2

votes

What did I do wrong with my first batch of bone broth?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 20, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Hack my Bone Broth.

Last Friday I attempted to make my first batch of bone broth with chicken bones. I cooked the bones in a slow-cooker with a little bit of lemon juice, onion, and thyme for taste. I estimate I slow-cooked the bones for about 20-25 hours.

I stored the broth in mason jars in the fridge. After cooling the broth never became that gelatin form all of the websites talked about when I was doing my research. Nor did any sort of film form at the top of the broth. It is simply a liquid broth.

Any suggestions as to what I did wrong? Did I use too much water?

All suggestions and advice are welcome.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 04, 2013
at 11:28 PM

Thanks! I was worried I was "supposed" to peel them.

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on January 04, 2013
at 10:10 PM

I have seen that too...but no, I just throw them in.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 04, 2013
at 08:21 PM

Do you just toss the chicken feet in? I saw someone talking about peeling them somewhere. I've just thrown them in. Is that gross? :D

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on November 21, 2012
at 11:54 PM

Thank you! The bones were from a roasted chicken and they did have a little bit of meat left on them. Now that the broths are in mason jars and in a fridge, there is a small bit of white film that has formed at the top now that they are cooled; however, it is still very fluid, and unlike a gelatin that everyone describes. I will do my best to add the right kind of stuff for the broth... but I am new to Paleo.. so the idea of adding chicken feet, knuckles, necks, and such creeps me out a bit. Baby steps :)

Frontpage book

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

9 Answers

3
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

All my broths turn out like gelatin. Some are so thick, you can cut them with a knife.

What do I do? I don't even use lemon most of the time, only for the second time around.

I keep the bone-water ratio quite high for the bones. I use hoofs (the give the best gelatin) and ox tails (yum yum yum). I would do ANYTHING for those ox tails.

Good luck and get yourself some chicken feet and heads!

2
705e66484ed64fe8e188123de398413e

on January 04, 2013
at 08:06 PM

The owner of the community kitchen near me says adding Chicken Feet is the key to the jello like consistency. Also, you can add a tablespoon of actual gelatin if you desire that consistency.

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Too dilute to gel. All my batches of broth gel, but then I also concentrate to a rather small volume.

2
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:46 PM

It is really hard to say, but seems likely it was not enough bones since you cooked it for longer than I ever do, and mine always gels.

Chicken feet really help increase the amount of collagen so to me they are worth the effort -- I buy lots at a time and freeze them. You can usually find them at Mexican markets, sometimes at health food stores. Chicken backs w/ meat also help give the broth a little more flavor. Here is what I do:

1 chicken back (uncooked)

3 chicken feet (uncooked)

1 onion w/ skin, cut into 1/8s

1 stalk celery, 1 carrot, both cut into 1/4s

1 bayleaf

15-20 peppercorns

then add enough "leftover" chicken bones to fill crock pot all the way to the top. If I have anything else like chicken necks or wing tips, I add those too. Add water, cook 12-14 hours. Since I keep my bones frozen in ziploc bags until I have enough, I usually time so I can cook on high for an hour or two, then turn it to low and let cook overnight.

Strain into pot, cool and refrigerate. After 24-36 hours, I scrape the fat off the top. It is always gelled at that point, and is usually concentrated enough that if I'm going to use it for soup, I dilute with water.

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on January 04, 2013
at 10:10 PM

I have seen that too...but no, I just throw them in.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 04, 2013
at 11:28 PM

Thanks! I was worried I was "supposed" to peel them.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on January 04, 2013
at 08:21 PM

Do you just toss the chicken feet in? I saw someone talking about peeling them somewhere. I've just thrown them in. Is that gross? :D

1
D9e4b265ef308c8cabf847559fd8be2e

on November 21, 2012
at 12:13 AM

The "film" that forms on the top is rendered fat, which rises and solidifies when cooled. If you have no fat cap at all, this suggests some possible problems:

Did you use bones that were from a roasted chicken? If so, the fat (and some gelatin, collagen, etc...) would be in the bottom of the roasting pan. That needs to be transferred to the crockkpot w/ the bones. The culinary term is "deglazing".

The crockpot was brought to a boil and then held at a simmer throughout the cooking time, yes?

For the kind of broths we're going for here, you need stuff like skin, cartilage, meat, and so on. As others have mentioned, things like oxtail, chicken feet, knuckles, necks, will get you there.

You probably didn't have enough of the right type of bones. You can use your current broth as the liquid for a new broth if you're really anxious to try it again right away!

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on November 21, 2012
at 11:54 PM

Thank you! The bones were from a roasted chicken and they did have a little bit of meat left on them. Now that the broths are in mason jars and in a fridge, there is a small bit of white film that has formed at the top now that they are cooled; however, it is still very fluid, and unlike a gelatin that everyone describes. I will do my best to add the right kind of stuff for the broth... but I am new to Paleo.. so the idea of adding chicken feet, knuckles, necks, and such creeps me out a bit. Baby steps :)

1
7bab99c303f1e83d3d9722a414dd7b45

(524)

on November 20, 2012
at 09:16 PM

It took me 3 tries to get it right, with the chicken carcass.

It could be too high of temperature, which is tough to regulate in a slow cooker. It could be too much water.

The first time mine worked, I let the bones and scraps soak in cold water with 1 tbsp vinegar added first, then turned it on, got it bubbling and lowered the heat as low as I could to keep a very low simmer - like barely breaking the surface low.

I leave chicken for 24 hours, the bones get so soft I can mash them with a potato masher or fork.

It seems to be trial and error til you get a feel for it. Good luck

1
7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:53 PM

Gelling up a broth can be a fickle thing. Cooking your broth for too long, over boiling, and using too much water can prevent it from gelling up. 20-25 hours sounds like a long time for chicken bones.

I should say too it's still really healthy even if it doesn't gel. What get's mine to gel up each time is adding in some pigs feet, there is a lot of collagen in all the joints of the feet and this seems to help. You can also try oxtail or just some meaty soup bones as well if you can't get any feet/joints.

here's a video of a good simmer: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-the-perfect-simmer-on-your-stock/

I would agree with Robin feet help it gel and 12-14 hours for chicken stock.

1
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:45 PM

i have made bone broth about 10 times and only once have i ever had it turn to gelatin. i have never done anything different any of the times. i think it's just luck, really. i do mine for 9 hours because i'm not allowed to have cooking appliances on when i'm asleep. i'm surprised since you do it for twice as long as me that yours didn't get to a gelatin state. it's still full of nutrients though so i wouldn't worry that it's not gelatin.

0
Bd614f091f0625dea86bad5791471f2d

(775)

on January 04, 2013
at 09:48 PM

I make bone broth about once a week, so I will share my learning process:

I used to use the slow cooker, letting it simmer for about 12 hours. I didn't get the gelatin that I was hoping for. Some people have good luck with the slow cooker, others don't. I think it depends on the cooker itself.

Then I made it on the stove top, and found that sometimes it would turn out well, other times it wouldn't. Eight hours, 10 hours, the time didn't seem to make a difference.

Attention to detail showed me that simmering was not enough. It has to be more of a light boil. What I mean is, when I simmered my broth so that it produced small bubbles, I didn't get very much gelatin at all. Now, I turn up the heat a bit so that it is more of a boil. I have to keep an eye on it, though, because the water cooks down. I still get a thick gelatin even if I have to add some water.

Once I even forgot about it. It cooked down to nothing. I decided to add some water just to see what would happen (there was residue at the bottom of the pot). It still turned out great. By the way, I rarely remember to add vinegar or lemon juice. I know you're supposed to, I just forget. But I get super-thick gelatin every time now.

Hope this helps.

Answer Question


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