Bone Broth: What It Is and How to Make It

by Melissa Chichester

Whether you’ve heard of it or not, bone broth is having a moment in the health world. In fact, bone broth bars are popping up all over the country; however, this warming broth isn’t something new. It has actually been consumed for centuries across many cultures as a healing folk remedy. Known by culinary professionals for adding flavor, bone broth is a valuable cooking ingredient, easy to make, and has some surprising nutritional benefits.

What is bone broth?

Bone broth is a nourishing stock made by slow-cooking the connective tissue (like beaks and hooves) and bones from animals. Popular choices for making bone broth include chicken, beef, turkey, and pork. By simmering the bones in an acidic substance like vinegar, vitamins and minerals are extracted out of the bones and into the broth for consumption in soups, stews, marinades, or by simply drinking a cup!

What nutrients are in bone broth?

The vitamins and minerals in bone broth will vary based on the type and quality of the animal, as well as where the nutrients come from. Connective tissues can provide glucosamine and chondroitin. According to the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, bones are an excellent source of minerals and a source of primarily calcium and phosphorus, but also contain magnesium and potassium. Bones are also an important source of collagen. Knucklebones and chicken feet are also sources of collagen.

Where can I get bones?

Now that you’re ready to make bone broth, you might be wondering where to get bones! Leftover bones from other meals can be stored in the freezer. Bones can also be acquired from a local butcher. Some butchers will even part with their bones and animal scraps for free to avoid waste.

How to make bone broth:

Making bone broth is so easy that you don’t really need a recipe; however, if you need a place to start, here is an easy base that you can build upon. Most of the time, bone broth can be made with kitchen scraps from other meals.


  • 3 pounds chicken bones
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in half
  • 3 carrots, cut in half
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


Place bones in slow cooker, and add vegetables on top. Pour water on top, and add the apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for 24-72 hours. The longer the broth cooks, the more nutrient dense it will be. Allow the broth to cool. Remove the top layer of fat if present, and strain the solid ingredients.


    Siebecker, Allison. “Traditional bone broth in modern health and disease.” Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Feb.-Mar. 2005, p. 74+. General OneFile, Accessed 2 Jan. 2018.