Bone Broth: Can Food Be Medicine? Part II

On Monday we talked about bone broth and its medicinal qualities, specifically it’s role in the health of our immune system. Bones and cartilage are what give bone broth these qualities. Traditionally prepared bone broth will contain: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, potassium, chondrotin sulfate, keratin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, collagen (gelatin), elastin, osteocytes and chondrocytes. Each of these lend a healing property for different ailments, from digestive disorders to general fatigue. Over 75 conditions are benefited from bone broth:

Making bone broth is really quite easy, it can be done in a pressure cooker, slow cooker or stock pot. I have used all three methods but prefer the pressure cooker because it shortens the time significantly. You will need a chicken carcasss, a little leftover meat and skin, vegetables, filtered water and a shot of apple cider vinegar. Although we are making chicken bone broth, it’s important to note you can also make bone broth from beef, shellfish, fish and lamb.

Traditional Chicken Bone Broth

Printable Recipe


  • Whole Chicken Carcass (including skin & meat remnants as well as cooking liquid)
  • Celery, Carrots & Onions
  • Cold Filtered Water
  • 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

Cooking Directions Pressure Cooker

I make a whole chicken in my pressure cooker first, debone the bird and set the meat aside for later use. Everything that remains goes back in the pressure cooker. The cooker already has a great broth base as the drippings and juices from the bird cooking are scrumptious!

  1. To the pressure cooker add chicken carcass and remains.
  2. Add celery, carrots & onions.
  3. Cover with cold filtered water.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar.
  5. Cover and bring to pressure.
  6. Once at pressure turn down heat and start timer.
  7. Set timer for 60 minutes.
  8. Upon completion quick release pressure.
  9. Strain bone broth into glass jars, let come to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.
  10. Skim hardened fat off top.

Once cooled, what’s left is a golden jelly like substance. This is what real bone broth should look like. A few notes, apple cider vinegar is an acidic medium needed to extract the minerals from the bones. A good mineral rich bone broth recipe should include this. Also, if you are having trouble getting your bone broth to gel, most likely you are using too much water.


Traditional Bone Broth looks like Jelly

Other Cooking Options

Simmer in covered slow cooker on low heat for 12-24 hours.

Simmer in covered stock pot over low heat for 12-24 hours.

What you do with your bone broth is up to you. Take it like medicine and enjoy a cup a day with a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt. When warmed it loses its jelly like effect and turns into a golden soup! Use it as a base for any number of recipes that call for chicken stock. It’s fall here in Minnesota and I’ve been cooking up different soups. Look for those recipes in the near future.

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    • Vanessa says

      Hi Cari, I typically buy birds that don’t have the organs still in them. FYI, fresh whole pasture-raised birds are on sale at Whole Food this week for $3.99/lb. which is a great price for a good quality bird.

  1. says

    Vanessa, I use the crock pot and this is the exact process I follow and cruelly I let it simmer for closer to 24 hours. I never get the jelly like texture like your picture shows! What do you think is going wrong?!

    • says

      I do mine in the crock pot as well and just cover the bones with water, and add vinegar and mine never wants to gel either. :/ If I added less water, it wouldn’t cover the bones. Hmmm…. Maybe I didn’t add enough vinegar for how much I made. I used a 6 qt crock and did at least 1 T vinegar. My bones crushed apart at the end (after 24 hrs).

  2. Linda says

    Great instructions, thank you!

    What is the purpose of the apple cider vinegar? I’ve never added it when making chicken stock before. Which leads me to another question, is there a difference between chicken stock and bone broth?

  3. Charity says

    Hello Vanessa! I have so enjoyed reading your website and am so excited about using your wonderful recipes.
    Question: Can you eat the carrots and onions after you strain them from your finished broth?
    Thank you!

  4. says

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve made bone broth once, as part of our journey to heal tooth decay. There was no gelatin, or jelly look to it so I think I used too much water. How much should I use? I am using a crockpot. I used a lot of water because I wanted more broth. How much broth should I expect to get from a chicken carcass? How about from some buffalo bones? Is it good to use buffalo bones? Sorry for all the questions. I am ready to make my next batch and don’t want to screw up this time! Thanks so much! I really like your blog!

  5. Ashley says


    What do you use to season the chicken in the pressure cooker when you first cook it? Does that seasoning make it into the bone broth and affect the flavor? And I’m assuming that I’ll put the ENTIRE chicken in the pressure cooker – just as it came from the grocery store? Or do I need to prep it somehow first? I’ve never made bone broth before, so I don’t want to mess it up on my first try. :) Thanks!!

    • says

      I don’t season the chicken with anything other than Celtic sea salt and pepper. Yes you put the entire chicken in the pressure cooker, cook it for 20-30 minutes, let remove and let it cool. Leave the liquid and drippings in the pressure cooker. Once the chicken is cool, debone it (set meat aside) and put all the remnants, including skin back in the pressure cooker to make the bone broth.

  6. Joanne Stewart says

    I am assuming that you can also use the carcass from the Thanksgiving turkey to make the broth? ALSO: Bigger question? Can you “can” the broth for later use, to save it for use all winter. I have seen lots of folks on SBCanning ‘can’ broths… so this could be too, right?? I’m hoping so as I’m de-boning my turkey today… Thanks for this valuable information, it’s awesome! ♥

  7. says

    I recently read that if you put the apple cider vinegar in the water & let it all sit for an hour before simmering, more of the nutrients will be pulled from the bones, as it takes time for the vinegar to penetrate the bones – you will get an easier gelling product as well.

  8. Tricia Lisle says

    Wondering how long the bone broth will last inn the fridge before needing to toss it? Just bought a pressure cooker…so excited to make another QUICK batch!


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