How to make bone broth using a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot® plus tips for making it in a slow cooker. Think of bone broth as a more intense, velvety broth. It can be used in recipes calling for stock or broth, but also doubles as a delicious and comforting soup to enjoy by itself. Jump to Our Favorite Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe or read on for our tips.
We love bone broth and thanks to our Instant Pot and slow cooker, find ourselves making it often. A pressure cooker makes bone broth in a fraction of the time the slow cooker does, but both are excellent options. We’ve shared methods for both below, it all depends on what works best for your timeframe.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: This homemade chicken stock will knock the socks of anything you can buy at the store. Use leftover bones or use chicken parts. See the Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe
Why You Should Make Bone Broth and How to Make It
So what is bone broth anyway? Bone broth is basically stock (like this homemade chicken stock) that’s been cooked for such a long time that the tendons and connective tissues have dissolved and the bones are falling apart and fragile. The extra long cook time helps more collagen and nutrients dissolve into the broth. It’s because of this that so many people consider it to have healing benefits for the joints, gut and immune system. We aren’t nutritionists so we won’t go too far into that, but what I can tell you is that bone broth tastes more rich and intense than regular stock or broth. It’s absolutely delicious as a warm drink or light soup. I especially love adding a little fresh pepper, minced ginger and herbs to mine. Think of it as a savory tea.
It’s also an excellent swap for stocks in soups and since it does taste more flavorful, it can make soups and stews extra delicious. Try it in our Lemony Chicken Vegetable Soup, it’s excellent.
You can technically make bone broth on the stovetop, but it will take a very long time — over 24 hours. Since we can’t commit to standing next to a simmering pot for that long, we turn to a pressure cooker or slow cooker to make it. A pressure cooker takes about 4 hours, while the slow cooker will take 24 to 48 hours.
For the most rich and intensely flavored broth, roast your bones. We simply add them in one layer to a baking sheet and roast in a very hot oven until brown. It takes about 30 minutes.
For both the pressure cooker and slow cooker, all you need to do is layer everything into the pot, close the lid and cook. You will know the broth is done when the connective tissues have dissolved and the bones are brittle. When that happens, strain the broth and enjoy. It keeps in the fridge for 5 days and in the freezer for 3 months or more.
Our Favorite Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe
Think of bone broth as a more rich and velvetly stock. Bone broth and stock are interchangeable in most recipes. When it comes to enjoying it alone, we prefer bone broth since it tastes more intense. Since bone broth takes longer to cook, more collagen and nutrients dissolve into the broth so many people consider it to have healing benefits for the joints, gut and immune system.
Most of the time, we use chicken bones, but adding some pork or beef bones is never a bad idea. Keep in mind that beef, pork or other meat bones will increase the cook time a bit. If you’re short on time, this recipe makes an excellent stock. For general purpose stock, reduce the cook time to 1 hour.
You Will Need
3 to 4 pounds bones, can be chicken, beef, pork or a mix of bones; try using marrow-filled bones or gelatin rich chicken feet
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 pound onion, peeled and chopped (1 large)
1/4 pound carrots, chopped (2 to 3 medium)
1 /4 pound celery, chopped (2 to 3 celery ribs)
4 medium cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
2 teaspoons sea salt or more to taste
Optional: small bunch fresh parsley or dill, 3 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme, 4 quarter-sized slices unpeeled fresh ginger
- Prepare Bones (optional)
- Pressure Cooker Bone Broth
- Slow Cooker Bone Broth
- To Finish
For a richer broth, roast the bones. Spread into one layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 425 degree F oven until browned, about 30 minutes.
If you prefer to skip roasting the bones, and are using chicken parts with skin, you can still achieve a dark colored broth by searing the skin. Select the “Sauté” setting and choose high heat. When the pot is hot, add the bones, skin-side-down and cook until the skin is dark brown. Cancel the “Sauté” function and move on to making the broth.
Layer the bones with the rest of the ingredients in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Cover with 12 to 14 cups of water — make sure the water covers the ingredients, but does not pass the fill line.
Secure the lid then cook on high pressure for 3 hours. If you have added beef, pork or other bones, cook for 4 hours.
Note that the timer will not start until there is enough pressure inside the pot so the timer may not start for a few minutes. When the cook time is up, do not immediately open the lid and instead let the pressure naturally release. You will know it’s done when the tendons and connective tissues have dissolved and the bones are falling apart and fragile. If this has not happened, place the lid back on and cook on high for another 20 minutes to an hour.
Layer the bones with the rest of the ingredients in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover with 12 to 14 cups of water — make sure the water covers the ingredients. Secure the lid then cook on LOW for 24 to 48 hours. You will know it’s done when the tendons and connective tissues have dissolved and the bones are falling apart and fragile. If this has not happened, place the lid back on and cook on for another few hours.
Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer and season with additional salt to taste. Let cool until not hot. Transfer to containers and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 6 hours or overnight.
Skim off and remove any fat on the surface. Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze for 3 months (or more).
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Quicker Recipe: If you are short on time, this recipe makes an excellent stock. For general purpose stock, reduce the cook time for the pressure cooker method to 1 hour.
- Using beef, pork or other meat bones: Swap all or some of the chicken bones in the recipe above for beef, pork or other meat bones. They will take a little longer to cook — 4 1/2 hours instead of 3.
- Recipe inspired and adapted from Melissa Clark’s bone broth recipe.
- The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. It was difficult to estimate actual numbers for this recipe. Instead, we are sharing the approximate nutrition for stock/broth from USDA Supertracker. After straining and skimming, broth has a low amount of calories.