Making bone broth isn’t a new thing, but here’s my latest version. One of the problems I have had in the past is keeping the broth simmering but not boiling for several hours. I have made broth in the slow cooker a few times and it works pretty well, but your volume is limited by the size of the cooker.
I picked up a shiny red electric roaster this past November after I found out I had three turkeys to cook for various events. It worked great for the turkeys, and I got to thinking…this has precise temperature control and holds a LOT. Why not see how some bone broth comes out?
My bone broth is very simple. I don’t add vegetables or anything but a little apple cider vinegar and some kosher salt. (Note, in the picture below there is a rack under the bones. Mistakes were made…don’t use a rack.)
I put about 5 pounds of beef soup bones in the cooker and roasted at 400 for about an hour. Mine went in frozen so I added a little time. If yours aren’t frozen, adjust accordingly. Browned is great, black not so much.
I turned down the heat to about 150. I then added 2 gallons of cold water and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. I let this sit for an hour to let the acid from the vinegar begin to pull minerals from the bones. Then I turned it up to about 250 and covered. I let it go for about 48 hours. I will NOT add any more water. If it is more than a bare simmer, I turn down the heat. Generally, right around 200 or under is where I keep the temperature. Check every so often to make sure things are going well.
Evaporation is not a bad thing here unless you start to boil dry. Reducing the volume of fluid will concentrate the flavor of your final broth. This time I went 48 hours and ended up with right around a gallon of broth.
After 24 to 48 hours, strain your broth using a fine sieve. There will probably be a lot of fat on top. If you place in a nonreactive container and cool in the fridge the fat will solidify on top and you can lift it off. Discard or save to use for cooking, or make some nice cold weather bird food. Don’t put it in freezer bags until it is completely cool; they always seem to leak when you put in warm or hot liquids. I like to cool overnight in the fridge and then place in labeled quart freezer bags, then place on large baking sheets in the freezer to freeze flat. They store better that way.
If things went well, your cooled broth will gel, just like Jello. It is basically meat jello, because your long slow cooking process extracted the natural gelatin and collagen from the beef bones. If it didn’t gel, don’t worry! It’s still good bone broth and fantastic for soups or what have you. You will need to add salt and pepper to taste (I like to add a generous amount of Lawry’s Seasoning).
Simple Bone Broth
An easy way to make a lot of bone broth in an electric roaster.
- 4 pounds grass fed beef bones
- 2 gallons filtered cold water
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
Preheat electric oven to 400 degrees. Place bones in an electric roaster and cook for one hour or until browned. Reduce temperature to 150 degrees. Add water, vinegar, and salt. Let sit for one hour. Raise temperature to 250 degrees and cover. Bring to boil and adjust heat to keep at a low simmer. Cook for at least 6 and up to 48 hours. The volume will reduce by quite a bit. Watch to make sure it doesn't get too low. Let cool a bit then remove bones and strain broth through a fine sieve. Place in a non-reactive container and refrigerate until cooled. Remove fat from the top. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or place in freezer bags or containers to freeze.
You will need to add salt and pepper to taste. Lawry's seasoning is excellent.