7

votes

My house smells horrible with bone broth brewing - am I doing something wrong?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 01, 2011 at 6:33 PM

I have had bones brewing in water since yesterday morning - I put collected beef bones in 2 pots with a couple of tbsps cider vinegar in each - my daughter (non/anti paleo) is completely grossed out by the stench - I'm not too pleased either - is this normal - did I get bad bones? I'm planning to cook them until tomorrow, but my plans may be sabotaged by the odor!!!!! Nothing but bones and water - what could cause this smell - I guess this is kind of urgent - because I would like to keep peace in the house (single old man (paleo) with 26 yr old grossed out daughter)!

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I'm in a NY apt. (talking about small!!)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on April 13, 2012
at 07:54 PM

how much water, how long do you do it for?

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on November 03, 2011
at 01:11 PM

What's more 'normal' than bones?

A994080d499afca98cdc9de896701ebd

(1281)

on November 03, 2011
at 08:03 AM

it's one of nature's greatest gifts, that's why...hang on. are you a vegan?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:37 PM

if you strain your stock when you're done (and you should if you add vegetables cause they will be spent) then you can simply boil the stock for a few minutes every 3-4 days and it will keep in the fridge pretty much indefinitely.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on May 02, 2011
at 02:44 PM

It was pretty easy. I cut the chunks of fat into very small pieces and removed any flesh that was still there (it can burn and give the tallow off flavors). Then just into a pot on low until it liquified. Strain into a glass jar, allow to cool, and into the fridge. I started with this post on MDA, but simplified a bit (no food processor). http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-render-beef-tallow/

D751584b1a29ba2f1941c9794f047235

(50)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:42 AM

Exactly. By doing this the aroma of the broth is wonderful! :)

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 02, 2011
at 12:41 AM

agreed. I've never done it this way, but I know this is how vietnamese pho beef soup is made. The smell is in the impurities in the broth.

4bb7a88866d5f97c6bd900b2a83fa2b0

(223)

on May 02, 2011
at 12:40 AM

What is the "scum" exactly is it edible?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 02, 2011
at 12:38 AM

rendering beef fat for tallow that is...

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 02, 2011
at 12:38 AM

I'm about to do that for the first time... what method did you use?

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on May 01, 2011
at 10:41 PM

Put the crockpot on the fire escape to simmer?

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:50 PM

my NYC apt has no vent in the kitchen - only a smoke alarm (good thing it's not a smell alarm)

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:42 PM

that's encouraging.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:42 PM

It was a good food safety question! Experimentation is fun, food poisoning is not.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:41 PM

thanks Tartare - yours sounds good - I'll skim - the recipe said to add veggies last half hour (not long enough for me) - so I'll add them in the morning - you're really easing my mind! Thanks -

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on May 01, 2011
at 07:32 PM

I haven't tried lemon juice, so I can't comment on that. I use a splash of white vinegar. Zero stink, tastes delicious.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:28 PM

yeah, so you are making a white stock in this case. No you can still save your stock. Skim any impurities you can off the top. For a brown stock you get a roasting pan, put your bones in and if you want, your veg too, roast it on a nice high temp in the oven THEN you can add cold water and make brown stock. Roasting will give the stock a deeper flavor.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:28 PM

Oops getting A at grain and Tartare mixed up sorry!

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:26 PM

Yes Tartare - raw and roasted = right - but the recipe told me to use the ACV I used (bragg's) but maybe the lemon is the way to go.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:25 PM

yeah i always use lemon juice cause I find ACV a bit stinky.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:24 PM

oops - noone mentioned roasting the bones first! the "collected ones" were cooked of course, but there was the bunch of "bone-mmarrow" bones I just threw in - believing that after 2 1/2 days of brewing they'd be cooked through - am I wrong - should I throw this batch away - too late to "blanche" first! (and you're handle is tartare! :)

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:24 PM

im not sure i understand.... "cook it all til tomorrow"? so you roasted the bones without water in the oven, then threw them in the crockpot?

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on May 01, 2011
at 07:24 PM

You know, I wonder if it isn't the ACV. I never use ACV in my stock. That seems to be what differentiates me from the other "smelly stock" responses on here. That and I make stock in a stock pot, not a crock pot. Crock pot doesn't make enough for my needs. I've also use raw and roasted bones and never had a problem with either one.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:22 PM

im not sure i understand.... "cook it all til tomorrow"? so you roasted the bones in the oven, then threw them in the crockpot?

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:20 PM

yes - thought i would cook it all til tomorrow, then add garlic and onion and soup veggies.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:17 PM

you roasted the bones (and, optionally the veg) first? if you're not roasting them you are making a "white stock". Usually for a white stock, you'd quickly blanche the bones to get rid of impurities before you made the stock. Same with chicken feet, btw, blanche first if you're not roasting.

A4f9da7d094aa72508853588682b65f7

(268)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Hummm....I am on an NZ beach, so the smell is blown across the pacific. Even if you put it under an open window your neighbours are going to moan...and isn't it cold in NY right now? Not sure this one is solvable.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:16 PM

yep! that's why I'm rather surprised - there was a bit of steak left on the bones - and I threw in a pork chop bone in each pot (very small) - two large t-bones and the rest bone marrow bones (beef) from the butcher - all either newly tahwed or fresh.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on May 01, 2011
at 07:09 PM

And all you added to the water was the ACV?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:09 PM

haha, well, i hope you didn't take offense at the question, just trying to rule stuff out.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:07 PM

yep! :) I made this decision a couple of wks. ago - thought I'd challenge my broth-making capabilities - if anything is going convince my daughter never to go paleo - it'll probably be this! UGH

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:03 PM

thanks - it seems the consensus is that if you survive the cooking you're home free! I made a lot - so I'll freeze it, and I won't make her life miserable for a couple more mos. - it doesn't bother me quite so much - thanks for the answers!

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:00 PM

I put in about 2 quarts of wather in your standard dutch oven and a 5 quart crock pot - actually the crock pot smells better than what's going on in the dutch oven!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 06:58 PM

you can use fresh squeezed lemon juice on the bones in place of cider vinegar. All you're really looking for is an acid to help draw the goodies out of the bones.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on May 01, 2011
at 06:49 PM

How big of a pot? How much water? On the stove or in a crock pot? I'm kind of surprised by this and the answer below. Usually my house smells delicious when I make broth. This makes me wonder what's different...

A3ff262a2686d79789e09a26013901b3

(1208)

on May 01, 2011
at 06:48 PM

I've had this problem too. It doesn't bother me so much as the rest of my family. I've used bison knukle bones. I did find that adding vegtables like celery, carrots and oinions helped, but some say you are not supposed to have the veggies in that long.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 01, 2011
at 06:42 PM

What kind of bones? Are the bones from meat you have cooked?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 01, 2011
at 06:41 PM

What kind of bones? Have they been roasted?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 01, 2011
at 06:41 PM

What kind of bones? Are they roasted bones?

  • D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

    asked by

    (543)
  • Views
    31.8K
  • Last Activity
    1286D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

26 Answers

9
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 02, 2011
at 12:05 AM

If you are trying to make bone stock for the first time I would suggest the following:

  • Beef bones smell more strongly than other bones. Pork bones are also smell quite strong.

  • You can try using lamb or chicken bones as these are much milder if you live in a small apartment.

  • Use bones that have been cooked previously.

  • Add roughly chopped vegetables such as a onion, a carrot and cellery. The vegetables can stay in the whole time and are discarded at the end with the bones. Vegetable scraps like carrot peelings can also be used instead.

  • Season with a little salt and pepper.

  • Leave out the vinegar or try lemon juice as others suggest, this will impove the smell.

  • Cover with water in a pan on the stove, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat with a lid on the pan.

  • If any scum rises to the surface during cooking, skim it off.

  • Simmer for 6 hours. I would try this shorter time to begin with as this will also reduce the smell, it will still make good stock. Cooking for two days is a very long time in a small apartment.

  • Strain out the bones and vegetables from the liquid and refrigerate.

As someone who also lives in an small shared apartment you need to make compromises on these things. Recipes that might be fine left boiling for days if you live in a large house with a big well ventilated kitchen are not always possible.

I find that lamb or chicken bones do not smell bad cooked this way.

5
D751584b1a29ba2f1941c9794f047235

on May 01, 2011
at 10:32 PM

What you should try doing is what Koreans do with cooking soups with beef bones (oxtail, ribs, etc). You should soak the bones in cold water for at least 2-3 hrs, best if done overnight, (replace the bloody water every hour or so) to drain the excessive blood from the product. After draining, do NOT place the bones in the pot of water before it starts boiling. Always add the bones when the water is boiling. After you add the bones, you will see the excessive blood and bone pieces float to the top. Discard the nasty stuff and pour everything from the pot out(do not save the stock!). Wash the meat and the bones with cold water, get a new pot of water to boil the soup properly. Add the meat and the bones to the pot and let it come to a rolling boil, decrease the heat to low and let it simmer for a few hours. By doing this, the nasty smell only lasts during the first 10 minutes of the initial boiling to rid the bones and the meat of the horrible smell. :)

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 02, 2011
at 12:41 AM

agreed. I've never done it this way, but I know this is how vietnamese pho beef soup is made. The smell is in the impurities in the broth.

D751584b1a29ba2f1941c9794f047235

(50)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:42 AM

Exactly. By doing this the aroma of the broth is wonderful! :)

2
8021ea3940df66820628d5bc5c29377c

(198)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:53 PM

I do my broth in a pressure cooker. It takes much less time, energy, and almost odorless.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on April 13, 2012
at 07:54 PM

how much water, how long do you do it for?

2
A2980f3ad692bd4caaff9703d9dcafb9

on May 01, 2011
at 08:14 PM

I find that if I'm scrupulously careful not to let the stock boil, the smell is fine. Better than fine with roasted bones. If the liquid boils though, the house smells like a glue factory. (Oh, and I miss out the vinegar.)

2
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on May 01, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Unappealing would be a fairly positive discriptor of the smell of simmering beef bone broth. Never have I enjoyed the smell. The taste though, is really quite pleasant.

2
8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on May 01, 2011
at 06:44 PM

It definitely smells up the house for me too. I wouldn't call it "stinky", but it isn't the most pleasant think I've ever smelled.

I keep the windows open a lot whenever it's above 50 degrees out, so it's not a major issue for me.

1
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on May 01, 2011
at 07:40 PM

There is a middle portion of cooking down that does stink a bit, I think you can minimize this by skimming off the scum as it forms on the broth...

I also make sure to have it by an exhaust vent and to leave that vent running all night.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on May 01, 2011
at 10:41 PM

Put the crockpot on the fire escape to simmer?

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:50 PM

my NYC apt has no vent in the kitchen - only a smoke alarm (good thing it's not a smell alarm)

4bb7a88866d5f97c6bd900b2a83fa2b0

(223)

on May 02, 2011
at 12:40 AM

What is the "scum" exactly is it edible?

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:03 PM

I find that making bone broth or stock does smell quite a lot. I don't find it too unpleasant, but it's certainly quite a 'stale' kind of odour. Is there any fat left on your bones or is it just bones? I find the smell of boiled, previously frozen fat to be pretty unappetising.

1
Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 06:54 PM

when you were "collecting" the bones, you had them frozen, then thawed them, right? If they were just sitting int he fridge for too long they will spoil and give off a foul odor.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:42 PM

It was a good food safety question! Experimentation is fun, food poisoning is not.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:07 PM

yep! :) I made this decision a couple of wks. ago - thought I'd challenge my broth-making capabilities - if anything is going convince my daughter never to go paleo - it'll probably be this! UGH

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:09 PM

haha, well, i hope you didn't take offense at the question, just trying to rule stuff out.

1
A4f9da7d094aa72508853588682b65f7

(268)

on May 01, 2011
at 06:52 PM

I have a pot going right now. It is in the garage in an electric slow cooker. We find the smell to much, but we have a very small house, only 4 rooms so the smell of anything tends to get everywhere. Bone Broth is just too much :)

A4f9da7d094aa72508853588682b65f7

(268)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Hummm....I am on an NZ beach, so the smell is blown across the pacific. Even if you put it under an open window your neighbours are going to moan...and isn't it cold in NY right now? Not sure this one is solvable.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I'm in a NY apt. (talking about small!!)

1
Cf626d3fba66c18297b3f1116a920e58

(3417)

on May 01, 2011
at 06:51 PM

It's not the best smell. For me, it smells a lot like "sour" apple cider vinegar, if that makes any sense. The stock doesn't taste anything like the smell, though.

Sally Fallon mentions in Nourishing Traditions that beef stock doesn't smell so great while it's brewing in the pot. If she says it and we've both experienced the same not-so-good stench, then that's probably just the way it is.

Make an awesome stew or sauce out of the nasty smelling broth to silence your daughter.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:03 PM

thanks - it seems the consensus is that if you survive the cooking you're home free! I made a lot - so I'll freeze it, and I won't make her life miserable for a couple more mos. - it doesn't bother me quite so much - thanks for the answers!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 01, 2011
at 06:58 PM

you can use fresh squeezed lemon juice on the bones in place of cider vinegar. All you're really looking for is an acid to help draw the goodies out of the bones.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on August 08, 2013
at 07:44 PM

I noticed that my daughter dislikes it when I make broth from supermarket bones. Never from our grass fed steer bones, which were always frozen. But she dislikes the taste. I make 5 gallons at a time, always with a lot of vegetable junk (lots of celery from the garden, carrot pulp from the juicer, onion skins, leek leaves, collard stems), lid on, stove at a minimum after first boiling, then cook overnight. It boils at such a slow rate very little vapor escapes, and there is just a bit of smell, which I find pleasant.

0
50a158ab4c14291e0d6ed499a3437047

on August 08, 2013
at 06:50 PM

I stuck the crock pots outside on my deck because of the smell and that worked out well.They cooked outside for two days and the house didn't stink. Once I brought the pots in, however, my son commented that what I was preparing smelled "rancid." I hope this wasn't a waste of time and electricity and that he'll actually drink the broth.

0
7dade3627d46735628105b6d1dbd2b1f

on February 22, 2013
at 01:33 PM

I set up my crockpot on a self in my garage and cook my bonebroth outside. It keeps my family happy and the house from getting stinky.

I would recommend you do the same

0
9f5610ce22c2b9e8c625a1ed4f15885d

on April 13, 2012
at 02:26 PM

First few times I made stock in a BIG crock pot I got from my friend (and a subsequent lamb roast), the stock and roast were all fine but there was a terrible, rancid smell from the slow-cooker the whole time.

Turns out, older crockpots use a porous glaze that will gradually accumulate bacteria. Cleaning involves heating it up with a vinegar solution in the pot, see instructions here:

http://www.ehow.com/how_12051106_smell-out-crockpot.html

0
420ad37ca8b85e08865f252f0007a19c

on November 03, 2011
at 09:36 PM

http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2011/11/glycine-power.html

Seriously, am I the only one in the world who finds talk of 'carcass broths' thoroughly disgusting? I'm not a vegan but pondering stuff like that sure makes me want to be...

0
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on May 04, 2011
at 05:09 PM

I know what you mean. I was told that I was cooking them wrong. I have tried every which way, but I just don't like the smell. My husband doesn't like the smell either. I think next time I will use the crock pot in the garage..What a great idea!

But, don't get me wrong...so delicious to use. I love making soups and cream sauces with this broth.

0
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:05 PM

Bones sound too old if they smell gross.

I make stock in a slow cooker regularly; beef, pork, or chicken usually. I ALWAYS roast the bones for about 20 / 30 minutes on high before placing in the slow cooker. Using lemon juice instead of vinegar improves the smell enormously.

If you add a few bay leaves, black peppercorns, a coupke of cloves, the impact on the flavour is minimal but subtle, but the impact on the nice-ness of the smell is enormous.

It is best NOT to add any veg to cooking stock if you want to keep it a few days in the fridge - any "sweet" veg like onions, carrots, or cruciferous veg like cabbage, make the stock go sour much faster.

But the smell of bone stock , I find, is usually really quite appetising. If it smells "bone-y" or sour - the bones have been kept too long IMHO

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:37 PM

if you strain your stock when you're done (and you should if you add vegetables cause they will be spent) then you can simply boil the stock for a few minutes every 3-4 days and it will keep in the fridge pretty much indefinitely.

0
Medium avatar

(3024)

on May 02, 2011
at 05:42 AM

Beef bones needs to be roasted for half and hour before they go into the pot. Not sure if that has any effect on the smell, thought. Check out the instructions here. http://nourishedkitchen.com/beef-stock-recipe/

0
244dca88091fa349a77379b1629d0b25

(255)

on May 02, 2011
at 01:52 AM

Also instead of cider vinegar you can probably use a lemon or lime juice.

0
8828d5922b47a0e2b82bde2232037746

(616)

on May 01, 2011
at 10:37 PM

I don't much care for the smell of beef bones so I use chicken bones to make my broth most of the time. Much different smell.

0
Medium avatar

(3259)

on May 01, 2011
at 08:49 PM

Family hates it, I'm OK with it. If they hate you for cooking bone broth...don't ever render beef fat for tallow. I was nearly evicted.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 02, 2011
at 12:38 AM

I'm about to do that for the first time... what method did you use?

Medium avatar

(3259)

on May 02, 2011
at 02:44 PM

It was pretty easy. I cut the chunks of fat into very small pieces and removed any flesh that was still there (it can burn and give the tallow off flavors). Then just into a pot on low until it liquified. Strain into a glass jar, allow to cool, and into the fridge. I started with this post on MDA, but simplified a bit (no food processor). http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-render-beef-tallow/

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 02, 2011
at 12:38 AM

rendering beef fat for tallow that is...

0
183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

on May 01, 2011
at 08:41 PM

I make it in a slow cooker/crock pot, on low setting for about 24 hours. Our tiny apartment just gets a nice faint roast meat smell - and the resulting broth is not stinky at all. I think a lot of it depends on the freshness of the bones - in the past I've used some not-so-fresh chicken carcasses and the broth process smelled a bit "animaly"

On a side note, I think that every paleo'er should own a slow cooker! Great for broth + cooking the bejesus out of cheap cuts of meat.

0
3558d8feb56bc681144f87e67140f885

on May 01, 2011
at 07:32 PM

Just echoing here, but I can't stand the smell of chicken bone broth.. I usually make it with vinegar but I forget to add it a lot. Either way, eww. I like the taste though.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:42 PM

that's encouraging.

0
Bad3a78e228c67a7513c28f17c36b3cf

(1387)

on May 01, 2011
at 07:14 PM

I think beef bone broth smells unpleasant, and don't really like the taste of it either. Adding the vinegar makes the smell worse. Chicken broth however, made from necks, backs and feet, with carrot, celery, and parsley, smells and tastes divine.

-1
420ad37ca8b85e08865f252f0007a19c

on November 03, 2011
at 07:05 AM

Yuck! All this bone stuff is just NASTY, people... Why don't you eat some normal food??

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on November 03, 2011
at 01:11 PM

What's more 'normal' than bones?

A994080d499afca98cdc9de896701ebd

(1281)

on November 03, 2011
at 08:03 AM

it's one of nature's greatest gifts, that's why...hang on. are you a vegan?

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!