Traditional Bone Broth: Tips, Tricks and More


As you probably know, I’ve been working on healing some stomach problems (are you tired of hearing about it yet? haha). The first time I read about the healing power of bone broth was through the Weston A. Price Foundation. It made a lot of sense to me- finally I understood why homemade chicken soup was said to be such a good remedy! Then I did more research and found the GAPS diet, which is big on bone broth and affirmed everything else I had read. I won’t go into detail about all of the benefits here (check out the links at the end of the post), but I did want to explain my broth routine and what I’ve learned along the way.

When I drink broth:

  • With most meals, to help with digestion.
  • In the morning before breakfast (if I’m not ready to eat yet).
  • When I go out and I’m not sure if there will be any food that I can eat, but don’t have time to pack food.
  • When I have stomach pain.

Really, I could drink it anytime. I usually sip it from a mug like I would drink tea. I drink it plain, with sea salt, or sometimes I stir in a spoonful of coconut oil or grass-fed butter (sounds weird, but it tastes really good and helps keep me feeling full. Just stir it around with a spoon as you’re drinking it so your lips don’t get oily!)

How I make broth:

  • For chicken: I typically cook a whole chicken (roast or boil), pick off most of the meat and then put the bones and skin in the crockpot. I cover the bones with filtered water and cook on low for a day or two. Sometimes I add salt, sometimes I forget. Sometimes I add peppercorns or a few bay leaves or vegetable peelings, but usually I keep it simple. Sometimes I add a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar, as well (to help get even more nutrients out of the bones). Don’t be alarmed if the vinegar makes the broth a bit cloudy.
  • For beef: I usually get beef bones that are meant specifically for broth/soup, so I’ll just throw them in the slow cooker or a pot, remove any meat and add it to a soup (since it’s not a a lot of meat) and then return the bones and continue cooking the broth.
  • For fish: I can’t get sustainable whole fish around here, so I haven’t done this myself, but if I did, I would stick the bones and the head in a pot/crock pot with the same method. (I don’t think I would really drink this one on it’s own- probably just use it for soups).


My Broth Tips:

  • I never throw away bones- I store them in the freezer along with vegetable clippings (onions, carrot and celery) if I’m not making broth right away or if I only have a few bones.
  • Try to include some skin (for the fat) and the joints of the animal if you can- the joints help to create gelatin (especially wing tips/knuckle bones, etc).
  • Don’t be afraid if your broth looks like jelly after it cools down. That’s a good thing! Gelatin is very nourishing and it will return to liquid state when you heat it.
  • You can roast the bones before you use them for stock if you want deeper flavor or a darker broth.
  • Store broth in the refrigerator (it will keep for a few weeks) or freezer. I like to use glass jars.
  • Reheat broth on the stove so you don’t kill the nutrients (as opposed to the microwave). It’s a pain when you’re in a hurry, but I do it in a small saucepan or in a tea kettle.
  • There will be a layer of fat at the top of your broth (see above)- this is a good thing! It is full of good nutrition, don’t throw it away! It will melt down into the broth when you heat it up.
  • Be careful not to burn your mouth on hot broth. Broth smells so good cooking in my house and I like to scoop cups of it right out of the slow cooker, but it is REALLY HOT. Wait for fresh broth to cool down a bit.

Anyone else out there drinking broth? I can’t be the only one! Are you intimidated by the process! Please feel free to comment with your questions and I’ll gladly answer. If you’re interested in learning more about bone broth, here are some links I’ve found helpful:

Bone Broth: 12 Days of Gelatin

Perpetual Soup: The Easiest Bone Broth You’ll Make

Traditional Foods 101: Bone broth, Broth and Stocks

How to Make Health Boosting Bone Broth

Top 5 Reasons Bone Broth is The Bomb

The Wonders of Gelatin and How to Get More in Your Stock

11 Responses to “Traditional Bone Broth: Tips, Tricks and More”
  1. Maggie says:

    So nice to see someone else who doesn’t throw away the layer of fat once the beef broth cools! It is, indeed, most nutritious.

  2. KnArF says:

    So I’m on Day 3 of Stage 1 (Intro) and I’m kind of frustrated. Day 1 I made a Grassfed Beef stock in my slow cooker that had Meat, Marrow and Cartilage. I consumed ALL of it and I had a water bowel movement. Day 2 I consumed the rest of my beef stock and made chicken stock and I had another loose bowel movement. Just kind of confused and frustrated because I’m doing this to heal my digestion and It almost seems like it’s gotten worse. I’m on Day 3g fish stock with whole red snapper and haven’t had a bowel movement YET but I feel it will be less than ideal. I’d love to hear some of your experiences?? I’m consuming any fermented veggies or any veggies at all actually. Just meat, chicken and fish broth with the marrow, cartilage and meat from each protein source.

    • Natalie says:

      This is only my opinion, but since you’re just starting, your body may be cleaning itself out. It takes your body some time to adjust to the new regimen- sometimes it gets much worse for a short time before it gets better. Your body has to get rid of the bad bugs somehow. Are you doing the detox baths? Keep at it and don’t quit! You can do it!

    • Shauna says:

      Hopefully this has gotten better for you by now since it has been a month, but I do have some insight into why it occurred. I was actually in the hospital for 2 weeks this April for severe lower right-hand abdominal pain. My GI specialist ordered a cleanse as part of the treatment plan, and I proceeded to consume the medical equivalent of a sper-powered bone broth for two days which literally turns your bowels to water to get EVERYTHING out. It was unpleasant, and seemed like the wrong direction to me, but it definitely worked and I’m doing much better now. My point is that your body was flushing, and that’s good because it acts as a jump starter. Good luck, and I hope the rest of your plan goes smoothly!

  3. I’ve been drinking bone broth for a couple years now. I don’t drink it with every meal, but I try to drink at least a cup per day. Even though it’s summer, I’ve been making quick soups for breakfast of broth & whatever veggies look good from my garden. Usually it is some form of greens, and/or some roots. I’ll add whatever leftover meat I have on hand, or a couple poached eggs & a side of cultured veggies. I’ve been doing the same thing for lunch. It just tastes so good, digests so well, & I really like the way I feel. There is almost always a batch of broth cooking in my crockpot, so I won’t run out.

  4. Alice says:

    Hi there,

    Can bone broth be drank cold?

    When does it go off?

    And can the gelatin formed be used to make other things? Such as part of a yoghurt recipe or making jelly?

    And can the gelatin just be eaten cold along with the rest of the broth?


    • Natalie says:

      It can be drank cold, but it’s not my personal preference. It will last a week or two in the fridge, if you want it to last longer- freeze it. I don’t know how you would separate the meaty taste from the gelatin to use it in another recipe.

  5. Verlyn says:

    Stomach issues? Digestive dilemmas? GERD’s??? Ever tried miso? Great for healing the gut and everything in between… also try microbiotic’s!!! I speak from experience – try it. It is diffinately a challenging diet to learn and follow but the results are well worth the effort!!!!!

  6. Kristin says:

    How much do you reheat at a time? A spoonful? A cup? And it is a cold gelatin at that point, right?
    So you just put the cold gelatin on the stove?

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] You’ll be drinking a ton of bone broth on GAPS Intro (and full GAPS), so you want to make a batch or two (or more) ahead of time and freeze them. You can then thaw them in the refrigerator as needed for soups or drinking. You can find my thoughts and tips on bone broth here. […]

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