You’ve heard about how nutritious and healthful bone broth is, but is it easy to make? Making Instant Pot Beef Bone Broth is one of the easiest methods for making it at home and all you need is an Instant Pot, quality beef bones, and a few veggies to round out the flavor.
>> Try this flavorful Instant Pot Venison Roast with Potatoes.
Homemade bone broth is one of my favorite health elixirs. Aside from it just being a super tasty soup base or hot drink on a cold day, there are a number of ailments that bone broth is known to help with, including lowering inflammation and improving digestion.
You might be wondering how bone broth differs from stock. The two terms have gotten a bit mixed up over the years, particularly with the resurgence of people making bone broth at home.
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Stock and bone broth are essentially the same thing. They use raw meat bones and are simmered for along period of time to extract the collagen from the bones, which makes the liquid more viscous and silky. The collagen is also what makes the bone broth or stock so full of health benefits.
Just “broth” without the bones is actually a term that’s used for a more meat-forward liquid that pulls the majority of its flavor from simmered meat, not bones. It’s not as thick as bone broth or stock, because it doesn’t have the collagen.
What Are the Health Benefits?
Simmering the bones helps release the dense nutrients from the marrow and the bones themselves, which are rich in vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.
The point of bone broth is to break down all of the cartilage in the bones until there’s a lot of collagen-rich gelatin in that broth. This rich elixir:
- Contains many important vitamins and minerals
- Can aid in digestion
- Can help fight inflammation
- Improve joint health
- Improve sleep
- Improve brain function
The result of this recipe is a flavorful, nutritious stock that is a great addition to soups and stews, or is a tasty warm drink, all on its own.
How To Find Bones for Broth
You need to buy bones that are organic and from a trusted source. You can generally pick up bones from any butcher, or even buy them at Whole Foods in the frozen section. If you buy an organic chicken, keep the carcass to use for bone broth.
You can use beef, chicken or pork bones for this recipe. They each give a different flavor to the final product. I am using beef bones in this recipe, as they are the easiest for me to find.
I get them directly from the free range organic farm where I buy my meat. If you don’t have a source, check out FarmFoods. It’s an online farm store that sells high-quality meat. They have beef knuckle bones for broth. All their beef is grassfed and finished on pasture with no antibiotics or hormones.
Another easy way to source bones for broth is to use chicken carcasses after you’ve consumed the chicken. Make a roast chicken and then use the bones for a broth (organic, free range only).
What Type of Bones
The best beef bones to use are knuckles, joint, and feet bones. Marrow bones are okay to use, but not on their own as they are all fat and no meat, which translates into no flavor.
Oxtail and short rib bones are especially good for flavor. For chicken broth, be sure to use the whole chicken, including the feet. Chicken feet make the broth especially silky and collagen rich.
Tools You Need to Make Bone Broth
There is some equipment involved in making your own bone broth. I like to follow a more lengthy process of roasting the bones before cooking them, which adds a bit more equipment.
However, you can get by with just a stock pot and a strainer, if necessary. Here are the things you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Instant Pot – While you don’t have to pressure cook the bones to make bone broth, this recipe uses an Instant Pot for ease and convenience. It takes a long time to make proper bone broth. If you make it on the stove top, you’ll have to watch the pot simmer for many, many hours. The Instant Pot takes WAY less time to make the same product and you don’t have to stay home and watch it so it doesn’t burn your house down.
- Stock pot – You will need to blanch the bones before roasting them, to remove the gunk and blood from the bones. I use a 6 qt stockpot for this. If you’re making a batch of bone broth that fits into the Instant Pot, then this is a large enough size.
- Baking sheet – After blanching the bones, you need to roast them, for additional flavor. With the small amount of bones needed for this recipe, a small baking sheet is large enough for the bones. You can also use a small roasting pan.
- Fine mesh strainer – Once the cooking is complete, you need to strain all the extra bits from the stock, so you have a nice clean, smooth stock, without bits and pieces.
- (Optional) Fat separator – If I’m using the broth right away and don’t have time to cool it, I use this OXO fat separator to remove the fat from the broth. If I have time to cool it, it’s easier just to scrape the hardened layer of fat from the top.
How to Make Bone Broth in the Instant Pot
Step 1: Blanch the bones
Put the bones in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and rinsing the bones.
Step 2: Saute the bones and vegetables
I use the saute mode on the Instant Pot to give the bones and vegetables a little bit of color before I pressure cook them. You can also roast the bones in the oven if you like a more robust, rich flavor.
Saute them for 5-10 minutes in the Instant Pot, then turn off saute mode and remove the bones from the pot so you can deglaze the pot with 1/2 a cup of water before adding the bones and vegetables back in.
Step 3: Pressure cook the bones
Add the bones and vegetables, along with the bay leaves, vinegar and salt, to the Instant Pot. Fill the pot with water up to the 2/3 mark on the pot. Close the lid and set the valve to sealing.
Press the Pressure Cook button and set the timer to 2 hours. Note: It will take 30 mins to come up to pressure and an hour to naturally release pressure, for a total of 3:30.
Step 4: Strain the bones
When the cooking is complete, place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth through the strainer. Leave the broth to cool to room temperature. Transfer the broth in sealable containers that will fit in your refrigerator.
Step 5: Skim Off the Fat
You will also need to strain off the fat that rises to the top of the broth. I do this by refrigerating the broth overnight, then scraping the hard layer of fat from the surface. You can also use a gravy separator, like this one from OXO, or skim the surface with a spoon.
The broth should be very stiff when cold, like a bowl of jello. This means you successfully released the collagen into the broth.
Step 6: Store the bone broth
You can keep bone broth in the refrigerator for around 5-7 days. If you consume some every day, this recipe should last around that amount of time. If you consume less, you can store small batches in the freezer for later consumption, for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
What if Beef Bone Broth Good For?
I’ve been drinking bone broth for its health benefits for many years. It’s a healthy drink that can aid in digestive, ease joint issues, and lower inflammation. It’s particularly nice to drink in the winter, when you’re craving hot drinks, but useful all year around.
You can use beef bone broth as a base for any type of soup or stew. We use it as broth for Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) and minestrone.
Which is Healthier – Chicken or Beef Broth?
Both of these broths have great health benefits, each with their own vitamins and minerals. While both are equally healthy, there are some differences that might help you decide which you want to make.
I typically make beef broth because of the extra collagen in beef bones. This is good for but health and fighting inflammation. The taste of beef broth works well in heavier soups and stews that need more robust flavor. But it’s not as tasty for drinking alone.
Chicken bones have type II collagen that is used to treat osteoarthritis, joint and tendon pain. It’s also more flavorful as a drink on its own, or can be made into an immune boosting soup.
What is the Difference Between Beef Broth & Bone Broth?
Beef broth is made by simmering beef, which gives a lot of flavor to the broth, but doesn’t add the thicker collagen that comes from simmering bones. Bone broth is made with mostly bones, which imparts collagen, vitamins and minerals directly from the bone. This broth tends to be quite thick and silky, and it firms up into a gelatin when cooled.
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Instant Pot Beef Bone Broth
Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot
- 2 pounds soup bones
- 1 stalk celery cut into 3″ pieces
- 1 medium onion quartered
- 1 large carrot cut into 2″ pieces
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 quarts water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Put the bones in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and rinsing the bones.
- Turn on Saute mode on the Instant Pot. When hot, add the bones and vegetables and saute for 5-10 minutes to impart some color on the bones. Turn off saute mode and remove the bones and vegetables. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pot and deglaze the browned bits from the bottom.
- Add the bones and vegetables, along with the bay leaves, vinegar and salt, to the Instant Pot. Fill the pot with water up to the 2/3 mark on the pot. Close the lid and set the valve to seal. Press the Soup/Broth button and set the timer to 2 hours. It will take 30 mins to come up to pressure and an hour to naturally release pressure, for a total of 3:30.
- When the cooking is complete, place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth through the strainer. Leave the broth to cool to room temperature. Transfer the broth in sealable containers that will fit in your refrigerator.
- Strain off the fat that rises to the top of the broth. To do this, refrigerate the broth overnight, then scrape the hard layer of fat from the surface. Or use a gravy separator, or skim the surface with a spoon.
- Add salt to your preferred taste.
- You can keep bone broth in the refrigerator for around 5-7 days. If you consume some every day, this recipe should last around that amount of time. If you consume less, you can store small batches in the freezer for later consumption, for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes over at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, and you’ll find air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.