I love to do my Bone Broth on the Instant Pot because it makes it that much easier to prepare in minutes and slow cooking it for 24 hours (but you don't have to) for the extra benefits. Bone broth has been cherished for centuries as a nutrient-rich elixir with numerous health benefits. Rich in collagen, minerals, and amino acids, this liquid gold supports gut health, aids digestion, promotes joint health, and boosts the immune system. It's a comforting remedy that not only warms the soul but also nurtures your body from within.
I used to buy my bone broth and my go to store bought brand was Kettle & Fire but FOND is also great. Besides that it can get expensive for a little box/glass jar I decided to learn how to make it from home thanks to one of my friends (Darrien) who guided me into making my first 24-hour bone broth batch so I have to give her credit for teaching me a lot, including about sauteing the broth first to remove the impurities from the bone which is the white foam that rises. I know making your first batch sounds intimidating but don't let it be. It is the most simplest and nutrient/mineral-rich thing you can do for you and your family. This is a way to make it a weekly ritual and incorporate real foods in your home.
The Difference Between Bone Broth and Stock
What makes bone broth stand out from regular stocks is its unique gelatinous texture. The collagen released from the bones during the slow cooking process transforms into gelatin, giving the broth a rich consistency. This gelatin is not only a sign of a well-made broth but also a source of gut-healing properties.
Achieving a gelatinous bone broth involves extracting collagen from the bones during the cooking process. Collagen is a protein that, when broken down, turns into gelatin, giving the broth its desirable texture. This is why adding apple cider vinegar is important because it helps break down the animal protein and connective tissues.
Tips To Make A Gelatinous Bone Broth
- Choose Bones with Connective Tissues: Opt for bones that are rich in collagen, such as joints, knuckles, feet, and marrow bones. Connective tissues in these bones contain high levels of collagen, which will contribute to the gelatinous quality of the broth.
- Use a Mix of Bones: Combine different types of bones to achieve a well-rounded flavor and ensure a good variety of collagen sources. For example, mix chicken feet with beef knuckle bones or pork trotters.
- Include Cartilage-Rich Parts: Cartilage, found in joints and knuckles, is especially high in collagen. Including cartilage-rich parts in your bone selection will enhance the gelatin content of your broth.
- Simmer Low and Slow: The key to extracting collagen is a slow, long simmer. Using a slow cooker, stovetop, or an Instant Pot on a low setting will give the bones enough time to release their collagen into the broth.
- Add an Acidic Element: Incorporate an acidic component like apple cider vinegar during the initial stages of cooking. The acidity helps break down the collagen and minerals in the bones, aiding in their release into the broth.
- Don't Skimp on Cooking Time: To ensure that the collagen has enough time to break down into gelatin, let your bone broth simmer for at least 12-24 hours. The more extended cooking time allows for a more complete extraction of nutrients and collagen.
- Cool Slowly: Once the cooking is complete, allow the broth to cool gradually. Rapid cooling can affect the gelatinous texture. After cooling, you may notice a layer of gelatin on the surface, which is a sign of a well-made, collagen-rich broth.
- Use Collagen-Rich Ingredients: Enhance the collagen content by adding collagen-rich ingredients like chicken feet, pig's feet, or beef tendons to the broth.
Benefits of Bone Broth
- Rich in Nutrients: Bone broth is a good source of essential nutrients, including minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. It also provides trace minerals that are important for overall health.
- Collagen and Gelatin: Collagen is a protein found in connective tissues, bones, and skin. When you simmer bones, ligaments, and tendons, collagen breaks down into gelatin. Consuming collagen and gelatin in bone broth may support joint health, skin elasticity, and hair and nail growth.
- Gut Health: The gelatin in bone broth is believed to support gut health. It may help seal the gut lining, preventing the leakage of undigested food particles and potentially reducing inflammation in the digestive tract. This is particularly emphasized in the context of leaky gut syndrome.
- Amino Acids: Bone broth contains various amino acids, including glycine, proline, and glutamine. Glycine has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, while proline is essential for collagen production. Glutamine is a crucial amino acid for the integrity of the intestinal lining.
- Immune System Support: The nutrients in bone broth, such as minerals and amino acids, may contribute to a healthy immune system. The broth may also have anti-inflammatory effects, which can be beneficial for overall immune function.
- Hydration: Bone broth is a hydrating beverage, and staying well-hydrated is essential for many bodily functions, including digestion, circulation, and temperature regulation.
- Bone and Joint Health: The minerals extracted from bones during the cooking process may contribute to bone health. Additionally, the collagen and gelatin in bone broth can support joint health by providing building blocks for cartilage.
- Improved Sleep: The amino acid glycine, found in bone broth, has been suggested to have calming effects, potentially promoting better sleep quality.
Bone Broth Ingredients
This is the part that comes easy because you just have to add whatever you want to the Instant Pot. You can add as much or as little you want. My bone broth is different every time because I go based on what I have but here are some things you can add:
- Bones; you can do chicken bones, beef bones, marrow, knuckle, joint, neck, back, oxtail, and rib bones. You can also use a mixed of animal bones if you prefer this as well.
- Chicken feet- helps make your broth gelatinous
- Apple cider vinegar
- Garlic cloves with or without the skin
- Bay leaves
- Rosemary or any other fresh herbs
- Unrefined salt
- Vegetable scraps
- Mushrooms & more!
How To Make Bone Broth
Note: I have an 8-quart Instant Pot so keep that in mind when measuring ingredients
Begin by adding a combination of chicken bones, carrots, bay leaves, salt, a medley of seasonings, onion, garlic, rosemary, apple cider vinegar, bok choy ends or any food scraps you have, filtered water (enough to cover the bones/ingredients before the max line) and the chicken feet if you can have any to the Instant Pot. I got a large order with my local farmer in Michigan. Once these ingredients are in the pot, hit the sauté function for 30 minutes, this helps with the process referred to as blanching (thanks to my friend that taught me this). This initial step serves to extract impurities from the bones, and it's essential to diligently remove the white foam that surfaces during this time.
After blanching, seal the Instant Pot with the lid and hit the slow-cook setting for 24 hours for an exceptionally rich and gelatinous broth. Give the broth some time to cool down before handling. Using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain the broth into a large bowl or another pot. This removes the bones, vegetables, and any impurities, leaving you with a clear broth. If desired, you can skim off any solidified fat that rises to the top of the broth once it's cooled. This step is optional and depends on personal preference.
Alternatively, if you do not want to do a 24-hour simmer, you can opt for a high-pressure setting, pressure cooking for 3-4 hours, for a quicker infusion of flavors. If you opt for this shorter time then the next step involves patiently releasing the pressure for an additional 20-30 minutes. The straining and storing is the same as above. Whichever method you choose, the result is a comforting and nutrient-packed bone broth, ready to be savored sip by sip. The longer you leave the bone both simmering, the more rich in nutrients.
How To Store The Bone Broth
Once the broth has cooled and you've completed any optional skimming, divide it into storage containers. You can use glass jars, or even freeze it in ice cube trays for convenient portions. The ice cubes trays of bone broth make it convenient to use for other foods you cook using liquids like rice to make it more nutritious. If you plan to use the broth within a week, store it in the refrigerator. For longer storage, freeze the broth.
Instant Pot Bone Broth
- 1 8 quart Instant Pot 6 quart works too
- 2-3 whole chicken bones
- 6-9 chicken feet
- 1/4 cup ACV apple cider vinegar
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion red or yellow
- 1 head garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp unrefined salt
- 2 tbsp garlic and herb seasoning mixed dry herbs but you can add your choice of seasonings
- 2 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 scrap ends bok choy this is optional. I happened to have some to use for this broth.
- filtered water just enough to cover the bones before the max line
- Combine chicken bones, carrots, bay leaves, salt, various seasonings, onion, garlic, rosemary, apple cider vinegar, bok choy ends or any food scraps you want, and chicken feet (if available) along with the filtered water in the Instant Pot.
- Press the sauté function for 30 minutes to initiate blanching, a process that extracts impurities from the bones. Remove white foam that surfaces during this time.
- Seal the Instant Pot with the lid and set it to slow-cook for 24 hours for an exceptionally rich and gelatinous broth. If you do not want to do 24 hours, then pressure cook on high for 3-4 hours & release pressure patiently for an additional 20-30 minutes.
- Assuming you selected the slow cook for 24 hours, the next day open the lid (you do not have to release the pressure since it was on slow cook), carefully strain the broth.
- Divide and store in glass jars
- Once the broth has cooled a bit, you may notice a layer of solidified fat at the top. Using a spoon or a ladle, skim off this layer. This step is optional and depends on personal preference. Some people prefer a leaner broth, while others appreciate the added flavor from a bit of fat.