Homemade Crockpot Bone Broth | Canning Bone Broth

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Bone broth is a nutrient-rich liquid that is made by simmering animal bones, such as beef, chicken, turkey, pork or fish, along with water, vegetables and spices for an extended period of time. The slow, gentle simmering of the bones and connective tissue releases a variety of nutrients and minerals into the broth, including collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. The combination of ingredients and processing method make this broth incredibly nutritious, puts good use to spent animal carcass, and saves money by eliminating the need to purchase inferior broths from the store!

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bone broth crockpot recipe

Bone broth is often consumed as a warming and nourishing beverage on its own, or used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces. It has been consumed for centuries in many cultures and is known for its potential health benefits, such as supporting joint health, gut health, and immune system function.

What You Need

Cooking Equipment

Traditionally, bone broth was made by combining bits of the animal carcass, bones and connective tissue in particular, with water, vegetables and spices, and then simmered over a fire for 12-24 hours. Modern technology really helps to speed the process while still offering the healthful benefits bone broth contains. From a 10-12 hour simmer on high in the crockpot, to 1-3 hours in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot. There are many different options and no wrong way of making this delicious broth!

The crockpot or a stockpot on the stove is a great option in the winter as it will help add heat and moisture to the kitchen as the broth cooks. During the hotter months, the Instant Pot might be the way to go in order to prevent excess heat and because it’s a quicker option for those busier, productive garden months.

homemade bone broth

Ingredients

The main ingredients of the bone broth is of course the bones. After the meat from the animal is consumed, leave the little bits such as ligaments, connective tissue and excess meat on the carcass. You could even save the heart and liver to add even more nutrients to your broth. Each batch of bones can actually be cooked, strained, and cooked again. Anything more than two rounds with the same batch won’t give you much however, as all the nutrients cook out into the water by the second round.

Use filtered or drinking water to completely cover the ingredients when beginning. It’s important to have some kind of cover on at all times to keep the steam in and prevent excess moisture loss.

There are many different combinations of vegetables that can be used to make bone broth. Most people go for the traditional onion, carrots and celery, as it gives the broth a decent soup taste. Ultimately, anything can be used to tailor the broth to your particular liking so just experiment with the recipe!

Using spices in bone broth is a great way to add even more flavor and nutrients! This is another area where any combination is possible and experimentation is a must! Adding turmeric and black pepper will help give the broth some amazing anti-inflammatory properties. While things like Oregano and Astragalus root will give it immune boosting benefits! The possibilities are endless!

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Long-Term Storage

If you’re able to make and put up a large quantity of broth, you’ll want to keep in mind how you plan on preserving it as it will only last up to a week in the fridge. One such option includes freezing. You can pour the broth into ice cube trays, freeze them solid, and then store in a freezer lock bag. This is great for use in small quantities or to use in some hot water for a nice, gut-healing drink. You could also pour the broth directly into the freezer bags in measured portion sizes, or even in unprocessed canning jars in the freezer (though these do take up a lot of space).

If you prefer to save freezer space and have your broth be shelf-stable, canning is another preservation method. Due to bone broth being a low-acidic food, it will need to be pressure canned in order to be considered safe to put on the shelf. All of the actual meat will be strained out of the broth so processing times are not the same as meat times. Quarts will need 25 minutes and pints need 20 minutes. Be sure to can at the proper weight according to your altitude.

make your own bone broth

Making Bone Broth In A CrockPot

There are a ton of different ways and methods to make bone broth. There are no wrong ways of doing it and it may take some experimenting and re-flavoring to get it to your liking. Some people begin their bone broth making by first roasting the bones in a 400°F oven for 30 minutes. The claim is that it enhances the flavor of the final broth. I personally prefer to just throw everything in my crockpot and not risk roasting any of the nutrients out. Again, it will be your preference.

bone broth
  • Step 1: Add the bones, vegetables, and chosen spices to the crockpot. Completely cover everything with filtered water.
  • Step 2: The cooking time will be another option for you. On high heat, the broth can be cooked for 10-12 hours. On low, it will take approximately 12-24 hours. The longer the broth cooks, the richer and more flavorful it will be. Make sure to keep the lid on the crockpot while it cooks to prevent too much evaporation.
  • Step 3: Once the broth is done cooking, turn off the crockpot and let it cool for a few minutes. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove all bones and small bits. It may seem silly to say, but far too many people fall prey to forgetting to place a catchment under the strainer to collect the broth. DON’T let all your delicious broth go down the drain!
  • Step 4: If you choose to, the bones may go for a second round in the crockpot. The second batch will be a bit more watered down but will still contain many beneficial nutrients.

That’s it! Making bone broth in a crockpot is a simple and hands-off process, and the resulting broth is rich in nutrients and flavor!

Pressure Canning Bone Broth

Due to the low acidity in bone broth, it will need to be pressure canned in order to be considered safe.

Canning Bone Broth

After you've made your nutrient rich bone broth, it can be pressure canned in order to store for long-term use.
Prep Time15 minutes
Canning Time25 minutes
Course: Appetizer, beverage, Drinks, Main Course, Soup

Materials

Instructions

  • Prepare the canning equipment before you start canning, make sure that your pressure canner is in good working condition and that you have all the necessary equipment. This includes clean canning jars, lids, and rings. Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water, rinse them well, and keep them warm until you're ready to use them. Keep the rings at room temperature until you're ready to seal the jars.
  • Prepare the bone broth according to your favorite recipe(see above for our crockpot version). You can add salt to the broth or each jar at this stage, if desired, typically a teaspoon or two to each jar.
  • Use a funnel and a ladle to fill the jars with the hot bone broth, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top of each jar. Use a clean towel to wipe the rims of the jars to ensure that there is no debris or residue on them.
  • Place the lids on top of the jars, and then screw on the rings until they are just tight enough to hold the lids in place. Do not over-tighten the rings, as this can prevent air from escaping during canning.
  • Place the jars in the pressure canner, following the manufacturer's instructions for the specific model you have. Make sure that the water level in the canner is at the recommended level.
  • Put the lid on the pressure canner and bring the canner to the recommended pressure for your altitude. Process the jars for 25 minutes for quarts and 20 minutes for pints.
  • Once the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and let the canner cool down until the pressure gauge reaches zero. Use a jar lifter to remove the jars from the canner, and place them on a towel to cool completely. Allow the jars to sit, undisturbed, for at least 12 hours before checking the seals. Store properly sealed jars in a cool, dry place.

And that’s it! Following these steps will result in safely canned bone broth, packed full of nutrients that you can enjoy for months to come!

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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