What Is the Best Way to Make Bone Broth: Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, or On the Stove?

“I will recommend broths for people who are experiencing electrolyte imbalances, especially after vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive sweating. For people on liquid diets, bone broth may make them feel like they’re getting a little bit more variety.”

L.J. Amaral, clinical dietitian, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute

Are you a fan of making bone broth? The traditional method is to simmer bones on the stove for many hours. But what about using cooking appliances that may be a little easier or require less time. Can they be used to make bone broth? Read on to learn the pros and cons of making bone broth in an Instant Pot (pressure cooker), a Crock-Pot (slow cooker), and the “old-fashioned” way by using a pot on the stove.

Choose Your Pot Carefully

Bone broth is traditionally made by boiling bones for a long time. Chicken, beef, lamb, game, or even fish bones can be used to make bone broth. Vegetables like celery, onion, and carrot can be added, or the bones can just be boiled solo. (If you need a quick refresher on how to make bone broth at home the traditional way, read this article.)

How to Make Healing Bone Broth at Home

The thing that sets bone broth apart from other broths and stocks is the long boiling time that breaks down hard bones and extracts the amino acid-rich marrow from inside them.

Unfortunately, all cooking containers have the potential to be made from toxic materials. Regular pots are sometimes made from aluminum and some slow cookers still contain lead inside the ceramic seal. Even a few of the older models of the Instant Pot, a popular brand of pressure cooker, have been shown to contain trace amounts of lead and cadmium in the outer area [1].

No matter which cooking method you choose, make sure that your pot is made of either:

Never use Teflon, aluminum, or a pot that is too old or scratched as the chances of harmful toxic metals leaching into your broth will be high with these products.

Choose a broth-making container that has been tested and is free from all harmful chemicals and heavy metals, no matter which cooking method you choose.

Making Bone Broth in a Pressure Cooker or “Instant Cooker”

“I always make my broth in a pressure cooker, simply because it is the quickest way to do it. Originally, I simmered a large stockpot on the stove for a couple of days straight, but I didn’t sleep well knowing the stove was on. Also, more often than not my broth would not gel when cooled—a sign of the concentration of gelatin in the stock, which we look for due to its gut-healing properties.”

Mickey Trescott, Autoimmune Protocol

An instant cooker, better known by the Canadian brand name Instant Pot, can do a lot of things including make yogurt. For the purposes of preparing bone broth in a fraction of the time, however, its use as a pressure cooker is what we’re interested in.

Pressure cookers work by expelling air from the inside of the vessel and trapping the steam inside along with the boiling liquid.

Bone Broth Pressure Cooker Pros

The high heat and pressure created inside the pot allow food to be cooked far quicker than any other method.

steam-escaping-from-new-pressure-cooker-instant-pot

Of course, the biggest “pro” to using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker for your bone broth is that you can make it in as little as two to three hours. Another big plus is that it is truly a “set it and forget it” operation.

You don’t have to worry about a pot boiling over on the stove, forgetting to turn off the burner, or adding extra water because of off steaming. A few hours later, you get to come back and enjoy your broth. That’s it!

Many people also claim that chicken, beef, or other kinds of bone broth prepared in a pressure cooker creates more consistent results. In the “bone broth world” that means more consistent “gelling” after it cools.

Consistency with the Instant Pot also includes the amount of broth made, since how much water you put in is pretty much the amount of broth you are going to get. Of course, there is also little chance of burning with a pressure cooker.

Bone Broth Pressure Cooker Cons

All that being said, there are some cons to making bone broth in an Instant Pot. For one thing, you will not be able to make as much broth as you could if you used a regular pot or crockpot.

Most pressure cookers hold around 8 quarts. That won’t necessarily yield you 8 quarts of broth, however, because you need to leave room at the top for the steam to gather. Likewise, because of the small size, Instant Pots aren’t the greatest if you have large bones to work with.

If you choose to use a pressure cooker for making bone broth, make sure to use just the right amount of ingredients for the container. Crowding means you won’t have as nutrient-rich of a broth as you would if you would have left some “breathing” room.

Making Bone Broth in a Slow Cooker or Crock-Pot

“Bone broth touts a lot of benefits. You can sip it by the mugful, as a warm, savory and very nutrient-dense drink. Or you can use this immune-supportive broth to replace chicken or beef broth in your cooking. Make it at home in a slow cooker over 12 to 24 hours. Then, you can batch and freeze portions for future uses.”

Cleveland Clinic, Slow Cooker Bone Broth

Crock pots have been around for generations and can be used for anything from stews to casseroles. But how do they fare for making bone broth?

Crock Pot Bone Broth Pros

slow-cooker-crockpot-on-counter

Although they are not as handy as Instant Pots, slow cookers for bone broth are great if you want to make large quantities or you are using large bones.

Like cooking with a pressure cooker, there is not much “babysitting” needed with this method and adjustment in temperature is not usually required either. In fact, many people simply put their slow cooker on “low” and let their broth cook throughout the night.

Crock Pot Bone Broth Cons

Now to the cons regarding crock pots. The first one is pretty obvious if you have a small kitchen. Even the smaller-sized crock pots take up a lot of counter space, and all of them need to be near a plug.

Another con regarding crock pots is loss of liquid. Steam inevitably escapes over the hours, even if you have a secure lid. For that reason, it’s a good idea to check your broth at least a couple of times during the course of the day if you have your bone broth slow cooker temperature set on anything other than “low.”

The result of loss of liquid can be either a less gelatinous, more diluted broth (because of added water) or a bitter broth because of overcooking. The potential for either overcooking or burning are two other downsides of making bone broth in slow cookers.

One final note is that some Crock-Pots will automatically turn off after a set number of hours (e.g., after 6, 8, or 10 hours). As bone broth often takes longer than that you will need to be around to start the slow cooker up again.

Bone Broth in a Regular Pot (aka The “Traditional” Way)

“Bone broth contains a number of healthy and beneficial nutrients. It may have anti-inflammatory effects, can help improve bone and joint health, and may improve sleep quality.”

Healthline, Why You Should Make Bone Broth

Bone broth made in a regular pot is the “tried and true” way of doing it and has been the go-to method for literally thousands of years. Cooking bone broth on the stovetop (or over an open flame for our ancestors) is a great choice if you want to control how long you cook it, if you plan on adding things into the broth throughout the day, and if you know you’re planning to be at home all day to keep can keep an eye on it.

Another “pro” when it comes to cooking with a pot on the stove is you get to decide how much you want to make depending on the size of the pot you use. You also have control over the temperature and can adjust it as needed.

Woman Preparing Bone Broth At Home

As a side note, most pot-on-the-stove users say that gas stoves are more reliable then electric stoves in terms of consistency. Also, the heavier the bottom of your pot is, the better the heat distribution will be for your broth overall.

The downside of the pot-on-the-stove method is that your pot will most definitely need to be “babysat” to keep from boiling dry since this method inevitably leads to loss of liquid. Leaving the stove on overnight comes with its own potential hazards and good safety practices need to be followed.

One final note about cast iron pots. Keep in mind that because you will be boiling your broth for so long in this kind of container, the iron content in your bone broth will be higher than if you use a pot made of a different material.

Bone broth already contains a certain amount of iron, along with other essential minerals. Using an iron pot will kick that amount up quite significantly. One study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that iron content rose from 0.6 mg to 5.7 mg after spaghetti was cooked in a cast-iron pot [2]. This is a potential concern for certain individuals who wish to avoid iron toxicity [3].

Bone Broth the Easy Way

If you want to cut out the hassle altogether, one super easy option is to take advantage of 100% organic, non-GMO, allergen-free Organixx Bone Broth Protein powder. All you need to do is add a scoop, blend with your favorite beverage, and serve. No pot of any kind needed!


Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens
Chicken Broth vs. Bone Broth vs. Stock: What’s the Difference?

“I will recommend broths for people who are experiencing electrolyte imbalances, especially after vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive sweating.

For people on liquid diets, bone broth may make them feel like they’re getting a little bit more variety, even though it’s essentially the same thing as other kinds of broths.”

L.J. Amaral, clinical dietitian at Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute

With all the recent focus on the health benefits of bone broth, you may have ventured to make some at home. Many hours later, as those bones were still boiling away on the stove or in the slow cooker, you might well have been asking yourself, “Can’t I just go out and buy a can of broth or stock at the grocery store? Isn’t that the same thing?

So, just what is the difference between broth and stock? And what’s the difference between stock and bone broth? Is meat broth the same as bone broth? Does vegetable broth have the same nutrients as bone broth? If you’ve ever pondered these broth vs bone broth vs stock questions… read on to get the answers to these common culinary questions and more!

Is Broth and Stock the Same?

Bone broth and stock quote from a senior dietician at USC San Diego Health.
Image Source: Taking Stock: the Health and Hype of Bone Broth

First of all, let’s take a look at the difference between stock and broth. You may think that these two terms can be used interchangeably. Indeed, they both have to do with that tasty, savory liquid that is made from meat, connective tissues, vegetables, and spices which can be used for everything from a hearty soup to a base for a remoulade (a type of sauce). Many people do use these terms interchangeably, although there is a difference. Even though the difference may seem small, it is significant.

The Gentle Broth

bowl of broth and fresh vegetables on wooden table

The main difference between stock and broth has to do with timing. A broth is basically any kind of liquid that has meat and/or vegetables cooked into it. For example, chicken broth or beef broth.

And here is a little-known side note about vegetable broth: when vegetables are used to make a broth, they are usually sautéed with butter or oil on low heat first to create what is called a mirepoix before they go in the pot [1].

In addition, a broth can be made in a relatively short amount of time. It is usually seasoned and will not turn gelatinous when it cools. And, yes, broth can be bought at the store, but if you do that, be sure to get organic and preferably low sodium for the healthiest choice.

Drinking broth can be soothing for the tummy and is often the go-to choice when you just want to “get something down” if you have the flu. Add some garlic and ginger to your broth and you have a real tonic for digestion and the common cold.

The Hearty Stock

Stock, on the other hand, is normally made from meat, and it is usually cooked for two to six hours. It often includes vegetables (or mirepoix) and most of the time includes the bones (e.g., beef bones or chicken bones) as well. Because stock isn’t left to boil for more than a few hours, as with broth it normally doesn’t turn gelatinous.

What’s in Bones that Makes Bone Broth So Good for You

Seasoned cooks make stock specifically as a base for soups, for tasty stews, and for savory gravies and sauces. Often chefs will roast bones first on a baking sheet before they go in the stock to give the liquid a darker color and to give gravies a heartier flavor.

One more note about stock. Even though its nutrient value doesn’t come close to bone broth (which we will talk about in the next section), stock has been shown in some studies to be a highly nutritious immune-system booster in its own right.

Is Chicken Soup Actually a “Cure” for the Common Cold?

Researchers at the University of Nebraska wanted to test the validity of good old chicken soup, which usually simmers in the pot for two to six hours, for “curing the common cold.” What they found was pretty remarkable.

It turns out that generations of folkloric wisdom was right. Chicken soup actually contains several substances that help the immune system, including cells called neutrophils that act as strong anti-inflammatories in the body [2].

The Difference Between Broth and Bone Broth

Bone Broth in a Bowl

And finally, there is bone broth, which can be made just like stock, but has to be kept at a slow boil for a much longer period of time – often more than 24 hours. (Go here for more on how to make bone broth at home.)

As we mentioned above, stock and broth are often used as a delicious, healthy base for other recipes. Bone broth can be used that way as well but is most often sipped solo specifically for its gut-healing, collagen-building, and nutrient-dense effects.

In fact, one 2017 investigation published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition compared chicken soup made with bone broth to chicken soup made with regular broth. They found that one cup of bone broth chicken soup contains significantly more protein and other nutrients than regular chicken soup [3].

Vitamins & Minerals in Bone Broth

Bone broth has other nutritional advantages as well when compared to plain broth or even stock [4]. For starters, it is chock full of high amounts of essential vitamins and minerals, including:

clear-bone-broth-with-spoon-next-to-bowl

Collagen (in the form of gelatin) and essential amino acids glycine and proline round out the unique combination of substances that make bone broth a nutritional powerhouse [5].

Because the bones boil for so long, the collagen inside the bones is released into the bone broth and turns to gelatin when bone broth is cooled. Want to know if your bone broth is going to pack a real nutritious punch? Let it cool. If it looks like “meat Jell-O” below the layer of fat on top, it’s a winner.

The amino acids in collagen/gelatin, in particular, make bone broth a healing elixir – especially for those with “Leaky Gut” and autoimmune conditions like arthritis.

What’s the Difference Between Collagen and Gelatin?

“Gelatin supplementation can increase exercise-induced collagen synthesis in humans.”

University of California, Davis

By the way, gelatin and collagen are basically the same substance. When it’s in the body it’s called “collagen” but it’s referred to as “gelatin” when it’s outside the body.

Bone Broth for Joint Health

woman-massaging-inflammed-knee

A recent meta-analysis sponsored in part by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and published in the journal Sports Medicine found that supplementing with gelatin such as that found in bone broth can increase collagen levels in tissues and ease joint strain [6].

Another study published in Nutrition Journal discovered that type 2 collagen found in chicken bone broth can improve knee joint stiffness as well as ease pain and other discomforts associated with osteoarthritis [7].

Organic Bone Broth Is the Only Way to Go

Finally, if you’re going to make bone broth for health, you simply have to ensure it comes from bones of animals fed organic feed versus conventional animal feed.

While this is important for all kinds of broths and stocks, it’s especially relevant for bone broth. This is because while the marrow inside the bones is where the majority of the nutrients come from, it’s also where harmful toxins reside in commercial meats.

raw-marrow-bones

Many conventional animal feeds are sprayed with an herbicide known as Roundup, which is manufactured by Monsanto. The primary ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. In a 2019 court case against Monsanto by a couple who were both diagnosed with lymphoma (cancer), evidence was presented showing that glyphosate ends up in the bones [8].

It’s only logical then that consuming bones and bone broth from animals that have consumed feed sprayed with glyphosate is not in the best interest of one’s health. As explained by GMO expert Jeffrey M. Smith in an interview with Organixx [9]:

“If you’re doing bone broth and you’re taking bones from animals that have been fed largely Roundup Ready soy or corn or canola meal or cotton meal or alfalfa – these are the 6 main GMOs. All of them are basically Roundup Ready … So there’s a tremendous amount of Roundup going into the animal. Moving into the bone. Now you take those bones and then you boil it and it ends up in the water as it’s water-soluble and then you put it into a capsule. This is not something you want to do.”

Jeffrey M. Smith, GMO Expert

Organixx Bone Broth powder is USDA Certified Organic and is GMO-free. It’s also free from major allergens such as gluten, dairy, corn, yeast, starch, and other grain products.


Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens
How to Make Healing Bone Broth at Home

The health benefits of broth made with bones have been researched and documented for hundreds of years. Around 1150, Benedictine Abbess and scholar Hildegarde von Bingen recommended in her Physica (medical text) that “frequent and adequate” portions of broth made with calves’ feet was good for relieving joint pain.

The Abbess was clearly on to something by recognizing the curative nature of bone broth. As it turns out, this ancient healing elixir has a number of other impressive health benefits that come from simmering animal bones for long periods of time. Read on for more about the health benefits of bone broth and tips on how to make bone broth at home.

What’s in Bones That Makes Bone Broth So Good for You?

When making (and consuming) bone broth, you benefit from 3 components of bones:

Gelatin/CollagenPot with bones, meat, and vegetables

When bone broth cools down it often congeals due to the presence of gelatin. Achieving this gelatinous state is highly prized by bone broth aficionados as it means the broth contains a significant amount of collagen. (Gelatin is essentially the same thing as collagen. When it’s in the body it’s known as collagen, and when it’s extracted to be used as food it is known as gelatin.)

While gelatin is not a complete protein and cannot replace protein in the diet, it has been used historically as a protein stretcher. It contains the amino acids proline and glycine, both of which are two important amino acids that aren’t abundant in animal meats.

A Brief History of Gelatin

The first large scale production of gelatin became possible in the late 1600s with the invention of the “digester” by Papin in 1682. This apparatus was a type of pressure cooker used for cooking bones or meat with steam.

Just over 100 years later, Europe was embroiled in the Napoleonic wars and the French turned to gelatin as a way to stretch meager meat portions and feed soldiers as well as the legions of starving homeless living on the streets of Paris and other cities.

Commissions appointed at that time by the Institute of France and the Faculty of Medicine in Paris to study the use of gelatin stated in their report that…

“Gelatin … confines a large quantity of nourishing material in a very small volume; it could be used on shipboard for making soup for the sailors on voyages to foreign ports, for soldiers in besieged cities, and even in the camps and barracks.”

More recent studies of gelatin have shown that it increases the digestion and utilization of other proteins such as meats, beans, milk, and milk products.

Collagen is helpful in:

Cartilage

Cartilage is primarily made from collagen and elastin proteins, but also contains glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), chondroitin sulfate, keratin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid. You might recognize chondroitin sulfate as a commonly used supplement for supporting joint health and mobility. It has also been shown to help improve inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.

Using cartilage-rich beef knuckles, chicken feet, trachea, and ribs in bone broth is a cost-effective and easily absorbable alternative to pricey supplements.

Cartilage is considered beneficial in supporting inflammatory conditions such as:

Bone Marrow

Bones with marrowBones contain one of two types of marrow: yellow or red. Yellow marrow produces fat, cartilage, and bone and is found in the central portion of long bones.

Red marrow is where red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are formed. It is found in flat bones such as the hip bone, sternum, skull, ribs, vertebrae, scapula, and the end of long bones.

Red marrow is especially valued as it is where blood stem cells are formed. As such, it is an excellent source of nutritional and immune support.

For example, a chicken carcass makes an excellent bone broth as it has a high concentration of red marrow bones.

Health Benefits From Eating Bone Marrow

  1. Improves gut health – bone marrow is easily digested and contains nutrients that help heal the digestive tract and improve nutrient absorption.
  2. Boosts the immune system – the strength of your immune system is linked to your gut health. Consuming bone marrow regularly helps strengthen the gut which will help to ward off illness and chronic disease.
  3. Glowing skin, hair, and nails – good health is usually reflected in strong, shiny hair and nails and in smooth, clear skin. Bone marrow contains gelatin (collagen) which is transferred into bone broth and into you when you consume it. Gelatin grows and strengthens hair and nails, and helps to smooth lines, wrinkles, and even cellulite.
  4. Reduces inflammation – One of the best ways to decrease inflammation is through a good diet. Eliminate or restrict inflammatory foods (i.e. vegetable oils, sugar, gluten, and GMO foods), and add the benefits of amino acids found in bone marrow: arginine, proline, and glycine.

Choosing Bones for Bone Broth

You can purchase raw bones from a butcher or use bones leftover from cooking. For example, if you make a bone-in roast, save the bone(s) to make bone broth. If you cook a chicken, save the carcass.

If you don’t want want to make broth right away (or you don’t have enough bones), simply place the bones in a sealed freezer bag and store in the freezer until you’re ready. When it’s time to make broth, you don’t even need to defrost the bones first.

When purchasing bones for making homemade bone broth, aim to get a variety of bone types which will ensure you’re getting marrow, cartilage, and gelatin in your broth.

If you’re adventurous, you can try adding a couple of (well-cleaned) chicken feet along with the bones which are an excellent source of collagen. For making beef or lamb bone broth, be sure to ask your butcher for both a joint bone and marrow bones.

Your #1 consideration when making bone broth is the QUALITY of the bones you use. Do your best to source the highest quality bones possible from pasture-raised/free-range animals that are grass fed and have not been subjected to antibiotics, growth hormones, and/or conventially grown feed which have been sprayed with glyphosate. (You can read more about the dangers of toxins in bone broth here.)

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Make Bone Broth

Woman holding covered dish of bone brothYou may have read about the need to roast bones first before making bone broth. Some people prefer this method as they find it adds extra flavor to the finished broth. Roasting is totally a taste preference and is not required. In any case, it is only for beef, lamb, or wild game bones – it is not a necessary step for bone broth made with poultry or fish.

If you’re new to making bone broth it may be easier to skip the roasting step until you become more practiced with the process. If you do wish to roast the bones first, all you need to do is place the bones on a baking pan and roast uncovered in a 350F oven for 20-30 minutes.

Once you’ve gathered your bones (either raw or roasted), you’re ready to proceed with the steps below.

Step #1:

Place bones (fresh, frozen, or roasted) into a large stock pot or crock pot and cover with cold filtered water. Make sure all the bones are covered, but still leave plenty of room for water to boil. Add coarsely chopped onion, carrots, and celery stalks to the pot.

Step #2:

Add two tablespoons of an acidic substance (eg. apple cider vinegar, wine, or lemon juice) to the water prior to cooking. The acid will help draw out important nutrients from the bones.

Step #3:

Heat slowly, gradually bringing to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Skim off any scum that floats to the top.

Step #4:

Cook long and slow. Cook chicken bones for at least 6 to 24 hours (up to 48 hours). Beef bones can cook for 12 to 48 hours (and even up to 72 hours). A long and slow cooking time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around the bones. You may need to add additional hot water as the broth simmers to keep the bones covered.

Step #5:

Add additional vegetables and/or seasonings such as sea salt, pepper, herbs and peeled garlic cloves to the pot 1-2 hours before finishing. (Optional) Add a bunch of fresh parsley 10-15 minutes before removing from heat.

Step #6:

Once broth is ready, remove from heat and allow broth to cool enough so you can handle the pot. Remove the solids, strain through a fine mesh strainer, and reserve the broth. If there was meat on the bones, you can pick this out to use in a soup if desired.

Step #7:

Consume broth within 5-7 days or freeze for later use. Bone broth can be safely frozen for several months.

Bone Broth Tips


Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.


Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens