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Proper way to make bone broth

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  • Proper way to make bone broth

    After I make my bone broth it never gelatinizes when it cools in the fridge. I start with a large soup bone (meat on), roast it for 45 mins, then put it in a pot of cold water and vinegar for an hour, then add my veggies and let it simmer. I've tried stopping at 4 hours, 8 hours, and 12 hours and all of them stayed liquid when cooled. I've read every article I could on this and tried every tip they had but nothing worked.

    First question, am I still getting the same nutritional benefits if it isn't turning to jelly? Second, what could I be doing wrong?

  • #2
    Use lots of bones and bone fragments, put a bit of vinegar in there and let it go as long as you can. 12 hours did it for me. I had lamb bones, duck bones, turkey tail bones and some beef bones too, and it hardened up firmer than jello. Chalky and white! My first try failed, too. I did what you did. One big bone. No-go. Need more little bones!
    Crohn's, doing SCD


    • #3
      1 large bone is not enough
      for beef, you should cook about 48-76 hours
      roast the beef bones (as many as it will fill a stock-pot to the top) until well browned
      place hot-from-the-oven bones in the stock-pot
      fill with very cold water (fridge-temperature ok)
      bring to a nice bubbly simmer
      check every day and add water as needed
      when done, strain into your containers and place in the fridge immediately (if it's glass, let cool only a little before placing in the fridge).

      Think about it: when you make jello, what do you do? You take hot water, and add cold water; then you place in the fridge right away, right?
      same thing.

      the reason I make it with bones filling it up to the top of the stock-pot is because then the stock is super-concentrated and I can dilute it, I eat soup every day but I don't want to have a pot on the stove all week long.

      PS: after you roast your bones, remove all the meat and fat that's on the bone. The stock tastes much better if you do that.
      Last edited by abstractpersona; 02-05-2012, 10:36 PM.
      My smartphone makes me about $100 per month
      Updating my journal again after a 2 year break.


      • #4
        +1 for lots of bones and bone pieces.
        Especially if you can get pieces with a lot of tendons and cartilage attached such as joints and lower leg parts... don't be afraid to ask! If my butcher has big longer bones I ask him to cut them for me so they go in the pot better, and he does. It's worth it to develop a good relationship with a butcher.
        Feet will really give it some oomph for jelling power too.
        “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
        ~Friedrich Nietzsche
        And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


        • #5
          Do you need to get that jelly consistency to get the same nutritional value? I'm eating it mainly for my leaky gut if that helps.


          • #6
            Yes... if it doesn't at least semi gel it isn't full of the collagen and proteins. The more collagen you render, the firmer the get will be (that's why joints and tendon covered parts and feet are so great). It also lacks the beautiful mouth feel.

            If you don't want to do a pot of just beef bones for that extended amount of time, or seek out that many bones... you can do what lots of people do and just start a "bone bag" in your freezer. Buy meets (pork, beef, chicken, whatever) on the bone... once you eat the meat toss the bones in the bag, and when you have enough for a pot add the water, vinegar, veg, herbs/seasoning or whatnot and cook it up. I start it on a morning and let it go all night. The next morning I allow it to cool some, remove big bits, strain out little bits, and package it. It really requires very little supervision.

            Sometimes I do mixed bags, sometimes I make separate batches for each meat. Just depends on what else I have going on.

            Not sure where you live but I like getting venison bones during deer season. I made friends with a local processor who runs a really clean shop and he will give me all I want for free... sometimes goat and lamb too. Most people only want the prime cuts and don't care for bones at all. I win.
            “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
            ~Friedrich Nietzsche
            And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


            • #7
              I suspect your broth is too dilute to set. Either more bones or less water will do the trick. If you are anxious to see gelatin, boil your current broth down to a very small amount of liquid and stick it in the fridge--you'll see it set. To actually produce useful quantities of broth, you need more bones. If the bones are big, ask your butcher to cut them for you. (Or do what I do--stick 'em in the freezer until you're ready to take an ax to them while chopping wood.) Roast the bones, add onion/celery/carrot/bay leaf/pepper/garlic/cloves/parsley splash of vinegar or red wine, a small dash of salt (small because you'll be reducing the stock later and you don't want it to be too salty) and enough cold water to barely cover the lot. Bring to a simmer, pull the scum off the top, let simmer for several hours--you can go as long as you want, but you'll start getting good stock after 3-4 hours, which makes it a reasonable evening-before-bed cooking activity. Dump it all into a strainer, then boil the resulting stock down until it's as concentrated as you like--I generally boil it down to a cup or two of liquid, at which point it is so concentrated that simply leaving the pot on the counter results in a solid jelly. I pour the liquid into an ice cube tray and freeze it so that I can just pop an ice cube into my veg/soup/gravy/braise/whatever--one cube equals a cup or two of regular broth.

              If you're still struggling, buy 4 pounds of cheap chicken wings and bring them to a simmer with one onion, 2 carrots, 2 celery, 10 cloves, 10-15 black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 4-5 smashed garlic cloves and a tiny dash of salt. Skim off the scum, simmer for 1 hour, 2 if you're so inclined, then drain and reduce as above. Foolproof, very very good broth, as the wings have the perfect ratios of collagen/gelatin/meat whatever. Once you've got that down, go back to your beef soup bones.

              good luck!