1

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Bone Broth: What's the point of small, non-marrow bones?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 30, 2011 at 10:59 PM

I've made a few bone broths. I first gathered all the bones that came from my meats: mostly, beef but also some pork and lamb. Then I discovered big marrow bones. I put some vinegar and boil until the marrow is dissolved from the core and the bone becomes hollow. That, I believe, is the "essence" of the bone broth, right?

What then is the point of the smaller bones, like ribs, etc. Their cores do not disappear and even after repeated boiling, I don't know if anything is coming out. Should I even bother with these non-marrow bones?

Why not buy like 4 marrow bones (which are cheap) and be done with the bone broth? What am I missing?

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 10, 2013
at 06:58 AM

I have only recently started using bones a second time, having read on a site that it's worth doing. Ist cooking, one hour in pressure cooker. Stock sets into a thick gel. @cnd cook - 30 minutes in pressure cooker - and to my great surprise, 2cnd stock also gels well. This is with a chicken carcass, skin, etc and a few bayleaves and peppercorns for aromatics. It MUST be good as it sets into a gel!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:27 AM

I do this. A hammer can be used to smash some bones. I do this out in the garden (a rock can also be used for the true paleo experience. lol)

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 04:42 PM

interesting. never tried using a pressure cooker. (don't own one) yes, you can, as Jan says, roast your chopped aromatic veg (mirepoix) in a roasting pan with your bones before you make stock. This is a brown stock. "white stocks", where the bones aren't roasted, are only made when you want to use them for a sauce with deliberately more delicate flavor, but thats unlikely for home use. Last night we spent 2 hours at our local farmer's cutting up a carcass and sawing bones (he had a pretty cool old electric bone saw!) so I will have beef stock again soon.. woooohooo!!!

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:06 AM

It takes only 150mins to pressure cook the broth and it is the tastiest method of making great broth. Chicken stock takes less than 60mins. Becaouse the aromatics arent dissappearing to the air, they all stay in the liquid.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:03 AM

Yes, You should always roast the bones and brown the meat before making beef broth, (i add ground meat to my pressure cooker with bones when making beef broth) some even brown the mirepoix vegetables.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 01, 2011
at 01:27 AM

You can still make broth with your bones after you eat the marrow! And the roasted bones make a richer, darker stock. Yum!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 30, 2011
at 11:16 PM

technically I think all bones are marrow bones... but all bones are not "Marrow Bones". Aside from marrow, cartilage and connective tissue is something that is going into your stock. I think smaller bones still are worth it, but you may wish to save them up in a freezer bag until you have a good amount, then make stock. It might not be gelatinous like a stock made from say chicken feet or knucles would be, but it will still provide some flavor and nourishment.

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11 Answers

5
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 30, 2011
at 11:09 PM

what you're missing is roasting your marrow bones for a bit and eating them with some chopped parsley and sea salt. If they're not sawed in half you can essentially pop the fat out by running a knife along the side and tapping the roasted bone against your plate until the marrow pops out. I'm not sure i'd have the heart to throw a real marrow bone into stock anymore. It's just too damn good roasted.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:03 AM

Yes, You should always roast the bones and brown the meat before making beef broth, (i add ground meat to my pressure cooker with bones when making beef broth) some even brown the mirepoix vegetables.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:06 AM

It takes only 150mins to pressure cook the broth and it is the tastiest method of making great broth. Chicken stock takes less than 60mins. Becaouse the aromatics arent dissappearing to the air, they all stay in the liquid.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 30, 2011
at 11:16 PM

technically I think all bones are marrow bones... but all bones are not "Marrow Bones". Aside from marrow, cartilage and connective tissue is something that is going into your stock. I think smaller bones still are worth it, but you may wish to save them up in a freezer bag until you have a good amount, then make stock. It might not be gelatinous like a stock made from say chicken feet or knucles would be, but it will still provide some flavor and nourishment.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 04:42 PM

interesting. never tried using a pressure cooker. (don't own one) yes, you can, as Jan says, roast your chopped aromatic veg (mirepoix) in a roasting pan with your bones before you make stock. This is a brown stock. "white stocks", where the bones aren't roasted, are only made when you want to use them for a sauce with deliberately more delicate flavor, but thats unlikely for home use. Last night we spent 2 hours at our local farmer's cutting up a carcass and sawing bones (he had a pretty cool old electric bone saw!) so I will have beef stock again soon.. woooohooo!!!

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 01, 2011
at 01:27 AM

You can still make broth with your bones after you eat the marrow! And the roasted bones make a richer, darker stock. Yum!

3
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 01, 2011
at 11:52 AM

Aside from the marrow, when making bone broth you are extracting vitamins and minerals from the bones, and there are usually bits of meat or connective tissue and/or collagen attached to the bones that can dissolve into gelatin. To me the sign of a good bone broth is when it becomes gelatinous when cooled.

When I make broth/stock from chickens or other fowl, I throw the whole carcass in the water which includes skin, cartildge, bits of meat, etc. Thiz makes the broth more flavorful and nutritious.

I don't use any bones or scraps more than once because after boiling for an hour or two, I don't think there is enough food value left to be worth it.

So to answee your question, the small bones are worth including even if they aren't full of visible marrow.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 10, 2013
at 06:58 AM

I have only recently started using bones a second time, having read on a site that it's worth doing. Ist cooking, one hour in pressure cooker. Stock sets into a thick gel. @cnd cook - 30 minutes in pressure cooker - and to my great surprise, 2cnd stock also gels well. This is with a chicken carcass, skin, etc and a few bayleaves and peppercorns for aromatics. It MUST be good as it sets into a gel!

3
B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on April 30, 2011
at 11:47 PM

When bones are softened they dissolve into the broth... not all of the 'good stuff' in bone broth is from the marrow. But you have to use a variety of bones for to get this result. I love beef broth but I don't do it as often, chicken is much easier. Although I do LOVE oxtail soup, and the cartilage is easy to dissolve for a nutrient dense and tasty broth.

2
Ee70ee808f748374744404a00e1c22ed

(1163)

on February 26, 2012
at 04:07 AM

I'd say throw the smaller bones in simply for their added mineral content. Also, in addition to marrow, there is "bone grease". Even bone that appears solid is a latticework of bone tissue, and within the pockets of this are tiny globules of fat. Smash those bones up with a hammer or sledge, and then throw them into your stockpot- you'll extract much more fat from within the bone itself, and not just the marrow.

2
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 01, 2011
at 05:24 AM

I left a lamb breast in my crock pot for about 30 hours, and the bones were chewable. Another few hours they could easily be blended into a palatable supplement. I didn't care for chewing on them too much, kinda gritty. I ate a few just because I know they're good for me.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 30, 2011
at 11:00 PM

You can boil bones to make them soft, then blend them into a paste in the blender for a natural cal/mag/etc. supplement. A point, anyway...

1
4d2f03adc9a7084ff164d724cd5aed5a

on June 10, 2013
at 02:54 AM

Chicken feet will give you a lot of gelatin in the stock

1
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:19 AM

If there are enough bones, and you cook for long enough, see if the stock "gels" when cooled and refrigerated. If it does - then you know you've got really good stuff in there.

Even the stock from a gammon ham (no bones) can gel if the stock is rich enough. All good for you. Marrow is NOT the only nourishing thing in bones!

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on May 01, 2011
at 02:00 AM

you can use pliers to crack open smaller bones, if you strain the broth at the end. I think the Weston Price website talks about this.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 26, 2012
at 09:27 AM

I do this. A hammer can be used to smash some bones. I do this out in the garden (a rock can also be used for the true paleo experience. lol)

0
95ea131484760244126b0891a97cc169

on June 30, 2013
at 02:17 AM

just made my 1st chicken feet broth; a few questions; can oyu drink the soup as soon as it is ready - what is the purpose of refrigerating it to make a gelatin when you are just going to heat it up again. Also I've read about peeling off the skin, but I guess underneath the skin is the white stuff which I guess is good. I boiled it and simmed it with added vingegar for 8 hours, but it didn't seem like everything dissolved. In any case, I refrigerated the liquid, and took out the feet, took off the skin, ate some of the white stuff - whether it's fat, or ligamints I think it was ligaments; then froze the bones; there were 8 decent size bones in a 1 lb pkg of feet; I read others that broke the bones apart with a hammer to get to the marrow; do you put the marrow then in soup, or just eat it once you've got it out. I'm doing this to tackle inflammation problems; this is the mainstay of the GAPS diet, this is a detailed video on how to make this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYHH0F5yJ98

0
89dd719dea5f22716cc32d5ac38a93e4

on February 26, 2012
at 03:57 AM

When baking pies, soup is the answer.

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