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Canning Bone Broth | How to Can Beef or Chicken Stock

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Canning bone broth is a great way to preserve the nutrient-rich goodness of this delicious and healthy food. Whether you made a large batch of bone broth or simply want to store it for later use, canning is an excellent option that can extend its shelf life for months or even years.

Bone broth is an amazing liquid. Full of essential nutrients it has been used to alleviate colds and boost immunity for centuries. It also allows us to use the entire animal, nose to tail, and not let any of it go to waste.

I love homemade chicken broth, beef broth, and even pork and of course venison broth. It’s simple to make, so much more flavorful than storebought, and a great wintertime homesteading project.

It seems like a fairly simple liquid, just some bones, and vegetables simmered in water for what seems like an eternity. But, there’s so much more to it even beyond its nourishing benefits. And it should be a skill in every homesteader’s arsenal.

What is the difference between broth and stock?

Gelatinous bone broth on a spoon.
Bone broth or stock is typically more viscous than traditional broth. When cooled, it often creates a gelatinous layer like that seen here.

Broth and stock are pretty much the same thing. However, stock is more viscous than traditional broth. What we usually call bone broth, is stock.

Stock is typically cooked low and slow to get as much of that beautiful collagen out of the bones as possible. It really can’t be overcooked and to make a good bone broth from beef or venison, it takes around 12-16 hours. Chickens, a little less time.

Regardless, when it cools, it will have that kind of jello consistency. Which, is what stock is. But, we call it bone broth (the same thing).

What are the benefits of bone broth?

Bone broth has many benefits from hydration to purported gut health benefits.

While you need to make sure your bones come from a healthy, naturally-raised animal, the benefits of bone broth are tremendous. Here are just a few benefits of regularly enjoying bone broth:

Rich in nutrients. The bones are full of nutrients that are released when they’re cooked. Everything from calcium to magnesium and phosphorus.

High in collagen. Bones are high in collagen and when cooked, the collagen turns into gelatin that provides you with multiple amino acides.

May reduce inflammation and heal the gut. Anyone who has read Nourishing Traditions knows that bone broth is prized to help heal the gut and reset our systems. Some of the amino acids in bone broth may help heal your gut as well as reduce chronic inflammation.

What kind of bones do you use for bone broth?

Good bone broth is made with a mixture of bones. The knucklebones have a lot of collagen in them and add a lot of richness to your broth. Adding in shank, oxtail, or short ribs will add even more flavor.

It can be made from pork bones, venison bones, beef bones, chicken bones, lamb bones, fish bones, or even a mixture of all of the above.

If you’re headed to the butcher, you can simply ask them for soup bones and they’ll know what you’re looking for. If they’re giving you long bones like the femur, you’re going to want them to cut them in half for you.

The younger the animal, the more cartilage they contain, making them excellent for making broth. Lamb and veal bones are great for making broth if you have them available.

When making chicken broth, you can’t beat using the feet (scalded first, of course) and necks. You must save these wonderful things, it will make the richest bone broth you’ve ever had.

How to use bone broth

Bowl of fresh bone broth with herbs on top

You made it, now how do you use it up?

  • Drink it. The simplest of simple is simply to warm it up and drink it like a warm beverage. I used to loathe doing this as a child when my mom would bring me a warm cup of broth when I was sick, but I enjoy sipping on its goodness now.
  • Boil potatoes or pasta in it. It adds flavor and a few of the nutritional benefits when you boil your pasta or potatoes in bone broth.
  • Make soup. Of course, the most obvious of all uses is to utilize it to make a delicious soup.
  • Make a sauce or gravy. Have a savory sauce to make or need to make some gravy? Use broth in place of water in sauces or in place of mixes for gravy. It’s so much more flavorful.

Ingredients for the Best Homemade Bone Broth

Homemade broth requires simple ingredients. You can add a bunch of vegetables and aromatics or keep it simple with just sea salt and peppercorns. It’s really up to you.

Chicken broth in a mub surrounded by fresh herbs

A variety of bones. Whole chickens, including the feet and neck or leftover chicken or turkey carcasses for those broths. You can use a variety of knuckle bones and long bones or just soup bones from beef, pork, lamb, venison, etc.

Sea salt and whole peppercorns. To help flavor the broth. You won’t want to add the salt until it’s almost done, though as the saltiness of the broth can be surprising so you want to wait until it has simmered down.

Apple cider vinegar. The acidity of ACV helps break down the collagen, making it more abundant. You can use homemade ACV, storebought, or even sub lemon juice.

Aromatics and fresh vegetables. I like to add onion, celery, carrots, garlic cloves, parsley, sage, and thyme to our broths. However, this is completely personal and up to you. You can add veggie scraps from a variety of vegetables, fresh herbs, dried herbs, or none at all.

Supplies needed to make and can bone broth

How to make Bone Broth

Bone broth simmering and almost ready to cool and can

Roast the bones. If making beef broth, venison broth, or other broth from large bones it is best to roast the bones. You can make bone broth without roasting them first, but for the most flavorful and richest broth, it’s worth it to take the time to roast the bones first.

Coat the bones with a thin layer of olive oil and salt liberally. Place them on a sheet pan or roasting pan and roast in the oven at 400°F for about 35 to 40 minutes.

Simmer. Place the bones, feet, carcasses, or whatever you have in a large stockpot, the crockpot, or the instant pot.

Making Bone Broth On the Stove

If using a stockpot, cover the bones with cold water and simply bring the water and bones to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer, you want to see the water bubble every few moments, not constantly. Simmer over low heat for a minimum of 8 hours, up to 24.

After the broth has simmered down to where you want it add vegetables and aromatics to the pot, omitting the salt for now. Allow the broth to simmer for an additional 90 minutes.

Making Bone Broth In the Slow Cooker

If using a slow cooker. Place the bones in the crockpot with cold water and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Cook on low for at least 6 hours, up to 24 hours.

After you’ve cooked the broth, add in the vegetables in aromatics, not adding salt yet, and allow the broth to cook on low for an additional hour and a half.

Making Bone Broth In an Instant Pot

If using an instant pot, place the bones in the pressure cooker, cover with cold water, making the pot about 3/4 full, and add a couple of splashes of apple cider vinegar. Lock the lid in place and flip the vent valve to sealing. Choose manual or soup/broth and pressure cook on high for 120 minutes.

Allow the pressure to release naturally, carefully remove the lid, turn it to sautee, and add the aromatics and vegetables. Do not add salt yet. Cook for one hour.

Strain. Once the broth has simmered with the herbs and vegetables, it’s time to strain it. You can remove the large bones and bigger bits of vegetables with a pair of tongs. For the smaller pieces strain through a colander fitted with a piece of cheesecloth.

Salt & cool. After the broth is strained, it is time to salt it. You’ll want to taste the broth and then determine how much salt you need. You may be surprised, oftentimes it doesn’t require much, if any, salt.

The broth needs to be cooled quickly to prevent any bacterial growth. To do this, pour the broth into shallow containers such as 9X13 casserole dishes.

This will allow the broth to get to room temperature quickly. Then, you can place the dishes in the refrigerator.

Skim fat. Now everything is cooled off and there will likely be a thin layer of fat on the surface. Skim this off. You can keep it and use it for cooking and flavoring dishes, it tastes amazing, but you don’t want it in the broth.

How to Can Bone Broth

Since broth is a low-acid food, you must use a pressure canner to preserve it.

Ladling hot bone broth into hot jars for canning bone broth

Reheat the broth. After you’ve skimmed the layer of fat, pour the broth back into a large stockpot and bring to a boil.

Prepare canner, jars, and lids. Wash jars and lids in hot, soapy water and place them in the pressure canner with a few inches of water. Bring to a simmer of 180°F while you wait on the broth to heat.

Pack jars. Once jars are heated and the broth is hot, carefully ladle the hot broth into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Wipe the rim of the jar. Center lids and finger tighten screw bands.

Process. Place jars back in the pressure canner, making sure it has the correct amount of water depending on the manufacturer’s instructions by adding hot water if necessary.

Place the lid on the canner and wait until a steady stream of steam is escaping the vent. Vent for 10 minutes.

Put the weight on the canner and bring it to 10 pounds of pressure, adjusting for altitude. Process pint jars for 20 minutes, for quart jars the processing time is 25 minutes.

Allow the canner to come down to 0 pressure naturally. Carefully remove the pressure canner lid and allow the jars to sit for 10 minutes before removing them with a jar lifter to a towel-lined counter. Wait 12-24 hours after the canning process before checking for a proper seal.

Remove the rings, wipe down the jars, and store them in a cool, dark place.

Properly canned and sealed bone broth is shelf stable for a minimum of 18 months if stored in a cool, dark place.

More Pressure Canning Recipes to Try:

If you try this homemade bone broth recipe, let me know in the comments below! I’d love if you could leave me a recipe rating and feel free to follow me on Pinterest and Facebook for more inspiration!

Jars of homemade chicken bone broth on a counter
Yield: Yields 4 Quarts

How to Can Bone Broth

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 12 hours
Cool & Refrigerate: 8 hours
Total Time: 21 hours

Delicious, nutritious bone broth prepared and canned for shelf storage right in your own kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 4 Pounds of Pastured or Grass Fed Bones
  • 2 Chicken Feet, optional, but they're amazing for adding extra goodness
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Onions, quartered
  • 2 Stalks Celery
  • 2 Carrots
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Fresh Sage
  • 1 Tbsp Peppercorns
  • Sea Salt, to taste

Instructions

Make Bone Broth

  1. If making broth from long bones, it's best to roast them. Coat them in olive oil and a liberal amount of salt. Place on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Roast at 400°F for 35 to 40 minutes.
  2. Place the bones in a large stockpot, crockpot, or instant pot and cover with cold water and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
  • Stockpot. Bring bones to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 8-24 hours.
  • Crockpot. Cook on low for 8-24 hours.
  • Instant pot. Fill to just below the max fill line. Cook on high pressure for 120 minutes, allow pressure to release naturally.

3. Add vegetables and aromatics to the broth, omitting the salt for now.

  • Stockpot. Simmer for 90 minutes.
  • Crockpot. Cook on low for an additional hour and a half.
  • Instant pot. Put on simmer and simmer for an additional hour.

4. Using tongs, remove all the large pieces. Then, strain the broth through a colander fitted with a piece of cheesecloth.

5. Place broth in shallow, wide containers such as 9X13 baking dishes and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, place in the refrigerator overnight to cool completely.

6. After the broth has cooled, skim off the layer of fat and save it for cooking if desired.

Can the Bone Broth

  1. Pour the broth into a large stockpot after you've skimmed the fat off of the top and bring it to a boil.
  2. Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
  3. When everything is boiling and nice and hot, carefully ladle the hot stock into the prepared jars leaving a generous 1" of headspace.
  4. Wipe the rim, center the lid, tighten the screw band to finger tight, and place it back into the canner.
  5. Add hot water to the canner if necessary to set the water level at the appropriate level according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Place the lid on the canner and allow it to vent for 10 minutes before adding the weight.
  7. Bring the canner to 10 pounds of pressure, adjusting for altitude (see notes for adjustments). Process pint jars for 20 minutes, and quart jars for 25 minutes.
  8. Finish processing by allowing the canner to come down to 0 pressure naturally, remove the lid, and allow the jars to sit for an additional 10 minutes before removing to a towel-lined counter.
  9. Allow to sit completely undisturbed for 12-24 hours before checking the seal. If it didn't seal, put it in the refrigerator and use it within a few days. Remove screw bands from the properly sealed jars, wash and store in a cool dark place for up to 18 months, or longer.

Notes

Weighted Gauge:

  • 0-1,000 ft 10 lbs
  • 1,001+ ft 15 lbs

Dial Guage:

  • 0-2,000 ft 11 lbs
  • 2,001-4,000 ft 12 lbs
  • 4,001-6,000 ft 13 lbs
  • 6,001-8,000 ft 14 lbs

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 52Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 1304mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

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Cheryl

Wednesday 5th of October 2022

I've been making bone broth for years and I've always frozen it. I just pressure canned chicken bone broth for the first time. I have read that you need to boil any home canned low acid foods for 10 Minutes before you consume them, but when I do that it burns the bone broth. Do I really have to boil it that long? I have looked all over the web and I can't find an answer. Thank you so much

Danielle McCoy

Wednesday 5th of October 2022

I've never heard that, nor do I find it necessary. As long as you followed directions and pressure canned the food properly, it's safe even unwarmed.

Desiree Desiree

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Hi! Looking forward to making this recipe. Thoughts on using an instant pot? I have a lot of bones in my freezer- at 2lbs per batch it will take forever.

Danielle McCoy

Thursday 29th of September 2022

You could use it to make the broth, but I don't know how much nutrition will transfer into the actual broth since you're pressure cooking it. If I had a ton, I'd probably get a really large kettle with a burner (like for a crawfish boil) and do them that way.

April

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

How long do you have to process quart jars? I made this exact recipe and it is absolutely delicious. I was concerned the entire time I wasn’t doing it right. My first time to make/can bone broth. Yummy, thanks for sharing. 😊

Danielle McCoy

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Quarts are processed at 10 lbs of pressure, adjusting for altitude, for 25 minutes.

April

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

First time I have ever made bone broth. Used your recipe and it was basil delicious. Question, how long do you process quart jars for?? Thanks april in arkansas

Danielle McCoy

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Quart jars are processed for 25 minutes.

Kaydotty

Friday 12th of November 2021

Hello, I don't use vinegar in my bone broth, can I still follow these canning directions or would that change it because ACV would affect the acidity?

Danielle McCoy

Friday 12th of November 2021

It will be canned the same.

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