This recipe for Crock Pot Bone Broth couldn’t be any easier because your slow cooker does all of the work for you! In addition to being incredibly easy to make, homemade bone broth is rich in nutrients and minerals giving it tremendous health benefits.
One of my favorite the kitchen tricks is making my own vegetable broth from kitchen scraps. I keep a gallon sized Ziploc bag in my freezer and throw any vegetable peelings, trimmings, and ends from my food prep in it. When the bag gets full, I dump it into a large pot of water, bring it to a boil, and let it simmer for roughly 4 hours.
Last weekend, I picked up a pound of soup bones from my butcher for $2.19. I planned on making bone broth on Sunday, but it was 85˚ and the thought of having a pot of bone broth simmering away in my air conditionerless kitchen was unbearable. So, I got out my trusty Crock Pot and put it to work.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can make this on your stovetop using a large pot. The downside is that you’ll have to stick around your house until it’s done which can take 24-36 hours. Since most people don’t feel comfortable sleeping, going to work, or running a quick errand with a pot of bone broth simmering on the stovetop, a slow cooker is ideal for this recipe.
The flavor of homemade broth is deep and rich and a thousand and one times better than any store-bought brand or bullion cube on the market. Plus, it is good for you, easy to store, and versatile.
Health Benefits of Bone Broth
The health benefits associated with incorporating bone broth into your daily diet are plenty, but my top 3 favorites are:
1. Healthier and less expensive than store-bought broth
Making your own bone broth will be a fraction of the cost of store-bought bone broth. It is also healthier because there are no preservatives or hidden ingredients. You know exactly what you are putting into your Crock Pot and can control the sodium level in addition to the flavor.
2. Great source of gelatin and collagen
The gelatin and collagen in bone broth helps keep hair and nails strong. It also helps fight inflammation and keeps your joints healthy.
3. Boosts your immune system
Homemade bone broth is great for helping to fight infections and helping your body heal if you catch a cold or the flu.
How to Store Bone Broth
My slow cooker makes approximately 3.5 quarts (14 cups) of broth. That’s a lot, even if I plan on using some of it immediately so I divide my broth into 2 cup portions and freeze in freezer bags. This allows the broth to freeze flat which makes it easy to stack and store in my freezer.
I also make sure to freeze some of the broth in ice cube trays for times I either need less than 2 cups or want to cool down hot soup. You can use the frozen broth cubes in place of regular ice cubes without diluting the flavor of your soup.
Broth stored in your refrigerator should be kept in an airtight container. I like to use mason jars because they fit nicely in the door of the fridge. Properly stored broth will keep in your refrigerator for 3-5 days and in your freezer for up to a year.
How to Use Bone Broth
Many people like to warm up a cup of broth and drink it straight from a coffee cup. You could do that or enjoy it in one of the recipes below.
- Irish Stew over Mashed Turnips
- Pot Roast Stew
- Beef Stroganoff – Paleo Leap
- Texas Chili – Three Diets One Dinner
- Paleo Pumpkin Chili – What I Gather
- Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Tacos – The Spice Kit Recipes
- Red Wine Braised Short Ribs – The Wicked Noodle
- French Onion Soup – Foodie With Family
You can also punch up the flavor of rice or pasta by cooking it in bone (or vegetable!) broth instead of water.
If your soup bones had any meat left on them, there may be some fat swirling around your bone broth when it's done. It's ok to leave this in, but I like to skim the fat off and use just the bone broth when I cook. I've found the easiest way to do this is to refrigerate the bone broth in a large pot before dividing it out for storage. When cooled, the fat separates, floats to the top, and is much easier to skim off.
Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days in your refrigerator or up to a year in your freezer.
- 1 pound soup bones
- 1 yellow onion, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 carrots, whole and unpeeled
- 3 stalks celery
- Water -the amount will depend on the size of your slow cooker
- Place soup bones in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and celery.
- Fill your slow cooker with water leaving 1/2 inch of space.
- Cook on HIGH for 6 hours. Turn the heat to LOW and cook 42 additional hours, a total of 48 hours.
- After 48 hours, strain the broth, cool, and place all of it in the refrigerator. I use a large pot for this step. After a few hours, the fat in the broth will separate, float to the top, and solidify making it much easier to skim.
- I like to check my broth after 24-36 hours to see where it's at. Depending on the size of your slow cooker, your broth may be ready before the 48 hours is up. You'll know your bone broth is done when it is deep brown in color.