Broth is Beautiful

food-whybroth1“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.

Sally Fallon Morell is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk. She is the author of the best-selling cookbook, Nourishing Traditions (with Mary G. Enig, PhD) and the Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care (with Thomas S. Cowan, MD). She is also the author of Nourishing Broth (with Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN).

104 Responses to Broth is Beautiful

  1. Lynnsey says:

    Love the info. Have you ever tried this with deer or elk? Is it possible? What recipe would you use?

    • Yes, you could by following the beef broth recipe substituting deer or elk. One note: wild animals contain less fat so the broth would be leaner. Personally, I add some tallow to it.

  2. Vivica Menegaz CTWFN says:

    Thank you for this extremely informative article.
    I use a lot of Dr Price’s principle in the way I practice nutrition, especially in writing traditionally inspiring recipes!
    In this one I referred to this post and got inspired by the chicken broth recipe!…-chicken-broth
    Thank you for your great work!

  3. Vivica Menegaz CTWFN says:

    Thank you for this extremely informative article.
    I use a lot of Dr Price’s principle in the way I practice nutrition, especially in writing traditionally inspiring recipes!
    In this one I referred to this post and got inspired by the chicken broth recipe!
    Thank you for your great work!

    Sorry My previous link was broken 🙁

  4. Agustina says:

    Hi! great article!! I love chicken broth and now I love it even more. I have a question, though, is the chicken meat still safe to eat after being kept for 6-8 hours in the broth?

    Thank you!

  5. JANE EMPEY says:

    I wonder if fish broth made with fish bones (not shaved Bonito flakes) produces gelatin in the same way the other broths do? And what are the other nutritive properties particular to this kind of broth?

  6. Monica says:

    I’ve been trying to make my own broth more since my husband started raising chickens and my brother gave me Nourishing Traditions for Christmas. However, I never have the amount of bones or fish called for in the recipes. (It’s easy for chicken since we frequently have a whole one.) Sometimes I’ll get an elk roast from a friend and have a bone. Can I just throw whatever I have together, including mixing different types (fish, elk, beef, chicken, etc)? And as far as removing the fat when it cools, is that just to make the broth more clear? That fat isn’t bad, right? Thanks.

    • Gail says:

      Monica, I keep a stock bag in the freezer and throw in whatever bones and veggie off-cuts I have left over from other dishes. Then, when I have enough in the bag, I dump it in a pot, cover it with water and make stock/broth. 🙂

    • rodney M. says:

      1 ounce of chicken skin contains 3 grams saturated fat and 8 grams unsaturated fat. Add or remove as much fat as your taste buds and stomach can handle. Fat is essential in producing a tasty broth. Fat is easiest to remove when broth is chilled as it floats to the top and hardens. Total Cholesterol levels in your body is raised very little by the dietary cholesterol you consume. High cholesterol levels are more a consequence of hi-carbohydrate diet (starches & sugars), low fiber/low enzymes (not enough veggies) and overall poor nutrition and lifestyle. (inflammation, lack of exercise, stress, overweight)

  7. Carol says:

    After you strain it, what do you do with the veggies? Can you pick them out and eat them??

  8. Lally says:

    I learned many years ago to make chicken broth using the carcass and all bones of roasted chicken, removing any meat to add later otherwise is dries up during the cooking process, so, place all the bones and carcass in the pot, add 1 onion cut in half, 2 celery ribs, 1 carrot, 1 large sprig of parsley cover completely with water and bring to a boil, then let it simmer for at least 2 to 3 hours adding water as necessary, the broth will have a very rich flavor and it will gel once cooled, when broth is ready remove all bones and veggies and discard, place broth back in the pot and add any fresh vegetables you like and the meat you picked off the bones before, it is a yummy broth, you can eat the veggies but all the nutrients have been left in the broth.

  9. Kat says:

    I’m just curious if this can be done in your crock pot. I work full time and we are always on the go and use the crock pot regularly. Can you get the same nutritional value if it is cooked in a slow cooker as in a pot on the stove?

  10. We live and work in a motorhome. I make our bone broth/soup stock from grass-fed animals. Because we have limited freezer/refrigerator space, I am canning the broth in a pressure canner. Does pressure-canning create free glutamate from the meat? I’m learning excess free glutamate is bad for the body.

  11. Cameron says:

    I was wondering if anyone knows from experience the best size stockpot to use for the chicken and fish stock.


    • Kim says:

      You can use any size pot you want, depending on how much broth you want to make. I make broth every day, just enough for that day for my family, so I use a medium-sized crock pot, about 4 qt.

    • Kerry Logan says:

      Really depends on how fast you go through the broth and how often you want to make it. The only other consideration is how small you want to cut up the pieces. I’ve tried to stuff a whole bird in mine one time because I was in a hurry. It did not turn out well. Cutting everything up into manageable chunks is key.

  12. Jennifer says:

    Do you get the same benefits from broth made from shrimp and crab shells?

  13. John says:

    Does the book Nourishing Broth’s or any where on WAPF include options of making broth’s with slow or pressure cookers? Appreciate any feedback.

    • It says in the Nourishing Traditions book to avoid pressure cookers (and microwaves!) in their kitchen tools section. I don’t remember the health benefits (or lack thereof) but I will try to remember to look them up for you.

      • pzo says:

        I found that a pressure cooker breaks down a lot of the bone giving an off flavor. Threw that batch out. Probably could experiment and find the right time, but a crock pot is just SO much easier.

      • Melissa Leet says:

        Hi John, I’ve decided a pressure cooker for broth is just too valuable for me, so I use it regularly (and a slow-cooker, switching back-and-forth, depending on my time). I can cook a 6 lb chicken *and* get a nicely gelatinized broth in 45 minutes. There’s isn’t an off-flavor, that I’ve experienced. I use two bay leaves, and sometimes some onion.

        • kath says:

          I use a Slow Cooker and cook a turkey and chicken for a little over 24 hrs. The bones break down and the smell is wonderful. Never had a problem. I’ve never made the beef version because the beef bones take at minimum of 48 hrs.

    • Don says:

      I Have the book Nourishing Broths . It is a great source of information concerning all the benefits of broth including testimonials . The one draw back is that a pressure cooker is mentioned perhaps once in the entire book. It would have been good to have several recipes using pressure cookers especially since I just bought a 10 quart Fagor to use however the book is excellent.

      • MT says:

        I believe the purpose of cooking slow on the stove top is to be able to pull out all the wonderful nutrients that are in the bones. When using a pressure cooker you are not allowing the same chemical reaction to take place because you are rushing it. The best and most nutrient dense way to cook broth is on the stove. Next, from what I understand, would be in the crockpot on low.

  14. I can’t disagree more that salmon should be avoided for fish broth. I make broth from salmon heads and spines frequently; it is delicious, and nutritious. Of course, you don’t boil it for days, you simmer it for one hour. Then I freeze the broth and use it all winter long. I have lost 80 lbs and regained near perfect health using salmon broth as a key lifestyle change. One small cup of salmon broth can hold off hunger for hours. Halibut heads and spines, and flounders are good too. However, cod frames do not work. Whoever says that salmon heads and spines cannot be used for excellent fish broth has no first hand experience on the subject

  15. Rhonda says:

    I was wondering if I can use the fat that I skim off the top of my broth to cook with.

    • Natasha says:


      I never skim off the fat, I always eat it. It is delicious and I cannot believe some people skim it off. But everyone’s different, so, I guess it is O.K. for them to toss that beutifull stuff away.


  16. Angie says:

    On several occasions immediately after consuming the beef bone broth I’ve made it has caused me severe intestinal upset with gas, bloating, and extreme diarrhea. After the diarrhea subsides, I’ll feel horrible with the intestinal discomfort and have achy joints and sometimes a mild headache for about a day or two later. Am I doing something wrong in how I’m making or preparing my broth or is my body just going thru a phase or die off reaction? Should I continue to consume the broth or should I stop it completely?

    • Wendy says:

      Angie – That sounds like food poisoning. Check your method is correct for heating and cooling, and do not leave the lid on tight when you have finished cooking. Hope this helps.

    • Angie says:

      Angie, yes it is die off or detox, that is a good sign your body is repairing.
      Drink 1/2 of the amount or even less, got to go slow so you don’t get so sick.

      • Ro says:

        How long does detox last? My sister and I started drinking broth each morning and have extreme discomfort.

        • Casey says:

          If it’s only the chicken broth-
          Are you blood type b, then suggest you check out “eat right for your blood type” notes on blood type b. I think chicken is an avoid for that blood type. If you’re a B, might be interesting to try a temporary diet change for a few weeks. Or, maybe it’s just the transition time…Good luck to all; we love broth.

      • Kerry Logan says:

        I talked to a Weston Price nutritionist at a Mother Earth News Fair once about this very issue. Her advice was to take it very slow. Like a teaspoon a day for a while. I have gotten to where I can use it in anything I want with only a mild toot on occasion if the batch was particularly strong. Make sure your stock is of good quality and then proceed gently!

    • Tommo says:

      Yes it is 100% die off just cut back until you know how much you can consume then gradually increase

    • Justin Allen says:

      I Know this is an old post but I agree with the first response to a certain extent. Food positioning or check your source – sounds like a shitty product. Make sure its grass finished and not Organic soy grass. Don’t believe the bullshit about “die off” – if you are eating well you will feel well.

  17. Philip More says:

    With regards to using the vegetables, here in Romania people boil peeled whole vegetables, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and then once they have been used for stock these vegetables are diced up mixed with meat (again boiled for stock)mixed with mayonnaise to make a salad. This is very popular dish at Christmas.

  18. Sharon says:

    I was amazed at the valuable information I received today on the health benefits given from gelatin and also the harm that MSG produces for the body, especially the brain.

    Thanks a million!!!!!!!!

    P.S. I usually make my soups from scratch. Now I will make them more often.

  19. umut says:

    We cook mostly chicken broth. Reheat it with salt, cumin and turmeric and drink it. Recently cooked fish broth and wondering if it is tasty enough to drink it as is? has anybody tried that?

  20. pzo says:

    Long time WAPF, new to posting.

    I’ve been making bone broths for a few years, mostly turkey bones from breasts.

    Perhaps six months ago I got interested in gelatin therapy for joints. I’m 68, in generally good health, have had knee issues off and on, better or worse for many decades. I stopped running because of that. I started consuming 4 TBLSP/day of unflavored gelatin. Within a few weeks I was able to run on the beach, something I’ve not done for many years. Then I noticed that on the leg extension machine at the rec center, the popping (which never hurt)diminished by, say, 80%.

    I started collecting all the bones, beef, pork, and fowl, freezing until I made broth in the crock pot. I don’t add anything, no veggies, nothing. Those I do when I want to later on. Just nice, pure gelatinous broth with a bit of fat on top. Keeps well in the fridge for weeks.

    Then I went a step further, if that’s possible. I started pickling “pig parts.” I started with the usual feet – make sure they are cut small – delicious, but not much meat. But a heck of a lot of gristle and collagen. I now use hocks, tails, feet, and neck bones. Cook in a bit of water, mostly steam, for an hour. Put in a large container, this might be the hardest part, to find one!

    Add a bottle of Colgin Liquid Smoke and some coarsely chopped onions. Wait as long as you can, but you can start in in a day or two. SO much gristle and collagen!

    Because of this project, I have so many bones to slow cook, I have so much broth in the fridge, I don’t even bother with the gelatin anymore.

    And my knees keep getting better!

  21. Kim says:

    I have the feet and hooves from a deer, in my freezer, and I want to use them for broth. Do I need to skin them first? They still have the fur on them!

    • rhonda says:

      I have same question as Kim. Just got hooves attached to legs last night. Fur on, still warm. How do I prepare so as to make soup? This is my first experience with deer. How do I clean hooves?

      • Drunken Swamihead says:

        In India and Pakistan, they do a breakfast dish called paya nihari… basically foot soup. Feet of goats or beef. They prepare them first by burning off all the hair and skin on the foot bones.
        Rest is similar to broth with a few extra spices. They finish it with a flour based thickening and serve it with thick naan or similar bread.

        For deer feet, maybe you can try that burning off trick.

  22. Libby says:

    I left turkey bones in the crockpot overnight with water and it wasn’t turned on, would you throw them out?

  23. kim says:

    I noticed in the Nourishing Broths book and other recipes calls for the use of vinegar to leach the calcium and minerals from the bones. Unfortunately I am unable to have anything acidic like vinegar due to a condition. Can I still make nourishing broth without the use of it. If so how?

  24. Rob says:

    Nourishing broths has two pressure cooker recipes for broth.

    Does that mean that pressure cookers are OK for making broth?

    Does the end product suffer at all?


  25. Mabel says:

    I would like to know why WAPF/NT says pressure cooking is bad when this blog has made an extremely strong case for using pressure cookers as a way to preserve the nutrients in the food that log cooking via ovens and crock pots are actually destroying. If you are going to make a claim Sally we need you to explain why, not just a because Sally said so.

  26. Vivien says:

    Is there anything wrong in boiling up the same bones over and over again? I keep topping up the water level as I ladle the stock off to use in soups and casseroles. There always seems such a lot more goodness to come out of the bones.

  27. Elaine says:

    I don’t often have bones of meat to make a broth, is there a website you would recommend that
    sells the bone broth that I could order it from?

    • Valerie says:

      I purchase necks and sometimes along with wings from organic naturally raised chickens and/or add them with any carcasses I’ve saved. Some places sell grass fed beef bones. Left over bones from beef, veal or lamb shanks can be used along with some of tails.

  28. Jasmine says:

    Elaine! This is a great one! Wise Choice Market has excellent products! However, I live in Italy, is there somewhere in Italy or Europe that you know of that sells good quality Bone Broth? Thank you!

    • Jill says:

      I second that! I live in Northern Italy and have yet to find a place with bone broth/organic free range or pastured animals. Anyone???? Desperate need 😉

  29. Sandra says:

    Very new to this – still have yet to attempt. I have a friend that raises lots of chicken but they are for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (Texas) so I’m not sure what they are fed and if they would be a good choice for the bones and such – any opinion? And also if using chicken do you actually use the head and all (like the fish) with eye balls and everything – probably an extremely stupid question but like I said I’m new. And if your doing in crock pot do you put on high till it starts to boil and then turn to low and for how long for each version. Also will you get the scum up top like on stove top that will still need to be skimmed off in crockpot? And how much should you consume daily for nutritional purposes? Thanks!

  30. SongLinh says:

    I have 1 question? For making the beef broth (or any broth), during the simmering stage, is the lid on or off? Thanks!

  31. Mary McC says:

    Having grabbed a bunch of ‘dog bones’ (butcher can’t sell for human use) and made stock, I find myself with a layer of pretty clean-looking fat…can this be skimmed off and cooked down as tallow?

  32. Jeff says:

    Should I add water as the broth is cooked down? The longer I let it simmer the less broth I’m going to have. I don’t want to water it down, but would like help with knowing if it’s a good thing to simmer beef broth up to 72 hours and add water. Thanks!

  33. Kelly says:

    This was such a great, eye opening write up. I have shared with several family members already for health & nutrition reasons, and have also just made 2 huge kettles of stock/gelatin. BUT I AM SAD that you all are not answering anyone’s questions! So many good questions, some mirror my own, but no responses. Come on Weston Price Foundation!

  34. Mary says:

    Can you tell me how to get some Farm-raised, free-range chickens, & some grass feed beef marrow and knuckle bones & calve fee. I live in Omaha Ne. Thank you

  35. Norma says:

    I strained broth, cooled it and placed in a plastic container overnight to bottle in the morning. The gel was all over the shelf that morning and a slit was caused in the side of the container. What was the cause of this? Is it ok to put broth in a plastic container? Someone please reply.

    • Pat Davis says:

      Did you add the broth to the plastic container while the broth was still hot? That could have caused the leak. Or maybe the container was already broken before you added the broth.

  36. kathy says:

    I am interested in using beef and/or chicken bone broth for my infant. Is this safe, is tbere a recommended age to start & should the recipie be altered any?

    • Jackie says:

      Hi Kathy, I didn’t introduce solids to my kids until they were 9-10 months old, breast feeding is enough, and I had fat healthy babies. I don’t see why it would be any worse than feeding them pureed meat, in fact it is probably better to start with the broth. If you are still breast feeding I would be more worried about you getting the nutrition from the broth, so you have nutrient rich milk for your baby. Hope this helps.
      You can check out my bone broth recipe at

  37. twestdy says:

    “BROTH IS BEAUTIFUL”it is absolutely right .As it is stock of high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation Making your own bone broth is very cost effective, as you can make use of left over carcass bones that would otherwise be thrown away. And making your own broth is quite easy.

  38. Jackie says:

    There is an easy version of beef bone broth posted on my website. I cook it no longer than 10 hours max and don’t skim off the fat or “scum”. I have been making broth for years and the flavor is superb and vital nutrients are retained. Skimming off the scum is only necessary if you are worried about clarity. The fat is great fuel for the brain and intestinal cells.

  39. MAGGIE says:

    I am not a good cook at all. I can see that many of you ladies cook quite often, and I am sure you all are great cooks. But I don’t have that talent. So for me, I hope it will work to keep the colds away if I just buy cans of CHUCKEN STOCK SOUP, and just add some of the ingredients that are listed in this website, to the stock as I just heat it up as is.

  40. Lisa Perich says:

    excellent article. I have been making bone broth in a pressure cooker and wonder about the lack of skimming foam, I have not seen this missed step addressed in the instructions. Usually my broths are clear after pouring thru cheescloth, but my most recent elk broth, although beautifully gelled, is whitish opaque, definately not see-through. The fat layer rose to the top as always. I did notice as I picked meat off the bones after the broth was done, that there was alot of the gooey stuff, cartilidge(?)in this batch of bones, maybe this would account for the final colour of the broth? Thank you, Lis

  41. Sarah Townsend says:

    My hubby has been wanting to have bone broth.Is there a local chapter leader in my area who can help me locate local farmer who would have bones from pasture raised animals? Thank you so very much.

    We live in 33510 Brandon Florida.

    • Pam says:

      Looking for chicken bone to make broth. do you sale the bone. Or keep them for making the broth. if you do sell Please let me know there is a few of us looking. Thank you. Cost of bone would be nice if you sell. Have a very nice day.

  42. Baris Colak says:

    Is it okay to simmer fish stock more than 24 hours?

  43. Katie says:

    I’ve made chicken stock a few times now, in the crock pot, it comes out great. I will add the vinegar next time based on this article. I don’t remember seeing scum at the top…will look out for that, what is it? And the fat that rises to the top once cooled, why are you instructing to remove that? thx!

  44. SUE says:


    • NS says:

      SUE: I was reading to help some one how to make a chicken broth. Since your comment is new assuming you will be checking back hoping you give this a try. My grandmother had same issues with kidney stones and she will never visit a doctor or take medicine (Turkish/Middle Eastern) uses always homeopathy methods. She drinks the water (whey) when we strain the yogurt for thicker creamier spread. BUT, be aware that you should make your own yogurt—- I don’t trust all these brands mixed with pectin/ tapioca or other ingredients, all you need the active culture. Give it a try and increase your eating habits of good yogurt, natural probiotic too….Good luck.

  45. Kevin wells says:

    Hi, I’ve been drinking 1-2 cups of bone broth everyday for about 10 days now. I’ve noticed lately that after drinking it I get tired and kind of agitated. Do you know what could cause this? Thanks,

  46. Anita says:

    I have a question. Lyme disease or any other ailment they may have is killed off when we cook the deer or wild game completely. The bone broth, that we are trying to get nutrients from, with it being in a slow cooker for 24 hours or so, would that kill off any bad bacterial or infections the wild game would have???

  47. Mel says:

    Hello! We are a vegetarian household. But I am interested in introducing chicken broth to our meals for health reasons. Does store bought organic chicken broth have similar health benefits? Cause I just can’t bring a chicken into my house lol thank you

    • Ellen says:

      The chicken dies either way. A more honest approach would be to find some free-range chickens and thank God that they’re available and prepare it yourself. When YOU prepare it, you know what’s in it and what’s NOT in it. The store-bought stuff isn’t worth the cardboard it’s packed in.

  48. Charity says:

    Would love to have the questions about pressure cooking broth answered. I just have not read enough evidence that using a cooker to preserve is bad.

  49. Malcolm says:

    Question. We are making chicken bone broth in a slow cooker. Using good free range chicken. As part of prep. we are also adding about 1/4 cup vinegar to boost the process. After cooking at 180 deg. for 24 hours, we get a lovely tasting broth; however, contrary to what we have been told, the remaining bones are NOT “falling apart” due to the nutrients being leached out. It has us wondering if we are not getting all the minerals, collagen we should be getting.

    Anyone have any ideas? Is temp too high, too low, too short on time (though I can’t imagine that’s the issue)??

  50. Lynne says:

    I make bone broth in a slow cooker (using the bones 2-3 times). Is the congealed fat at the end healthful? Is that lard? I’m cautious about eating too much fat for cholesterol concerns.

  51. Jennifer says:

    Is it okay to give broth made with ACV, seasonings and veggies to a baby? My son is 7 months old and has only had breastmilk and avocado. Thanks!

  52. Ellie says:

    Hello! This seems to be one of the most compelling and comprehensive articles on bone broth on the ‘net. I realize that the following question may go unanswered–that was the case when it was posed by another reader two years ago–but if there’s any chance you’re available to help, it would be so helpful to know what you would recommend for someone who cannot have vinegar (in my case, the histamine content in vinegar is dangerous due to a mast cell condition). It seems that vinegar is essential to bone broth, and bone broth is essential to intestinal health. Is there a solution to this problem? Thank you!!!

    • Drunken Swamihead says:

      Vinegar is added to extract more calcium (and other minerals) from the bones.
      It’s fine to skip vinegar… your broth will have a little less calcium in it.
      Less doesn’t mean none… just less.

  53. Ruth says:

    Any recommendations for purchasing a slow cooker? What are the most toxin-free brands?

  54. Brooke says:

    How about a recipe for pork stock?

    Is there a reason this is not included?

    Thank you.

  55. Suzanne says:

    Using the Instant Pot ok? What about forgetting to add ACV?

  56. Cheryl says:

    Hi I am wondering about potential toxins in the bones even grass fed beef or chicken and if you recommend eating the fat as toxins can accumulate in fat? perhaps I am mistaken but would appreciate feedback. thank you!

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