5-Minute Bone Broth: 3 Ways

Reading Time: 5 min

A simple, no-fuss process to make nourishing, practically free bone broth in 3 ways: on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or in your Instant Pot.Bone broth graphic with stock pot, instant pot, and slow cooker

I never intended to share a Bone Broth recipe. It’s kind of a trendy food right now, and everyone has their own version.

However, since we make it often, and I frequently share the process on Instagram Stories, I get a lot of requests to share our recipe.

I have made bone broth regularly the last 10 years. Even when we only spent $35/week, it fit into our budget.

3 Reasons You Will Like This Recipe:

  1. You only want to invest 5-minutes of active work to get bone broth.
  2. You’re on a tight budget and need something that’s practically free.
  3. You aren’t interested in extra steps – just a simple process you can work into your kitchen routine.

Because if I’m going to make something all the time, it has to be simple.

A friend recently mentioned that I should not have named this space Cheapskate Cook. I should have named it something along the lines “Lazy Healthy Cook.”

She’s not wrong. That describes my philosophy very well. I love flavors and good cooking, but for everyday meals I need simple, frugal, real food. 

Bone broth in a bowl

3 Reasons You Won’t Like This Recipe:

  1. You like extra steps to ensure perfect flavor every time.
  2. You don’t want something cheap – you want the best
  3. You have time on your hands that you want to invest in discovering the perfect bone broth.

There is nothing wrong with wanting the best. Over the years, I tried a lot of recipes for bone broth, but I always settled back to this simple, no-nonsense process. It’s the same basic method whether you use the stovetop, a slow cooker, or the instant pot.

For Lazy Healthy Cook reasons, right now I like the Instant Pot best. However, I used the slow cooker most of the last 10 years. Try it a couple ways and find what works for you. Then you too can become a Lazy Healthy Cook.

What Makes Bone Broth Extra Cheap

The key to exceptionally frugal bone broth is the Broth Bag.

This is a bag that we keep in the freezer. Every time we peel an onion or carrot, or chop celery, the ends and bits go into the bag.

Other odds and ends find themselves in the bag as well: broccoli stalks, cabbage hearts, asparagus ends, etc. This ensures we get any nutrients (and our dollar’s worth) out of them without actually eating them.

If you don’t have a broth bag, use the veggies suggested in the recipe. Sometimes, if my bag is heavy on carrot peels and low on onion, I add an onion to the broth.

Since we only use the broth in our soups and rarely drink it straight, the broth doesn’t need to have a perfect flavor. When I need that, there are plenty of other recipes for me to follow.

But for our regular needs, this process is what keeps me sane, my soups rich, and my budget on point.

5 Tools That Make This Easy

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Obviously, a large stock pot, Instant Pot, or slow cooker is the most important tool. You don’t need anything else besides a colander and medium-size stockpot or heat-proof bowl to make this broth.

However, over the years, I found a few tools (that I use all the time in the kitchen anyway – I can’t stand single-use kitchen gadgets), and they make the bone broth making much simpler and smoother.

1. Mesh Strainer 

This works better than a colander in my opinion. Ensures a nice clear broth instead of one with mysterious floaters. Check it out here.

2. Half-Gallon Jar

This recipe makes just over a half gallon of broth. Full gallon glass jars are really heavy and cumbersome, so I store the broth in a half-gallon jar like this and a pint jar.  

3. Mason Jar Funnel

If you regularly use canning jars, a funnel is a game changer. It’s one of my favorite kitchen purchases from the last 10 years, and I use it almost daily.

I have a silicone funnel, but if I could do it over again, I would get stainless steel like this one.

5-Minute Bone Broth: 3 Ways

A simple, no-fuss process to make nourishing, practically free bone broth in 3 ways: on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or in your Instant Pot.

Author: Steph Jenkins
Ingredients
  • 1/2 of a cooked chicken carcass (bones, skin, giblets, etc.)*
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 celery rib
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 qrt water (depends on the size of your pot)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Optional: Instead of the vegetables, use an equal amount of veggies from your Broth Bag (see Notes).
Instructions
Stovetop:
  1. Place all ingredients except water and apple cider vinegar in a 2-gallon stock pot. Fill it with water until it is 3/4 of the way full.

  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove any scum that rises to the top. Discard the scum. 

  3. Cover and decrease the heat to low. Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Simmer for 2-12 hours, until the bones crumble in your hands because all the nutrients got sucked out of them.

  4. Turn off the stove, remove stock pot from heat, and allow broth to cool slightly. Strain the broth by placing a colander or mesh strainer across the top of a heat-proof bowl or another large stock pot (big enough to hold the broth). Pour broth into the colander. The colander will catch all the chicken and vegetables, leaving only a clear broth in the bowl.

Slow Cooker:
  1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker except water. Fill slow cooker with water until it is 3/4 of the way full.

  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-24 hours, until the bones crumble in your hands because all the nutrients got sucked out of them.

  3. Turn off your slow cooker and allow broth to cool slightly. Strain the broth by placing a colander or mesh strainer across the top of a heat-proof bowl or another large stock pot (big enough to hold the broth). Pour broth into the colander. The colander will catch all the chicken and vegetables, leaving only a clear broth in the bowl.

Instant Pot:
  1. Place all ingredients except water and apple cider vinegar in an Instant Pot. Fill it with water until it is 3/4 of the way full.

  2. Cover, seal, and cook on manual for 35 minutes. After a natural release, the bones should crumble in your hands because all the nutrients got sucked out of them.

  3. Turn off your Instant Pot and allow broth to cool slightly. Strain the broth by placing a colander or mesh strainer across the top of a heat-proof bowl or another large stock pot (big enough to hold the broth). Pour broth into the colander. The colander will catch all the chicken and vegetables, leaving only a clear broth in the bowl.

To Store:
  1. Store broth in a covered container or jars in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To Freeze:
  1. Pour broth into a freezer bag, plastic container, or glass jar. Leave about 1-2 inches at the top to allow the liquid to expand while it freezes. Seal tightly. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Recipe Notes

Broth Bag

This is a bag that we keep in the freezer. Every time we peel an onion or carrot, or chop celery, the ends and bits go into the bag.

Other odds and ends find themselves in the bag as well: broccoli stalks, cabbage hearts, asparagus ends, etc. This ensures we get any nutrients (and our dollar's worth) out of them without actually eating them.

If you don't have a broth bag, you can just use the veggies suggested in the recipe. Sometimes, if my bag is heavy on carrot peels and low on onion, I add an onion to the broth.

 

*Store the rest of the chicken carcass in your broth bag and use it later.

What to Make With Bone Broth

I use bone broth in anything that calls for chicken or vegetable broth. Sometimes I drink it straight with a little salt for gut-healing (but only if I used a really good, organic chicken). Here are some recipes that use bone broth:

What You Can Do Now:

  1. Start your Broth Bag! Grab a gallon-size freezer bag, tuck it in the door of your freezer, and every time you peel a carrot or chop an onion, toss the “trash” into the bag. You’ll have enough for broth before you know it. 
  2.  We also share cheap real food menu plans every month for FREE with our email subscribers. Get the next one here!



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