Bones & Bone Broth – What You Need To Know

bones copyWant to get started on Bone Broth, but not sure what bones to buy? Don’t worry, I get this question A LOT; so I thought it would be a good idea to put everyone on the same page.

Before we get started, if you’ve just arrived and have no idea what I’m talking about, the following links might help you:

What Bones Do I Use for Bone Broth?

I can’t stress how important it is to ensure your bones are at least grass-fed (organic grass-fed if you can get your hands on them). Conventionally raised animals that are fed a diet of grains or genetically modified grains for that matter, often sprayed with pesticides and herbicides in my opinion, should never be used. The body naturally stores these toxins in the fatty portions of the bone and when we simmer bone broth, we’re essentially extracting that portion. 

Aren’t bones high in lead?

An article published in the Journal of Medical Hypotheses, stated that those who consume a diet rich in bone broth risk lead contamination. This caused a stir in the bone broth community however, there was more to this story (surprise, surprise). I won’t delve into it, but if you want to read more about the flip side of the argument, Dr Chris Kresser summed up beautifully; You can find this story here.

Still not willing to make the extra effort to source grass-fed? The European Food Safety Authority confirmed Dr Chris Kresser summary stating that cereal grains contribute most to dietary exposure to lead. Grass-fed is not an option, it’s a necessity. 

Where can I source Grass-Fed Bones? 

You can usually find grass-fed bones at any butcher that stocks grass-fed or organic meat; just call around beforehand.

How Much Do They Cost?

Bones are inexpensive. I pay around $4 for a bag of bones that will make 1-1.5 large batches of broth. When you buy your bones, ask for a mix of pieces.

In order to save a few $$ and ensure we’re eating meat in a more sustainable manner. Freeze the leftover bones from your roast dinner until you have enough to get your broth on the boil. 

What Cut of Bones Do I Use?

Use a variety of bones for stock. For chicken broth, ask for necks, feet and wings on top of the carcass. For beef (or lamb) broth, ask for beef marrow, knuckles (for cartilage), hooves and meaty rib bones if you can get your hands on it. TIP: Ask your butcher to cut the bones to a size that will fit in your pot or slow cooker before you walk out the door. 🙂

Once refrigerated, should my broth look like jelly?

When your broth is placed in the fridge and allowed to cool, it should congeal AKA start to look like the consistency of jelly. This is a great way to measure just how much gelatin (for gut repair, bone, skin and nail health) exists in your broth. If it’s not gelatinous, next time opt for more feet or hooves in the mix. If you can’t get your hands on any feet or hooves and/or would like to further boost the nourishing healing properties of your broth, you can source some Changing Habits Gelatin Powder here. I just add 1-2 tablespoons near the final stages of cooking (it has to be hot, stir well). 

Have you made Broth? Does it congeal? I would love to hear all about your experiences below.