Beef bone broth is a kitchen staple! While it could take half a day to make a really rich beef bone broth, we’re taking a shortcut with an Instant Pot. You’ll get 11 cups of this liquid gold in less than 5 hours and with just 5 minutes of hands-on time!!!
What is the difference between bone broth, broth and stock?
There’s a lot of confusion between bone broth, broth and stock.
The differences are quite simple:
- Bone broth and stock are essentially the same thing. They are both made by simmering bones and water for an extended period of time to extract the nutrients and flavor from the bones.
- Broth is made from the actual meat by simmering water, the meat, and some vegetables to make a lighter version of a stock.
What is bone broth good for?
Bone broth has been around for centuries, and was used for many of the same reasons it is used today. Most people use bone broth to enhance the flavor of stews, soups, rice, pastas and potatoes.
Bone broth also holds a lot of nutritional value from the fat, marrow, and the general bones. Drinking bone broth is especially helpful when you have a cold or sore throat.
How to Make Beef Bone Broth
There’re a few different ways to make bone broth: on the stove-top or the Instant Pot.
- Step 1. Add bones in the pot. (TIP: Keep reading for my tips on which bones to use and where to get them.)
- Step 2. Add vegetable scraps, if you’d like. Just don’t go overboard with too many add-ons, or you’ll lose the rich savory flavor.
- Step 3. Add water and vinegar.
- Step 4. Set the Instant Pot for 4 hours followed by Natural Pressure Release, which basically means to leave the pot alone until the pressure pin drops on its own.
- Step 5. Strain the bones, cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or preferably overnight.
- Step 6. Skim off the layer of fat and strain again to remove any impurities. Then divide into smaller containers and store in the refrigerator or freeze. (TIP: It’s important to strain your broth through a mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any bones, seasonings and extra fat.)
When your broth is done, you will be left with a richly colored broth that is a brownish-orange color.
Depending on what you add in addition to your bones and water will yield a different colored result. For example, carrots will give the broth an orange flavor, but yellow onions will add a yellow tint to the broth. Neither of these options are “bad” or “wrong” – it’s simply a different result.
TIP: Don’t throw away the fat on top. Use it for sautéing vegetables or stir fries in place of vegetable oil, it adds great flavor to the dish.
Where do you get beef bones?
You can get soup bones from any butcher store. Ask your butcher for soups bones and oxtails.
Femur bones are also great bones to use for making bone broth. In fact, they yield the most nutrients because of the marrow on the inside of the bones. Marrow is the goopy, soft gelatin in the center.
TIP: Here’s how I collect beef bones for bone broth. I keep a large ziplock bag in my freezer where I collect various bones from T-bone steaks, short ribs, rib roasts, etc. And when I’ve collected enough, I make a big batch of bone broth!
Preparing the Bones for Bone Broth
Roasting beef bones
Making bone broth is a simple task that will transform your everyday meals into flavorful dishes! And if you don’t mind an extra step and would like to make even better bone broth with richer and more intense flavor, then roast the bones first!!
I admit it, I often skip this step, as I don’t have extra time these days, but this step is totally worth it!
To roast the bones:
- Arrange the bones on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes at 450°F.
Blanching beef bones:
Many recommend blanching beef bones, or soaking them in cold water, to remove impurities. I’ve found that this step is not necessary to yield a delicious end result, and is very time consuming.
But if getting a clear broth is important to you, don’t skip this step!
How to make beef bone broth on stove-top
- Put the bones, vegetables and seasonings in a large stockpot, then cover with water. Bring it to a boil.
- Then reduce the heat to simmer and gently simmer it for 12 hours. (Yes, it takes long hours to extract all the good stuff from those thick bones! Be patient.)
NOTE: As the pot simmers, the liquid will evaporate, so you’ll be left with a few cups of broth less than what you started with.
How to store bone broth
Store bone broth in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days.
To freeze beef bone broth:
- Divide the stock into freezer-safe containers, leaving space for liquid to expand. TIP: freeze in 1-, 2- and/or 4-cup volumes for different recipes. I love these various size plastic containers! (<- affiliate link! They’re so affordable and versatile!!)
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
Beef Bone Broth
- 3-5 lbs beef bones soup bones, marrow bones, oxtail, leftover short rib bones, leftover T-bones, leftover ribs from rib roast
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (Note 1)
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 head of garlic cut in half horizontally
- 1 medium onion optional
- 1-2 cups vegetable scraps Note 2
- Place beef bones in Instant Pot.
- Add vegetable scraps, vinegar, peppercorns, salt, garlic, onion and herbs.
- Fill with water until the max line.
- Cover the Instant Pot, make sure the valve is set to sealing.
- Set it to Manual for 4 hours on high pressure. (Cooking the stock for this long ensures nice and thick, flavorful gelatinous stock.)
- Then let it release pressure naturally, meaning just leave it alone for a while, usually about an hour or so. (WARNING! Because the Instant Pot is full of hot soup, quick release is not safe!! If you absolutely need to, you can do natural release for at least 30 minutes, and then turn the valve to venting to release the remaining pressure.) Be very careful when opening the lid.
- Now you can let the stock cool for a little bit so it’s easy to handle. Place a colander over a large bowl and carefully pour the stock. (I love these mini mitts to hold the hot pot!) Remove the colander with bones and vegetables. If desired, strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer, lined with paper towel for clearer stock. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, scrape off the fat cap. Divide the stock into containers, leaving space for liquid to expand, and freeze. For convenience, freeze in 1-, 2- and/or 4-cup volumes for different recipes.