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How To Make Bone Broth In Your Slow Cooker

March 27, 2018

Learn how to make bone broth in your slow cooker, the hottest trend in the food world! It requires minimal ingredients and steps but a whole lot of patience as your house fills with the delicious scent of homemade broth.

Learn how to make bone broth in your slow cooker, the hottest trend in the food world! It requires minimal ingredients and steps but a whole lot of patience as your house fills with the delicious scent of homemade broth.Yes, I am that girl posting about bone broth. No, I am not ashamed of this.

If you haven’t heard of bone broth by now, you probably should catch up on what’s been dubbed one of the top “food trends” of 2019. What’s hilarious about this latest trend is that it’s actually been around for hundreds of years. People just may not have been aware of how good bone broth actually was for you back in the shtetl.

While my Bubby may not have known that her chicken soup was great for decreasing inflammation, hair and nail health and boosting your immune system, she certainly knew it helped cure the soul. A man did she make a good chicken soup.


In essence, bone broth is when the bones from animals (chicken, beef, duck etc…) are simmered in water to release their amazing benefits for our bodies.

Now I know what you’re wondering, what the heck is the difference between broth and stock? Truth-be-told, nothing. Broth is essentially stock that has simmered for quite a bit longer, which means that all of the vitamins and nutrients are released from the bones and all of these go right into your tummy! You can totally use bone broth in place of stock, though I wouldn’t suggest sipping on stock rather than broth. Do you still follow?

Let’s chat about the benefits of bone broth…


There are many benefits to drinking bone broth but here are a few I want to highlight. Most of its benefits come from the bone’s protein (mainly collagen which becomes gelatin when cooked) which promotes:

-strong bones i.e. helps prevent osteoporosis and arthritis
-muscle repair and growth
-strong hair and nails
-clear, healthy skin (collagen creams anyone?!)
-improved digestion
-immune health aka your grandmother’s soup wasn’t just a hoax

Learn how to make bone broth in your slow cooker, the hottest trend in the food world! It requires minimal ingredients and steps but a whole lot of patience as your house fills with the delicious scent of homemade broth.


Because I am a chronic ingredient-reader, I started looking into what was actually in the chicken stock I was buying from the grocery store. Not surprisingly, I found ingredients that definitely should NOT be in stock. I’m looking at you artificial coloring…You would be surprised the kind of stuff brands are adding to their broths and stocks that are completely unnecessary. Given how easy it is to make bone broth, not to mention more affordable, there’s pretty much every reason to make your own bone broth.

Side note: There is one brand of store-bought bone broth that I trust. Kettle & Fire uses organic chicken bones and grass-fed beef to make their bone broths and all flavoring comes from veggies and spices. So if you aren’t down for making your own bone broth, I highly recommend them.


Absolutely! I actually started making bone broth from scratch when I discovered I could make chicken soup in my slow cooker. And then when the bone broth movement kicked off, I started to leave the stock in the slow cooker for longer and BAM before I knew it I was basically running my own bone broth store.

I’ve now started to make mass quantities of bone broth where I leave some out to sip on daily and freeze the rest to use as stock in soups and other recipes. The best part about it is that the only real ingredient you need are animal bones. So whenever I’m cooking chicken or beef I always keep the bones and FREEZE THEM. Then when I’m ready to make broth, I throw them in the slow cooker with water and 24 hours later I have pure, healthy deliciousness.

Sometimes I get fancy and throw in some veggies for flavor, but that so isn’t necessary if you don’t have them on hand or if you plan to just use it in other recipes.

So what do you need to make bone broth?

  • Animal bones (I prefer chicken or beef) – just ask your butcher or save them when you cook meat
  • Water
  • Vinegar (to extract collagen from bones)
  • Optional: veggies for added flavor

Learn how to make bone broth in your slow cooker, the hottest trend in the food world! It requires minimal ingredients and steps but a whole lot of patience as your house fills with the delicious scent of homemade broth.Now that I’ve sufficiently convinced you, let’s learn how to make bone broth in your slow cooker.


How To Make Bone Broth In Your Slow Cooker



  • 12 lbs organic animal bones (I used chicken in this recipe but beef, duck, bison etc will work. Ask your local butcher for some bones if you don’t have any leftover)
  • 2 organic celery stalks, chopped in half
  • 1 large organic carrot, chopped into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped in half
  • 910 cups filtered water (or enough to cover bones)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (helps to extract collagen from bones)
  • Supplies: Cheesecloth + Cooking twine , Mesh Strainer and a 4-6 quart slow cooker*


  1. Place vegetables in a double layer of cheese cloth and secure in a bundle with the cooking twine (see image below)
  2. Put bones and vegetables into the slow cooker and top with water and apple cider vinegar until covered.
  3. Cook in LOW for 24 hours (you can leave for slightly longer or less).
  4. After an hour or so, skim any “gunk” that is floating on the top. Organic/cleaner meat will yield much less of this.
  5. Remove top and let cool slightly.
  6. Place strainer over a bowl and ladle broth into strainer to separate bones and vegetable bundle from the liquid.
  7. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

*To store: I like to freeze half and keep the other half for my daily cup. It keeps in the fridge for about a week and in the freezer for several months. If freezing, remove from freezer several hours before using to thaw. If storing in fridge, feel free to remove the layer of fat that will develop on top or leave it on and stir it in (it’s good fat!) before heating up in the microwave.

**I use and like this slow cooker, however if you want one on a timer I’ve heard great things about this one.

Learn how to make bone broth in your slow cooker, the hottest trend in the food world! It requires minimal ingredients and steps but a whole lot of patience as your house fills with the delicious scent of homemade broth.

Like this recipe? Here are a few others you might enjoy:

How To Make Homemade Kombucha
How To Make Green Juice In Your Blender
Turkey Sweet Potato Chili
How to Make Veggie Stock from Veggie Scraps


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  • Reply
    March 27, 2015 at 9:31 am

    You’re amazing and truly inspire me every single day D. That is all.

  • Reply
    Jen @ Chase the Red Grape
    March 27, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I love making my own bone broth and make it in the slow cooker too – nothing like the smell of the broth brewing away! Haha! and there is no comparriosn between home made and store bought…
    My favourite bones to use are lamb bones – it makes the most intense broth with so much flavour. Veg wise I usually just throw in a couple of onions/ leeks and carrots!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I’ll admit, I wasn’t grossed out by the bone broth because I already knew that most soups were animal-based! But this looks absolutely perfect!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    It cracks me up this is such a huge trend suddenly. They were talking about it on the Jillian Michaels podcast too. Your pictures are beautiful. You’d doing bone broth justice!

    While I don’t make bone broth, I do make my own veggie stock using the bits and bops of veggies you’d normally toss, like carrot peelings, bell pepper tops and ribbing, garlic skins, leftover herbs, etc. I store them all in a gallon freezer bag until full and then toss it in a crockpot with water, a little salt and a bay leaf. It’s fantastic.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    What do you do with those vegetables in your bundle? Do the veggie solids become part of the broth? Or do you discard the veggie bundle?

  • Reply
    July 23, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I’m glad to see yours looks cloudy. I just made mine in the crockpot and I worried I did it wrong because it wasn’t completely clear like the broth you buy in the store. It does taste good. I also put garlic in mine.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    There IS a difference between stocks and broths.
    Broth is made with meat & bones.
    Stock is made with only bones or bones with very little meat attached.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2015 at 9:02 am

    If you put 4-5 tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar in while cooking it helps to leach the minerals out of the bones. It does not affect the taste at all.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I made this recipe with about 1.5 lbs of chicken drumsticks last night, but most of the water evaporated when I checked on it this morning. What did I do wrong?

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      December 2, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Hi Mandy. That is very strange. I have never had that happen to me! Did you cover the bones fully with water? Did you make sure to cook it on low? The only issue I could imagine is if your slow cooker was on too high a setting and the water evaporated.

    • Reply
      March 13, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Do you use bones with lots of meat or very little meat or maybe some of each?

  • Reply
    January 21, 2016 at 4:52 am

    I like to roast my bones and vegetables with a bit of tomato paste. Once the bones come to a simmer, I will add my veg, some fresh herbs, such as thyme, or parsely as well as some peppercorns and a bay leaf or two.

  • Reply
    June 7, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I’ve been doing this my whole life. We grew up in a rural area, money was tight, we did’t waste anything Now I’m trendy, who knew

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 8, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      haha yup! Apparently there’s a science to that chicken soup my mom always made when I was sick!

      • Reply
        July 11, 2016 at 10:21 pm

        I’m making for the first time but I’ve put a whole chicken in the crockpot….after 8-10 hours, can I debone the chicken and remove some of the veggies for a meal and then co to use to let the rest ‘brew’ for about 48 hours?

        • Reply
          Davida @ The Healthy Maven
          July 12, 2016 at 8:46 am

          Sure can! I’d put the bones back in while you “brew” to get the added benefits and then strain before eating 🙂 Enjoy!

          • Lorraine
            December 13, 2016 at 10:17 pm

            After about 4 hours can I turn off pot and continue in the morning since I don’t want to leave the crock on overnight.

          • Becky Mueller
            January 13, 2017 at 10:11 am

            I like using chicken feet! 🙂

          • Davida @ The Healthy Maven
            January 13, 2017 at 11:32 am

            Great substitute!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Made it yesterday, so basic, but soooo good. Thanks for the tip on cheese cloth. I kept everything the same except added herbs from the gardent. OMG even my husband wanted a bowl before dinner.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2016 at 9:46 am

    What are everyone’s thoughts on reusing the bones or using the veggies in mesh bag after?

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      August 15, 2016 at 7:33 am

      I’ll sometimes eat the veggies, but depends on how mushy they become! Wouldn’t advocate re-using the bones since most of their benefits will be depleted by that point.

      • Reply
        Becky Mueller
        January 13, 2017 at 10:13 am

        I’m definitely making tonight. Will be cozy weekend with the ice storm coming in.

  • Reply
    Karin Marley
    December 18, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Hi! I was thinking of making chicken noodle soup – cook a whole chicken in the crockpot, remove the cooked chicken then use those same bones and make your bone broth recipe. Will that still work? Will I still be getting the benefits and flavor from the bones even though they’ve been cooking with the chicken?

  • Reply
    January 15, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I was wondering why you don’t use any acid to leach the calcium from the bones?

  • Reply
    February 10, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I have a question…does it matter if the bones are raw? We cooked a duck and after removing the meat I put the bones in the crockpot. Will they still yield the same health benefits?

    • Reply
      D. Nagle
      April 2, 2017 at 5:14 pm


      Its common in bone broth recipes to roast the bones before putting them in the pot. I think this step is suppose to enhance flavor or something. so I don’t see why you couldn’t use bones from a cooked duck.

  • Reply
    Kerry Smith
    March 21, 2017 at 7:40 am

    I have been fighting cancer for over a year. Ctca told me to eat bone broth and take supplements. I am in remission from stage 4 bladder cancer. Beef bone broth is great.

    • Reply
      April 7, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      I am just seeing this. I hope you remain well, and please live a long and happy life.

  • Reply
    March 26, 2017 at 11:36 am

    What crock pot do you recommend? The one you had recommended has very bad ratings, majority says the handles break off.
    And can i cook broth on the warm setting? Mine is boiling after several hours on low.

    I just made a batch of bone broth, woke up this AM and my crock pot apparently blew a fuse before midnight, so i was off for over 7 hours!! And it was fully cooked, ready to stick in the fridge!! 🙁
    It was boiling so i imagine it got too hot, I’ve only used this crock pot 3 times or so. And it is a “Crock Pot”

  • Reply
    Ann wangari
    April 3, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Wow, this is what pple take here in the rural areas in Kenya. …one cup goes for 20 shillings…..quarter a dollar. Once you boil the bones once, don’t throw them away. ..sundry them for two or three days then boil them again. .you won’t believe the soup. …white and rich like milk.

    • Reply
      February 11, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      That’s fascinating!

  • Reply
    Lori Torres
    April 25, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    I made this and it came out really clear. Why didn’ I get the cloudy? I used raw bones.

    • Reply
      Lori Torres
      April 25, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      Also, has anyone ever puréed the veggies and added them back to the broth?

      • Reply
        July 31, 2018 at 9:13 am

        Yes it is great and easier to digest.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, I’d like to try this once I have the time. I’m currently drinking, Au Bon Broth’s organic bone broth and it’s actually good and convenient.

  • Reply
    June 8, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Hi.. Nice read.. I’ve heard that you have to blanch and then roast them first
    Im not sure how necessary is that but I’m currently roasting the beef bone I have here.

  • Reply
    June 19, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I am making bone broth using 6 pounds of organic chicken drumsticks. I removed the skin because I always thought chicken skin is bad for your cholesterol. I added 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 9 cups of water. It is still cooking right now at the 20th hour. Reading through your post, you say it’s okay to leave the fat that accumulated in the broth because it is good fat. How is chicken fat good fat? Also, should I have left the chicken skin on the drumsticks during cooking?

  • Reply
    Allison A
    June 30, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Thanks for all the good info. One thought…I shy away from microwaving anything I really need the nutrients from. I’m no expert on it, but I’m pretty sure microwaves change the makeup of things when they heat. So some nutrient value may be lost. I always reheat on the stove, unless it’s something I don’t need the nutrients from like my coffee 😉

  • Reply
    July 11, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I just love drinking bone broth but I haven’t had the time to make my own. I’m drinking Au Bon Broth and it’s good because it’s tasty like it’s home made and it’s organic. It also helped me with my joint pains.

  • Reply
    Siti Maryam
    August 31, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Yes, that is right, add some apple cider vinegar, to pull the nutrients and flavor from the bones

  • Reply
    October 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    i started my first crockpot of bone broth yesterday. Through the night sometime my crockpot turned off. Will the bone broth still be safe since I will reheat it to consume it? I did turn it back on and am currently cooking it I was almost in tears when I found it. Thanks

  • Reply
    October 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    I looking for a slow cooker that does not leach lead into bone broth.I see you leave your bone broth cooking for 24 hours and that’s the same amount of time my doctor have recommended to cook it.However I wanted to ask you what brand of slow cooker do you use since most of the ones I have looked use stainless steel which is not recommended for bone broth since the long cook time.The best option I found is a slow cooker vitaclay but it seems the max cook time is 9 hours.I might be wrong but what brand is you slow cooker?

  • Reply
    December 13, 2017 at 12:18 am

    I have a Crock Pot brand which came with a porcelain pot and glass cover. Its worked well for me.

  • Reply
    Martin Romerez @TopRatedAnything/Health
    December 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Davida, excellent post. I went ahead made beef bone broth for my wife and kids. Used Costcos organic beef… and oh man is it good. There were some spices I added directly from WholeFoods, I made sure they would bring out the bone broth flavor.

    Good stuff overall = )


  • Reply
    January 10, 2018 at 5:46 am

    Really it’s a great information. This is a beautiful and informative article. Thank you for shear a great information.

  • Reply
    Katy Leffers
    January 14, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Love your article, as I have been making my own broth for about 30 years by doing the same thing. I found early on that you can make it even more healthy …. After straining the broth, cover and put in the refrigerator for 24 hours and the fat will solidify on the surface. At this point it is super easy to skim the fat off and discard. Then I transfer to containers in preparation for freezing. Works like a charm!

    • Reply
      June 3, 2018 at 11:55 am

      Yes!! The fat should be removed to get maximum benefits. You can save the fat and use it to cook with instead of using harmful oils like Crisco, vegetable, corn, safflower, etc.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2018 at 1:12 am

    So I have an instant pot. I cooked a whole chicken in there and then I deboned the meat. I threw the bones in a crockpot filled with water and set it on low. Is that okay or do I really need to add herbs and veggies? I had a friend tell me this is what she does but all the recipes I am seeing call for veggies and herbs…

    • Reply
      June 3, 2018 at 11:52 am

      An instant pot should not be used for bone broth. The goal is to cook low and slow to draw all of the minerals, collagen and nutrients from the bones.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2018 at 5:42 am

    Great broth recipe!
    I’m now gonna try to make it before my GF gets home (I’m in the dog house for forgetting our anniversary!!!) This is her favorite so hopefully it will do the trick.
    Keep up the great work!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2018 at 11:50 am

    GMO Free is the most important thing for making this bone broth. You also need to make sure the animals are grass fed and not grain fed, unless it is a special mixture free of corn and soy. Organic is great, but organic does not mean GMO free or grass fed. If you buy from a farmers market and they tell you it is organic, I would be leery. It is very hard to get those certifications.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    This was all looking great, until you mentioned ‘microwave’ ! I’m surprised that someone as savvy as you seem ,with your use of organic produce, would even contemplate a microwave! Surely, you must be aware how the microwave changes the molecular structure of food? Not to mention ‘zapping’ out all of that goodness you have worked so hard to attain! I am still going to try you slow cooker broth recipe though!!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    I just mad bone broth from my carcus of the turkey and it was soooo super wonderful! Question, I want to make more. Do I use the raw bones or must they be cooked?

  • Reply
    November 29, 2018 at 1:45 am

    Great article! Thank you for sharing this idea on making bone broth using slow cooker.

  • Reply
    Heidi Plocher
    December 22, 2018 at 9:02 am

    So, maybe this is a weird question… but at this point in my life, I know longer care – I just need answers 🙂 …. if I’m making this broth in my slow cooker, I do NOT put the lid on and just use the cooker like I would a pot on the stove? Thanks! Looking forward to cooking up a beautiful batch of this today – my first day of vacation after a l-o-n-g semester of teaching. I suppose only teachers rejoice over doing “home-y” things on their vacation time. Merry Christmas, and thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2019 at 7:05 am

    I will surely try and make this bone broth using a slow cooker. Thanks for sharing this recipe and tips!

  • Reply
    January 25, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Yeah you had me convinced. I should try bone broth too. I hope I can get it done correctly.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2019 at 12:48 am

    Great post! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Since we don’t have a slow cooker, how long do you think we should cook bone broth using a pressure cooker?

  • Reply
    February 11, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    we are foodies and i found bones to be my friend, budget and flavor wise years ago . We also like to use smoked neckbones and such to add extra flavor to those old fashioned foods we all love to eat. thanks for the added knowledge of the acid trick.

  • Reply
    Sam Smith
    February 25, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Hi! I’ve made bone broth in my crockpot several times now but I was never sure of the best temperature. Is there is a reason it is better to do on low? I figured putting it on high would just pull out more nutrients more quickly, but I have no science to make this up. Any advice is appreciated!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I often cook a whole chicken in my slow cooker, will remove the meat, and then simmer everything remaining (drippings and bones) and water to make a broth. Do you think this is the best way to go about turning a whole chicken into broth?

  • Reply
    November 13, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Do you think this is the best way to go about turning a whole chicken into broth?

  • Reply
    Carolyn Sullivan
    November 17, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for recipe. I made my first batch and it turned out great. It’s cooling now.

  • Reply
    Susan Ellman
    May 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    I have everything but the apple cider vinegar. Can I substitute fresh lemon juice?

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      May 10, 2020 at 11:21 am

      It should work! Generally you need an acid to extract the collagen from the connective tissue. Any type of vinegar or even wine will do. Pretty sure lemon juice should work but haven’t tried it myself!

  • Reply
    Jahnson alberto
    June 15, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    such stunning recipe. i wish to have it with you in the same table.

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