How to make bone broth taste better?

by 548 · February 27, 2014 at 08:23 PM

I made by first bone broth yesterday, and it's not exactly "delicious" as most people claim. Is it an acquired taste, or can I make it better? What do you add to yours to make the flavour a bit less dull and fatty? Here is what I used in mine: Chicken bones, a few carrots and celery stalks, a little bit of salt and pepper, covered with water and 2tbs apple cider vinegar. Simmered for 12 hours. At this point it's edible (I'd like to start drinking it a few times a day) but definitely not something I will enjoy. Any suggestions welcome!!!

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1039 · September 18, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Yeh I know what you mean about it being a bit bland, I just made a new batch and for a 2Ltr batch I used 4 stock cubes, and about 2-3 tablespoons of Vegeta. It's Australian but I'm sure you can find something similar no matter where you are from. For me, this stuff is the key to a good broth or soup. It's not entirely paloe, but whatever. Then I add in lots of pepper as I like it to have a good kick.

Also another tip, if you do decide you like bone broth, I'd recommend you get a pressure cooker, it means you can cook the broth up in about 50mins, as opposed to cooking for 24+ hours to get all the nutrition out of the bones (especially meaty or fatty bones like lamb, or ox-tail etc).

If you're interested my recipe is as follows:

About 1kg of bones 1-2 whole onions chopped 1 whole head of garlic peeled 1-2 carrots chopped and peeled 2 large leeks chopped 2-3 red chillies diced 2-3 celerys chopped 4 spring onions (green shallots) diced 4-5 stock cubes (chicken and beef) 3-4 tbsp vegeta (add more or less to taste)* salt and pepper* Marjoram* 8cups/2ltrs of water (covering the ingredients in the pot)

*you can add more salt, pepper, spices, vegeta after the pressure cooking is done, just reboil the broth and add in however much you want, I find it takes about 5-10mins of boiling for the flavours of the spices to mix in well, so just keep tasting it til you get it right.

Pressure cook it all for 50mins.

Remove all ingredients and do with them what you want.
Strain the broth and enjoy.

5071 · September 18, 2012 at 01:08 PM

First off, don't bother with chicken bones for bone broth. Not even sure it's possible to make gelatin out of the chicken bones unless you had about 3 chickens worth of bones. Probably more.

After extensive testing, I found that chicken bones are the worst for making any type of broth or gelatin. They don't gel up and generally there's less nutrition in them.

My best advice would be to go to your butcher, ask for NECK bones or FEET (actual pigs feet or beef feet bones.) Most butchers throw this stuff away and you will be able to get it for pennies on the dollar or even for free. Every few weeks, I go to my butcher and ask him for bones and he gives me a huge bag of them. I have an entire shelf in my freezer devoted to bones. I have lamb neck bones, lamb knee bones, pigs feet, and beef neck bones.) Every time I use these to make my broth, my bone broth gels up and I make quality gelatin. Ideally, you want bones with a bit of meat on them and bones with visible cartilage and marrow.

If you want to make a good bone broth or gelatin, this is a recipe I made that works for my taste buds:

Place the bones in a pie tin or cooking tray and place it in the oven and roast at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.

Get enough bones to fill the entire bottom of a crockpot with. You should not be able to see the bottom of the pot.

Smash some of the softer bones with a hammer. Alternatively, you can ask your butcher to cut them open for you so the marrow is exposed.

Place all of the bones in the crockpot.

Fill up the crockpot almost entirely with water. Leave about an inch from the top so it doesn't boil over.

Add 1 tablespoon ACV or balsamic vinegar for every 2 cups of water. Add generous amounts of Himalayan crystal salt or celtic sea salt. Add a few tablespoons of garlic powder or one clove of garlic. Add fresh or dried anise. Add a "twig" of rosemary. Dried rosemary works too. Add a generous amount of black peppercorns. If you want an antioxidant boost, add a small amount of turmeric. The turmeric and pepper work in a synergistic manner.

Bring to a slow boil and keep it like that for a few minutes. After a few minutes, you should see an off-white foam rising to the top. Get a ladle and skim the scum out quickly.

Reduce heat as much as possible and keep it simmering gently for at least 4 hours. Do NOT keep the broth boiling. You can even do it overnight. I have a gas stove and my house never blew up when making bone broth for extended periods of time.

800 · September 18, 2012 at 10:36 AM

I like to add thyme, onions, celery, garlic, parsley, peppercorns OR ginger, onions, garlic, carrots, celery. I strain all my vegetables afterwards. Don't forget to add a little vinegar maybe about 1/4 c depending how much you are making, the vinegar helps extract minerals. Make sure in the beginning to scrape off scum that floats to top when it is boiling , reduce to a low simmer for at least 12 hours, but usually I do 48 hours in a slow cooker, or stove on lowest heat where there is a soft simmer. You can go up to about 72 hours and add vegetables towards the last few hours. Parsley is best added like in the last 10-20 minutes. I add salt when I drink it, because sometimes I use the broth for other things.

Oh and see if you can get knuckle and feet to ad to your bones, because they add the most gelatin.

I don't know what kind of stock cubes Rob uses but I looking at Vegeta ingredients we have:

Ingredients salt, dehydrated vegetables (carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, parsley leaves), monosodium glutamate, sugar, corn starch, black pepper, nutmeg, garlic, disodium inosinate, riboflavin (colour).

So Vegeta Has Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and disodium inosinate (works with MSG)

Please be careful with "No MSG added" meaning it probably has MSG, and then you can have MSG hidden by different names check this link out Hidden sources of MSG

3663 · September 18, 2012 at 08:15 PM

Make sure you add enough salt. Salt is such a big deal with flavors. I don't mean that you have to turn it into a brine. Just add salt, I prefer sea salt, to your cup of broth and see if it improves a lot.

1387 · September 18, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Roast your bones and vegetables to a dark brown (not black) before making them into broth. Also 5-6 hours are fine if your cook it on the stove top - I have never understood why people here cook their broth for so long.

A good addition is a burnt onion: cut onion in half (in their skin) and put them cut side down on a piece of foil. Place foil on a burner and wait until the the onion is well blackened on the cut side. Put into your stock pot, skin and all, sans foil.

398 · September 18, 2012 at 01:01 PM

I always add carrots, celery, garlic, any parsley or herby stems I have in the freezer, sometimes the woody bits from asparagus, an inch of ginger, bay leaf, peppercorns, a few shakes of crushed red pepper, and about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. After it's done simmering, I strain and add salt to taste. Yum! I have a batch going in the crock pot right now :)

4400 · September 18, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Really? Home-made chicken soup is amazingly delicious! Add in extra carrots, turnip, parsnip and onion and you're good to go.

When I saw the subject line, I thought you'd be asking about beef broth. I've found that more, um, challenging. But I'm getting used to it ... like liver, which I now actually enjoy! (Sort of.)

10 · May 05, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Enough salt is the key. And if I add coconut milk, cilantro (right at the end) and a squeeze of lemon, I could drink my broth every day!

10 · October 02, 2012 at 01:18 AM

Do you like the taste of broccoli soup? Then I've got the bone broth recipe for you!

Simmer your bones for a long time. I use an organic chicken part AND a meaty organic beef or bison bone. Put it in the crock pot the night before with some apple cider vinegar and a garlic/herb blend. Skim off the top.

Puree a 2" piece of ginger in blender/vita mix with a bit of water or broth Add the ginger to bone broth in the last hour of simmering.

Remove the bones and strip off any meat and gelatin.

Steam an oriental blend of cruciferous vegetables (add more carrots or an apple to sweeten) Wilt down a few cups of chopped kale in some coconut oil & ghee

Blend the kale and vegetables in your blender/vitamix with the bone broth (you may have to do this in batches) Add a bit of pastured butter/ghee, salt, pepper, garlic - season to taste.

It comes out creamy but with a bit of chewy... just like broccoli soup.
It has a great mouth feel. Add a bit of cheese to taste if you'd like.
Pecorino Romano is excellent.
Try it once and it'll be a regular in your diet :)

7944 · September 18, 2012 at 04:26 PM

I love to add ingredients reminiscent of Vietnamese pho--I lightly carmalize onion and ginger before adding them to the pot along with star anise (2), 4 cloves, and 2 tbsp coriander pods. These are somewhat exotic spices but they produce such a tasty broth. I like lemon juice as my acid and I add salt. My mouth is watering just thinking of it!

256 · September 18, 2012 at 03:04 PM

I thought the same thing until I discovered simmering each portion with ginger for about 20 min, adding some salt, dried chilis, and lime juice. Put it in a thermos and you'll be looking forward to it!! I don't put any carrots/celery etc while I'm making the broth- just a whole chicken carcass in the crock pot for about 24 hours. I don't really see gelatin but it tastes thick and smooth so I think there's plenty of colligin in there. Do you have access to a cold body of water? Go for a plunge and then drink your ginger bone broth----so warming and pleasant!

0 · March 18, 2013 at 06:32 PM

When it comes to bone broth, you might as well consult the experts: people from Seoul, Korea! They have been making a beef bone broth soup they call Seolleongtang (or sul lung tang), born out of sacrifice and frugality as far back as the 14th century.

Seolleongtang by itself has next to no taste; it's the equivalent of taking a big swig of low-sodium beef broth from a carton. Experienced seolleongtangueros know what those bowls on the table are for: one contains coarse sea salt and one contains chopped green onions. Add a heavy sprinkling of salt and mix it in with your spoon; taste it and add more salt. As you add salt to the mix, the complex flavors start to come out and you are rewarded with a soup that tastes like the cleanest, brightest pho you've ever had. A few onions sprinkled in provide an herbal, grassy taste to bring it even more forward. Red pepper paste can be used to add a spicy kick.

When you order seolleongtang, you'll be given a stainless steel bowl of rice. You can eat it separately or with the banchan (side dishes such as kimchi, bean sprouts, eggplant, etc.) You can take a spoonful and dip it in the broth, or you can do what most hungover Koreans do: dump the entire thing in the soup bowl with little ceremony.

An authentic recipe for seolleongtang, as well as a great firsthand story, can be found below:



817 · December 19, 2012 at 05:04 AM

I just did a batch of bone broth with Szechuan (Sichuan) flavors:

  • 1.5-2 lbs beef bones
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (I used most of one small head of garlic)
  • 5 scallions, white and light green parts only
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan Peppercorns
  • pinch black peppercorns
  • salt to taste (I added this at the end)

Put all of this in your slow cooker on low for about 24 hours, then cool the broth and skim off the fat. Go ahead and use this in cooking. Then filter the broth and taste for salt. Freeze the portion of the recipe you will not use. Enjoy!

5584 · December 18, 2012 at 10:36 PM

mine is the same as what you posted- chicken bones, one stalk celery, one carrot, salt, ACV, and i add a handful of parsley. the predominant taste is of the chicken and i really like it. i recently started adding a tsp of kelp to my batch for the iodine.

3197 · December 18, 2012 at 09:37 PM

Here's my belated answer, I add Dijon and tomato paste to mine, it's delicious!

2036 · September 19, 2012 at 01:59 AM

I have a crock full of beef bone broth simmering away right now. Taking cue from other posters, I dished out a small portion for straight drinking and added a little lemon. I have preserved lemons on hand, so I pulled out a bit of the lemon juice from the jar and stirred it in. DEFINITELY helps.

283 · September 19, 2012 at 01:55 AM

I agree with the added spices. We add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic with several backbones (for chicken) and then fresh parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in cheesecloth. You could also just put the herbs in there with bones and strain it. We cook it at least 4 hours and it seems like the longer it goes the better it tastes. Don't put too much water in either because I have found that can take away from the taste and make it more bland. Hope your next batch is more to your liking.

153 · September 18, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Try adding a bunch of leeks to your broth along with the normal stock veggies. Leeks add a surprisingly delicious flavor. Really delicious!

40 · September 18, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Do you guys eat the pigs feet also? An not sure if we should.

105 · September 18, 2012 at 02:19 PM

I just made my first batch. I used chicken because that's what I had on hand. I used the bone broth recipe from Practical Paleo as a guide. I am very happy with the result. I used the carcasses/bones from two rotisserie chickens that were heavily seasoned with "safe" spices. I didn't go crazy removing the meat, so there was some meat that went in. I also threw the skin in since my husband doesn't eat his. I put all of the bones, extra skin, etc. into my crock pot. I covered with water, added two tablespoons of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, and a pinch of salt (since the skin was very heavily seasoned). I put it on high for four hours and then did two cycles of low for 10 hours. I strained it, cooled it, removed the top layer of fat, and voila! I am really impressed with the flavor. Had the chickens not been pre-seasoned, I would have added aromatics to the slow cooker (garlic, onion, thyme) and probably celery and carrots. I plan to do the same once I have some beef bones around since it seems like that will be even more nutritious based on this thread.

4234 · September 18, 2012 at 01:36 PM

I put a half a cup of red wine in with my beef soup bones. The soup bones are a ball joint cut in quarters with a lot of meat still on. I toss in a pigs foot or tail for added gelatin. I use sea salt, and maybe a small amount of onions and celery, but usually just the wine and salt is the only seasoning. When it's all done, I strain it into containers and later when the fat solidifies, I remove it and save it for cooking. I like the broth clear, mild and fat-free. I use it in the morning as a kind of "medicine". I save all the bits of meat from making the broth for lunch.

1495 · September 18, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I think beef broth is delicious. I love chicken, but I tried making chicken broth and did not like the taste. I save it for making soup. Try making beef broth. Tastes much better!

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