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4 Reasons Your Bone Broth Won’t Gel

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I’ve been making bone broth for the past 25 years, and learned from watching my mom in the kitchen with her soup pot bubbling and the wonderful aromas of herbs and aromatics filling the house all day.

It wasn’t until the last few years that I actually found out why bone broth is so important in our diet and I began researching this wonderful and simple food.

Researchers Confirm What Mom/Grandma Already Knew

Now we have science that validates what my mother and her mother knew intuitively – rich, homemade chicken broth helps cure colds.  It aids digestion – the gelatin in the stock aids in the digestive process and stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals.

It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.

Do you make your own bone broth and want it the thicken and gel?  Pastured Chicken Feet from our Farm Store are the best way to do that.

Here are more reasons it may not gel…

4 Reasons your Stock won’t Gel

  1. The stock rolled at too high a temperature.  If stock is simmered too high, the heat will break down and destroy the collagen.
  2. The stock did not roll long enough.  Once you get that perfect simmer or “roll” going, be sure that chicken stock rolls for 6-24 hours and beef stock for 12-50 hours.  Less than that will likely not draw enough gelatin into the stock from the bones.
  3. Too much water was used in proportion to the bones.  For chickens, the correct proportion is 3-4 lbs of bones per 4 quarts of filtered water. For beef stock, the correct proportion is 7 lbs of bones per 4 quarts of water or more to cover.
  4. Using bones from battery chickens or chickens raised in cages.  Conventionally raised chickens or chickens raised in cages typically yield little to no gelatin.   It is worth the extra money to get high quality like the pastured chickens we sell in our store.

Chicken Stock

  • 1 whole Champoeg Creamery free-range chicken
  • 2-4 chicken feet from our store
  • 4 quarts cold filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley

Place chicken in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley.
Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-12 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley.
This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass.
Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries.
Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals.
Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.

Nicely gelled bone broth.
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jennifern T August 28, 2013, 4:12 am

    Thank you for being such wonderful examples of farmers!
    Love reading anything you write. Do you have a newsletter?

    • Charlotte Smith September 3, 2013, 9:06 pm

      Yes, Jennifer – just opt-in to our website – leave your name/email in the box on the right hand side and you’ll receive monthly updates. 🙂

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Get the free guide: How to use Bone Broth to Heal + Delicious Recipes and Troubleshooting Tips!
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