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How To Make Bone Broth In Slow Cooker | Crock Pot

slow cooker

There are many types of bone broth with hundreds of recipes online that claim to make the best-tasting bone broth.

However, the secret to making the perfect bone broth might not be in the recipe, you choose but the cookware you use. One of the cookware that aids in making the best bone broth is the slow cooker.

Bone broth made with a slow cooker tends to have a better flavor than those made other cookware. The slow cooker or crockpot is basically an electrical cooking appliance used to simmer food at a lower temperature.

Compared to other cooking methods, the slow cooker can operate at lower temperatures for a long period of time.

Other than bringing out the flavor from the broth, the slow cooker would help you save on electricity as it may use less electricity than many other cooking appliances.

It is important to use energy-saving methods to prepare your broth as you would be simmering for about 24 hours.

Slow Cooker Basics

When using the slow cooker, there are several things you need to know or you would end up making several mistakes that would leave you with a low-quality broth.

Let it do its job

The slow cooker takes a considerable amount of time to reach a target temperature, it keeps this temperature going till the broth is done and ready to serve or store.

However, lifting the lid while the cooker is still on will allow most of the hot air escape thus reducing the temperature inside the cooker and increasing the time it would take to perfectly cook the broth while cooking the broth for long periods is great, you wouldn’t want to cook it for too long.

When using the slow cooker, ensure that the lid is closed properly and leave it so until you are ready to serve.

Most bone broth slow cooker recipes wouldn’t require you to open the lid every now and then to check how things are going in the pot so there is no reason for you to alter the temperature inside the cooker.

Use the right size of cooker

To make bone broth, you would normally require a large crockpot, however, some bone broths require larger pots due to the type of bones used.

If you are using a lot of bones, it is expected you will go for a really large pot that will not only contain the bones but also leave space for other ingredients. It is important to get a sizable crockpot when cooking your bone broth.

Many bone broth recipes will ask you to fill the pot with water till the ingredients and the bones are all submerged in water.

Depending on the number of bones you are using, this would mean you will have to add a lot of water to the crockpot. However, there are some downsides to adding too much water to the slow cooker.

If your slow cooker is too full, you could end up with an overflow or your broth will not be cooked properly. For someone who spent more than 24 hours to prepare their broth, this could be heartbreaking.

Also, if your pot is not full enough, the broth would end up being overcooked. Depending on the number of bones, vegetables, spices, and herbs, you want to use to prepare your broth, you should get a slow cooker with a capacity of 6-quart or more.

Ensure all the ingredients fit comfortably into the crockpot with enough room to spare even after filling it with water.

Overcooking

With a cooking time of 24 hours or more, it is easy to overcook your broth. Cooking your broth for long periods would be considered a good thing as the longer cooking time helps to liberate beneficial nutrients in the bone.

But if you are adding vegetables, spices, and herbs to boost the flavor and nutritional value of the broth, you would want to be cautious about the cooking time you allow.

Vegetables also tend to lose vitamins and other trace elements at temperatures below the boiling point which is exactly when the slow cooker works best, however, this can be prevented by keeping the lid on.

Bone Broth In Slow Cooker Recipes

Below, you will find several bone broth recipes for different kinds of bones, these recipes follow the same basic step in making bone broth with the slow cooker, however, we added something more to each recipe.

Since the most popular bone broth choices are chicken and beef bone broth, we made sure they were included in this recipe list.

How to make Beef Bone Broth Using Slow Cooker

Beef broth is made from beef bones, however, not just any beef bone will give you the best broth. There are some beef bone parts that are nutrient-dense and contribute to the flavor of the broth – so when making beef bone broth you should concentrate on these parts alone.

These parts include knuckles, marrow bones, oxtails, and short ribs. If you are unable to get these parts you can settle for the parts you were able to find.

Before cooking the broth, it is recommended that roast the bones to boost the flavor of the broth. Leaving a little meat on the bones would also help boost the flavor. Below you will find the beef bone broth recipe for slow cooker | crockpot.

Ingredients

  • Beef bones
  • Celery
  • Bay leaf
  • Chopped Carrots
  • Chopped Onions
  • Apple cider vinegar (2 tablespoons)
  • You can go ahead to add as much vegetables spices and herbs as you wish. These extra ingredients are added to boost the flavor of the broth, but they do more by contributing to the nutritional value of the broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and spread the bones on a pan or tray in a single layer. Place it in the oven and allow it to roast for 30 minutes, then flip the bones to the other side and allow it to roast for another 30 minutes.
  2. Place the roasted bones, vegetables, spices, herbs and apple cider vinegar in the crockpot (You can go for either a 6-quart or 10-quart crockpot, however, the number of bones you are using will determine the size of the pot you should use).
  3. Fill the pot with cool water till all the ingredients are submerged by the water. Bring the heat to low and cook for 24 hours. In the first 3 hours of cooking, leave the lid open and skim the foam that forms at the top of the pot.

    Thereafter, close the lid and continue cooking. You would need to add water continuously to ensure that the water level just above the ingredients in the pot.
  4. When done, the broth will attain a dark brown color. Turn off the heat and strain the broth through a fine sieve, strainer or cheesecloth. Remove every bone, vegetable, herb till you have just the liquid.
  5. Pour the liquid broth into several containers and cool to room temperature. When cooled, place them in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.  Before serving, skim the layer of fat that forms at the top of the container and reheat to the desired temperature before serving.
  6. You can store the broth in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for about 3 months.

How to make Using Slow Cooker

For this recipe, we decided to add more herbs, spices, and vegetables to boost the flavor and nutritional value. When going for chicken bones, the best parts to settle for include the wings, feet, and backbones.

Another difference between this recipe and the one for beef bone broth is that you’re adding the apple cider vinegar before you start cooking all the ingredients in the crockpot.

This has the same effect (that is, it still makes it easier for the nutrients in the bone to be liberated into the broth), but you will notice a better flavor in the chicken bone broth.

Ingredients

  • Chicken bones
  • Celery
  • Bay leaf
  • Chopped Carrots
  • Chopped Onions
  • Peppercorns (1teaspoon)
  • Parsley (6 sprigs)
  • Thyme (3 sprigs)
  • Oregano (1 teaspoon)
  • Apple cider vinegar (3 tablespoons)

Instructions

Roast your chicken bones by following the guidelines provided in the beef bone broth recipe.

  1. Place the chicken bones in the crockpot and add your apple cider vinegar. Fill the pot with water till the bones are submerged by the water and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and start cooking. Cooking time should be at about 24 hours.

From this point, you can follow the steps already provided in the beef bone broth recipe as they are similar and will give you the desired result.

Things To Consider When Buying A Slow Cooker

Slow cookers come in a wide range of prices that are determined by the functions, durability and the manufacturer of the slow cooker. Here are some things to consider when buying a slow cooker.

Design

There are many brands claiming that their slow cooker models are better than the other. These brands present different designs that should make using a slow cooker very easy. We’ve found out that only a few of these designs really make things easier.

When going for a slow cooker, check out for the material used in making the cooker. Ceramic, porcelain and metal slow cookers are the popular options, however, metal slow cookers do a better job of conducting heat.

You should also check if the design makes it easy to clean the cooker. If the crock and heating unit of the slow cooker are fused together, you’ll have a hard time maintaining and cleaning the cooker.

Slow cookers that come with knobs and buttons are harder to clean which is why you should go for options that come with touchpad controls

Size

Slow cookers come in many sizes that should suit every household size. You can find 3-quart, 4-quart, 5-quart, 6-quart and even 10-quart slow cookers.

Normally, you’ll have to consider your household size when buying a slow cooker, but in this case, you’ll have to think differently. Since you’re going to make bone broth with this slow cooker, you’ll need something that can fit the bones.

It is best to go for a 6-quart slow cooker which is the recommended size for most household and slow cooker recipes.

If you plan on using the slow cooker for more than making bone broth then you can go for a size of 7 or 8 quarts.

Cooking Feature

There are two types of slow cookers when it comes to cooking features – manual and programmable slow cookers. Programmable slow cookers are the most preferred option, however, they cost a lot more.

With programmable cookers, you can set a cooking time using the digital timer. A keep-warm setting automatically switches on to keep the food warm when the set time is up. Some programmable slow cookers also come with manual mode.

Manual cookers, on the other hand, come with only a few settings, you only get to turn the cooker to low, medium or high. The timer and keep-warm features are absent so you’ll have to monitor the cooking yourself.

The good news is that you can use any of these cookers to cook a nutritious bone broth. However, if you want a little more comfort, you can always go for the programmable slow cooker.

Additional Features

Some slow cookers come with additional features like a sear function that makes sautéing vegetables or browning meats easier. Features like this make the cooker more expensive.

However, you wouldn’t need to consider the sear function if you’re buying the slow cooker just for bone broth. Despite that, we advise you to consider all features because you might end up using the slow cooker for more than making bone broth.

Lid

When cooking, you might need to look at the food to monitor the progress. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself lifting the lid to see the food clearly.

Doing this leads to temperature fluctuations and makes harder for the cooker to cook the food properly. This is why you should go for a slow cooker with a glass or clear plastic lid.

Some slow cookers come with lids that lock. This prevents the food from spilling while the cooker is being moved.

Price

The price of a slow cooker can be anything between $10 and $300. The brand, durability, functions, and size of the slow cooker are the major factors that determine the price of the slow cooker.

A high-end model which is quite expensive could last you for many years if you used properly.

Most slow cookers are reasonably priced, so you’re more likely to end up getting the value for your money.

Best Slow Cookers in 2019

1. COSORI CP018-PC

COSORI is one of the best slow cooker brands and one of their best-selling models is the COSORI CP018-PC.

The COSORI CP018-PC is an 8-quart programmable slow cooker that should meet your cooking needs. If you find it difficult to make a large amount of bone broth due to the small size of your pot, then this could be your best solution.

To clear the air, the COSORI CP018-PC isn’t just a slow cooker. It comes with a bunch of additional programmable features.

It comes with 9 safety mechanisms that make the cooker one of the safety slow cookers in the market. The safety mechanisms make it safer to use the cooker by eliminating daily errors.

For maintenance, we score this cooker really high. It comes with a detachable lid that makes cleaning easier. Its stainless steel inner pot, steam rack, and glass lid are certified dishwasher safe.

Another thing we love about the lid is that it is made of glass. All you have to do is look through the glass to monitor the progress of the food rather than opening the slow cooker.

The COSORI CP018-PC is quite durable and its 2-year warranty gives all the assurance you’ll ever need.

If you’re going for a large capacity slow cooker that will serve you well and for a long time, then COSORI CP018-PC could be your best choice.

Features

Capacity: 8-Quart

Type: Programmable

Warranty: 2 years

Cooking Functions: 8

2. Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A Programmable Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot is well known all over the U.S for producing some the best slow cookers in the market. It sells one of the most affordable quality slow cookers in the market.

For less than a hundred dollars, you get a 6-quart programmable slow cooker with stainless steel design.

Unlike the COSORI CP018-PC, its SCCPVL610-S-A is only a programmable slow cooker.

The main features of this slow cooker include its high and low settings which should get you a well-cooked bone broth and its warm setting which keeps food at the serving temperature.

Through the aid of a digital timer on the cooker, you can cook food anywhere from 30 minutes up to 20 hours.

The Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A has some distinct features, you won’t find in slow cookers from other brands. It has a lid-locking feature that keeps the food (or broth) inside the cooker safe and sealed when you’re on the move.

The handles of this cooker are perfectly designed. It is better and easier to handle than the COSORI CP018-PC.

If you’re looking for an affordable option that can get the job done and remain efficient over a long period of time, then the Crock-Pot is your best option.

Features

Capacity: 6-Quart

Type: Programmable

Digital Timer: Yes

Warm Function: Yes

3. Ninja Auto-IQ CS960

Ninja Auto-IQ CS960 is a high quality 6-quart slow cooker that comes with a heavy price tag. It is one of the few slow cookers on the market that are just above $100.

The Ninja Auto-IQ CS960 isn’t just a slow cooker as it can perform a whole lot of other functions. It can bake, sauté, steam, and slow cook.

This slow cooker might not be one of the most affordable options, but it is one of the best quality options you can get. Its 6-quart nonstick pot should be able to cook you a delicious bone broth.

While there is a lot we love about this slow cooker, there are some things we noticed that were lacking.

We do love the glass lid and handles that make moving with the cooker easy, however, there is no way to seal the lid during cooking.

This is one of the reasons why we love Crock-Pot. Nonetheless, the Ninja Auto-IQ CS960 is one of the best choices in the market.

Features

Capacity: 6-Quart

Type: Programmable

Cooking Functions: 4

4. All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker

This 6.5-quart slow cooker is just the perfect size for cooking bone broth. In addition, it comes with a bunch of features that make it a great option to try out.

Making bone broth by slowly simmering the mixture of bones, spices, herbs, and vegetable should take about 24 hours for any kind of bone. With the All-Clad SD700450, you can go on for as long as 26 hours.

This slow cooker is dishwasher safe so you shouldn’t have any issues with getting it clean.

For a slow cooker that is worth over a hundred dollars, it comes with a lot of flaws.

We couldn’t find the keep warm feature which you can get with more affordable slow cookers like the Crock-Pot. Also, the lid of the pot can’t be sealed during cooking

Nonetheless, we still love this slow cooker as it gets the job done right.

Features

Capacity: 6.5-Quart

Type: Programmable

Digital Timer: Yes

Warm Function: No

5. Hamilton Beach 33866 6-Quart Slow Cooker

A list of the best slow cookers on the market won’t be complete without adding a model from Hamilton Beach. Hamilton Beach’s products are one of the most durable and efficient which why they are very popular.

For this list, we picked the Hamilton Beach 33699A 6-Quart Slow Cooker. This slow cooker comes equipped with a digital timer that allows you to set a specific cooking time or temperature. The cooker automatically switches to warm once it’s done.

The 6-quart cooker is easy to clean and dishwasher safe so you won’t need to worry about keeping the crock and glass lid clean every now and then.

Cooking time can be set for up 24 hours which is a great amount of time to prepare a nutritious bone broth.

We love all these features, but we love the sealing lid even more. The Hamilton Beach 33699A comes with clips that allow you to seal the light tightly and prevent spills while moving the pot.

All these features are good enough for a slow cooker that costs more than a hundred dollars.

Features

Capacity: 6-Quart

Type: Programmable

Digital Timer: Yes

Warm Function: Yes

6. Instant Pot DUO60 6-quart

makes one of the most popular and efficient cookers in the market. However, they don’t make standalone slow cooker. Most slow cookers you’ll find from are also pressure cookers, rice cookers, steamers, and yogurt makers.

For this list, we have chosen one of Instant Pot’s most popular models – the Instant Pot DUO60.

The Instant Pot DUO60 is a 6-quart 7-in-1 Multi-use programmable cooker. Multi-use means that it isn’t only a slow cooker. This cooker is Instant Pot’s best selling model and this is not only because it is durable, but also because it is one of the most affordable and efficient options in the market.

For less than $100, you get a cooker with a digital timer, keep warm feature, and 10 safety mechanisms that make it completely safe to use.

This cooker is also easy to clean, thanks to its fingerprint-resistant stainless steel lid and dishwasher safe inner pot, serving spoon, measuring cup, and steam rack.

The handles of this cooker make it easy to move about with the cooker. The lid is made from stainless steel and not glass or clear plastic. This could make it tough for you to check the progress of the food without opening the cooker. 

Features

Capacity: 6-Quart

Type: Programmable

Digital Timer: Yes

Warm Function: Yes

7. Hamilton Beach 33195

We’ve already talked about how much we love Hamilton Beach products. Well, here is a slow cooker model from Hamilton Beach that we love even more.

The Hamilton Beach 33195 is a 10-quart slow cooker and the largest slow cooker on our list. For a slow cooker this large and durable, it is very affordable. It is even more affordable than some slow cookers on our list that have smaller capacities.

We wouldn’t recommend you buying a 10-quart slow cooker just to make bone broth. However, this slow cooker could be the best option if you love to make a lot of bone broth at once, or if you use large bones to make bone broth.

The Hamilton Beach 33195 comes with a glass lid that can be sealed tight through the use of clips. Its handles are designed in a way that makes gripping easy.

For a slow cooker so large, it is surprisingly easy to clean. Thanks to Hamilton Beach for making maintenance and cleaning as easy as it should be.

We recommend you go for this slow cooker if you’re looking for something large and efficient.

Features

Capacity: 10-Quart

Type: Programmable

Digital Timer: Yes

Warm Function: Yes

8. Elite Platinum MST-900D

This 8.5-quart is the right option for anyone looking for something large and durable to make the perfect bone broth.

The Elite Platinum MST-900D comes with just about the same features you can find in other slow cookers. But, we do love this slow cooker a little bit more than those from other top brands.

First, the Elite Platinum MST-900D is quite affordable for a cooker of its size. It also comes with a digital timer that allows you to control cooking for up to 20 hours.

We also found a warm setting which keeps the food warm after the cooker is done with the cooking.

This cooker comes with a clear glass lid that allows you to see the food during the cooking process. Unfortunately, the lid isn’t sealable which means you would have a hard time moving the cooker around.

The Elite Platinum MST-900D is one of the best buys for large capacity slow cookers.

Features

Capacity: 8.5-Quart

Type: Programmable

Digital Timer: Yes

Warm Function: Yes

9. KitchenAid KSC6223SS

The KitchenAid KSC6223SS is a slow cooker to love. Its design, features, and capacity are just right for a slow cooker of its capacity.

The KitchenAid KSC6223SS goes for less than a hundred dollars. For that price, you’ll get a 6-quart oval-shaped slow cooker with 24-hour programmability, keep warm setting, digital display, and 4 LED-display temperature settings.

We noticed some flaws like the lack of a sealing lid which will make moving with the cooker quite difficult, however, the handles should provide the much-needed support.

If you are not too impressed by the lid, you can always go for the model with an easy serve lid. This option has a way better lid, however, you will have to spend more than a hundred dollars to get that model.

Features

Capacity: 6-Quart

Type: Programmable

Digital Timer: Yes

Warm Function: Yes

10. BLACK+DECKER SCD4007

BLACK+DECKER makes one of the most affordable slow cookers on the market. The BLACK+DECKER SCD4007 has just the right features to make it one of the best choices in the market.

It comes with a digital timer, a keep warm setting, locking wires, and a built-in lid holder.

This 7-quart slow cooker comes with a high-quality design that we just love. The sealed lid and handles make moving with the pot easier.

The exterior of the BLACK+DECKER SCD4007 is made of chalkboard and you also get chalks with the cooker. You can write down recipes on the surface of the cooker, or do whatever you want.

This design of the cooker makes it durable and efficient. It is also easy to maintain and clean.

For a cooker less than $50, we consider it to be one of the best slow cookers that offer more for less.

Features

Capacity: 7-Quart

Type: Programmable

Digital Timer: Yes

Warm Function: Yes

Conclusion

With the recipes above, you should be able to make chicken and beef bone broths using the slow cooker.

If you wish to make other kinds of bone broths like turkey, fish, duck, rabbit, etc, you can still use the recipe above as the steps in making any kind of bone is always the same.

However, the cooking time will always differ due to the density of the bone. Fish bones are usually simmered for about 8 hours before being considered done and ready.

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