I am a very lucky girl! My parents bought me an Instant Pot for Christmas this year and I absolutely love it. I was most excited to try making bone broth because instead of half a day for one batch, I can now pump out three quarts every couple hours if I desire. Life is good.
I will admit that I was a bit intimidated by the pressure cooker option on the Instant Pot. Pressure cookers are scary, right? Well, I read the directions front to back and even did the recommended test from the manual. Everything checked out and I decided my first use would be bone broth. It was so easy and the broth gelled like no batch I’ve ever made in my slow cooker. So today I will share with you how to make bone broth in an Instant Pot without worry.
I think the most important thing to remember is not to overfill the Instant Pot. First of all, to get good pressure, the machine needs a little space at the top of the liquid. Secondly, less water means a thicker broth. And a jar of gelled stock makes me a happy chick!
You will also want to make sure you use a lot of “jointy” bones. By this I mean something like chicken feet or wings which have a lot of small joints filled with cartilage. This is what will ultimately give your broth a good gel, but it’s also full of the nutrients you are hoping to pull from the bones in the first place! Homemade broths contain the components of collagen and cartilage (glucosamine and chondroitin), which have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. They also contain hydrophilic colloids (gelatin). Gelatin, made up of the amino acids arginine and glycine, aids digestion and encourages the body to utilize complete proteins more efficiently. Gelatin is also known as “Nature’s Botox” since it is known to promote hair, skin, and nail growth! For more on this topic, check out this post.
Why add apple cider vinegar to the mix? Meat broths contain minerals from the bones, marrow, and cartilage. The addition of vinegar during the preparation of stock increases the mineral content by helping to draw them out.
A few more notes on bone broth:
Homemade bone broth is almost always in my fridge. But on the very rare occasion that I don’t have any freshly made or frozen, I like to keep a clean store bought version in my pantry. Lucky for us, there are now shelf stable options made with REAL food ingredients! My two favorites are Kettle and Fire broths and Epic broths. Both are top notch when it comes to flavor and quality!
A little earlier in this post we discussed the importance of gelatin in a real food diet. I love homemade bone broth as a source of gelatin, but did you know that you can also buy gelatin as a food based supplement? Perfect Supplements is my go-to for grass fed gelatin and collagen. Both are flavorless. Gelatin can be added to hot liquids and be used to make delicious gummie treats. Collagen is perfect for adding to hot or cold liquids and is a great way to amp up your smoothies. Perfect Supplements offers my readers a special discount on purchases made through the above links. Use code SOGOOD10 for 10% off your total order (can be combined with bulk discounts).
- 1-1.5 pounds of chicken feet or other "jointy" bones such as wings, legs, or thighs and any other leftover bones you may have like a chicken frame (AKA carcass). You can also use turkey, beef, pork, lamb, or venison bones
- 3 carrots cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- 3 stalks of celery cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- one onion, quartered (no need to peel it)
- 4-6 garlic cloves (no need to peel them)
- 1-2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- Filtered water
- Place the bones in the Instant Pot, filling it about half full with bones. Add in the vegetables and the apple cider vinegar.
- Fill the Instant Pot with filtered water to the 4L mark or a little lower if you used fewer bones.
- Make sure your sealing ring is in place on the lid. Lock the lid onto the Instant Pot.
- Place the steam release handle to the "sealing" position. It will not lock into place, but will remain loose. Just make sure it's pointing in the right direction.
- Press the "manual" button. It will light up for high pressure at 30 minutes. I like to let my broth go for 120 minutes, so press the "+" until you reach your desired pressure cooking time. Within a few seconds, the Instant Pot will beep and display the word "on". This means that the cycle has started and the pressure is building. It can take a bit of time to reach full pressure - anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Once full pressure is reached, the display will switch to a countdown timer.
- While the cycle is running, it is totally normal to hear some sputtering and clicking. You may even see some steam or water spurts coming from the steam release handle.
- After the cycle is complete, the Instant Pot will beep again and the display will switch to L0:00. It's now in the keep warm setting. It will slowly depressurize in this setting. The timer will count up to 10 hours if left alone. I have not yet used this feature. Instead, I turn the machine off (by pressing the cancel button) and slowly release the pressure manually. To do this, put on an oven mitt, keep your face away from the steam release handle, and slowly turn the handle towards "venting". I do this in little bits, letting the steam escape before pressing the knob further. You will know when the pressure is fully released, because the float valve (the little sliver button next to the steam release handle) will fall down.
- Once you have released the pressure, you can remove the lid.
- Use a ladle and a mesh strainer to help you separate the bones and vegetables from the broth.
- Store the broth in mason jars or in a glass bowl in the refrigerator. A layer of fat will come to the surface, which you can skim off once it hardens.
- We consume broth on a daily basis, so it never stays in the refrigerator for more than a week. If you will not be consuming your broth within a week, I would move it to a freezer. You can freeze it in ziplock bags or Mason jars. If using Mason jars, make sure to leave enough room in the jar for expansion and do not place the lid until the broth is fully frozen.
- Enjoy your Instant Pot!