - I do that with mine all the time.

Make sure your info on HOW to can foods is up to date! This is the site I used to get myself up to speed - - and I believe they may also have a book on Amazon if you want a paper copy of the info.
canning stock?
written by jodi, Dec 12 2013
I live in a very small apartment with little storage. I want to know if canning stock is an option? I love to have a lot of it on hand but it fills my tiny fridge and freezer pretty quick.
Church Chef
written by Phil, Aug 21 2013
a 50-50 mix of beef and chicken broth is a good base on which to build a sauce or gravy for pork.,
written by Vickie, May 01 2013
Can chicken (or other) broth/stock be canned in a pressure canner? My freezer is FULL of broth and we just butchered 4 chickens with 18 more to go.
written by Steve G, Apr 15 2013
Made first batch of beef broth and it turned out great. Nice gelatin that I warm up and drink each morning along with a tablespoon of cod liver oil. After 5 days, my knee issues are subsiding after a year of knee pain. Wonder if microwaving it destroys any beneficial components??? Anyway, I started with a small amount of apple cider vinegar and then added a 1/4 cup Kombucha to make it interesting.
written by Gregory, Apr 01 2013
Me and my friend were talking to an Afghan man awhile ago and I remember my friend mentioning his knee brace and how he has knee problems. The man said that in Afghanistan they eat animal's feet to help with joint issues, and went on describing how they cooked it.

Just another thing to note - many Middle Easterners make broths out of animal's feet, too.
written by Green Coffee Bean exract, Feb 04 2013
Dietary habits are the habitual decisions a person or culture makes when choosing what foods to eat. Many cultures hold some food preferences and some food taboos. Dietary choices can also define cultures and play a role in religion. Thanks.
Grass-fed beef bones & knuckles/legs
written by SweetP, Jan 20 2013
US Wellness meats carries these products and ships to all 50 states free.
bone broth
written by Rosa, Oct 17 2012
I am lucky enough to have a local farmer that sells pasture chickens. I buy a whole chicken every other week and make my bone broth. You do have to cook it a long time around 23 to 24 hours. I cook the chicken for 2 hours and remove the meat and return the bones to the broth and cook for 24 hours longer. Be sure and not to put too much water in it or you will have to cook longer.
I drink a cup of it each morning. I had shoulder surgery in May. The doctor and the physical therapist said I was not getting my arm back like I should. I started making this chicken bone broth and the next valuation I had the P.T. said I don't know what you are doing but keep it up because your arm has improved a great deal in the last month. I think it is from the bone broth. The chicken cost a lot but your health is worth it.
written by Mad, Jul 17 2012
I have been searching high and low for grass-fed calves' feet to add to stock. Does anyone have a good source? I would love to find someone who ships them, but if not, that's fine too. I've talked to all of the grass-fed farmers in my area that I could, but no one seems to carry them...
written by Chris, Jul 01 2012
Regards to fish head stock. I have ocean trout Which is quite oily. I read somewhere fish stock only needs 2hrs. Would this be okay with the oils still? Any advice?
RE: Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Montgomery County Food Council
written by Kate, Apr 09 2012
Jess! We would love to buy your broth - maybe a weekly broth share? I'm a working mom of three, a WAP follower and Polyface lover, and would love to be able to get quality broth on a regular basis. We're in Loudoun County btw. Let us know! Kate (
written by akbar, Mar 26 2012
i was wondering how can i make gelatin from chickenfeet,so i searched different items in google and i am not sure that i have found the right place ,but if you have any information or know any source that can help that would make me happy
not gelatinous?
written by Stacey, Feb 29 2012
Don't panic too much. The gelatin congeals as the stock cools (ie in the fridge overnight). Just like when you make a bowl of jelly, the hot water makes the jelly crystals liquid and they congeal on cooling.

But of course, if you still end up with a low gelatin stock after cooling overnight then it could be for the other reasons listed in this wonderful article.
Re: stock having not enough gelatin
written by Eat Already!, Feb 26 2012
There are a few reasons why it's not gelatinous:
1. chicken could be battery raised - they create less gelatin, especially the "broilers".
2. chicken could be too young
3. you need to cut up the wings at least, to expose the cartilage and joints, so that they release the gelatin easier
4. your soup could be a little high on water. you could try reducing it some.
5. maybe just scratch all of the above and wait until morning to see if it gels. Mine sometimes don't gel until put in a fridge.
My parents taught me that to get good gelatin out of the chicken, it needs to be a rooster, and not a young one. It takes longer to cook to get the meat soft, but it creates awesome gel. Also, my mom buys turkey wings only, cuts them up, and they make fantastic gel.
MY soup... HAS NO Gelatin!!
written by amy , Feb 25 2012
What did I do wrong? That's why I made the soup. To reap the benefits of the broth. Mine came out a watery and yellow color broth with just a layer of yellow fat on top. please tell me what I did wrong.
How I made the Chicken Soup. Used one whole chicken (did not cut it at all. added the chicken whole), added carrots, celery, onions, garlic cloves, covered the ingredients with cold water, simmered contents for 5-6 hours.[/quote

So please. What did I do wrong... All feedback is appreciated. THANK YOU smilies/smiley.gif
Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Montgomery County Food Council
written by Jessica Weiss, Feb 13 2012
I am a long time follower of WPF and love what you stand for. I am opening a commercial kitchen and make a great beef bone broth from Polyface and other grassfed, pastured bones. I would like to supply this broth to others in the community. Do you have a way to share this information? Additionally, I am the co-founder of our new food policy council and am interested in legalizing raw milk. And recommendations for first steps on how to move our county towards these policies?
Thank you so much for all you do- Jess
written by Nica, Jan 24 2012
I'm a chicken broth fan which explains why I love to collect different chicken broth recipes. Speaking of it, I found other recipes that uses chicken broth that you might also like at
written by Anne Lee, Jan 18 2012
Thank you for your thoughtful article on stock. It is much appreciated. I have just completed my first attempt at chicken stock (Hutterite Chicken carcass). I roasted my chicken bones first and put the drippings in the pot with the stock. I never let the liquid boil--only simmered for about 5 hours. I removed everything and cooled the stock overnight. In the morning I reheated to a simmer and reduced the stock for about an hour. It is very flavorful, but I noticed in this process that it would be possible to get a bitter taste. I would like to pressure can my stocks and keep the nice fresh flavor. My question is this: will heating the stock in the pressure canner cause a loss of flavor? Thank you again,
Pressure cooker stock
written by KitchenBarbarian, Dec 20 2011
Barb it is fine to use a pressure cooker for stock. This is the way I made all my stocks for many many years. It takes less water, less energy, and far far less time when done this way, and it tastes BETTER.

Ronny, the whole skimming of the scum thing is sadly overrated. Tests have shown that this "scum", while unsightly, contains nothing harmful. Personally I've never seen it when making stock and therefore have never had to skim it. However, if you have enough sight to manage a pressure cooker, consider making your stock that way. It takes far less time and there is no scum to worry about. Smaller pressure cookers make smaller amounts of stock (remember you can only fill with liquids to the halfway mark - the chicken itself can stick up above that but not the liquids) but when it only takes 20 to 30 minutes, compared to 8 hours, smaller batches in a pressure cooker win hands down. You get a darker, more flavorful stock this way. I can attest to this after 40 years of stock making. None of my stocks made stove top are a patch on the ones that came out of my pressure cooker.

Finally, there is no need to add vinegar to soften the bones. They soften all by themselves just fine if you've cooked (or pressure cooked) the stock properly. The quantities we're talking about here are not sufficient to have any significant effect on bones anyway. You can add vinegar if you like the flavor, but it's not going to do a thing to extract "extra" minerals. Chemistry sez it isn't so. Personally I make all stocks plain, nothing added, no salt, no veggies, no herbs or spices. Just meat and water. I prefer a plain stock so I can do with it as I will during cooking - tabula rasa, if you will.

I need a new pressure cooker. The stove top stocks are weak sisters compared to my pressure cooked stocks.
written by Lisa , Oct 08 2011
I am making the chicken stock tonight! I read the entire article and while it explains why you want to cook it for a long period, it does not explain why you want the chicken, vegetables and cold water to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Can you tell me what is achieved by this step, is it a culinary purpose or nutrition based purpose? Thanks!
Re: Stephanie, what size pot did you use?
written by porcupine73, Sep 06 2011
How big was your stock pot? Was it covered and kept just below a simmer? If it wasn't covered at all it will lose a lot of liquid pretty quickly even below simmer. I use a 14qt and even with the lid (kept lifted slighty by a spoon) it will lose a couple quarts over 48 hours. I keep adding makeup water as necessary to keep all the meat covered.
Amount of Broth
written by Stephanie, Aug 24 2011
Hi! I just finished making my first batch of chicken stock. I used a whole chicken and followed the instructions carefully. After about 6-8 hours of it simmering on the stovetop I noticed the liquid amount decreasing. When all is said and done, the gallon of liquid I started with reduced to about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Is this normal?
Organic Chicken Broth
written by UV, Jul 21 2011
Hi...I am quite thin and heard that Chicken Broth is good for health...Could someone pls tell me if I don't have time to make a home-made chicken broth, which is the best Organic Chicken Broth in the market?? How is the Whole Foods brand
365 Everyday Value Organic Chicken Broth ??
Thanks in advance...

additional comment
written by Ronny, Jul 10 2011
I apreciate these suggestions. I actually have ice cubes in the freezer in my dorm room, and that would be a good use for them. However, I forgot to mention that I am visually impaired, and I would be unable to see the scum. Yeah, I know, that's kind of important, and I should have mentioned it in my first comment. Because of this, I was wondering if I could make broth with only bones by dropping them in to water mixed with something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar then letting it simmer. You know how, in science classes, students leave eggs in vinegar overnight, and the shells are dissolved the next day? Well, I am thinking a similar principle could apply to broth. Of course, I would use a different type of vinegar. If I only use bones and nothing else, would that eliminate the need to remove any scum? If not, then what would you suggest?
What about using a pressure cooker?
written by Barb, Jun 30 2011
I like my pressure cooker but I'm wondering if it's a good idea to use it to make bone broth? Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
Re: Ronny, Apr 09 2011
written by Sandra, Jun 13 2011
>Because I am in college, I do not have the time or the equipment
>to make genuine broth.

Ronny, You could make stock whenever you go back home for a visit. If that is not an option, surely you know someone nearby with a kitchen? Make a large batch every month or two and freeze in ice cube trays. Dump the stock cubes into a gallon size zip lock bag. When you want stock just pull out a handfull of cubes and reheat (preferably not in the microwave). When my sister went away to college she would come back every 6 weeks or so for a visit and I always made sure to send jars of frozen stock (and homemade raw yogurt) back with her. She was fortunate to have a full size kitchen in her dorm so freezer space and access to a stove were not an issue. If you don't have a kitchen, an electric hot plate and a small pot shouldn't cost you more than $25 and can be used anywhere. A good quality thermos will keep heated stock warm for several hours for added portability.

Good Luck!
a better caramelization flavor that fat disgusting and indigestible, Low-rated comment [Show]
juices of roasted meat
written by Stefano, May 17 2011
Ciao, congratulations for the site and sorry my english ... also, unfortunately, in Italy there is only one published book (Nourishing Traditions)!
However on the beef broth wanted me ask you first because you should throw the juice of the meat and then fried instead for soups is recommended to collect them? Furthermore, the Maillard reaction is not harmful?
More On Perpetual Beautiful Broth
written by Donald Radina, Apr 09 2011
I am still learning about using a roaster oven for perpetual broth. I'm on the third year now.

It is best to get a good quality roaster oven that will keep a constant temperature of 150 degrees. This keeps the broth nice and clear and preserves nutrients. A Nesco brand with a stainless steel lid is perfect. Other than stainless steel or aluminum will rust.

Every other month I scoop out all the solids and bury them in the garden. The nutrients will return in the plants from the garden. I save money on fertilizer. My plants are robust and disease & insect resistant. What goes around comes around.

I don't add anything that will cloud the liquid or is preserved like tomato juice or hams.

You can find local grass fed meat and bones at Search the web for grassfed meat to order mail order. There are a lot of companies out there now. This is a growing field of business. I found a country butcher in Kansas who was selling grass fed feet, marrow bones, heart, brisket & neck bones & suet as dog food; so I get them very inexpensively. Grow and butcher your own if you can. Hunt and fish.

Having broth at least twice a day makes me feel great and disease free. No more aches and pains.
written by Ronny, Apr 09 2011
Because I am in college, I do not have the time or the equipment to make genuine broth. However, if I were to throw a chicken bone or two in a bottle of very hot water with some lemon juice then, while keeping the bottle closed, left it on a heater overnight to keep it warm, would the end product have any nutritional value at all? Please cut me some slack; I am trying to make the best of a bad situation!
re: Rebecca bitter broth
written by PB, Jan 15 2011
I always use Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar. It does impart a flavor, however you can use any acidic You say you roasted your bones at liquid to leech the minerals and calcium from the bones,Tomato juice, wine, vinegar.You say you roasted your bones for 45 mins @350 degrees. I roast all bones(knuckle bones, meaty rib bones,oxtails,and beef feet) until golden brown, NOT BURNT! If they get burned then the stock will be bitter.Thats probably what made your stock bitter.
written by Gina, Nov 20 2010
I actually have a batch of the chicken bone broth on the stove right now! I was wondering if it would be ok to increase the amount of water so that I get more broth out of it? Or can I do a second batch of broth with my chicken & feet (I used a whole raw chicken with 3 chicken feet).

White vinegar/broth
written by Cynthia, Nov 06 2010
To Rebecca: About your bitter broth, I think your problem is using white vinegar, this is a chemical, not a foodstuff. It's good for curing toenail fungus, but otherwise I don't consider it edible. Note the other responses concerning using wine or tomatoes in your broth for acid, rather than vinegar.
Perpetual Beautiful Broth
written by Don Radina, Oct 31 2010
Perpetual Beautiful Broth: Purchase a 15 Qt. ROASTER OVEN on sale during the holiday season. Set the oven so that a water bath maintains 200 degrees. Add a whole turkey on sale during Thanksgiving. Throw in some diced onions, carrots, celery, garlic, plenty of salt, herbs, and spices. Let it slow cook for a couple of days then enjoy the delicous broth and great health. Add any vegetable scraps and bones as they become available. An acidic liquid leaches minerals from the bones and helps free other nutrients, so add tomato juice, wine, vinegar, or whey when you can. Whenever you get too many solids scoop them out and bury in the garden. Around Christmas/New Years put in a whole bone-in ham on sale. Wonderful. Check your grocer in the ethnic section for chicken paws, pig or beef feet, neck bones, tails, etc. as they are usually low cost and have lots of gelatin. Skim the fat unless you are using all grass fed meat products in which case use it in cooking. Keep giving and receiving forever.
My pot is almost a year old now and keeps getting better and better and better......
Townsend Letter on broth
written by Kris Johnson, Oct 02 2010
Just found this website with excellent article on broth
Using all of my bones...
written by Normajean, Oct 01 2010
I have been making this bone broth for the last few years of and on. Not working out side the home any more so the bones have to look out for me! I save and use all of my bones. If we have Turkey, all the bones and skin go in the freezer until stock day. The same with chicken and beef and lamb. Even if we had fried chicken and it has been eaten from in the pot the bone goes! All bones raw cooked or chewed from. Well not the dog chewed bones of course but you know what I mean. I have in deed noticed and ease of digestion and an ease of arthritic pain in the prior years. Now that I am home all of the time I am using it regularly daily sometimes twice per day in recipes or straight form the soup mug seasoned to my taste. So I will be able to see the long term results from this practice. Well time to "bone up" and make some stock!
Bone Broth Nutritional Data
written by Rachael Moriarty , Sep 06 2010
Is there any website or reference to be able to estimate the nutritional data on home made bone broth? Obviously, the data will be varied depending on what is put in it but I typically use NT's recipe. Thanks for the help!
Leftover Bones
written by Inama Diebo, Aug 13 2010
I have a question, and hope someone would be able to answer me, especially if from WAPF directly (hint, Sally Fallon smilies/smiley.gif)

In terms of using "left over bones", whether from chicken/beef/lamb/goat, what is the definition of this term?

For example, the other day, I BBQ's some lamb ribs, and ate the meaty portions, and threw out the bones. Am I allowed/supposed to use left over bones from meat portions that were eaten from? ie. bones left over from meat that touched forks/knives that went into people's mouths? It seems kind of nasty, but then again, wouldn't any germs/contaminants from saliva be wiped out by the sterilization of the initial boiling process of the stock? Please advise!

written by Sean Taylor, Aug 10 2010
Excellent article but vinegar should be omitted in long cooking stock recipes. You could substitute a red wine or white for fish stock. Never use apple cider vinegar unless that is the taste you want for the whole stock. Remember these are bases stocks and can (and should) always be modified later. For a demi-glace add a tablespoon of tomato paste per quart of stock to be reduced.
written by Celeste, Jul 28 2010
How can salmon contain unsaturated oil? In your article above:
"Classic cooking texts advise against using oily fish such as salmon for making broth, probably because highly unsaturated fish oils become rancid during the long cooking process."
written by Rebecca, May 18 2010
Here's what I did: Roasted 2 soup bones at 350 for 45 minutes. Added them to a soup pot, along w/ 1/6 c. white vinegar, celery, onion, peppercorns, and thyme. Covered it all with water, and brought to a low boil (barely) and then turned down to a simmer. Simmered in crockpot for 16 hours. Stock is not cloudy and it tastes bitter. Can I save this stock or is it ruined?
written by Celia Westberry, May 15 2010
Well said about the Brothals. This is an idea whose time has come. This could be the new experience in nourishment in eating for my new grand son. Go for it!
congealed fat
written by Carolyn Graff, Apr 24 2010
I save and use the fat. this is beneficial fat. see the articles on Fats on this website.
vinegar, etc
written by Carolyn Graff, Apr 24 2010
you can use apple cider vinegar.

you can mail order grass-fed marrow bones. there are sources listed in the WAPF Shopping Guide. one source is US Wellness Meats.
Thankful and confused...
written by Elena, Apr 22 2010
Thank you for the fantastic article! So much great information.

I am very confused about how I can follow these threads/comments from the readers. I have asked about this before and the answer I received in email was not helpful to me at all. Can someone please tell me what I have to do to read more on the comments that were made about this article. It seems that I can only "vote up", "vote down", stare at the number of comments and get frustrated because I can't read them, or "report abuse"!

Thank you for the help,
written by Rosie, Mar 25 2010
do you throw the congealed fat away...all that fat can't be good for your veins??:
written by Robert, Mar 22 2010
Another excellent article!

I found this article by searching Google for whether or not I could leave the solids in the chicken stock I had just made and eat it like soup.
The Google result that got me here was from a comment by Joel (Feb 15) who is puzzled about how one can eat bones.

I simmered my stock for 48 hours. The gizzards were edible and even the bones were soft and mushy (about halfway through the simmering I mashed everything up so it would break down better).
I squeezed out all the liquid, but didn't want to just throw away the remaining solids. I hesitate to eat it because I don't know if it's safe.

Cam (first commenter) asked if grain-finished beef would be OK to use. I had always heard that grass-finished beef was the way to go, so imagine my surprise when I found in the Nourishing Traditions book in the chapter entitled Beef & Lamb, pg 329, 4th paragraph, that is it a good thing to grain finish beef.
I guess it doesn't unduly distort the omega 3/6 ratio while providing more of the fat that's so good for us.

I keep searching to find the answers and hope to recover even a little of the "Old Ways" that have been lost to convenience and greed (Jeremiah 6:16).

Thank you.

vinegar, etc
written by pjnoir, Mar 16 2010
Can apple cider Vinegar be used?

Also- I can not for the life of me find Grass Fed marrow bones from anyone. I have issues using anything less, since grass fed beef is all I eat. Any thoughts?
written by Joan Whitaker, Feb 19 2010
I made the wonderful beef stock and it has been simmering into its 30th hour. I had the bony bones split lengthwise (which I think was my mistake) thus exposing the marrow, which is floating atop the stock. Must the marrow be removed from the broth or can I add it back to the stock? Thanks for this great recipe, currently, I'm anxiously awaiting your cookbook from Amazon.
written by Cyndi, Feb 16 2010
Jerry-after your stock comes to a boil turn it down. Boiling will make it cloudy. Be sure that you are skimming it.
Eat bones?
written by Joel, Feb 15 2010
I never ate bones and I wonder how you can eat bones?
Why remove fat?
written by Eve, Feb 03 2010
Hi - I keep reading about how beneficial these fats are for us, so why are we to remove the fat after the stock has cooled and congealed? Any benefit or detriment if it were just left there?
written by Jerry, Jan 22 2010
What is proper proceedure for clear broth? Mine always gets very cloudy and even milky when using chicken parts.
Well done
written by ritu, Jan 15 2010
Well done!!! I loved this article. I stumbled into it when I was researching whether stock is considered a protein. Though I did not get that answer I did get the answer to my calcium dilemma. More and more children are diagnosed lactose intolerant and if we stop their milk. How do they get their calcium? When I asked a doctor who stopped my 6 year old's milk intake, he said there are a lot of calcium fortified products in the market, like orange juice. It was not an answer that suited me and my son has been drinking milk. His bones are growing and I didn't want to take a chance.Now I have the answer!!!! Broth.
RE: Raw or cooked? and leftover question.
written by Rose, Jan 09 2010
I roasted a chicken 2 weeks ago and did not have time to make a broth for soup. We ate the meat off the chicken and I froze the carcass with bits of meat still on it and I am making my broth now. I always use the bones from a roasted chicken with the dark meat to make soup. The white meat is eaten with stuffing on the first night and then we have chicken BBQ quesadillas on the second night. Soup is on night 3. We get many meals from a whole chicken. So yes you can use leftovers. And I always cook my chicken before making my broth. However, you can start with a raw chicken and then you will need to skim the broth to remove the scum like mentioned above.
Raw or cooked?
written by Liz, Jan 07 2010
I'm confused, for the chicken broth recipe should I use a raw chicken or a cooked chicken?
wonderful info!
written by TeresaE, Dec 31 2009
My home is filled with the beautiful aroma of a boiling turkey carcass right now. Though I have been making my own stocks and homemade soups for years, I have done most of it from ancient memories and a couple cooking shows.

Jumped on the 'net to see why my stocks don't develop enough flavor and my search led me here.

Wow! Thanks for the info and now I know I was cheating myself by not cooking my stocks long enough. Exactly the info I needed!

With your help, I can already taste how wonderful the barley soup I am planning is going to taste.
written by Ryan Less, Dec 30 2009
For years I dated a korean woman, and her mother cooked all sorts of wonderful things, including beef bone soup. The more I read about traditional diets, and Nourishing Traditions cookbook, the more I realize just how good traditional korean foods are. This woman's mother really knew what she was doing!!
written by Maggie, Dec 30 2009
Do you use the heart liver and kidneys in the chicken stock?
written by Meryl Steinberg, Dec 22 2009
Thanks... going to make some beef stock today. Not a beef eater, but Chinese doc says I really need the nutrition from the bone marrow. Your background and instructions are helpful.
written by cam, Dec 19 2009
i'm really interested now in making my first stock but i have some questions, hopefully someone can answer...

Can i save meat to use in a stock a few days later or is it best to avoid leftovers?

And is it okay to use the bones from grain-finished cows and pigs that haven't been fed grass (i don't know what they're actually fed...), because I'm still looking for a place to buy these kinds of meats.


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Last Updated on Thursday, 29 March 2012 13:47