Bone broth question

(Jeff) #1

I made a bone broth over the weekend and it didn’t turn to jelly like a lot of recipes/posts I’ve seen. I roasted the bones for 20 mins, then threw them in a pot with some veggies and simmered for 24 hours. I strained the broth into a wide casserole dish to help it cool faster, and when it was cooled to a warm temp I put it in the fridge. In the fridge, the fat separated to the top and the broth remained a clear-ish liquid. No jelly.

As a bonus, my wife ‘helped’ by tossing out ALL the fat when putting the broth into mason jars. :frowning:

It still tastes good, but did I miss a step or do something wrong when cooling since it didn’t jelly? And am I missing out on any health benefits by having a fat-free broth (aside from the obvious keto benefits)?

Rudolph the Red Meat Ruminant

What bones did you use…beef, chicken, …?

(Jeff) #3

I used beef soup bones from the butcher.


A few things could be happening…

Beef is more likely to be a disappointment for not gelling, than chicken. The reason for this is because their is less collagen in beef bones usually, than for example the carcass of chicken (a lot more connective tissue between the tiny chicken bones).

The bones are larger, and require lots of time (longer than the smaller bones of chicken) to leach out nutrients.

A technique that seems to work for me with beef bones is I give the first hour a really good hard rolling boil. This aggressive approach accelerates the start of the breakdown process.

Then I turn down the heat to a simmer. And let it go for approx 48 hours, adding water if it evaporates too much.

If you are using a slow cooker, you can still use the hard boil technique at the beginning, and rest of time on low for 48 hours.

Next time, ask your butcher to give you bones with lots of connective tissue. Like ball and socket joints, where two or more bones join and hinge. This will render tons of gelatinous material. If you are boiling only cylindrical section of bones, you will get lots of minerals leaching out of bones, but significantly less collagen.

(Jeff) #5

Thanks so much for the info! I’ll try those steps next time.

I forgot to mention that I added some apple cider vinegar to the water. I read that it helps with pulling out more nutrients from the bone.


The vinegar is good for leaching out minerals (calcium, potassium, etc) but not the breakdown of connective tissue (which needs heat and time to breakdown and dissolve into the fluid).

(G. Andrew Duthie) #7

I just made a batch of bone broth this week, and mine didn’t gel either, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. As @Fiorella notes, it may just be a matter of collagen content.

I roasted the bones for over an hour, and cooked them in the Instant Pot for 8 hours under pressure, then overnight on slow cook mode. More than enough time for breaking down connective tissue and such. But while my broth has a nice fat cap, it’s still mostly liquid…only slightly gelled.

Tastes good, though. :slight_smile:

(Mike W.) #8

I’ve found that using chicken feet creates a nice gel :wink:

(Carol E. ) #9

Look for beef neck bones.

(jketoscribe) #10

Sometimes it doesn’t gel because of the amount of water. It’s no big deal–the nutrition is still there.

(eat more) #11

i’ve had the no gel issue and it makes me sad :joy:
i’ve read a few possible reasons

too much liquid in relation to joint bones and just flat out too much liquid

i was given a Bone Broth Breakthrough book (say that fast 5x)…which i haven’t looked at yet but if it offers any further tips i’ll update :blush:


I’ve had mixed results from time to time with regards to gelling, depending on how many bones are in and whether I decided to throw other stuff in. Usually marrow bones work decently if you have enough, and I always use some vinegar so can’t say how that influences the matter.

One thing I would note, 24 hours seems kinda short to me for bone broth. I’d usually go at least 48 hours, if not 72, and make sure it’s super low heat so you don’t have to worry about adding extra water or anything during that time.

That MIGHT help leach things out that will help it to gel, but not entirely sure on that point.

(I am a Dog (Dog's eat until they burst!)) #13

@FattyFatFatFat: I made a batch of broth over the weekend and it didn’t gel either, I roasted the bones, including one ball, for over an hour, turning half-way. Then put it on the stove with some vegetables, herbs for flavor and ACV and let it go for 48-hours, No gelatin!

@Fiorella: I will try your high heat for the first hour advice on the beef broth the next time!

I use chicken paws in my chicken broth and rarely get it to gel either.


Found this linked from a favored source on the topic: 5 Reasons Why Your Stock Won’t Gel

I could see any of those problems coming up for anyone really.

(Tania M) #15

The only time mine did not gel was when I used ACV. How much do you put in?

(Norma Laming) #16

Just strain and reduce the volume with a fast simmer. It means the proportion of liquid to bones was too high.