how long to cook beef bones for broth

Simmer for 12 hours, occasionally skimming off any foam and “gunk” that rises to the top. Add additional water whenever bones and vegetables are no longer covered. Remove the pot from the heat and cool broth to room temperature. Strain broth with a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pot.

Now let’s talk beef bone broth. Why? Both broths have the same nourishing attributes, but sometimes you need a richer, beefier flavor than chicken broth for certain meals like stew or french onion soup! Also, beef bones (sometimes labeled as soup bones at your butcher) are super cheap.

Ingredients in Homemade Bone Broth

  • Beef bones
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaves
  • Whole black peppercorns
  • Whole star anise
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Apple cider vinegar

If possible, try to purchase organic grass-fed beef bones. This guarantees a broth free of added hormones and antibiotics.

Step 8: Store your bone broth

Bone broth stores well in the refrigerator for approximately 5 days. If you make a large batch, I recommend freezing smaller batches in the freezer for up to 6 months (it reheats perfectly!)

  • Use a mixture of different beef bones. Not all bones are created equal, as such, try to use 2-3 different types of bones to make your broth.
  • Don’t forget to blanch the beef bones before roasting. Guys, this step is SO IMPORTANT. Blanching the bones for 15-20 minutes helps remove all those nasty bits that, well, make your bone broth look and taste kinda gross. These nasty parts won’t hurt you, but in order to achieve the beautiful, clear, rich bone stock, you need to blanch the bones.
  • Roast your bones. Roast them high and roast them long. Roasting the beef bones browns and caramelizes them. This translates to more flavor. Who doesn’t want more flavor?
  • Avoid the temptation to add too much “other stuff”. You are making bone broth NOT bone/vegetable/herb garden broth. This is not to say that you shouldn’t add any roasted veggies or spices, but keep it at a minimum so that the beef bones can really shine.
  • If one stockpot isn’t big enough, use two. Your beef bones want to be fully submerged in water. If your pot isn’t big enough, use two.
  • Allow enough time for the bones to simmer. You guys, a few hours is not enough time. I allowed this pot of beef bones to simmer for 14 hours and it turned out just perfect. Patience is key. With that said, longer is not always better. There is no need to simmer your bones for any longer than 24 hours.
  • Refrigerate the soup overnight and remove the fat layer from the top. Of course, you don’t have to do this. Or you can do this and leave some of the fat. No matter what you decide, once the broth is reheated, it will all dissolve back into the smooth, beautiful delicious broth you started with.
  • Add salt to taste. If you’re expecting your bone broth to taste identical to your favorite Vietnamese bowl of Pho without adding any salt then I am sorry to say you will be very disappointed. You will need salt. Exactly how much depends entirely on you.

Step 3: Transfer the Bones Back to the Stockpots & Bring to a Boil

Wash the stockpots that were used to blanch the bones (this is super important) and divide the roasted bones and vegetables between the two pots. Scrape up any brown bits and juices remaining in the roasting pan using a metal spatula and a little water, if needed, and divide between the two pots (don’t worry, all those brown bits are FLAVOR!).

With the bones and vegetables divided, divide the bay leaves, peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and apple cider vinegar between the two pots.

Fill each pot with approximately 12 cups of cold water, or enough water to cover the bones by approximately an inch.

Cover each pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a low boil.

Can you cook your broth in a slow cooker (Crockpot)?

Yes. Absolutely. For this recipe, you will likely need 2 large slow cookers. Instead of transferring the roasted bones, veggies, herbs, and spices to large stockpots divide them among two (or three) slow cookers, cover with cold water, and cook on low for 24-48 hours with the lid slightly ajar. Add additional water, as needed, to keep the bones covered.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, with the lid slightly ajar, skimming any foam or excess fat, as needed. Simmer for at least 8-12 hours or up to 24 hours (do not leave the stove running overnight. Simply cool and store in the refrigerator and continue to simmer the next day). Add more water if needed to make sure bones and vegetables remain fully submerged.

  • If the vegetables (particularly the carrots) turn too soft and mushy at any point throughout cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove. Enjoy as a delicious snack or discard.

Simmer for 12 hours, occasionally skimming off any foam and “gunk” that rises to the top. Add additional water whenever bones and vegetables are no longer covered. Remove the pot from the heat and cool broth to room temperature. Strain broth with a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pot.


How long should you boil bones for broth?

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for at least 10-12 hours, or until reduced by 1/3 or 1/2, leaving you with 6-8 cups of bone broth. The more it reduces, the more intense the flavor becomes and the more collagen is extracted. We find 12 hours to be the perfect cook time.

Can you cook beef bone broth too long?

While bone broth can be simmered for an extended period of time to extract nutrients and flavor, it is generally recommended to simmer it for no more than 24-48 hours. Leaving it simmering for several days can increase the risk of bacterial growth and spoilage.

How long should beef bones be simmered for stock production?

3 – 8 hour simmer on stove – Simmer stock on the stove, for a minimum of 3 hours and ideally up to 8 hours. Stove is the traditional method, and it’s entirely hands-off. The heat should be so low that you only get a little bubble every once in a while, and it doesn’t need stirring.

How do you know when beef bone broth is done?

When it’s done, the broth will be deeply savory and have a rich mahogany color. In practical terms, cook your broth for at least 12 hours, then start checking it. I’m usually satisfied with my broth at around the 24-hour mark, but you can keep simmering for days.

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