How to Can Homemade Bone Broth or Stock

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Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

If you are looking for a recipe to make homemade bone broth, or want to find out how to can homemade bone broth and stock, then this article is for you.

The vast majority of meals prepared at home, from scratch, use stock or broth. Don’t worry, the difference between the two will be tackled in a moment.

Chicken stock is very versatile, and it can be used to make soups, stews, and sauces. It can also be used as a braising liquid, a base for gravy, or as an extra flavorful cooking fluid for grains such as rice and pasta. Risotto is an example of a grain that would not be as delicious without stock or broth.

Similarly, beef broth is handy for French Onion soup, beef short ribs, and beef stew. Aren’t you getting hungry just from reading the name of these dishes?

Vegetable stock is also a great alternative to chicken stock for vegans!

Stock vs. Broth

Let’s first discuss the differences between broth and stock.

The terms “broth” and “stock” are usually used interchangeably, as well as the ingredients. For example, if you need stock for the recipe but you don’t, you can use broth. Similarly, stock can be used instead of broth if that is what you have in your kitchen.

Stock is made from the bones or carcass of an animal (i.e. chicken or beef) with little to no meat left on them. This is what makes broth different from stock. And, to bring out the full flavors of the bones and the bits of meat left, they are normally roasted.

Broth, on the other hand, is made from bones or from meat, with or without the bone. And, sometimes you can vegetables, herbs, and seasonings to get more flavor. Another difference: the meat or bones used in making broth are not usually roasted.

Ultimately, broth and stock are very similar, and they are used interchangeably in most recipes.

NOTE: In this article, the terms “stock” and “broth” are also used interchangeably.

Health Benefits of Broth and Stock

Not only are stock and broth extremely versatile, but they are also incredibly healthy. It’s not hard to understand why chicken soup is recommended for sick people. It’s all about that healthy broth.

Stock and broth are filled with nutrients, which you get from the ingredients you use to make them. So, add carrots, onions, garlic, herbs, or other healthy ingredients to your stock. You’ll get all the nutrients extracted from these ingredients.

Stock, also known as Bone Broth, has many health benefits, and it has achieved superfood status recently because of its health benefits. Its benefits come from the bones used to make it. Animal bones are rich in all sorts of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus (found in bones); collagen (found within the joints); Vitamins A and K2, zinc, iron, boron, manganese, selenium, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (found in bone marrow).

All vitamins and minerals are vital for our health. However, collagen is specifically acknowledged for its health benefits. It is the reason behind the bone broth’s rise in popularity.

Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body, and it is crucial for maintaining healthy skin and hair, nails, muscles, bones, and joints.

There have been many collagen supplements popping up in health food shops all over the world, but you can get it in its natural (and frankly, delicious) form in bone broth. You’ll also get all the nutrients you need when you add vegetables and herbs.

Reasons to Make and Can Homemade Bone Broth or Stock?

Stock and broth can be bought at most grocery stores, but there are some reasons to make your own. And, a few reasons to can it, too.

First, making your own broth allows you to know exactly what is in it, and how much of every ingredient there is. A few popular brands of broth are loaded with additional ingredients, including inflammatory canola and/or soybean oil, artificial flavors and “enhancers,” and high amounts of sodium. Making your own broth is healthier since you can use natural ingredients, and you can reduce the salt added.

Second, if you make your own stock or broth at home, you would be saving money as it is definitely cheaper than buying some from the store. This is particularly true when you are buying a high-quality broth; organic brands that don’t contain unhealthy ingredients.

If you make your own broth, you can also use animal parts that you would otherwise throw away. With a whole or bone-in chicken in your kitchen, you can make a meal from the meat, and then use the bones/carcass for your broth. Essentially, you can make homemade broth for free, especially if you use vegetable scraps rather than whole ones.

And, even if you do not buy beef bones for the purpose of making broth, it’s still much cheaper than buying beef broth at the grocery store.

You would also be wrong (and a waste) not to make your own stock if you raise your own animals for meat.

Lastly, you can make your broth/stock from scratch, and freeze any extra. But you can choose to can it, so you can have it in a liquid form whenever you need it.

Keep in mind that stock and broth are low in acid, so they must be pressure canned for safety reasons. The recipe below also contains instructions on how to do it.

How to Make Your Own Bone Broth or Stock at Home

You understand why you should make bone broth or stock at home. Now, let’s see how it can be done.

You need to gather your ingredients. This recipe is flexible, and it does not use any set quantities. You can adjust the amount of each ingredient as you wish.

First, get the bones or meat.

If you plan to make chicken stock, you can either start with one whole chicken carcass or a few handfuls of bones. For beef stock, use 5 lbs. of beef bones to make two batches of stock.

It is okay to use “fresh” bones (i.e. bones you have just taken out of a meal), or frozen bones. You can store them in Ziplock bags, and place them in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

Then, you need to roast the bones. This is an essential step for beef broth, and it will improve the flavor of chicken broth.

If you don’t roast the bones for beef broth, it will turn out bland and gritty. And, although roasting chicken stock is not necessary, it can enhance the flavor and richness of your broth.

Next, preheat the oven to 450°F. Put the bones in a baking tray (no need for them to thaw; they can be placed while frozen). Then, drizzle a little bit of olive oil over them, and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the bones and any remaining meat is browned.

Transfer the roasted bones to a large stockpot, slow cooker, or Instant Pot.

Then, for additional flavor, you can add some chopped vegetables, herbs, and spices. Onions, garlic, leeks, celery, bay leaves, carrots, rosemary, thyme, and sage are all great options to add flavor to your stock. Your stock can also benefit from some peppercorns and a generous pinch of salt.

Use either fresh or dried herbs for additional flavor. However, dried herbs have a stronger flavor than fresh herbs, so make sure to use less.

Then, if you have any apple cider vinegar in your kitchen, add a splash of it to your broth. The ACV draws out more nutrients from the bones!

NOTE: Be careful when using sage. Too much can cause your stock to taste bitter once it is canned.

Frugal Kitchen Tip

This recipe is extra economical because it uses a lot of vegetable scraps stored in freezer bags. When making the stock, put in all the onion and garlic ends and skins, along with (washed) carrot peels and celery ends. Then, add a few handfuls of bones, and you are set.

Stovetop or Slow Cooker Method

First, fill the pot with water enough to cover the bones, vegetables, herbs, and seasonings. Then, put the lid on, and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stovetop. Or, you can set the slow cooker to low.

Reduce heat to low once simmering when you are cooking on the stovetop.

Cook on low for 8-12 hours (or up to 24 hours).

Lastly, strain out the bones, vegetables, and other solids, and reserve the liquid. You may be required to strain the liquid two times, and/or filter out small pieces using a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve.

Refrigerate bone broth before you start canning.

Instant Pot Method

If you are using an Instant Pot, fill it with enough water to cover vegetables, seasonings, and bones, but don’t fill past the maximum amount allowed. Then, put the lid on, and make sure to close the vent knob. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure, and allow it to cook for 2 hours.

After the timer is up, let Instant Pot depressurize naturally. Take off the lid after about 30 minutes and strain, then reserve the liquid.

Refrigerate bone broth before you can homemade bone broth.

Let bone broth cool in the pot. You can also either transfer it to a container or divide it between two quart-sized mason jars. After the broth has cooled, leave the container in the refrigerator overnight.

Refrigerating for at least 8-12 hours before canning is an important step, so any fat will rise to the top and harden. This will make it easier to skim it off.

This is particularly important for the beef stock since it produces a thick layer of beef fat (tallow). You shouldn’t can any fat, for safety reasons. However, it’s fine to have a small amount of fat, as long as most of it is removed completely.

After the stock has cooled in the refrigerator, take it out and skim off the fat. You will notice the stock thickening and becoming more gelatin-like than liquid. This is a good sign! If your stock is thicker, the more collagen it contains. And, don’t worry, once you heat it again or can it, it will return to liquid form.

How to Can Homemade Bone Broth or Stock

First, transfer your stock to a large, stainless steel pot, and bring it to a boil. Then, use a ladle to pour hot stock into the jars you prepared. But, don’t forget to leave at least one-inch headspace at the top.

Make sure to clean the rims of the jars, so there is no residue from the stock on the rims. This will prevent them from sealing well. Use a paper towel, or rag dipped in white vinegar to clean the rims. The vinegar will break down the oiliness or fat of the stock, and it will make sure that there is no residue left.

Put new lids on the jars, and screw the bands tightly.

For 30 minutes, process pint jars, and 35 minutes for quart jars at 10 lbs. of pressure. You have to increase to 15 pounds of pressure if you are canning at more than 1,000 feet above sea level.

  • Other bone broth/stock-canning recipes may say that you should process the stock for 20 minutes for pint jars or 25 minutes for quart jars. However, this is only safe when you follow a safe and proven recipe. As this recipe requires a few of this and a few of that, you need to increase the processing time to 30 minutes for pint jars or 35 minutes for quart jars. Follow the processing time for vegetable stock rather than meat stock because the vegetables in this recipe need a longer processing period than meat.

After the processing time is done, let the canner depressurize completely. Then, take off the lid, and allow the jars to sit in the canner for 10 more minutes before removing.

Take jars out of the canner, and allow them to cool completely on a towel on your countertop. Then, store it.

The canned stock should not be exposed to direct sunlight. It should be kept in your pantry, and used within the year. This is a precaution for all home-canned foods, but there are instances that it may be kept for two years and it will be okay.

How to Store Homemade Bone Broth or Stock

Stock can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week if you don’t wish to can it.

Or, you can freeze the homemade stock for up to one year (for the best quality.) However, to allow expansion, leave enough headspace at the top of any jar or container that you are using for freezing. It is preferable to leave at least two inches of headspace.

How to Use Homemade Broth or Stock

Your homemade stock or broth can be used in many different ways. It can be used as a base for soups, stews, sauces, and gravies, or as a marinade for braised meats. You can also use it to cook rice and pasta instead of water for additional flavor.

To get all the nutrients, you can heat a mug or bowl of your homemade broth, and sip it on its own. This is especially helpful if you feel sick, or you are coming with something.


  • Beef or poultry bones
  • Veggies/veggie scraps (onions, garlic, celery, carrots)
  • Fresh or dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaves, peppercorns etc.)
  • Salt (a generous pinch)


  1. For a richer and more flavorful broth, roast the carcasses/bones in a 450°F oven for 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Add the roasted bones to a stockpot, slow cooker, or an Instant Pot. Then, put in any vegetables or vegetable peels that you have. You can use carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.
  3. You can also add a few fresh herbs, or you can use dried herbs like rosemary, bay leaves, and sage. Take care when you use sage, as too much could make your stock taste bitter.
  4. Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt, then add enough water to cover the ingredients. Slow cook the stock/broth in a slow cooker or on the stovetop for 8 to 12 hours (up to 24 hours). Or, in an Instant Pot set on high pressure for 2 hours.
  5. Strain the liquid and discard the solids. After the stock has cooled enough, place it in a refrigerator and allow to cool down until the fat on top sets.

Pressure Canning Instructions

  1. Make sure to prepare canners, lids, and jars.
  2. Take the stock out of the fridge, and use a spoon to scrape off any fat on the top and throw it away. Then, add the liquid stock to a stockpot, and bring it to a boil.
  3. Hot stock should be ladled into jars leaving 1-inch headspace at the top. Then, use a towel dipped in vinegar to wipe the rim. The vinegar will remove any fats that might prevent the lid from sealing. Put the lids on, and screw the bands on to fingertip tight.
  4. Put jars into a pressure canner, and process pint jars for 30 minutes and quart jars for 35 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. You need to increase to 15 lbs. of pressure if you are canning at more than 1,000 feet above sea level.
  5. After the processing time is over, turn off the heat, and let the pressure canner depressurize completely. Next, remove the weighted gauge, and wait for 2 more minutes. Take off the lid, and wait another 10 minutes before you remove the lid. Allow jars to rest on a towel on the countertop for at least 12 hours before you move them to your pantry.

Recipe Notes

This recipe is versatile, and it doesn’t have any set quantities of ingredients. You don’t need to measure out your vegetables as long as you pressure can it for either 30 minutes (pints), or 35 minutes (quarts).

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