What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is made from animal bones and connective tissue — typically cattle, chicken, or fish — that have been boiled into a broth and slow simmered for 20+ hours with herbs, vegetables, and spices. So why is this seemingly simple liquid something you’d want to drink every day?

What is Bone Broth & What Makes it So Beneficial?

Bone broth has a rich history of being used in traditional Chinese culture, for its many benefits: to support digestion, through collagen, minerals, amino acids, and compounds found in bones and connective tissue.

Specific compounds like chondroitin sulfate (used in osteoarthritis supplements) and hyaluronic acid(used in facial cosmetic products) are found in cartilage, connective tissue and bones, in case you were wondering.

Even our hunter-gatherer ancestors realized that drinking bone broth was highly valuable, as its earliest version dates back over 2,500 years. Throwing away anything edible was out of the question back then, so animal hooves, knuckles, bones, and other connective tissues never went to waste.

People with leaky gut syndrome have also used bone broth to support their diet.

Plus, the collagen found in bone broth makes it the perfect food to support healthy looking skin.

Is Bone Broth The Same as Regular Stock?


There are two main differences between bone broth and regular broth or stock: simmering time and the part of the animal it's made from (bones or flesh).

Regular broth and stock are simmered for a shorter period of time than bone broth. The expedited cooking process reduces the amount of beneficial gelatin extracted from the bones, limiting its ability to support the immune and digestive systems.

How To Make Bone Broth At Home?

Simmering bones for an extended period of time is what gives bone broth its nutritional benefits, extracting the amino acids, minerals, and collagen. This is a Kettle & Fire-tested slow cooker chicken bone broth recipe that features organic chicken bones, sea salt, fresh vegetables like celery stalks, onions, and bell peppers, and herbs like parsley, rosemary, and thyme.

Cooking With Bone Broth

Our beef bone broth has a mild flavor, which allows it to blend easily with almost anything, from smoothies to healthy gummy bears. Our chicken bone broth and mushroom chicken bone broth boost the savory flavor of soups, stews, and risotto recipes. A few of our favorites include:

Use Ingredients Already in Your Kitchen For Great Bone Broth

Making bone broth is the perfect way to make use of your veggie scraps, chicken carcasses, beef bones, and even pork bones before eventually composting or trashing them. The final step in bone broth-making is straining out the solids, which means that you can include the parts of vegetables that would otherwise go directly into the compost bin: carrot tops, garlic and onion skins and ends, celery butts, and more.

During your day-to-day cooking, consider saving these scraps in freezer bags, along with the bones left over after you've eaten your meals. Once you've filled a bag or two, you're ready to make broth.

Where to Get High Quality Bones for Bone Broth?

If you're making a large quantity of broth (using a two- to three-gallon stock pot or more), you might consider supplementing the bones from your freezer with high-quality bones from your butcher or local farmer.

High quality bones are ones from humanely raised animals: grass-fed or pasture-raised beef, or pastured chicken and pork. But we're also talking about bones that will yield the most nutrient-dense, healthy broth. Here are some guidelines on what to buy:

For chicken bone broth

  • Supplement your frozen chicken bones from the previous steps with chicken feet (best source of gelatin) or chicken wings
  • Full chicken carcass, including the back, and neck
  • Substitute chicken for turkey and you'll have a tasty nourishing turkey bone broth

For beef bone broth

  • T-bone with marrow bones (femur bones)
  • Beef knuckle and cow feet (great source of cartilage)
  • Use roasted bones for a richer broth
  • Meaty bones like oxtail, shank, and short ribs add a lot of flavor to bone broth

For pork bone broth

  • Rib bones or neck bones
  • A cartilage rich pig’s foot can be added to any broth recipe without affecting the flavor

These bones are great because they are rich in connective tissue. Connective tissue contains collagen, gelatin, and amino acids, the most valuable nutrients for reducing joint pain and healing the digestive tract. The best bone broth recipes will call for these types of bones for this same reason.

Gather These Kitchen Tools To Make Your Bone Broth

Before you get started making your own bone broth, you'll need to make sure your kitchen is stocked with everything you need to make the process quick and efficient. The three most common ways to make bone broth are:

  • On the stovetop in a large stock pot
  • In the slow cooker or Crock-Pot
  • In the Instant Pot or pressure cooker

Each option has its own limitations and advantages. For example, most in-home pressure cookers have a 6-quart capacity, or 1 1/2 gallons. While that amounts to roughly half the broth you'll get in a large stock pot on your stovetop, the cooking time is only two hours.

Compared to the six- to 24-hour cooking time on the stovetop, you might find that making less broth more frequently works better for you. The slow cooker and stove top options both require longer overall cook times, but only the stovetop requires leaving the stove on with an open flame (in the case of gas stoves) for all of that time. Your level of comfort with this requirement might steer you in one direction or the other.

After you've chosen which vessel you'll use, you'll also want to make sure you have a mesh strainer and some large mason jars. We recommend no larger than 6-cup mason jars, as jars larger than that tend to crack in the freezer. Once your broth has cooled, you'll want to strain out the spent bones and veggies, pouring the golden elixir into your jars.

A word of caution: For the jars you intend to put in the freezer, make sure you leave at least one inch of clearance between the top of your broth and top of the jar. Liquid expands as it freezes, so if you don't leave that space, you'll end up with broken jars in your freezer.

Another creative option for freezing your broth is to use ice cube trays. Freezing small portions of broth this way allows you to use small amounts in cooking, a little bit at a time, without having to thaw an entire mason jar just to use a small quantity. While the mason jar option works great if you're planning to sip your broth in the morning or make a large batch of soup with it, the ice cube tray method allows you to use your broth more frequently. Drop a cube into your pot of rice or into your stir fry to add a bit of flavor and extra nutrition into your cooking.

Now that you've collected your kitchen tools and chosen your cooking method, let's get into the step-by-step process of making your bone broth.

How to Make Homemade Bone Broth in 5 easy steps

Bone broth is made by simmering animal bones and tissue for at least 10 hours with vegetables, herbs, and spices such as thyme, garlic, and bay leaves. Making bone broth is a simple process, but one that requires plenty of time and patience. If time is not on your side we can help you out with that. Once you’ve collected your ingredients and ensured that you have the right tools in your kitchen, you can have your bone broth brewing in as little as 15 minutes. While cooking times will vary depending on the vessel you use, we will show you how to make bone broth in just a few steps:

STEP 1: Add your bones first

Start with your bones. For a 2-gallon pot, we recommend using 3 to 4 pounds of bones. Place bones into your pot and fill it with filtered water, leaving at least 2 inches at the top. You might consider roasting your beef bones before this step if you're making beef broth, but it's not 100% necessary. It just makes for a richer, darker finished product.

STEP 2: Don’t forget to add this

A critical, yet often forgotten step is to include an acid of some sort to encourage your bones to release those nutrients we mentioned earlier (collagen and gelatin). Add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. It's important to let the bones sit in the water with the acid for at least 30 minutes before you turn on the heat to let the acid work its magic.

STEP 3: Add your veggies

When you're ready to start cooking, add your veggie scraps to the water. If you haven't started saving your scraps yet, include carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in your broth, all roughly chopped, and a couple of bay leaves. Don't bother peeling your veggies, and be sure to include every part of the vegetable to ensure that you're maximizing the nutritive value of your broth. For a more complex flavor profile, you might also consider adding some chopped ginger or jalapeno (or both!) for some kick.

STEP 4: Bring to a boil and set your timer

Once you've tossed all of your veggies into the pot, turn your stove up to high until you've reached a rolling boil. At that point, lower your heat to a gentle simmer and partially cover the pot, leaving an opening for steam to escape. Set a kitchen timer for between six and 24 hours, depending on how much liquid you've started with and how much time you have. Your broth will reduce for the duration of the cook time, so you don't want to overdo it and end up with only a tiny amount of broth at the end. For both the stove top and slow cooker method, you'll want to check on your broth at the six hour mark to ensure that your broth isn't reducing too quickly. For the pressure cooker method, you'll set your cooker to two hours. In all cases, it's up to you if you'd like to add sea salt during the cooking process or as needed when you use the broth in cooking.

STEP 5: Strain and Store

Strain out the liquid for freezer storage in glass jars or ice cube trays.

The Story Behind Kettle & Fire Bone Broth

Before Kettle and Fire was born, one of our co-founders, Nick, tore his ACL playing soccer (ouch). His brother Justin heard about the benefits of bone broth for injury recovery. As his schedule didn't leave much time to make bone broth from scratch, he set out to buy a store-bought, high-quality, grass-fed bone broth, since both of their busy schedules didn’t leave much time to make the broth themselves. (You can learn more about our story here.)

No matter how hard Justin looked, the ideal bone broth didn’t exist. He searched for one that contained organic vegetables, was fresh — never frozen — grass-fed, and slow simmered (as well as one that could be shipped without wasteful, clunky packaging). So, Nick and Justin decided to create a high-quality bone broth on their terms, which is the recipe we’re proud to offer you today.

Kettle & fire Bone Broth is:

  • Made with bones from grass-fed beef or pasture raised chickens
  • Hormone and antibiotic-free
  • Slow simmered for 20+ hours
  • Contains no additives or preservatives, and a shelf life of two years
  • Shipped in responsible packaging and 100 percent recyclable material
  • Packaged in tetra packs to take up less room in your pantry
  • Approved for Whole30, keto, and paleo diets

How to Get More Bone Broth In Your Diet

The beautiful thing about bone broth is that there’s really no limit to how you can add it to your diet. Aside from soups, stews, and plain ol’ sipping, bone broth blends surprisingly well into almost any recipe — even smoothies! Here are our top ways to get it:

Sip It

Our bone broth tastes delicious enough to sip on its own, but you can spice it up to suit your taste buds. We created our favorite flavor combinations in this free downloadable “Bone Broth Sipping Guide” (bone broth matcha lattes, anyone?). Get your free copy here.

The Bone Broth Diet

If you want to boost your energy and vitality, we recommend checking out The Bone Broth Diet, created by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci because it increases your intake of the nutrients and compounds that support gut, skin, joint, and bone health.

The bone broth diet is a 21-day plan that’s ideal for anyone who wants to nourish their bodies with nutrients that help you thrive. Learn more about the 21-day bone broth diet.