How to Make Bone Broth

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Dutch oven with a chicken carcass, water, and herbs for making our homemade Chicken Bone Broth recipe

If you’ve made our Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken, you likely have some chicken bones on hand. Don’t throw them out! We have the perfect use for them. Let’s make bone broth together.

Pouring water over a chicken carcass for our tutorial on How to Make Bone Broth

This 3-ingredient, 1-pot recipe yields flavorful bone broth perfect for soups, sauces, and more. But first, let’s talk about what bone broth is and how to make it.

What is Bone Broth

Bone broth is quite simply broth made from animal bones — in this instance, from a whole roasted chicken. You can also opt to make bone broth out of beef or pork bones, but this recipe demonstrates using the bones from a whole roasted chicken.

Origins of Bone Broth

It may be all the rage these days, but bone broth isn’t a new concept! Instead, its origins trace as far back as 2,500 years ago where it was used in Chinese medicine for supporting kidney and digestive health.

Since then, bone broth has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes around the world. Learn more about its use in various cultures here.

How to Make Bone Broth

Making bone broth is actually quite easy.

  1. Simply save the bones from your roasted chicken (including legs and wings that may have been on the serving platter), and add to a large pot or Dutch oven. We also included the lemon wedges and rosemary that were cooked with our whole roasted chicken*, but this is optional.
  2. Then simply top with filtered water until generously covered (about 12 cups / 2880 ml).
  3. Next, add in a bit of salt to season the broth (you can add more later).
  4. Then add 1-2 Tbsp (15-30ml) apple cider vinegar, which is added primarily as the acidity breaks down the collagen and makes it more abundant in the broth. You can also sub lemon juice, but we prefer apple cider vinegar.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for at least 10-12 hours, or until reduced by 1/3 or 1/2, leaving you with 6-8 cups of bone broth. The more it reduces, the more intense the flavor becomes and the more collagen is extracted. We find 12 hours to be the perfect cook time.
  6. Strain and use or store.

*Alternatively, you can go to your local butcher and buy bones exclusively for making broth. But we find it’s much more streamlined to buy a whole chicken, roast it, and then use the leftover bones to make broth.

Bone Broth Benefits

Bone broth is high in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. It also contains a high amount of collagen, which may help support bone and joint health.

Because broth is easy to digest, these nutrients are easy for the body to absorb, making them more available to the body — especially for those with digestive issues.

What to Do with Bone Broth

Bone broth can be sipped straight as a health tonic. We like stirring in nutritional yeast, sea salt, and black pepper to taste, plus a little miso and some green onions and minced garlic. It’s comforting, warming, and nourishing.

It can also be used wherever chicken broth is used, such as in soups, gravies, sauces, and more.

Pouring apple cider vinegar into a pot to help release nutrients from the chicken bones

How to Store Bone Broth

Once your bone broth has simmered for 10-12 hours and reduced, strain and store as desired. We prefer adding it straight to soup with some of the leftover shredded chicken. This 1-Pot Pumpkin Black Bean Soup or this 1-Pot Chicken Soup with White Bean and Kale are perfect applications.

But it can also be stored in glass jars and frozen up to 1-2 months or more. Just be sure to leave a couple inches at the top of the jar to allow for expansion in the freezer.

Note: Bone broth typically gelatinizes when refrigerated because of the collagen content. But don’t worry — that’s normal. When reheated it liquifies once again just like store-bought chicken broth.

We hope you LOVE this broth! It’s:

Comforting
Customizable
Versatile
Easy to make
& Incredibly nourishing

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Using a wooden spoon to stir a pot of Homemade Bone Broth

How to Make Bone Broth

An easy, step-by-step guide to making chicken bone broth! Simple ingredients and fool-proof methods yield a beautiful broth perfect for soups, sauces, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
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Pouring apple cider vinegar over a chicken carcass for our Chicken Bone Broth recipe
4.91 from 10 votes
Cook Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours
Servings 8 (Cups)
Course Helpful How-to
Cuisine Chinese-Inspired, Gluten-Free
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

  • Bones and carcass of 1 chicken (we suggest starting with a whole roasted chicken)
  • 12 cups filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 generous pinch each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • Rosemary/herbs (leftover from roasting chicken // optional)
  • 1 sliced lemon (leftover from roasting chicken // optional)

Instructions

  • To a large pot or Dutch oven, add the bones leftover from a whole roasted chicken (including legs and wings that may have been on the serving platter), or the bones from 1 chicken purchased from a butcher. (Note: This can also be done in a Crock-Pot or Instant Pot.)
    We also like adding the lemon wedges and rosemary that were cooked with our whole roasted chicken (optional).
  • Top with filtered water until generously covered (about 12 cups / 2880 ml). This should reduce down by about 1/3 or 1/2, leaving you with 6-8 cups of bone broth.
  • Next, add in a bit of salt and pepper to season the broth (you can add more later to taste).
  • Then add apple cider vinegar, which is added primarily because the acidity breaks down the collagen and makes it more abundant in the broth. You can also sub lemon juice, but we prefer apple cider vinegar.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for at least 10-12 hours, or until reduced by 1/3 to 1/2. The more it reduces, the more intense the flavor will become and the more collagen will be extracted. We find 12 hours to be about right.
  • Strain and discard the bones. Either use immediately or store in glass jars and freeze up to 1-2 months or more. Just be sure to leave a couple inches at the top of the jar to allow for expansion in the freezer.
    Note: Bone broth typically gelatinizes when refrigerated because of the collagen content. But don't worry — that's normal. When reheated it liquifies once again, just like store-bought chicken broth.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 cup Calories: 53 Carbohydrates: 0.9 g Protein: 5.3 g Fat: 2.9 g Saturated Fat: 0.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.61 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.32 g Trans Fat: 0.04 g Cholesterol: 2.63 mg Sodium: 342 mg Potassium: 208 mg Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 0.4 g

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Lynette says

    I believe that bone broth can be nutritious and healthy, but I also agree with some comments. I am 62 and I have steadily seen prices for soup bones creep up higher and higher as more people jump on the band making bone broth wagon for beauty and health benefits, more than simply using all of the animal to feed a family. Also, it must be remembered that long cooking of any thing will reduce vitamins and minerals. So please, don’t jump down somebody’s throat because their knowledge is not the same as yours.

  2. Misty says

    I have a whole chicken that was cooked 3 days ago. I would normally throw it out after day 3. How is it safe to the cook it again and then eat the broth for 3-5 more days? I want to do this, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea. Maybe only if I was doing it on day 1 of making the chicken.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Misty, we’ve done that without issue. But if it smells off or you are concerned, then we wouldn’t recommend it.

    • Mielle Redinger says

      I haven’t made this yet but just wondering if you can cook the broth in two parts and not the full 12 hours in one go???

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hmm, maybe? You could also taste test after 6 hours and see if its flavorful enough for you! Let us know how it goes!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Yes, it should! You could either slow cook for 12-24 hours or pressure cook on high 1-2 hours, then natural release. Let us know if you try it.

  3. Amber says

    HI All,

    I make this routinely for my family. But recently my poor puppy has been having so many digestive problems – mainly food allergies. And I have started mking his bone broth and added in some organ meat (for about 1 hr. ) And he is doing much better and LOVES it. Just a heads up to not forget our furry family members

  4. Kateland says

    How many jars of bone broth do you typically make at a time? I am wondering if I should make 2 weeks work of broth or do people usually make just 1 weeks worth at a time?

    Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kateland, it’s really up to how much freezer space you have available. We wouldn’t recommend storing in the fridge for 2 weeks, but 1 week might be okay.

      • Ann says

        I usually pressure jar my broth once it’s cooked and I’ve cooled it to skim off the fat. Does processing and storing the bone broth diminish it’s nutritional values at all?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Ann, we’re not certain on that one. Canning reduces some nutrients, but we don’t think it has much impact on minerals, which is what bone broth is rich in.

  5. Kitty says

    I realize that you can use new or left-over chicken bones but at least one of the comments on making this stock, was that they roasted the left-over bones which they claimed made the soup even richer tasting.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried it that way so aren’t sure what time/temp to recommend. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

      • Melissa Carlson says

        I always roast my bones! The fat stays in the roasting pan, and can be added to the broth or not. The broth comes out milky instead of clear and definitely tastes …richer, better, …good!

    • Patrick Hogan says

      Can you puree the remaining bones and use them? Just made last night have not used yet. I am going to make rice with some today

      • Drea says

        I did and it looked like the wet cat food I have been feeding my 6 kitties but of course smells much better…I gave them some and they loved it! The chicken bones if cooked down enough will turn into a powdery paste and it’s all the meat, skin, fat and whatever else was in that chicken and if it’s okay for your pets to eat any of those things NO ONIONS then it should be okay. My cats loved it! Took to it immediately. Probably think its my food because that is what it was…it looks like pate’ and I am even tempted to eat some but my dogs enjoyed it though they will eat anything LOL…but the cats are picky and so far I think they like it and I love that I don’t have to waste any part of the chicken which losts its life to feed me and my family so why not use every bit of it in some way. If my indoor kitties don’t eat it I have a bunch of outside minions who I am sure would love this stuff.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You don’t need to roast the bones themselves before making the stock. They’re either bought fresh from a butcher, or – as we suggest – just have them leftover from a whole roasted chicken. Recipe found here.

  6. D says

    So I added garlic onion poultry seasoning parsley and used frozen dark meat turkey( legs, wings) chicken wings that were over freezered fresh cracked pepper. And a ham bone…some seasonall and will strain all then add veg and keep the meat to make a yummy soup. Will Save some strained broth for yuminess too. Smells amazing while cooking. Added the 2 tbsp of cider vinegar. Thank you for the tip!! It’s all delicious!!

  7. Mark Cook says

    I have made this for years and didn’t know about the health benefits until recently. My grandmother made broth/stock this way. Sometimes I freeze the bones if I don’t have time to make it at that moment. I eat a lot of raw vegetables and when I cut them up to eat or cook I save all the ends and scraps instead of throwing them out. I keep a large ziplock bag in the freezer and just add to it when I cut vegetables up. When I get enough and have time I make vegetable stock or add it to the bones and make bone/veggie broth and keep it in the freezer and add it to almost everything I cook for flavor. Not to mention homemade soups. My friends call me the leftover king. They laugh because I never know what I am cooking till it’s finished. Lol

  8. Aaron Davis says

    Pro tip: add some dried shiitake mushrooms to your bone broth, the resulting flavor is incredible and you’ll get the medicinal properties as well.

  9. Paige says

    Hi! I’m excited to make this later this week. I’m planning on roasting some carrots and onions with my chicken. Would it be okay to add these cooked veggies to the stock?

  10. A. Elizabeth says

    I know I’m being persnickety here, but all “Bone Broth” is, is condensed stock, and actually DOES NOT have all the benefit you’re touting – I’ve spoke to several dieticians about it and they say it’s a just a pointless trend. I realize you’re making it from leftover chicken bone, but the trend as a whole is driving the price of what were once know as “soup bones” (once affordable for the poor who actually needed them to make a decent soup) through the roof. You should be ashamed to be contributing the malnourishment of the most vulnerable members of society.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback. On the contrary, we see bone broth as a highly economical way to make use of chicken bones you already have on hand after roasting a whole chicken (which, by the way, is the most economical way to buy and cook poultry in our opinion). You could also talk to just as many (if not more) dietitians and health experts who would fall on the other side of the coin on this issue and would agree that bone broth can be extremely medicinal as it’s especially rich in highly digestible amino acids and other minerals, which is especially helpful for those with compromised gut health.

      • Sheila Brown says

        At the farmers market yesterday the organic butcher gifted me six pounds of chicken carcass which I browned then roasted today and it is slow cooking on my stove. God bless him but when I purchase, to me the price of soup bones has not increased ,

        • Francanero98 says

          I would disagree Sheila! The price of soup bones has gone up drastically. Ox tails were .49 cents a pound when I was growing up , now it’s considered trendy to eat oxtails.

      • miriam gomez says

        It is not true that bone broth has no nutritional value. Besides nutrients and aminoacids, the amount of collagen you get from a bone broth (if well cooked) you cannot get it from somewhere else. Collagen is a protein that provides structure to much of your body, including bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments. And guess what, one cup of bone broth per day and you will slow down the wrinkiling of your face. I prefer beef bone broth with a couple of chicken feet.
        Do not miss this opportunity for healthy bones and skin.

    • Marie says

      Bone broth is something that I grew up consuming. My grandma made it all the time from any and all left over bones. We were the poor people you mentioned. However the bones were more than just to make a decent soup. Bone broth is not something new or a trend. What do you think a stock is? For some reason you felt you were adding to the site by posting an ignorant comment because you are upset that the price of soup bones when up? Or maybe because an under educated dietitian friend of yours formulated and ill informed opinion. Either way you are wrong. It is healthy and always has been.

      • Francanero98 says

        I love any kind of soup. I was always on a budget and I do believe the dietician is incorrect any kind of bone broth/ stock can have great nutritional value as well as being filling and delicious!

    • Ashley says

      Loved this recipe! Reminds me a bit of the broths my Korean mother and grandmother used to make from ox tail bones. Persnickety A. Elizabeth has no idea what they’re talking about – I think it’s great that you included a simple, old school recipe like this and that you’re encouraging people to use their carcasses instead of just throw them out. That’s how poor folks came up with these recipes in the first place! ?

  11. Taylor says

    Very easy and smells delicious! Next time, I will not be including the lemon… the lemon is really all I can taste. Will also be throwing in some onions/garlic. Also, tried this in a slow-cooker per the comments here but it came out very watery. Ended up transferring it to a pot after 12 hours and reducing it on the stove for 3 hours. Will be making the kale white bean soup tonight!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Strange the lemon was so overpowering. Perhaps yours was quite potent. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  12. Kaila Cramer says

    Hi. I’ve been making my mother’s chicken soup recipe for years…then I strain out the dill, carrots, parsnips, onion, celery and the chicken parts. I now put in apple cider vinegar at the start, for maximum benefit.

    Question: Your directions say to cover the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced in volume. But if the lid is on, how can the broth decrease ? Have I missed something?

  13. Sar says

    Working full time made me unable to cook anything for this length of time! I was raised on bone broths. My mother taught us to use a pressure cooker for several reasons – the time savings is immense saving gas or electric at the same time…the steam leaches vitamins and minerals, too. It is simply not safe to leave an unattended pot on the stove in a home with several small children. Let’s prevent any safety issues we can! If the water level decreases faster and you burn the liquid out you may have a messy clean up job – as well as a potential fire. All in all a pressure cooker or an insta-pot are a better option and you may gain more health benefits by using one!

  14. Elaine Stecker says

    I think Adelle Davis years ago said that putting some vinegar in the broth helped dissolve much more calcium from the bones.

    • Cheri Perazzoli says

      I discovered Adele Davis books shortly after I graduated from University in the late ’70’s. Loved the Adele Davis methodology of eating well to live well. That’s when I first learned the techniques and discovered the benefits of making stock. Yes, Adele suggested vinegar as well as vegetable scrap saving. A freezer full of good flavored stock is worth it’s weight in gold; it’s so easy to put a delicious meal on the table with minimum effort. Thrilled to see this tasty and timeless tradition making it’s way though the modern cook’s kitchens. Thanks Dana for posting.

  15. Sarah says

    Hi there!
    I froze the chicken bones to make bone broth. Would you recommend thawing the carcass first or can I just throw it in frozen and start the process? Thanks!

  16. Debbie says

    Hi, this is wonderful! I can’t find no antibiotics ever chicken feet near me and wondered if I could make this using chicken legs? Thank you in advance.

  17. Tanner Armstrong says

    If your main drawback is the time investment, a pressure cooker or instant pot DRASTICALLY reduces the required cook time for bone broth. A slow cooker will eventually get there, but it’s way slower because it can’t get to temperatures above the normal boiling point.

  18. Don Hedderig says

    My daughter says that Jello contains collagen sources from equine sources. The packages list collagen but dont give a measurement or source. As an “oldster” jello aspic and jello ring salads were quite common back in the day. Rarely seem em nowadays. Any ideas on amount of content or source?

      • Rosemarie Sandvik says

        Thanks for incredible Bone Broth. Made two lot of bone broth one contain into the freezer leftover prepared delicious soup to my grandkids it became kids favourite soup.
        Thanks again
        Rosemarie.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Thanks so much for the lovely review, Rosemarie. We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  19. Sheri Noll says

    Wouldn’t you want to use antibiotic free and grass fed, clean, ect meat prior to cooking these bones for bone broth?

  20. Emily says

    Is it okay if there is still some meat left on the bone of the chicken when you add in the carcass? Or should it be as meatless as possible?

  21. Mette says

    Hi! Is it ok to cook this in several steps? Like 6 hours one night, cool it and put it in fridge and then 6 hours the next day?
    Thanks!

  22. Martha S. says

    Super easy recipe and tastes great! I used the bones, tendons and skin from a roasted chicken I bought at Safeway. Added some herbs, onion and garlic. The only downside to making this is it takes so long, so you have to make sure you have no real plans for the day. Might try using my slow cooker next time. I’m excited to try making the vegetable broth next!

  23. Julia Mueller says

    Delicious! I roasted the bones a second time, without the chicken of course, prior to boiling them for a more intense flavor! I added onion and garlic! I’ve used celery, carrot too. I knew I was using this stock for soup so got a head start on flavoring.
    It beats any plain broth and so inexpensive compared to what is available on the grocery shelf. Plus you KNOW what’s in it for certain.
    I swear you can even feel the difference while eating this nutritionally! Maybe it’s just me I’m really in tune with what my body needs.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Julia Mueller says

      Forgot to say I began cooking bones on high in my pretty hot slow cooker for an hour. I then turned it down to simmer/low for 12. Perfect.

  24. Jeannie Williams says

    Looks like the bones were roasted in the oven before the soup was made, is that what was done? Looks delicious. I Love making my own broth.. its so fast in the instapot.. and also so yummy I tend to add fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary to enhance the flavor.. its so satifying in the tummy.. thanks for sharing.

    jeannie W.

  25. Danni says

    Hi Dana! I’m going to try this in a slow cooker and also add some chicken breast so I can use everything in a soup. Do I add the chicken breast at the start or should I add it much later in the cooking process?
    Can’t wait to see how this turns out, it’s my first time making broth!

  26. Kat says

    It seems a lot of people cut the skin off the chickens and just toss it, but it can be saved and added to stock too. (Before or after roasting. Though, it adds the most flavor if roasted first.)
    I am not one of them. Roasted skin is yummy. ;)

    • Luna says

      Sadly, the skin can’t go into the bone broth because it goes into my belly first. The roasted skin from her roast chicken recipe is too good to go uneaten.

  27. Sam says

    Can I do this in a slow cooker overnight on low ? Instead of it being on the stove for so long?

    Looks great defo wanna give it a go –
    Ps I love your insta page !!!

    Xoxo

      • Luna says

        I’ve had it in the slow cooker for 12 hours and it hasn’t really reduced much. Should I leave it Til it’s reduced further? I used 11 cups of water and I’m thinking maybe I should have used less. Should I have “just covered” the bones with water?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Luna, we would recommend taste testing and seeing if it is flavorful enough. It might still work, but perhaps use less water next time as it sounds like less evaporates in a slow cooker?

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