Want to know how to make bone broth in the Instant Pot? My Instant Pot bone broth recipe is delicious, healthy & EASY! Slow Cooker works too!
There are certain items I always make from scratch and others I'm willing to choose store-bought for convenience sake.
Broth is something I ALWAYS make from scratch, for three reasons.
First, it's so much healthier. Many store-bought broths have weird chemicals and additives, often labeled as “natural flavorings.” They also tend to be really high in sodium and some even have added sugar, which is totally unnecessary for delicious broth. Even if a store-bought broth doesn't have any weird ingredients, it's hard to know how much nutrition you're really getting. How concentrated is the broth? Has it been watered down?
Second, I find homemade broth to be much more flavorful. After you've tasted homemade bone broth, it's really hard to go back to the in-store version.
Finally, making your own bone broth provides huge cost savings. I'm all about cutting the grocery bill without sacrificing quality! As you'll see below, my bone broth recipe is made entirely of scraps that you would otherwise be throwing away. Thus it's essentially cost-free, minus the cost of your time. Quality bone broth can be quite pricey if you use it regularly so this really adds up over time!
For all of these reasons, I think making homemade bone broth is 100% worth the effort. Once you get into the habit of it, it doesn't take much time at all. You basically just dump everything in the Instant Pot or slow cooker and let it do its thing!
Find more details on the nutritional benefits of bone broth, how to make bone broth in the Instant Pot or slow cooker and how to use bone broth below!
Is bone broth healthy?
Yes, bone broth is quite healthy. It's perhaps most well known for its collagen content but bone broth also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, glucosamine, vitamin A, vitamin K2, zinc, iron and omega-3s. The exact vitamin content of bone broth varies based on what type of bones and connective tissue you use and what other ingredients you add but you can be confident your broth will give you a nutritional boost.
Bone broth is particularly good for your digestive tract, fighting inflammation and for your joints.
If you're using chicken bones, try to get pastured chickens. If you're using beef bones, strive for grass fed beef. This makes for the most nutritious bone broth.
Is bone broth the same as chicken broth? Is bone broth the same as stock?
There is some confusion over broth versus stock versus bone broth. Is bone broth the same as chicken broth? Is bone broth the same as stock? These are common questions as the terms are quite similar and are sometimes used interchangeably. There are in fact differences between broth, bone broth and stock though.
Just like bone broth, stock is made by cooking bones & veggies in water over low heat. However, it's cooked for significantly less time and is not seasoned with salt or any other spices. It's generally thinner and lighter in color.
Broth is quite similar to stock, but is generally seasoned. It is also thin and generally light in color. You can also make broth by simmering meat without the bones.
In contrast, bone broth cooks for a long time, generally for at least 12 hours. As you'll see below, this time can be shortened using the Instant Pot! This longer cooking time allows for the collagen to be pulled from the bones into the broth, giving bone broth its signature thickness and its nutritional benefits.
Instant Pot Bone Broth Recipe
With a little practice, you will not need to follow an exact recipe for bone broth. I really do generally just use scraps from my kitchen, which means the broth will be a little different each week. That's part of the fun!
All you need to do is save any bones from your normal cooking in a container in the fridge or freezer. Opt for the freezer if you won't be making the bone broth that same week. I most often use chicken bones but you can also use bones from beef, pork or lamb. If you don't have bones on-hand, try asking at the butcher counter in your grocery store. They will often either give them to you or sell them to you for a low price.
Also, save veggie scraps like carrot tops, celery ends, onion ends and peels and garlic peels and scraps. These are the essentials but you can also add other scraps like leeks, ginger and parsley or cilantro stems.
Once your container or freezer bag is full, add everything to the Instant Pot and fill to just below the max fill line with water. Make sure to add a splash of apple cider vinegar to help leech the nutrients out of the bones. Cook on high pressure for at least 90 minutes with a natural release.
Strain the broth with a sieve and you're good to go! I typically get 2-3 containers of broth from this recipe. Store one in the fridge and the other two in the freezer so you'll always have plenty of homemade bone broth on hand. Here's the general recipe but this is definitely one where you want to experiment and use what you have on hand!
Instant Pot Bone Broth
- bones / carcass from 1 whole chickens
- vegetable scraps (carrots, celery, onions, garlic, etc.)
- splash of apple cider vinegar
- water to fill Instant Pot to just below max fill line
- optional salt to taste
- Place bones / carcass in Instant pot, leaving whatever meat is still on the bones.
- Add veggie scraps.
- Add splash of apple cider vinegar.
- Add water to just below max fill line on Instant Pot.
- Add salt if you like.
- Cook on high pressure for 90 minutes - 2 hours followed by a natural release.
How to Make Bone Broth – Slow Cooker Version
To make bone broth in the slow cooker, rather than the Instant Pot, follow the above instructions but cook in the slow cooker on low for 10-12 hours.
How to Make Homemade Vegetable Broth from Scraps
If you don't have bones on-hand, you can still make delicious homemade vegetable broth from scraps. It won't have the beneficial collagen found in bone broth but it will still contain many vitamins and minerals from the vegetable scraps.
Simply follow the same instructions as for bone broth, but use all vegetable scraps instead! Experiment with which veggies you most enjoy in broth. Avoid using cruciferous vegetables in broth as they can negatively impact the flavor. You'll need about 4 cups of vegetable scraps to make 8 cups of flavorful broth.
How to Use Bone Broth
Now that you've made your delicious bone broth, it's time to enjoy! Homemade bone broth is so tasty, it's honestly delicious to just sip on when it's cold outside.
If you get into the habit of making it every week like I have though, you'll likely want some other ways to use it as well. Here are some of my favorites:
- Soups like my Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Chicken Vegetable Soup and Thai Curry Soup
- Any recipe calling for broth like my Creamy Garlic Tuscan Chicken, 5-Spice Slow Cooker Short Ribs and my Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes
- In place of water when cooking quinoa, rice, beans, etc.
If you make my Instant Pot Bone Broth recipe, I'd love to see how you use it! Post a picture and tag me on Instagram @prepdish!