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 Rossi

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.

A glass jar filled with beef bone broth.

Beef Bone Broth

4.86 / 7 votes
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.
David Leite
Servings6 cups
Calories109 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time14 minutes
Total Time24 minutes


  • Stock pot, slow cooker (if following the slow cooker method), or pressure cooker (if following the pressure cooker variation)


  • 5 pounds beef marrow bones (raw or cooked leftovers), rinsed and patted dry
  • 5 quarts (20 cups) cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Two bay leaves, (optional)
  • Vegetables and aromatics, such as onions, carrots, celery, garlic, parsnips, mushrooms, parsley, and so on, (optional)


  • 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.

Adapted From

The Bone Broth Miracle

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Serving: 1 cupCalories: 109 kcalCarbohydrates: 0.3 gProtein: 1 gFat: 12 gSaturated Fat: 0.01 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01 gSodium: 1202 mgFiber: 0.1 gSugar: 0.02 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Ariane Resnick. Photo © 2015 Allan Penn. All rights reserved.

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!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I love beef bone broth’s taste more than chicken. Just add a little to it and it already tastes delicious. But since I’m not good of a cook, I tried drinking this organic product, Au Bon Broth and it was good. I looked it up and saw that they used a combination of chicken, turkey and beef bones in it.

  2. I really don’t like the use of the word “filth” for the stuff you should skim off. I prefer three other “F” words – foam, film and fat. Filth just makes the recipe sound unappetizing. I have made hundreds of pots of beef stock (broth) and have experimented with many combinations of aromatics and found the only one you need is onion. All others do not seem to make a difference in the end. You should add the onion later on in the cooking period. I generally simmer my stock for eight hours and add the onion with two hours remaining for best results.

    1. Romano, I completely respect your word choice. You make a very good point. And you and I have the exact same approach to beef stock. In fact, I just made some this afternoon. I only go 6 hours when I’m in a hurry, but otherwise I do it exactly as you. Just a bare burble occasionally breaking the surface. Thank you for taking the time to touch base.

  3. I am a “sucker” for all of your recipes. I have tried a good portion of them and they are flawless. I grew up with bone broth made by my great grandmother and this recipe just brings me back. She would call it “beef tea.” I will make this for sure. Thank you for your informative and delicious website!

    1. Vevette, you’re welcome. Many thanks for taking the time to write such a lovely note! I love the notion of “beef tea” and how charming it is! Am so glad this recipe was able to bring you back. Thank you, too, for your kind words. This is exactly why we do what we do—so that others can have the exact same flawless experience as you in the kitchen. Rest assured, we test all recipes repeatedly in our home kitchens prior and carefully consider the merits and drawbacks of each recipe prior to deciding if it’s sufficiently spectacular to share on the site. So please know that you can make any of our recipes with confidence. Again, thank you.