Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Delicious, Nutritious, Hearty Bone Broth/stock for Free

This weeks thrifty food tip is how to make your own bone broth, absolutely free.

(I'm cheating here, and using lots of the wording from my vegetable broth post, so if it looks familiar, that'll be why!)

You can buy chicken or beef broth in cans, cartons, or powder at the store, but not only is it pretty expensive, even for the cheap stuff, but it is also usually full of preservatives and artificial flavours and colours and very high in sodium to boot. 

Instead, why not just make your own?

You'll need gallon freezer bags, a freezer, some cheesecloth 
(optional, but makes things much easier) or a wok skimmer or strainer, and a crock pot/slow cooker, rice cooker, Instant Pot, stock pot, or other large pot for simmering or pressure cooker, and a marker. 

Every time you have bones left from cooking (or bringing home a roasted chicken), save them. You can even ask for take away bags/boxes to save bones from when you eat out, if you like. After all, you DID pay for everything on your plate!

Put them in all in labelled freezer bags and keep them in your freezer (if you have a deep freezer, better still!)
I have some separate bags for chicken, turkey, beef, pork, etc, some for general poultry, some specifically for smoked meats. You can separate them however you like.
When a bag gets full, time to make your broth (or start a new bag and make the broth later.. whichever). 

  • Line your pot with the cheesecloth, if using and dump all the bones in. 
  • Fill to the top with water. 
  • Add any additional salt or seasoning, if desired.
  • Turn the crock pot on low and let it go for 8-16 hours. 
    •  If you're using a rice cooker, turn it to the "cook" setting until it starts boiling, then leave it on warm for the same amount of time. Check water level periodically and add as needed.
    • If using the stove, bring to a boil and then simmer on lowest possible setting for 3-5 hours, at least. Check water level periodically and add as needed.
    • If you're using the Instant Pot/pressure cooker, set it to manual/pressure for 90-120 minutes and let it do a natural release.
  • When it tastes like broth, turn off the heat and let it cool enough to handle. 
  • Pull up the cheesecloth and squeeze out all the liquid you can into the pot, or skim solids out with a wok skimmer or strainer. (The bones and scraps can then be composted or added to animal feed. Just make absolutely sure the bones are soft enough to easily crush with your fingers before giving to animals)
That's it!
Once it's done, you can use it right away, or you can freeze or can it. For freezing, I suggest using a rinsed out, cardboard milk carton, freezer bags, reditainers, or, if you want more measuring control when you use it, ice cube trays.

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