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Avocados were too slimy.

Kale was rabbit food.

And there’s no way you were going to see me snacking on a pasture-raised turkey stick.

That was me 8 years ago – incredibly picky and surviving off of mac ‘n’ cheese and pizza.

Fast forward nearly a decade, and here I am cooking up a pot of bones!

Learn how to make bone broth at home. Plus, discover whether a pressure cooker or crock pot is the best method for you!


You don’t have to be in the health and wellness world long before you hear a whole lot about bone broth. Especially lately.

There’s a reason for all the hype though – trust me!

What Is Bone Broth?

If you’re totally new to the idea of making your own bone broth, here’s a quick rundown of what it is:

Bone broth is a liquid gold made from a combination of bones and connective tissue from animals. Usually these pieces are from chicken or cattle.

The tissue and bones are boiled and then simmered for hours, depending on the cooking method. We’ll talk more about that in a bit. It’s generally cooked with vegetables, spices and herbs to up the flavor.

Benefits of Bone Broth

1- It’s loaded with nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and so many other vital nutrients – many of which are essential for increasing bone strength. Bone broth provides these minerals in a highly bioavailable form, so your body can process and use them immediately.

2- Bones contain type II collagen, which repairs torn cartilage, relieves joint pain, soothes the digestive tract, keeps hair healthy & strong, and the list goes on.

3- It’s rich in glycine – an amino acid known to improve sleep, reduce fatigue, build lean muscle mass, boost cognitive performance and more. It also aids in detox.

4- The gelatin is great for hair and nail growth!

a plate of bones for making bone broth

Benefits of Making Your Own Bone Broth

Two words: Cost & Customizable.

If you’ve never tried homemade bone broth, it can seem overwhelming, but it’s actually super easy.

And the benefits?

They’re practically innumerable!

Health food has a tendency to be expensive, but bone broth has one of the highest ROIs in the industry. Meaning this, it’s cheap to make, and the return you get in the form of health benefits is unsurpassed.

Plus, when you make it yourself at home, you get to choose what goes in, making it 100% unique to your family’s preferences and taste buds.

Ok, convinced you want to DIY this whole bone broth thing?

Here’s how.

How to Make Bone Broth

When I first started researching bone broth and how to make it myself, I noticed there were several options.

If you’re anything like me, having too many options leads to analysis paralysis. So we’re just going to focus on the 2 most popular ways to make bone broth:

Crock Pot (or slow cooker) vs. Pressure Cooker

Bone broth recipes are naturally going to vary, but here are a few basic guidelines for making bone broth:

1. Let It Simmer for a Long Time

Some recipes suggest 24-72 hours. It totally depends on the cooking method though.

I know what you’re thinking:

“That’s ridiculous! Who has that much time? I have three kids to keep alive, and I can’t even take a 5-minute shower every day.”

Don’t worry. It actually requires very little hands-on preparation. Once the bone broth is in the pressure cooker or crockpot, it cooks on auto-pilot.

2. Reuse the Bones

One suggestion is to reuse your bones each time you make bone broth, but throw in a couple of fresh ones too. You can repurpose the bones that are too mushy by giving them to your dog or burying them in your garden for soil benefits.

You also don’t have to buy bones specifically for bone broth. You can roast a chicken on Monday, finish up the leftovers on Tuesday and save the bones for broth on Wednesday!

3. Roast the Bones Prior to Cooking

As with any topic, I researched bone broth recipes like crazy before actually deciding to try it. Every single article I read suggested that you roast the bones before you start cooking.

It adds extra depth and flavor to your broth. This is best done with beef or chicken bones though – not something like fish.

4. Pay Attention to Your Water-to-Bone Ratio

This ratio is extremely important, but it’s also simple. You only have to remember one thing:

Use just enough water to cover the bones.

5. Add Veggies Later

When using a crockpot, add the vegetables toward the end of cook time. As some of us have learned, overcooking vegetables can give them a burnt, bitter taste.

The perfect mixture of celery, carrots, onions and garlic for bone broth.


It’s best to add them when you’ve got less than 7 hours left in the bone broth-cooking process. Trust me, your family will thank you!

6. The Test of Success

One sign that you orchestrated the preparation correctly is how well the broth turns to gel while it cools.

7. Random Fun Tip

Freeze leftover bone broth in ice cube trays so they can be ready to use in single serving sizes! Perfect when you just want a cup on a cold day or for sautéing vegetables for future meals.

Though the specific measurements will vary, these are the main ingredients you need for most bone broth recipes:

  • Healthy animal bones
  • An assortment of vegetables – think onions, carrots, celery, etc
  • Vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

As mentioned earlier, we’re just going to look at how to make bone broth in a pressure cooker or crock pot. It can also be made in a regular ole soup pot on the stove.

You can decide what’s more convenient for you and your lifestyle. First up is the pressure cooker!

Pressure Cooker Bone Broth Recipe


  • 3 ½ lbs of healthy bones (grass-fed or pastured is best)
  • Water
  • Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (to pull the minerals from the bones)
  • Herbs and spices if desired (salt, pepper, parsley, onion power, garlic…)
  • An assortment of cut-up carrots, celery, onions and/or leeks (about 5-6 whole vegetables total. Any combination will work!)


  1. Place the bones, vegetables and salt in the pressure cooker (preferably after you’ve roasted the bones in the oven at 350 for 30 min).
  2. Add just enough water to cover the bones and vegetables.
  3. Add a splash of either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the pot.
  4. Cook on high pressure for about 3 hours.
  5. Strain the broth so that you are left with only the liquid.

Once it’s done cooking, you can transfer it into jars or containers to be refrigerated for a week or two. You can also freeze it for up to a year.

fresh homemade bone broth in a bowl with a whisk

Side note: If you plan on freezing it, only fill the jars to about 2 inches from the top to give the liquid room to expand without shattering your jars.

You can add salt before or after cooking. It’s really up to you. Same goes for any herbs and spices you want to include.

Crockpot Bone Broth Recipe

(same recipe, just different directions)


  • 3 ½ lbs. of healthy bones
  • Water
  • Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (to pull the minerals from the bones)
  • Herbs and spices
  • An assortment of cut-up carrots, celery, onions and/or leeks (about 5-6 whole vegetables total. Any combination will work!)


  1. Place the bones and any spices in the crockpot.
  2. Add just enough water to cover the bones.
  3. Add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (a rough estimate is fine).
  4. Let it simmer on low for anywhere from 18-72 hours.
  5. When your broth has about 6-7 hours left to cook, add in the chopped vegetables.
  6. Strain the liquid from the pot.

Next, you’ll distribute the liquid into jars to be refrigerated or frozen.

So…which is best for making bone broth?

Let’s take a look.

Pressure Cooker vs Crockpot for Bone Broth: Pros and Cons

Though the recipes for each are nearly the same, there are a couple of pros and cons to using a pressure cooker or a crockpot. Here are some of those differences to help you decide which is best for you!

1. Pressure Cooker


  • Gives you a lot more control over the temperature of your broth. This means that you will be able to get the broth to gel better as it cools.
  • It takes less time to make.


  • The shorter cooking time can make for a less flavorful broth.

2. Crockpot


  • Because broths have more time to simmer in the crockpot, they often have a stronger flavor with more depth.
  • The longer cook time means your house will smell ah-mazing!


  • Only has a few temperature settings, which makes it difficult to figure out how well the broth will gel at its completion.
  • Takes longer to cook.

How to Use Bone Broth

Some people choose to drink bone broth straight just like they would a cup of tea or coffee in the morning. You can also use it for so many recipes. Things like soups and stews taste amazing with added bone broth!

You can even use the broth to cook pasta, rice and veggies. The possibilities are endless—along with the health benefits!

Welp, there you have it, folks! Hopefully my little collection of bone broth tips and tricks will help you and your family find a new way to incorporate nutrients into your diet—especially when it’s so easy and budget-friendly!

Have a question about how to make bone broth? Ask it in the comments below, and I’ll answer!

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