Thought Leader Series: How to Make Bone Broth in a Slow Cooker

Erin Pennings is a marketer by trade who serves up tasty treats and fun feats as a food/lifestyle blogger at SalmonAtSeven.com. Recycle your bones and get the most out of your meaty meals by making bone broth, or stock,...

Slow cooker

Erin Pennings is a marketer by trade who serves up tasty treats and fun feats as a food/lifestyle blogger at SalmonAtSeven.com.

Recycle your bones and get the most out of your meaty meals by making bone broth, or stock, with leftover bones and kitchen scraps. You'll end up with a tasty broth that packs a nutritious punch and has myriad uses in your home cooking. The only kitchen equipment you'll need for this is a slow cooker, which will make your life easier for so many recipes!

Slow cooker
Broth should be a staple in your kitchen. It's easy to make with the right kitchen equipment - a slow cooker.

In addition to the economic benefits of making your own broth/stock - no more expensive soup base purchases, and scrap vegetables get used up - there are a boatload of nutritional and health benefits. Your homemade broth will be preservative-free, and because you can freeze it, you'll always have broth on hand to add to your favorite recipes. For centuries, many people have claimed that broth-based soups, particularly chicken soup, are a great way to stave off many illnesses, especially those of the upper-respiratory tract. (Read more about it in this study.)

You may have seen bone broth growing in popularity in recent years and thought that making it would be overly complicated. This couldn't be further from the truth, especially when your arsenal of kitchen equipment features a great slow cooker! In fact, making your own broth is quite simple. It entails saving up your vegetable scraps and the bones left from your cooking endeavors and cooking them on a low temperature for a long periods of tim.

Bone Broth/Stock Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pounds of leftover bones (cooked seem to work best)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Chop the vegetables into large pieces - the larger they are, the easier they'll be to strain out. At minimum, cut everything at least in half and be sure to seed the jalapeno.
  • Add bones, vegetables, apple cider vinegar, and seasonings to your six-quart slow cooker.
  • Fill the cooker the rest of the way with water.
  • Cook on low for 24 hours. (For chicken, cook for 12 two 24 hours, and for beef/game, 24 to 48 hours. The longer the cooking period, the richer your broth will taste.)
  • Strain the broth to remove the bones and veggies. You may find it easiest to strain twice - first through a larger strainer, and second through a fine mesh or cheesecloth to get out the smallest bits.
  • If you don't plan to use the broth right away, refrigerate or freeze. Mason jars are great in the fridge, while freezer bags and ice cube trays are ideal for freezing.

Recipe Notes:

These ingredients are sample ideas; you can truly use whatever vegetable scraps you have in your kitchen. That's the beauty of making your own bone broth or stock at home. It can include the ingredients you have on hand. Also, if it takes your household a while to accumulate a pound or more of cooked bones, they can be frozen while you wait. Any type of bones can be used, too - steak bones, leftover chicken wings, leftover rotisserie/roasted chickens, even chicken feet.

Slow cooker
Homemade bone broth or stock can be used in a wide variety of foods and recipes!

After you've made your bone broth, you can of course use it in any "traditional" recipe that calls for it - soups, stews, gravies, etc. However, we have a few more great ways to use bone broth in your cooking:

  • Use broth instead of water in your rice cooker for rice or quinoa. (Bonus Tip: Use your rice cooker for quinoa!)
  • Cook pasta right in the broth.
  • Cook veggies in the broth.
  • Add a frozen cube to dishes to boost flavor.
  • Drink it straight!

Join the bone broth trend with us - it's easy to make with your slow cooker, and it's incredibly versatile. Plus, healthy, home-cooked foods are always particularly satisfying, especially when using ingredients already on hand.

Need a new slow cooker or other small appliance? Browse our selection of electric kitchen equipment.