Beef Bone Broth

Beef bone broth is easy to make from bones and vinegar and water and has health benefits and is paleo and lends itself to any recipe that calls for homemade beef stock. Here’s how to make it and advice on where to buy beef bones.

A glass jar filled with beef bone broth.

We confess we’re sorta amused by the recent “bone broth” trend that makes it seem as though making beef stock from bones is something recent and revelatory. Still, we appreciate a lovely stock, whatever you call it, and have found ourselves wooed by the spareness of this recipe’s approach, which respects the bones’ robust yet basic beefiness and  leaves it unfettered with aromatics. If you’re accustomed to embellishing your stock with onion and carrots and so on, go ahead and do the same with this plain Jane version. We won’t tell. If you’re not accustomed to adding a splash of vinegar to your stock and wondering why bone broth recipes require it, we’ve been told that it is believed to draw out more minerals from the marrow, though we’ve yet to find research that supports this. What results still boasts a classic beef stock taste, so we’re not complaining.–Renee Schettler

What are the bes bones to use for beef bone broth?

Opt for grass-fed and preferably organic beef bones. They contain high amounts of healthful compounds, including CLA, ALA, and omega-3s, along with strong anti-inflammatory properties. And they lack all the hormones, antibiotics, and other cooties from conventional beef. Check your local health food store, either at the butcher counter or in the freezer section.

Beef Bone Broth

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 10 M
  • 24 M
  • Makes 6 cups
5/5 - 4 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the The Bone Broth Miracle cookbook

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Special Equipment: Stock pot, slow cooker (if following the slow cooker method), or pressure cooker (if following the pressure cooker variation)



Preheat the oven to a 400°F (204°C).

Pat the bones dry. Toss the bones in a roasting pan and slide it into the oven and leave the bones alone until they’re aromatic and browned, about 30 minutes.

Tester tip: If you’d rather make a different quantity than the recipe, simply use the ratio of 1 pound bones to 1 quart (4 cups) water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 tablespoon vinegar per pound of bones.

If using a stock pot, dump the bones, water, vinegar, salt, and bay leaves, if desired, in the pot. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, cover partially, and cook for 12 to 24 hours, skimming any filth that floats to the surface. If necessary, add a little water to keep the bones submerged.

If using a slow cooker, dump the bones, water, vinegar, salt, and bay leaves, if desired, in the pot. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 24 to 48 hours, skimming any filth that floats to the surface. If necessary, add a little water to keep the bones submerged.

If using a pressure cooker, dump the bones, water, vinegar, salt, and bay leaves, if desired, in the pot. Cover and cook for 1 to 3 hours in a pressure cooker.

Strain the bone broth, discarding the solids. Taste and, if desired, add more salt. Let cool to room temperature. Skim the solidified fat on the surface of the stock prior to using.

Tester tip: The good folks at Genuine Food Company, a CSA in Maryland, suggested this tip for what to do with the congealed fat as the broth cools: “Rather than skimming it off and throwing it away, try mixing it with bird seed and put it in a net bag to hang from a tree in the winter or just smear it in the crotch of the tree. The birds will thank you.”

Cover the broth and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. (Consider portioning the skimmed broth into 1-cup increments prior to freezing so you can thaw exactly the amount you need.) Originally published October 4, 2015.

Print RecipeBuy the The Bone Broth Miracle cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

I make this basic beef bone broth recipe religiously every fall and freeze it so it's on hand all winter. It's wonderful added to any soup or stew and a tea cup-full when one has the flu can almost perform miracles. This is a great addition to anyone's repertoire of classic beef, chicken, shellfish, and vegetable stocks. I browned the bones before adding them to the stock pot—I feel this is always an important step when adding layers of flavor.

The flavor of this beef bone broth is simply the essence of marrow. There was no foam to skim. I used the slow cooker on low for 24 hours and kept it covered, because the broth did not come to vigorous enough simmer that would cause shaking and lead to cloudiness. There was not a ton of fat, as most of it was rendered during roasting. I got 1 3/4 quarts bone broth from 2 pounds bones. In terms of taste, it's a very basic bone broth. It was very difficult to de-grease anything the broth touched—I had to wash my slow cooker 3 times to get it clean again!


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  1. 5 stars
    I made my very first batch of beef bone broth today, it filled 12 ten-ounce jars with broth.

    I am going to use it as part of my keto eating plan, as I am slightly diabetic and my blood sugar was too high.

    The next batch I start this weekend. I’ll have both beef and chicken bones along with some deer meat that I have not used for chili yet. (I am the only one in the house that likes deer.)

    My goal is to make a delicious and healthy beverage that I can sip throughout the day and eat a standard meal at night. (a keto meal)

    I did roast the beef bones for 45 minutes at 375° but did not add anything other than onions and garlic along with seasonings such as salt, pepper, ginger, turmeric, and basil.

    I would love any recipes that add tons of flavor to this broth.

    1. Thanks, Jenn. We’ll keep an eye out for those recipes. I’m so glad that you’re enjoying this.

  2. I made this for years, so often that I could make it in my sleep. 3# beef shank/ribs/feet to 1# lamb bones, some aromatics, a few hours et voila – I had jars of beefy lamb jello in my freezer that I would drink every day. Then my local store stopped carrying bones, and then I moved. I recently found bones again and have started making broth. I checked your recipe for how much salt as I had forgotten and one batch turned out a little salty, but still liquid gold.

    I also roast the bones.

    1. Thanks, Lari! We so appreciate you taking the time to let us know. If you are finding it a little salty, definitely go ahead and cut back on the salt a bit. Depending on the type and brand of salt you are using, the weight can vary significantly.

  3. Making bone broth right now, I do it every year after my grass fed angus go to market. Few people ask for the bones, unless they have dogs. I roast my bones like you plus I add the veggies to roasting, onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. Makes a wonderful broth so much better then the salt laden tasteless stuff in the store. My pantry has jars of beef, chicken, turkey and duck broth.

    1. I ended up with 26 pints of double strength wonderful broth all canned and in my pantry. Minus the beef vegetable stew I made for supper!

        1. Well I had the bones from two sides of beef, most people don’t want them, it was roughly 40 lbs of marrow bones and knuckles. I browned in my big roaster full to the brim twice, then simmered them in two 3 1/2 gallon open canning pots. After discarding the bones and letting the chickens eat the roasted veggies I strained it and defatted, and it fit in one pot. The canning took two batches of 10 pints, and one of 6 pints. I love having homemade stock to cook with!

  4. Making this broth now. I boiled the bones first, skimmed off the cooties from the stock, then placed it in the crockpot. I’ll cook it for 8 hours, skim again, and cook it for another 8 hours. Do you think it was ok to boil the bones first. I didn’t want to use the oven, it’s 92 here in San Diego. Let me know if I’m wasting my time. Thank You!

    1. Nannette, perhaps. You skipped an important flavor step. Roasting the bones adds more flavor (and color) to the broth. You’ve left behind a lot of flavor in the cooking water. Please tell me what you think of your version when it’s done.

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