Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth Recipe
If you haven’t heard about the benefits of bone broth, we’re here to fill you in. Bone broth is made by simmering bones with water and vegetables for a long time, thereby extracting a host a health benefits. Bone broth has been known to reduce inflammation, help fight off various diseases, and support the stomach lining.
In order to get the amazing benefits of bone broth, you’ll need to make your own (or buy from a trusted brand). Below, we share one of our favorite bone broth recipes, but first let’s discuss the amazing health benefits of bone broth.
The Benefits of Bone Broth
When you drink bone broth, the slow cooking process extracts the various nutrients. Bone broth contains collagen, amino acids, and minerals, all of which are needed to support optimal health. Here’s an overview of the specific health benefits of bone broth.
Can Help Support the Gut
Approximately 70% of immune system cells are found in the gut (2). When the lining of your gut becomes compromised, either by alcohol, environmental factors, or poor food choices, it can lead to leaky gut. Leaky gut, in turn, can lead to chronic illnesses, diseases, and respiratory allergies.
There is strong evidence that collagen — found in bone broth — plays a role in supporting leaky gut syndrome (1). Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body, present in your ligaments, tendons, and bones. When you simmer animal bones in water, it extracts the collagen, thereby helping to heal leaky gut. Bone broth promotes optimal nutrient absorption, as the collagen and gelatin play a role in supporting the gut lining (2).
Boosts the Immune System
Bone broth has been used around the world for centuries as a treatment for colds, coughs, and other health issues. When you were young and feeling under the weather, your parents fed you chicken soup made with real bone broth because of the healing properties it contains.
Bone broth is packed with amino acids, four of which make up the bulk of the protein content. Proline, glycine, glutamine, and arginine are the amino acids found in the highest quantities in bone broth, plus they have been shown to enhance your immune system (3)
Bone broth contains large amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation in the body can also prevent the onset of other health complications, such as cardiovascular disease, age-related disease, and other chronic illnesses (6).
Supports Joint Health
Bone broth’s anti-inflammatory properties may reduce the frequency and severity of joint pain flare-ups. The collagen in bone broth has been shown to decrease the progression of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which cause chronic inflammation of the joints. Collagen has immune-boosting properties and contains the amino acids proline and glycine, all of which are key to combating joint pain and speeding up injury recovery (7).
Bone broth may be the perfect nighttime sleep elixir for a variety of reasons. It’s an essential source of magnesium, which synthesizes proteins, transmits nerve signals, and relaxes the muscles to support restful sleep (8). It can also help you stay asleep due to the amino acid glycine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brainstem and spinal cord (9). It’s the primary neurotransmitter that inhibits sleep cycle motor neurons during active sleep (10).
Aids Weight Loss
Bone broth can support weight loss, particularly when you implement a bone broth diet. This diet cuts out problematic foods that can lead to weight gain and impaired digestion, including grains, refined sugar, and legumes. A bone broth diet replaces these foods with high-quality animal proteins and vegetables, and can also be combined with intermittent fasting.
Promotes Healthy Skin
The collagen in bone broth helps improve skin elasticity, helping to slow the aging process. It can also help improve the moisture within the skin, helping to prevent or decrease fine lines and wrinkles (12).
Since collagen has so many benefits related to skin health, beauty companies have started using it in their products. It’s not uncommon to see eye creams or moisturizers with collagen as an ingredient.
Boosts Energy Levels
Forget your morning coffee — thanks to its gut-healing properties, bone broth can naturally increase your energy levels. By repairing the gut lining, you can improve your body’s ability to absorb the essential nutrients that are needed for energy production. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus all play an important role in oxygen transport and energy production (13). Once the minerals are released, they’re highly bioavailable, making them easily absorbed, even for an impaired digestive system.
The Difference Between Bone Broth, Broth, and Stock
There is a lot of confusion between homemade bone broth, the broth you purchase at the store, and stock. While all three terms are often (mistakenly) used interchangeably, there are two differences you should note: ingredients and cooking time.
Chicken bone broth can take up to 24 hours to simmer, allowing the flavors to marry and the nutrients to be extracted. Chicken broth, on the other hand, can be made in half that amount of time, while chicken stock takes just six hours to prepare. Chicken bone broth is also commonly made with meaty bones, while chicken stock is made with clean bones.
How to Make Bone Broth
You can make bone broth through any combination of animal bones, water, and herbs. If you want to make chicken bone broth, you’ll use chicken bones, such as chicken feet, knuckle bones, neck bones, or a carcass leftover from a whole chicken. Then, you’ll combine the bones with bay leaves, Italian herbs, garlic cloves, chopped vegetables, and water. You can view a great chicken broth recipe here.
Below, you’ll learn to make beef broth, which is typically made from beef marrow bones or a beef shank. Then you’ll place all ingredients in a Crock-Pot to simmer on low heat for 24 hours.
You can make bone broth in a stock pot on a low simmer on the stovetop, in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, or in a slow cooker. You can learn how to make bone broth three different ways here. If you choose to make your bone broth in a Instant Pot, you will need to cut the cooking time in half.
You can store your bone broth in sealed mason jars or you can freeze them in ice cube trays.
Make Bone Broth at Home
If you’d like to try making homemade bone broth, there are plenty of simple bone broth recipes. Here’s our tried and true beef bone broth version, so give it a try the next time you try to make bone broth at home.
We recommend you use high-quality, grass-fed bones for the ultimate nutrient-rich broth. Roasting the bones before simmering them and tossing in some organic vegetables gives it even more flavor and nutrients. Feel free to add a dash of sea salt and black peppercorns for extra flavor before enjoying as well.
Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth Recipe
This is our tried and true beef bone broth recipe that you can make at home!
- 4 pounds mixed beef bones marrow bones, oxtail, knuckles, short rib, etc.
- 2 medium onions
- 2 medium carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Heat oven to 400°F.
Spread the mixed bones on a baking tray in a single layer and place it into the oven. Roast the bones for 30 minutes. Flip bones and roast another 30 minutes.
While the bones are roasting, chop the carrots, onions and celery. (You are discarding these later so a rough chop works great!)
Place roasted bones, chopped vegetables, bay leaf and apple cider vinegar into a 6-quart crockpot. Cover completely with cold filtered water. (All the ingredients should be submerged by about 1 inch of water.)
Cook on low for 24 hours. Add water as needed to keep all the ingredients covered in water, and periodically skim the foam off the top of the pot.
After 24 hours, the broth should be a dark brown color. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard the bones, vegetables and bay leaf.
Before storing, pour into separate containers and cool to room temperature. Once cooled, chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Skim off the accumulated fat at the top of the container, if there’s any. Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Gluten Free | Paleo | Whole30 Approved
Pin for later: