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Simple Crockpot Bone Broth

This crockpot beef bone broth is a fantastic base for rich soup recipes or simply sipping for better health. It’s incredibly easy to make, and with this recipe, you’ll learn all the tips to make sure it’s made right. No weak flavors, no over or under-doing it and no impurities left behind.

A bowl of beef bone broth on a wooden board next to garlic and red onion.

I use this broth in my richest recipes because it’s so flavorful and cozy. Perfect for Beef Bourguignon, French onion soup, savory rice dishes – It’s also perfect for sipping if you want to ward off a cold or improve your over-all health. It just takes a bit of time, and it can be frozen for months so you’ll never waste a drop.

A Few Tips!

1. Use a mix of bones

For this recipe, I used beef marrow and knuckle bones. You can use only one kind of bone, but it’s best to mix for 2 reasons: I’ve made broths with only knuckle bones and the broth wasn’t as rich as when combined with marrow, and marrow bones are quite expensive, so I don’t like to use only marrow bones. A pound of quality marrow bones can run you around $12 and this recipe calls for 2 pounds. 1 pound of marrow and 1 pound of knuckle bones is the perfect economical AND tasty choice.

2. Boil your bones first to rid them of impurities

Even if your bones are frozen, they’ll still have some impurities (bacteria) and dirtiness that comes from storing, packaging and shipping. You’ll want to place your bones in a pot of cold water, bring it to a boil and let it simmer on high for 15 minutes.

3. Don’t use a lot of “flavoring”

It’s not necessary to throw lots of different kinds of vegetables and seasonings into the pot. You’re simply making broth. It’s flavorful enough as it is, and if you intend to make a soup with it, you can always add those ingredients at a later time.

It’s best to make as much room for bones and water in the pot as possible. A simple onion and head of garlic, cut in half, is all you need to give it a little dimension – and make your kitchen smell delicious while it simmers.

You don’t even have to take the onion and garlic out of their skins, but just remember to wash them before you put them in the pot.

A crockpot full of bones, chopped onion and garlic and salt.

How long does bone broth take to make?

You’re going to let it simmer for 2 whole days. Not 8 hours, not 24, but a full 48. You can technically make a broth in just 1 day, but if you came for easy and mediocre, you came to the wrong blog. Here at She Keeps a Lovely Home, we’re all about easy but fancy (and full of flavor!)

It’s SO much better when you let it simmer for 48 hours. It will be so much richer and more flavorful. You’ll also notice that your broth will “gel” when cooled which means you’ve pulled all that highly nutritious collagen out of the bones when you let it go for a full 2 days.

My broth would never gel when I skipped a day. No gel = mediocre broth. Less flavor, less nutritious, less fancy.

Why is bone broth so healthy?

Bone broths have been getting a lot of attention for the last few years because they’re full of so many nutritious health benefits, especially for people with digestive disorders.

They’re full of immune system boosting minerals, they contain glycine, proline, collagen, glutamine, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium and bone broth reduces intestinal inflammation.

What’s the difference between bone broth and stock?

This “bone broth” you’re going to make is actually “beef stock.” “Beef broth” is made with both meat and bones and simmered on high for a short amount of time. “Beef stock” is made with only bones and simmered for a long time.  So, that “stock” you buy in boxes in the food store is actually mislabeled. It isn’t stock at all, but broth, because it’s often made with a mix of bones and meat, it’s thinner and not slowly simmered.

When the world of super-foodies realized just how healthy beef stock was – which again, by definition, is slow cooked beef bones – they wanted to delineate between the standard, store bought, intensely boiled, quickly made (and mislabeled) “stock” that you buy in stores.

So this bunch of folks essentially branded true “beef stock” as “bone broth” since it’s a term that was not commonly used for store bought (mislabeled) beef “stock.” Quite confusing.

This recipe is not for over-salted, heat-blasted, preservative-filled beef stock, however. It’s for utterly nutritious, extra fancy (and technically mislabeled) “bone broth.”

Do I have to brown my bones first?

Honestly, I don’t know what all the hubbub is about. I’ve both browned my bones and simply gave them a 15 minute boil before popping them in the crock pot and I can’t taste that much of a difference. Call me a philistine. But if you’d like to brown your bones first, after you’ve boiled them for 15 minutes to remove impurities, pop them in the oven for 30-35 minutes at 450 before popping them in the crock pot.

How long will it last?

Bone broth will only last nicely in the fridge for about 4-5 days, but you can freeze it in glass or tupperware and it will be perfect for months!

What do I need to make this recipe?

  • 4 quart crockpot
  • Mesh strainer
  • Large glass container
  • Sharp knife and cutting board

A cutting board with bones, chopped garlic, chopped onion and a small bowl of salt.

Crockpot Bone Broth – Step by Step

First, place your bones in a pot of cold water and boil them for 15 minutes to remove the impurities before placing them in your crock pot.

A step by step process showing how to make bone broth.

1. Slice a small-medium sized onion and head of garlic in half. Add 2 pounds of bones, chopped onion, chopped garlic, 1 tbsp. salt and 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to a 4 quart crock pot.

2. Add 8 cups of water (or enough to cover the bones), but leave a little space at the top for your broth to simmer. You don’t want it to over-flow as it heats and bubbles a bit. Simmer on LOW for 48 hours.

3. When your broth is done simmering, remove the bones and boiled vegetables.

4. Strain the broth through a mesh strainer to remove any other bits left behind.

A step by step process showing how bone broth fat sets.

5. Place broth in a refrigerator to cool for at least 4 hours. The layer of fat will harden on the top.

6. After the fat has hardened, remove the layer with a spoon. Discard the fat and use your broth to make a tasty soup!

Bowls of French onion soup in ramekins.

Help yourself to these other cozy winter recipes:

For more inspiration, follow me on INSTAGRAM @shekeepsalovelyhome, on PINTEREST and FACEBOOK! And if you ever make any of my tasty drinks or treats, take a picture and tag me. I want to see!

5 from 1 vote
Crockpot Bone Broth
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
2 d
Cooling time
5 hrs
Total Time
2 d 5 mins
 

This beef bone broth is a fantastic base for rich soup recipes or simply sipping for better health.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: International
Keyword: bone broth
Servings: 8 cups
Calories: 166 kcal
Author: Genevieve Morrison
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
  • 1 small-medium red onion - chopped in half
  • 1 head garlic - chopped in half
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 quarts water - or enough to cover bones
Instructions
  1. Slice a small-medium sized onion and head of garlic in half. Add 2 pounds of bones, chopped onion, chopped garlic, 1 tbsp. salt and 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to a 4 quart crock pot.

  2. Add water to cover the bones, but leave a little space at the top for your broth to simmer. You don’t want it to over-flow as it heats and bubbles a bit. Simmer on LOW for 48 hours. 

  3. When your broth is done simmering, remove the bones and boiled vegetables. 

  4. Strain the broth through a mesh strainer to remove any other bits left behind.

  5. Place broth in a refrigerator to cool for at least 4-5 hours. The layer of fat will harden on the top.

  6. After the fat has hardened, remove the layer with a spoon. Discard the fat and use your broth to make a tasty soup!

Recipe Notes

Broth will last up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator once the fat is removed. Freeze broth to keep longer.

Nutrition Facts
Crockpot Bone Broth
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 166 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Sodium 728mg 30%
Potassium 14mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 1g 0%
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 1.3%
Calcium 1.3%
Iron 5.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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