The Never-Ending Bone Broth Recipe

The benefits of bone broth have been talked about ad nauseum all over the internet. There are whole books devoted to it, diets based off it, and I even saw it featured in Shape Magazine the other day as I was flipping the pages in my wait for checking out. (So mainstream.)

But let’s recap some of the most important benefits:

  • gut healing
  • immune system regulation
  • hormone balancing
  • adrenal fatigue help
  • nutrient sufficiency

Those are some MAJOR benefits.  Most of us are depleted nutritionally, physically, and with many of our most important organ systems.  Having the humble bone broth to help is a big deal.

But even with the most well-intentioned of us, when things take up a lot of time (even if we know we should be doing them), we usually tend to let them fall to the wayside.  And bone broth is that for a lot of people.

This recipe was born out of the fact that I don’t have a lot of time to cook but I wanted to have bone broth on hand on a regular basis throughout the busy workweek.  Crockpot to the rescue!

And sure, making a completely fresh batch of everything is the perfect way to do things.  But between the extremes of perfection or not at all, I’d rather just have my bone broth the way I can fit it in. You know?

This recipe takes me 5 minutes to do in the beginning and take about 2 minutes to upkeep every day.  Even when I’m crazy busy, I definitely can find 2 minutes to fix up a batch.

The Never Ending Bone Broth Recipe


Here’s what you need:

  • Crock pot
  • 2-4 large beef knuckle bones
  • 1-2 pieces of ox tail (optional, it’s for the gelatin and connective tissues)
  • 1 whole, unpeeled onion (whatever color is fine)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of salt (I use Redmond Real Sea Salt for added trace minerals)…you can always add more so start slow and adjust to your tastes
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (avoid if you have a problem with histamine intolerance)
  • Water

Steps to Start:

1. Put bones, oxtail (if using), and onion in crock pot.

2. Fill the crock pot with water until it’s just about full.

3. Add the salt and apple cider vinegar.

4. Set on simmer for 24 hours.

That’s it! Didn’t I say it was easy?  I actually start to take out a cup at a time after about 12 hours because I’m impatient.

Steps to Keep Going After 24 Hours:

1. If using: remove your oxtail piece(s) and remove the meat off the bones.  (I suggest eating it!)  Place the oxtail bones back in the crockpot.

2. Take out several cups to drink.  Replace the same amount with fresh cold water.

3. Add more salt to taste and dash of apple cider vinegar.

4. Set to simmer for another 24 hours.

4.  Once it’s been a couple days, you might notice that it starts to get lighter in color.  That means it’s time to toss that onion and put in a new fresh one.

Again, that’s it! You just replace the water, salt, and ACV each time and you can do this for days.

The way you know the bones aren’t good to reuse anymore is if they start to crumble when you press on them.  I actually reuse my enormous bone knuckles for quite a while but that’s why I suggest using oxtail pieces because they contain the connective tissue that makes sure your broth has all those health benefits.  I stick the leftover bones in the freezer when I’m not using them and get them out again when it’s time for a new batch.

I buy my beef bone knuckles at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section next to the meat display (that where most Whole Foods keep them) for about $2 so the whole recipe comes out to pennies when you reuse them.  If they don’t have any prepackaged, you can just ask the people behind the meat counter and they’ll actually cut whatever they have in the back for you for free!

I’ve also gotten them from my pastured-meat local farmer but I had to ask for them specifically. They’ll practically give them away for free since no one else usually wants them and they have to figure out what to do with them. This has been changing in recent years as the popularity of bone broth grows…but it’s still possible to find the bones at super cheap prices!

Happy Broth-Brewing!





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18 replies

  1. It’s been three days of slow cooking my broth. The bones were not at all soft last I checked. Does this mean I can freeze them and use for another batch in a few weeks. Thanks

  2. Just wondering if you have tips for doing this with chicken bones. I just used all my bones, skin, and a roaster for chicken soup, but is this not as good for chicken because of the size of the bones? Thanks for all your wonderful ideas, recipes and lessons. It has helped my family and myself a great deal!

    • I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found it helpful! It’s totally my pleasure 🙂 You can definitely use chickem bones (and all the other parts!) fir bone broth…I do routinely and my family loves it. But I won’t cook them for mych longer than about 72 hours because the bones get soft. Hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by to ask a question, I love it!

    • Most grocery stores actually carry oxtails! I just ask the folks behind the meat counter. The whole idea behind it is to use parts that have a bunch of connective tissue so pig/chicken feet also work for this purpose and many stores carry those as well 🙂

  3. Do oxtails need to be pasture raised? I couldn’t find them pasture raised at my whole foods, but they did have some frozen that were “no cages, crates or crowding”.

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