Did you tuck a turkey carcass into the freezer after Thanksgiving?
Time to get it out!
Today, Roxanne from The Holistic Mama shares her easy crock pot (or stockpot) broth method. Plus, she’ll win you over to all the many health benefits of making healing, homemade broth and stock! -Wardee
Homemade broth and stock is essential for optimum health. (Yes! There is a difference between the two. To learn more, read What’s The Difference Between Broth And Stock?) And, thankfully, it’s easy and economical to make!
They require only a large stock pot on the stove top, or a crockpot, require little culinary skill, and even less attention. You can make stock with a variety of herbs, veggies, chicken, beef, fish, or any other meat you’d like.
All are packed with health benefits (and flavor!) that you won’t find in commercially produced broth.
Health Benefits Of Broth
Throughout history, many traditional cultures have made broths with bones. Stocks are extremely healing and beneficial to everyone. As the bones boil, the minerals from the bones get pulled out into the water, creating a mineral-rich stock. Homemade bone broths are rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals which are essential for optimum health.
Because the minerals in broth are easily assimilated, consuming bone broths is a very easy way to get these minerals in your diet. Bone broths also contain glucosamine, chondroitin and gelatin — components that get extracted from the bones. These nutrients are very good for anyone with joint pain or arthritis.
Meat and fish stocks made with bones are also very healing to the digestive system. They provide building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining. Bone broths have a soothing effect on any areas of inflammation in the gut. This has been used for centuries as a digestive aid and a remedy for the digestive tract.
Homemade Broth Saves Money
Homemade broths provide many health benefits that commercially made stocks do not. And in addition homemade broths cost much less! A quart size container of organic chicken broth averages around $3.00. If you filled a 5-quart crock pot with commercial stock, you’re looking at $15.00!
Compare that to the homemade stock I made last night from half an organic chicken that cost me $5.99. That’s half the price of commercial — and don’t forget how much more healthful homemade stock is!
Here’s another cost savings. After making and eating homemade broth for awhile, you may find less need to buy supplements. (Remember, the broth contains lots of minerals plus glucosamine, chondroitin, and gelatin.)
How To Make Homemade Broth
- Bones (meaty is fine) from chicken, turkey, beef, fish, or any other kind of meat -- including joints, giblets, and/or organs
- raw apple cider vinegar
- pure water
- sea salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- strip kombu seaweed optional for added trace minerals
- vegetables optional for flavor and added nutrients
- herbs optional for flavor and added nutrients
- cloves garlic optional for flavor and added nutrients
Place the meat, bones and parts into a large crock pot or stock pot.
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the pot.
Fill the pot the rest of the way with filtered or pure water.
Optional: add any vegetables, fresh or dried herbs, cloves of garlic (you can get creative here!) to flavor the stock.
If using a crock pot, turn to low and let cook for 24 hours.
If using a stock pot, bring water to boil and then reduce heat and allow simmering for a minimum of 8 to 24 hours.
The longer you let it cook, the more health benefits you will receive in your stock.
This will last a few days in the fridge and 6 to 12 months in the freezer.
My crock pot is almost like a permanent fixture on the counter. I have a broth cooking in it most of the time.
To make life easy, freeze containers of stock in small portions ready for use in recipes. It is great to have a lot of stock on hand in the freezer for making soups, beans, rice, sauces, gravies and lots more.
What’s your broth/stock routine? Have you noticed any differences in your health when you make and eat it regularly? Do you have any tips to share?
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Mona Ballentine Weathers via Facebook says
I am a firm believer in the healing power of broth. I have been sharing my recipe with friends because I know how well it works.
Is your recipe different than the one posted? Can you share it on here? My 15 year old daughter was just diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyroiditis disease. My daughter and other 2 daughters I have all have congenital heart problems, compounded with a metabolic disorder – Mitochondrial disease.
I am trying to get back to eating the way God had intended, before all the boxes of quick dinners became the staple in many homes, as well as my own.
I know the first step is healing her gut with bone broth from grass fed animals (such a hard find here in Northeast) but I have found some farms who raise their animals on grass only.
Please share your recipes. Fish stock seems so foreign to me and what would I use it for? Doesn’t sound appealing enough to drink.
Roxanne Anderson King via Facebook says
That’s great Mona, I think it’s so important to share healthy ideas and recipes with friends so we can spread health and healing to everyone around us!
Tammy Lee Rodriguez via Facebook says
been drinking my turkey stock almost daily! 🙂
I received a couple tips when I learned how to make stock this Thanksgiving. First, start with cold water. Something about using cold water extracts more gelatin from the bones (or at least that’s what I was told). The second tip was, instead of skimming off the oily layer that floats to the top, refrigerate the whole thing, the fat layer hardens on the top and can easily be scraped off with a spoon and saved in a jar in your fridge. This is called schmaltz in Jewish and German cultures and is used in the same ways one would use butter or bacon grease. I fry eggs in it and it tastes amazing!! Our Thanksgiving turkey gave one quart of schmaltz and something like 10 quarts of stock.
Amy Jo says
We made turkey stock in the crock pot for the first time last week. I have made only chicken broth and only on the stovetop in the past. I noticed the turkey broth was much less gelatinous. Is turkey broth overall less gelatinous or is it the crock pot method that yields less gelatin? Thanks!
Hi Amy Jo,
I find that broths rarely come out exactly the same. I don’t see a huge difference from using the crock pot versus a regular stock pot but there are a lot of factors that can change the broth. It will be different if the meat, bones, etc are cooked or raw, also the parts of the bird/animal you are using, and the cooking time. Turkey and chicken come out similar for me, although I prefer the taste of the chicken broth over turkey.
Amy Jo says
Thanks, Roxanne. I prefer the chicken stock as well… was just wondering why the turkey broth would have come out with so much less gelatin. We throw in everything we have, skin, bones, innards…. Mr. Turkey just came out thinner and a bit “birdier”. Oh well, we don’t eat much turkey around here anyhow!
Anthony M says
Could you please recommend a crockpot. I’m new to this but would like to get started.
Thanks in advance.
Hamilton Beach sells a good crock pot from my research, I have 2 of them.
Hi! Can you explain whether it is better to use raw or cooked bones? Many thanks! Lisa
Wardee Harmon says
You can use either, and you can also pre-roast bones to bring out more flavor. They are all beneficial. The only bones that would not be as beneficial are those that are already boiled because they’ve already released nutrition into whatever they already made. However, they may still have nutrition left so still good to use.
Elizabeth Briggs via Facebook says
Fell in love with bone broth when we did the GAPS intro. Now I find homemade broth improves the flavor of any dish.
Elizabeth Briggs – could you recommend a good cookbook or book to help me understand GAPS diet. My daughter was diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyroiditis and I seem to be at a loss for what he can and can’t eat. It is a totally new concept and I feel very overwhelmed trying to find out as much as I can.
Peaceful Acres Farm via Facebook says
Just drank my turkey stock for lunch. I was fortunate to get an 18qt Nesco for Christmas and opened it early so I could use my turkey bones!!! How wonderful to just scoop it up for meals. I have a feeling 18qts is going to last me a long time, it’s going on 3 days of cooking low. So much more efficient than my 8qt stock pot that I have to watch on the stove!
Stacy Makes Cents says
I’ve been making my own broth for about a year now and I really love it. It is SO EASY!!!! I usually do the stovetop method, even though I have a thing for my crock pot. 🙂
Is a little roaster chicken (bones) enough to make stock or do I need more? I called dibs on the turkey bones and giblets, neck, for making stock. Nobody eats the drumsticks, should I throw them in with the meat on ?
You could use the small roaster chicken, just don’t use too much water. If you have a lot of water with a small amount of chicken the broth won’t come out as thick. Yes, I would throw the drumsticks in with the meat on! Meat and skin add flavor and health benefits as well as the bones.
Deborah Wais says
I watched Sarah Pope’s video on making stock, which can be found on the Weston A. Price Foundation web-site when you click on videos. She has done several videos for WAPF explaining traditional methods of cooking. She said to get more gelatin in the stock add just enough water to cover the bones. Too much water seems to be the problem with not getting the stock to gel. I like to add as much water as possible to get as much stock as possible, but my stock is usually thin and not very gelatinous. I am going to try her suggestion and see how it works, and just make stock more often. I hope this suggestion helps others. I bought a bag of chicken feet from Whole Foods last week. I think it cost around $5.00. That should help gel the stock, too. Maybe your Whole Foods carries chicken feet, too. Happy stock making!
Excellent point! Less water makes a much thicker stock.
Because I am away from home temporarily, I simmer mine on the stove for 48 hours in a stock pot. I have added chicken heads and feet to the carcass bones. After cooking this long, the bones just disintegrate. I can then further use what’s left of the bones, head, and feet to feed my dogs (NOTE: NEVER give cooked bones to your pets unless they are at this stage of disintegration – meaning nothing sharp or hard! You can tell it’s acceptable when you can actually put it in a blender and it becomes mush with no hard pieces)
I love this idea!! I just hate to throw away anything and since I make my dog’s food this is a great way to get added health benefits for the dogs too!
Thanks! It was a total experiment the first time I did it and I prayed the entire time until they pooped. But I even chewed on it myself and it was fine to digest. I thought about blogging about this, but I am fearful that someone might not really know how important it is to cook it for a LONG time. I’d love to see your dog food recipe! I am trying to get away from bagged food (even the ‘healthy’ expensive kind) as there are too many denatured ingredients and grains that are not natural to their ancestral diet.
Yeah I bet, I would be nervous too. I don’t have an exact dog food recipe I usually do chicken or beef or the “pet food” blend from my Amish farm which is a mixture of organ meat and then I mix it with some vegetables, kelp powder, ground flax, sometimes oats. I’ve heard of people using nutritional yeast in dog food also but havn’t tried it myself. Maybe I’ll do a post about dog food!
Interesting. I’d like to know more about the dog food recipe too. We are geared up to start our rabbit hutches in a couple weeks for our son to raise meat rabbits for food for the new dog in our future. Hubby has been ‘drooling’ over Boerbels for the last two years, poor guy. lol Wish rabbits were ‘clean’, they would be a great source of food for us too. 🙁 But seriously, raw for canines is the way to go! On a weirder note, I also use the “pet sticks” from our grass-fed meat guy. Being that it’s just organ meats processed the exact same way our ground meat is, it’s a great way for me to sneak in the good stuff into s’getti sauce. 😉
The gelatin in bone broth also soothes the intestinal lining so someone will stomach problems will find it useful to eat.
Are the terms broth and stock interchangeable?
The terms broth and stock tend to be used interchangeably becuase there is only a slight difference. My understanding is that a stock what you get straight out of the pot after cooking for a length of time and broth is a seasoned stock that you would use in a soup.
I too find that my poultry stocks do not gel. I will ask Whole Foods about chicken feet.
I am 35 with osteopenia/porosis. I know bone broths are good for me. How do I know how much calcium I am really taking in with my broths. I don’t drink endless amounts because it would be too expensive to maintain that level of supply. My boys and I do drink about 3/4-1 1/2 cups a day.
I don’t know a way of knowing exactly how much you are getting. I would guess its not the same from batch to batch either becuase every animal is different. The only thing you can do is go by how it makes you feel, I am a full believer in listening to your body.
I don’t know if anyone else knows of a way to know find that out?
Ken In Manila says
Have you considered using milk kefir? It would be an excellent source of calcium for your condition.
barnyardbarbie in the south says
To increase calcium levels in your broth, add eggshells to the water and bones and then add your vinegar. I always let mine sit for a couple of hours in the vinegar and water before I turn the heat on. Just strain the eggshells out when you strain out the vegetables. Voila, extra calcium. You can also add azomite powder to your broth to help you absorb the calcium. It doesn’t change the flavor, and provides crucial trace minerals that your body needs to heal your bones. Hope that helps.
Calcium is very important, and is readily obtained in the diet (the supplemental carbonate form is harmful, hardening up arteries). Focus on silicon (also called silica). Magnesium and glucose tolerant factor (GTF) chromium are also important. I like the liquid Organo product for silica. http://notadoc.org/node/29
Is it true that you can use the bones twice to make two pots of stock with one set of bones?
I’ve never tried that myself but sounds like its worth a try!
M. J. says
I made a second batch of broth with the same bones last time I made bone broth with an organic chicken carcass and about 5-6 chicken feet. After 24+ hours of stovetop simmering, the larger bones weren’t yet disintegrated so I added just enough water to cover everything and simmered another 24 hrs. It made a thinner broth, but I suspect it was nutritious and fine for recipes that called for chicken broth.
Joanne Alford says
The gelatin in bone broth also soothes the intestinal lining so someone will stomach problems will find it useful to eat. I like to add as much water as possible to get as much stock as possible, but my stock is usually thin and not very gelatinous. Turkey just came out thinner and a bit “birdier”. The second tip was, instead of skimming off the oily layer that floats to the top, refrigerate the whole thing, the fat layer hardens on the top and can easily be scraped off with a spoon and saved in a jar in your fridge.
Fantastic post! I’ve been making stocks in a crock pot for maybe a year now, and I love it! I usually do beef, but this year’s turkey came out delicious, and I have a package of chicken necks and backs that are crying out to be used. The last couple of pots I threw in some kelp powder that I’ve been trying to find a use for, it really adds to the nutrition, and makes the flavor richer, not fishy at all like I was worried about. 2-3 days on low is my magic recipe, then when it’s done a little sea salt and neither my boyfriend nor I can stop drinking it. I read through the comments on the dog food, I was wondering if anyone makes their own cat food. I have four furry babies and have been wanting to start making their own food for a while. I do usually the grain free dry food, and a few times a week give them a can of moist, but I’d rather feed them close to their ideal diet. Any suggestions?
A few years ago I was introduced to a wonder cooker. Ladies were getting together to sew, basically, a bean bag with a depression and a lid in it for a pot. They filled it up with styrofoam beads. You could also use something natural like straw. I bought some beads and sewed it up. It is WONDERFUL. I use it for bone broths, cooking grains and keeping freezer items from the grocery store frozen in my car on the long trek home. For bone broths, I bring all my bones, veges, acid and spices to a boil and get it good and boiling for 10-15 minutes. Then I remove it and put it in the wonder cooker. In the morning, I still have to use a hot pad to remove it from the cooker and the broth is lovely and broken down. Sometimes, I remove the strain it and cook it down further to make bouillion because of a lack of freezer space. For more information, go to http://thermalcooker.wordpress.com/category/wonder-box/. It is surprisingly effective and it never scorches grains. 🙂
Pat Havens says
I can broth all the time , but am I losing some of the benificial aspects of the broth through the canning process?
Just shared a link to this on my side. So thankful for post like this! Keep up the good work.
I always keep a bag of bones in the freezer. Same with vegetable peelings. My question is: how about eggshells? Has anyone used them routinely in their broths?
Making chicken stock as I type! Started it last night and continuing to let it cook today. I also use a lot of onion and garlic as they are so healthy!! I run onions, garlic, celery , spinach, or kale, mushrooms and carrots through my food chopper for the broth. Then when I actually make the soup from it with meat, vegetable and a healthy grain like guinoa, it is packed with nutirents!! I tell my family they must eat the soup to ward off cold and flu!! It seems to work! I have never heard of putting apple cider vinegar in it before. I am putting it in though now! What is the purpose?
Hello Marlene – the acidity from apple cider vinegar helps to draw out the minerals from the bones adding more nutrition to the stock. Have a great day 🙂
I have begun using my instant pot for stock and am amazed at the results.Now after refrigeration I can literally turn the jars upside dis and not loses single drop! I used rabbit, duck, goat, beef, chicken. Lamb, goose, moose and venison bones.
All of my broths gel now thanks to the instant pot. To save energy, I pressure can the stock in pint jars and hold them on my store room stairs I no longer worry about plastic or breakage. There is not the noticeable smell of stock cooking and I save on electricity. Has anyone made stock from Silkie chickens? Butchering tomorrow and am curious what colour the bones are going to make the stock or how the fat will render.
I have a question that keeps nagging. If you’ve already cooked your chicken or roast all night on low, do you not get some gelatin that way, and is there still gelatin left in the bones to still be cooked out?
I was curious if you used meaty bones, if you could take any of the bits of meat to add to your broth,…or are you supposed to completely strain the broth before consuming?
Hello Laura – you can enjoy your broth anyway you would like to, with our without bits of meat. Have a wonderful day 🙂
Do you usually just use a standard stainer to strain things out when you’re done? Or what do you do when it’s done cooking? Broth novice here… Thx!
Hello Astrila! I just pour my finished broth through whatever strainer I have handy with a larger pot underneath. I let the stock cool in my stove top. Once the stock is cool, I put it into serving size containers and freeze for later use. If you want a broth that is totally clear without any tiny pieces in it, you can line your strainer with cheese cloth and strain it that way. I hope this helps some. Happy broth making and have a beautiful day 🙂
I wish I could leave you a picture of my stock pot with steamer/strainer insert. I pour the broth into it, even thought the wholes are a little big. I can handle the stock hot that way. Otherwise, let it cool enough so you are not in danger of burning yourself, and pour through a standard type strainer into another larger container to fully cool and freeze in serving size containers, or put it in the frig if you are going to make soup with it in the near future. Enjoy your delicious, nourishing stock and have a wonderful day 🙂
If I add to much water when making bone broth will I still get the healthy benefits to heal my gut, achy joints, inflammation, hormones etc. Or does the gel from the broth give you better benefits.