Perpetual Soup: The Easiest Bone Broth You’ll Make

Bone broth is a staple of my family’s diet.  As with healthy fats, heirloom vegetables, grass-fed meats and a good old-fashioned cod liver oil, we consume a lot of bone broths – usually aiming for one quart per person per day, at the recommendation of our nutritionist.  Broth, you see, is a nutritional powerhouse.  It is extraordinarily rich in easy-to-assimilate minerals, amino acids and goodies like glucosamine chondroitin.  Its gelatin helps to heal the gut, which is why it plays such an integral role in the GAPS diet, and it provides powerful medicine – particularly in combating colds and flus.

And, you did read that right: we do aim for one quart per adult per day (the little one of the household gets at least a pint).  That’s a lot of broth.  Let me do the math for you.  That’s between two and three quarts per day, averaging to about four and a half gallons of broth each week for our family.  Yes, as you might imagine, soups and stews are a big part of our day, more so in the winter than in the summer.  When I serve breakfast, I serve it with a mug of broth and another mug of broth sits at my desk as I work.

It’s a beautiful thing, really, and I credit good broth, cod liver oil and of fermented foods with the resilient immunity my family enjoys each flu season.  We also use these unconventional techniques to fight the flu and build immunity.

So how do we make enough broth?

So if you’re wondering just how I manage working at home full time, homeschooling our 6-year old with making four and a half gallons of bone broth each week, I’ll tell you.  I slow cook it.  I call it perpetual soup.  You see, my six-quart slowcooker (kinda like this one) is my cauldron.  That is, it is always on – bubbling away and ready to nourish my family with the bounty of the bones that stew away every hours of every day.

Once a week, I place the frame of a roast chicken into the slow cooker, cover it with filtered water (We use a Berkey to filter our water, and you can find them online.), toss in a few bay leaves, black peppercorns and vegetable scraps, turn it on and call it good.  As I pull broth from the slow cooker, I filter it through a reusable coffee filter which helps to strain out any floating herbs, chicken skin or pieces of bone and results in a beautiful clear broth.  As I remove broth, I add water and continue the process throughout the week – ensuring that by the end of the week every bit of goodness has been pulled from that chicken frame.

And, in case you’re worried about the cost of keeping your slow cooker on twenty-four hours a day, every day of the week, the estimated cost of running your slow cooker is about $0.01 to $0.03 per hour – for a total cost of $1.68 to $5.04 for the week.  Undoubtedly worth it.  Learn more about energy-wise cooking here.

chicken broth slow cooker

Perpetual Soup or Bone Broth the Easy Way

By Jenny Published: December 7, 2011

  • Yield: As much or as little broth as you want, my family consumes about 2 to 3 quarts of broth each day.
  • Prep: Perpetual min

Perpetual soup: Bone broth can be made in a slow cooker using this simple technique.


  • 1 whole chicken (or the frame of a roasted chicken)
  • 2 sweet bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • any vegetable scraps you have on hand
  • filtered water


  1. Place one whole chicken or the frame of a roasted chicken into your slow cooker with sweet bay, black peppercorns and any vegetable scraps you have on hand. Cover with filtered water and cook on low for one week.
  2. After twenty-four hours, you may begin using the broth. As you need broth or stock, simply dip a ladle or measuring cup into the slow cooker to remove the amount of stock you need. Pour it through a fine-mesh sieve or, preferably, a reusable coffee filter which will help to clarify the broth. Replace the broth you remove from the slow cooker with an equivalent amount of filtered water. If you’re using a whole, fresh chicken, you may also remove chicken meat from the slow cooker as desired for stir-fries, in soups or in
  3. At the end of the week, strain off any remaining broth and discard or compost the bones. The bones from your chicken should crumble when pressed between your thumb and forefinger. Their softness is an indication that much of the nourishment from the bones – minerals, amino acids – have leached from the bones and into the broth you’ve enjoyed all week long. Wash the insert of your slow cooker and start again.

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What people are saying

  1. Catherine says

    What about apple cider vinegar? I was under the impression that ACV is needed to pull minerals from the bones. Is it not necessary because you cook it so long?

        • ChristaJeanne says

          I used the recipe in Practical Paleo, which called for 2 Tbsp. ACV (preferably Bragg’s) for 64 cups of water plus the frame of my Thanksgiving turkey – you couldn’t taste it at all! I noticed the smell at the start of the cook time, but that only lasted for a few minutes.

          • Inger says

            I use white wine for the same purpose–the acidity helps draw the minerals out of the bones. I use 1/2 cup for an 8-gal. kettle filled w/bones.

            • cheryl says

              i use acv or clean organic lemons ginger and a chunk of fresh turmeric. fennel and caraway are nice also or star anise are healthful and yummy.

              • Newby says

                I’m new to this. My question- is there any risk of food poisoning from keeping this broth going all week? Won’t it go off? Sorry, but need to understand…

                • Anne says

                  The broth won’t go off, It’s kept at a constant simmer by the crock pot, which means between 195 and 212. At this heat all germs are killed. Germs are what creat spoilage, hence no spoilage.

  2. says

    You mention using a whole chicken which is what I am doing right now. My question is, how long does it have to cook in the crockpot before the meat is done and I can take it off the bones?

    • says

      I guess you haven’t had time to respond but I figured it out. It took about 5 hours; I cooled it and pulled off the chicken meat. After the bones had cooked for 2 days and were sufficiently soft, I cooled the broth and put the whole thing in my VitaMix to liquify the bones. Now my broth includes all the marrow, too, as well as every piece of bone. It is so delicious!

      • says

        I’ve been making bone broth in my stock pot on the stove top for a couple years. The first few batches I brewed for a couple days, then squeezed the bones to reveal quite a bit of stuff that looked like it was too worthy to be thrown out, so I pinched open all the pieces that would “give” and kept on simmering. I have a Vita-Mix and after the long simmering process, I process it ALL in that, about 6 Cups at at time. I freeze it and use it as soup base later on (but never much later!). It warms the apartment nicely in winter; I don’t do it much in Texas summers. Even the VitaMix leaves some chewy “sand” in the bottom (it’s more annoying when a tiny grain of bone gets stuck in my throat), and that sometimes gets tossed. It adds SO MUCH taste to plain soups (split pea, lentil, etc. all those things GAPS restricts!).
        I use beef bones, too, but they don’t boil down to grit as quickly as chicken, so I pinch open the bones that will “give” and then put the more resilient ones back in the freezer for next time, once I collect enough bones for another batch.

        • Karen says

          Small investment, big payoffs. Sturdy and reliable. May I offer a suggestion to those who cannot afford one. Put it on your Christmas, birthday wish list. A couple of people can go in on buying it for you.

  3. Shar says

    We started pasturing 2 cattle for beef and was wondering if the beef bones would work for perceptual soup too?

    • says

      I use beef bones, too, but they don’t boil down to grit as quickly as chicken, so I pinch open the bones that will “give” and then put the more resilient ones back in the freezer for next time, once I collect enough bones for another batch. The size of cow bones keeps the goodies inside very well protected and they sound awful / unsafe in a VitaMix.

    • Mike Corbeil says

      Shar wrote on April 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm, “We started pasturing 2 cattle for beef and was wondering if the beef bones would work for perceptual soup too?”
      It’s perpetual, not perceptual. Perpetual is about time, whereas perceptual is about perception, how we perceive something.

    • Mike Corbeil says

      I’m new at this, but you could try a Web search using beef (or veal), bones, broth and possibly recipe for search terms. I’m somewhat new to this, only having begun last month to use Web searches to try to find out how other people boil their meat bones in order to make broths and stocks. I’ve done it for some years with chicken and turkey carcasses, the skeletal remains. I just threw all of the remains, minus the skin of the birds, into a stock pot, filled it with water enough to have nearly a couple of inches of water above all of the bones, added some spices (romarin, black pepper, maybe oregano, and onion), and then cooked this at a low boil for 2.5 to 3 hours. It seemed okay, I guess, but I bought some beef bones nearly 2 months ago and wasn’t sure how to proceed with these, so did some Web searches.
      Firstly, it seems that veal bones are far more recommendable than beef bones are. Same animal, only much younger. (I imagine lamb bones would also be very good to use but I haven’t begun to search about using these, yet.)
      Secondly, the bones should have meat on them. Meat on or with the bones is apparently important for adding more flavor. And, I guess anyway, it also adds minerals.
      Thirdly, and like this Web page says for making chicken broth, adding vegetable scraps seems to be of real value. All of the recipes I read about making beef bone broth said to add vegetable scraps, which is something I never thought of doing when I formerly boiled chicken and turkey bones.
      One thing the or most of the recipes for making beef bone broth said about vegetable scraps is to NOT use, so to exclude, scraps from cruciferous vegetables. They include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mustard and collard greens, kale, and possibly other plants. For a reason I don’t yet know, these cruciferous vegetables must be excluded when making beef bone broth and the same has to be true when making veal bone broth, since it’s the same animal.
      If you check the Wikipedia page for “Cruciferous vegetables”, then you’ll see a table for a considerably long list of plants in this family. It includes the plants I named, above, plus many more; even radish, turnip and rutabaga. I’m not happy about turnip and rutabaga, for I used scraps of them for making my veal bone broth this week. There was very little of these scraps though, so the broth will hopefully be unaffected.
      But it seems that someone who makes broths from veal or beef as well as fowl should freeze the vegetable scraps separately; freezing the cruciferous plant scraps in a separate bag or container. If only interested in making veal or beef broth, then the cruciferous scraps can simply be thrown out or into the compost bin right away. I’d want veal and fowl broths, and will look into lamb and probably ham; as well as fish, seafood and pure vegetable broths. All of these are healthy for us and as an old English-language expression says, “Variety is (the) spice of life”.

      BTW, this Web site has a recipe for making beef bone broth or stock and it’s one of the recipes I found last month while searching the Web.

      The recipe uses the term “brassicas” instead of crucifers, but crucifers is what they are. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Brassica (…) is a genus of plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae). The members of the genus are collectively known as cruciferous vegetables, cabbages, or mustards. Crops from this genus are sometimes called cole crops, which is derived from the Latin caulis, meaning stem or cabbage.[1]”.

      None of the beef/veal bone broth recipe Web pages I read through explain why the crucifers (cruciferous vegetables) need to be excluded and I’d seriously like to know what the reason is. But, when we get warnings like this, then it’s to help prevent readers from diminishing or else ruining the quality of their results. So we should heed the warnings.

      • heather says

        Mike dear, you mustn’t use brassicas or cruciferous veg in your stocks because of the high level of sulfur in the vegetables. The longer they cook, the stronger and more unpleasant they taste. Don’t get me wrong, I love broccoli, turnips, greens, rutabagas, etc. but they make a very unsavory stock. (I tried it once. Yikes.)
        Happy stocking!

        • Inger says

          In my 8-gal. kettle, I put mostly chicken bones, then add fistful of organic celery tops, one carrot, an onion, and a turnip, in addition to a couple of bay leaves, a small fistful of peppercorns, a tablespoon of Celtic salt, and 1/2 cup white wine.. I consider the turnip a wonderful addition; it does not add any off flavors or smells whatsoever.

          • Romeo Danais says

            Whenever I am preparing meals using onions, carrots or celery, I always place the ‘ends’ & the peels of the veggies in the same freezer bag I place chicken parts (skin, bones, drippings from the pan, etc.) until I have accumulated 3 chickens worth of ‘parts’, I throw all the onion skins & ends, carrot & celery ends (including the root end of the celery, even if there is a little dirt left on the stem) all into my stock pot. Hey, why throw away all the ‘ends and peels’ when every recipe calls for “cut an onion in quarters, or cut a carrot in sections or cut 1 or 2 branches of celery’ – why not use the ends. I have been doing that for years! And, it works just fine! The veggie ends & peels add a lot of depth to your stock. I don’t use any other veggies in my stock and I NEVER add salt, as the salt intensifies as you reduce stock, a little pepper a bay leaf, that’s fine.

            When My stock is ready, usually after a light bubble of cooking for a day or two, I simply turn off the burner and let the entire pot cool. I ‘fish out’ the bones & veggie trimmings and dump them into a large colander sitting over as large a pot as my stock pot. Then I dump the entire contents of the stock pot in the same colander (I fish out the scraps first because they can suddenly surge when you are dumping them and cause a spill) and let the contents drain into the 2d pot. I dump the drained contents into my yard where my chickens consume all but any large bones within an hour or tow – they are so happy!
            Next, I chill the stock, allowing the fat to rise to the top and congeal. I scoop out the fat, heat it and allow it to chill as a method of clarifying it, I use the fat for cooking things such as French Fries – WOW, you’ve never tasted such fries as when you cook the in chicken fat (or duck fat, even better).
            Once I’ve removed the fat, I heat the stock to ‘thin it’ and then pour it through a wetted kitchen towel to strain out the the teeny bits and pieces leaving me with a nice semi-clear stock. I ladle the tock into a 1/2 liter measuring cup, pour it into zip-lock sandwich bags and freeze them for future use.
            Or, I keep enough on hand to make a new chicken soup,
            Sweat some diced veggies in un-salted butter, add chopped chicken, canned, diced tomatoes, maybe some type of pasta, let it simmer for a bit, and voila, the best chicken soup ever.
            BTW, if you process your own, home grown chickens (or know someone that raises chickens on the farm and processes the chickens), save the feet, or ask your friend for the feet. Usually, the feet are thrown away – big mistake! Use the feet just as you would the other bones of chicken for making stock. WOW, now you have stock on steroids – just kidding about the steroids – for a stock that jells up like super Jello, in fact its even denser than Jello! Now, we’re talking super Condroiton!

  4. Laurie Rathsam says

    If you cook the chicken in the soup for a week, it seems that the fat would be kept at an elevated temperature (even though it’s a crockpot) for a long period. Doesn’t this render it unhealthful?

    • Mike Corbeil says

      Based on Web searches performed over the past couple of months for making broth using beef bones, as well as veal (young beef) bones, the ultimate amount of cooking time, using simmer after getting the water to boil at the start and whenever more water is added, is 72 hours. Some authors of recipes said far fewer hours, but some of them added that 72 was ideal. And they all said to then let the liquid cool and then put the pot in the refrigerator. Refrigeration is for causing the fat to harden and coagulate, rather than being in an oily film form; making it easy to remove the fat. I experimented with this and found it to be true.

      The same thing could be done with broth made using bones, et cetera, from chicken, turkey and other fowl; surely. It may be a very good idea to allow whatever’s not going to be consumed in a day to continue to simmer, while removing what’s going to be consumed, allowing it to cool, placing the cooled liquid in the refrigerator until the liquid is cold, and then pulling the container out of the refrigerator to see the results. If you see stiffened or hardened coagulated fat on the surface of the liquid, then remove these fat pieces. Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about the tiny amount of fat that might be present in the liquid.

      With fowl, and if the bones, et cetera, are boiled and then brought down to simmer for many hours of cooking, I doubt that you’ll find any significant presence of fat; if the skin and all visible fat underneath skin is removed before the cooking. I don’t know why someone would want to include the skin and removable fat during the cooking. I’d definitely remove it, first. After that, I wouldn’t worry about a little saturated fat that’s in such small quantity that it isn’t even noticeable after refrigeration. A little saturated fat isn’t going to kill even me, who has to be careful about triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.

      If the rest of a person’s diet is good, like very low in saturated fats, then there shouldn’t be a problem, I believe anyway.

      • says

        Why not go to You will find articles such as “The skinny on fats” talking about fat and biochemistry – we need more saturated fat in our diets than what the mainstream wants us to believe. Also, starches/carbohydrates is what elevates triglycerides. My husband lowered his triglycerides that way – we use full fat cheeses, milk, and don’t take off skin or skim fat off chicken soup either.

  5. Shauna says

    I have tried this the last couple of weeks. I was wondering why it started to smell bad after the first couple of days? I had an onion in. Is prolonged cooking ok with the fat left in? also have added egg shells for more mineral content. Is that appropriate for ‘perpetual’ stock. I gave up on the last batch and started over because I figured if it doesn’t smell good, might not be good for us.

    We have a large family (9 of us), so my recipes take a lot off. Would rebuilding so often reduce the quality? I’m assuming I would start fresh every 4 days or so, though we are no to the extent of the whole lot of us just drinking it, so sometimes it sits and other days I use a lot. Thanks for your response!

      • Shauna says

        Some days only a cup or two. Others I will use maybe 2/3 then refill, if I’m using it for soup. It is a 6 quart.

        • jenny says

          That’s the problem. If you’re only taking a cup or two, the stock will taste burnt. If you’re using half, the stock will become watery.

          • says

            It sounds from your post that you are consuming 2-3 quarts per day which would be more than half the liquid in a 6qt stockpot. Does your broth become watery? I am on the GAPS diet and with a family of 5 we seem to go through several gallons of stock per week. For the past year we have been making it in our 9 gallon stockpot, but this results in an electricity increase of about $80/mo. I would love to switch to the crock-pot, or even two, as I have 13qts between the two, but I need to be sure that I can access 2-3 qts per day and that those quarts and the ones following are of high nutritional content. I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks so much!
            As a side note, I’ve pleased to hear about the grinding of the used bones. We had been giving all of these soft bones to our working dogs, but I may start skimming them for myself and leaving them with the goat bones. Thanks again!

      • Mike Corbeil says

        Frances wrote, “Egg shells can have bacteria on them …”.

        Sure, but shells from hard-boiled eggs can be used very safely. I lightly roasted some in the oven between 160-170F to get them nice and brittle and then powdered them. It’s a very rich source of calcium and based on what I read, this also is a a very easily digested calcium source, the easiest to quickly benefit from. Something like that anyway.

        Shells from raw eggs can possibly be used, though how to properly clean is something I don’t know and could only guess about. We can safely consume raw eggs from healthy producers though, so there should be a way to clean the outside of the shells of raw eggs to make them safe for human consumption. On the other hand, if the shells are placed in the broth liquid when it’s going to be brought to a boil, then the boiling may be possibly enough to decontaminate shells that have bacteria; perhaps (?).

  6. truefeather77 says

    I must be a real cooking ignoramus? What is a chicken frame? Does it just mean everything but the mean, like skeleton and skin? And if the fat is hot for that long, doesn’t it get rancid?

    • ChristaJeanne says

      I asked my mom, who made soup from poultry frames (the main body after you’ve picked off the meat) all during my childhood – she said that you want to leave in the skin plus some meat on the bones because that’s what gives it a good flavor. If you use a Thanksgiving turkey, it’s recommended to throw in the turkey neck if you had it roasting in the pan, too. I also threw in the wings and a drumstick whole!

  7. Elisabeth says

    Hi Jenny,

    I am feeling really dense right now, but I can’t seem to find the note you mention in the ingredients list regarding recommended vegetables. I read this post last week, and recall seeing the note then–but can’t remember where I saw it or its contents (I have two boys, 3 and five months ha!). I am roasting my chicken today to then pop in the crock pot tonight, so I hope you see this and can point me in the right direction! Something about vegetables that slow cook better than others… ??

    • Kira says

      Hi Jenny, I also can’t find the note Elizabeth is referring to. Although the ingredient list mentions to see the note about which vegetables work best, that sentence doesn’t seem to have a link and I don’t see a note anywhere else. Did you remove that link?
      I made Mark Hymen’s Ultrabroth a few times and I seem to recall him recommending not using onion or garlic because it can make the flavor weird after so much cooking. It’d be much appreciated if you can point us to the appropriate note or link!

  8. :D says

    Thank you for your post on bone broth soup. As a child, I grew up on long-simmering soups. My Chinese parents would make make long-simmering soup two or three times a week. Whenever we are sick, my parents would say we are not drinking enough soup. As an adult, I have carry on the tradition of making soup for my family. It is very nourishing and cleansing for our bodies. The slow-cooking method is new to me, but it makes sense. My father had a restaurant and the way they make their tasty chicken stock is to leave a very large stock pot on the stove simmering all day long and they keep adding chicken bones as they debone fresh chicken. The longer the stock simmers and adding more bones in, the sweeter and more rich the stock becomes. When I make chicken stock at home, I will simmer my chicken stock using skinless chicken and simmer for about 4 to 6 hours on the stove. The stock taste rich and sweet that I don’t need to add salt. I can just drink it plain. I don’t add any pepper or herbs to the broth. Just water and chicken to make my rich stock (the Chinese way). I will try the slow cooker method. I’m a bit hesitant is that I’m not use to leaving a slow cooker 24 hours a day and having to leave for work a good part of the day and hoping I don’t come home in horror to see my house burnt down to the ground because of bone broth soup.

  9. Nancy Hohmann says

    Help, I made the broth from a whole chicken beginning on a Friday evening. Took the meat off the bones and returned the carcass to the pot about noon on Saturday. Also drank about a quart of the broth (replaced with water). Sometime during the night (Saturday), we lost power or had a power surge…anyway when I got up this morning, the crock pot had gone off. The ceramic liner was still pretty warm to the touch and broth was pretty warm (but not hot). I went ahead and strained the broth and stuck it in the fridge and tossed the bones. Is it safe to drink the broth? Thanks so much – I love your site!

  10. Justine says

    So you use 1 chicken carcass per week? I was wondering how many times I could “re-use” the chicken bones to make broth. I was under the impression I could only use it once.

  11. says

    Thank you for sharing. I will be using this!! We’d love to have you share on our site. Go take a peek, if you’re interesed, shoot me an email. I know the ladies would love, love, love, to hear from you!!

    Kind regards,
    Kasse D.

  12. Gina says

    I tried making this soup, but I think my crockpot is not heating high enough. I never actually get a simmer or any bubbles of any kind. I looked up how to check the temperature on the crock pot, and I checked it at about 3 hours and again at 9 hours. The broth only registered at about 150 at 3 hrs and the chicken was about 130. At 9 hrs it read 185 for the broth and I think it was more like 150 for the chicken itself. I was scared to eat it so I tossed it all. Do you see an actual simmer on your broth when it is in the crock pot? It is a long oval crock pot. I also have the basic round crock pot and it seems to always get food simmering. I think I am going to try setting the oval crock on high and test it with water only to see what happens. if it doesn’t work I am tossing the oval one.

  13. Beverly says

    Hi! I just found this wonderful blog and I am intrigued by perpetual soup. I started my first batch last Wednesday night with a whole chicken and the other recipe ingredients. Thursday morning I removed the chicken meat and returned the bones and organs to the pot. I have been following the instructions regarding taking out stock and adding water.
    I have a quick question: Is it safe to keep the crockpot on the “keep warm” or lowest setting? I checked the broth’s temperature just now and it is about 140 degrees F.
    Any feedback would be greatly apreciated.
    This is the tastiest stock I have every made. My children are enjoying it with noodles!

    • says

      Check the heat on your soup after it’s been heating for an hour. My crockpot is about 175F on low and about 190F on high. According to food handler’s permit training, unrefrigerated poultry needs to stay above 165F to remain safe for consumption.

      • Matthew says

        Check those food handler’s temps again.165F is what poultry needs to reach before you can eat it. Holding temp is no less than 145F.

  14. Karen says

    I have tried this several times now and have come up with a way that works for me. I have a very large, very new, Hamilton Beach, 8 quart oval crock pot. The first few times I followed this recipe (leaving out the carrots, etc) I put the crock pot on LOW and 12 hours later, the mixture was boiling and boiling. By 24 hours, the smell was overwhelming because it was actually boiling out the water and the liquid that as left was getting pretty concentrated, and strong smelling. Remember this is on LOW. But this last time, I put the crock pot on HIGH for about 30 minutes (to heat it up, but not to boiling) then turned it on WARM. I tested the temperature after 12 hours, and it was 170. (per the USDA, 40 to 140 is the “danger zone”) The mixture had an occasional bubble here and there, but it was not boiling. PERFECT. You want your stock to be on a simmer that produces an occasional bubble every 2-3 seconds. After 36 hours, I used a fine mesh strainer to get most of the liquid out (I push the bottom of the strainer down in the mixture, then scoop liquid out of the middle of the strainer), then I filled it up again with fresh water and kept the mixture going. I turned it on HIGH for 30 minutes again, then back on WARM. I expect I could do this for an entire week, removing broth and adding water, no problem. And there is no smell! The smell was so strong before, it would wake us up in the back of the house. Hope this helps some people!! I really think that crock pot makers are afraid of getting sued, so they have changed newer crock pots to run hotter than they used to.

  15. Kaarin Puhala says

    I realize this is an older post, but I just came across it and am very interested in starting this process for my family. I mentioned it to a friend and her concern was lead in the crock pot. I never thought of that. What do you think? Is it a concern at all?

  16. Steve says

    I make one big pot per week. The dogs get chicken legs added to their food so I use those.

    I get those “stock bags” which look like big net. Theyre very cheap, maybe a buck for bag of 4 or 5.

    I then put the chicken legs in the bag with whatever veg scraps I have (yesterday’s batch was leek tops, celery tops, bell pepper scraps, onion scraps, tomato, garlic, and a handful of red cabbage trimmings). A good amount of sea salt is added then slow boiled for several hours.

    I then drink the broth or make different soups (like Stracitella Romana) and give the chicken and vegetables to the dogs.

  17. says

    Holy crap, perpetual broth is a GREAT idea! I make broth weekly.. from a recipe.. and it never occurred to me to just use “vegetable scraps” (which I am so trying to be better about!) of which I have many, every week. I’m just going to do this from now on for sure!

  18. Gilbert Cimoli says

    My question is about organ meats ? I have never read anything about beef tripe ?
    What do you think

  19. Julia says

    I was wondering if using the perpetual method will in any way effect the quality of the gelatin? i.e., does it break it down too much for it to be in the pot for so long? I’ve been doing the perpetual soup for about 3 months now and absolutely love it. I just want to make sure I’m not shooting myself in the foot regarding the nutrients.
    Also, I’ve noticed that my chicken broth doesn’t gel (i’ve experimented, pulling some out of the pot and refrigerating it over night to see). I do use ACV in the broth. I’m wondering, is the simply because my bone to water ratio is off? Or am I still getting the benefits of the gelatin and even if it isn’t enough to make the broth gel, I’m still drinking down all the good stuff?

    Thanks for any insight you have :) I love your site SO much!

    • Brenda says

      I have the same question regarding the gel. I had to put mine away after about 30 hours once as I needed the crockpot for something else & noticed no gelling. Does it have the same effect if the gelling doesn’t occur?

      • Kate says

        Just a quick comment o say that both me and my mother have noticed that when we do this it makes a big difference with the quality of the chicken. The more ‘organic’ / naturally raised chicken it is, the more gelatin there is present. Don’t know why but quite interesting.

      • Big Dave says

        My local grocery sells chicken feet. I get several pounds for under $2. Toss those in the broth. A lot of collagen in chicken feet. (Or calves feet if you’re making beef broth) There WILL be serious gelling.

    • kim says

      Yes that is a problem with this recipe. ‘t’he meaty bones are adding flavor but not collagen or that gelatin jiggle that is so nutritious. You need a higher ratio of joint bones to meaty bones. This would be the neck and feet of the chicken. You also want the chickens to be organic. No sense doing all this work with commercially raised birds.

  20. Gabi says

    I just tried this over the weekend. My only problem is, I just couldn’t drink it! It was too fatty and the taste made me want to gag. It’s still simmering away in my crockpot, I’ll just can it tonight so we can use it for soups. It’s just weird because I normally love to drink the broth from soups. How do you make it palatable?

    • jenny says

      De-fat it by putting it into a fat separator or by pouring it into a jar, placing it in to the fridge and removing the fat once it hardens.

  21. kim says

    Please help….I made the soup like above , a couple of times now, but it is SO greasy I can’t eat it. What am I doing wrong? Should I remove the skin first? I would also like to know the answers to -what the best vegetable scraps are to use -and about the broth not producing gelatin, as others have asked. Thank you so much. I absolutely love your site! Oh! and I also can’t seem to find your testimony of how real food has helped your husband…I want to pass it on to a friend.

  22. says

    Good idea! Thx. Also in reply to some posts:
    – Incomplete sentence: If you’re using a whole, fresh chicken, you may also remove chicken meat from the slow cooker as desired for stir-fries, in soups or in [….] ?
    – I usually use a 5liter ‘normal’ rvs pan and put it in the (electrical) oven. Who needs a slow cooker anyway;-)
    – The fats are mostly saturated and won’t ‘break’ at this low temperature.
    – i’d think the bacteria on eggshelss will die when heated close to boiling.
    – beware giving cooked bones to dogs. The bones splinter as opposed to raw bones (even dogs like it raw;-))
    – I usaually add only salt & pepper to the broth. When I make soup I add veggies and herbs to the broth. Garlic is best added at the latest instant so it only boils/heats very briefly.
    Stay helathy and happy!

    • says

      Cooked bones are only dangerous for dogs if they’re insufficiently cooked. If you cook them in a normal recipe, such as roasting a whole chicken, that isn’t enough time to soften the bones. However, if the bones are cooked in liquid, as in making stock, for at least 24 hours, you can break the bones easily by hand. After I make 24-hour stock, I strain it, let the meat, bones and veggies cool and give it to our dogs. (Some people reuse the bones, but I’d rather give the dogs a healthful treat.) Rooster leg bones may need to cook longer, but the bones of young chickens should get sufficiently soft after simmering for 24 hours or so. Our dogs can easily crunch these up and there are no dangerous sharp splinters.

  23. says

    I’ve done this a few times – thanks for the inspiration – but it’s just too greasy for me to drink even though I’m using the reusable coffee filter. I guess I could heat, then refrigerate and scoop out the hardened fat, and reheat, but that seems like way too much trouble. How do you handle the high fat content?

  24. Natalie Vergara says

    I’ve been making stock with leftover turkey carcass from Thanksgiving. Because I don’t have a crockpot, I have been using a big stock pot on the stove with a diffuser. I don’t want to leave the stove running all night, will the fat or meat go rancid if I let the stock sit at room temperature over night while the stove is turned off? I’ve done this for 3 nights already and it seems okay but I wanted to check.


    • Vicki F. says

      Please don’t leave your stock at room temperature overnight, it is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria! I doubt the fat would go rancid that quickly, but those bacteria can make you very sick. Either keep the broth hot (simmering), or refrigerate it.

    • says

      No. I don’t recommend adding organ meats to stocks. It muddies the flavor, plus organ meats are rich in heat-sensitive vitamins which can be destroyed with prolonged cooking, so you have muddied stock and no consequential boost of nutrition to show for it. Better to stick to straight bones/meath/seasonings and keep the organ meats for dishes like pate, liver mousse etc.

  25. Ellen says

    Okay, I’ve just thrown into a giant stock pot the frozen thanksgiving turkey frame, 1 1/2 gallon ziplock of frozen vegetable scraps, 2 1/2 gallons filtered water and about 3T apple cider vinegar. The water is starting to warm and it smells heavenly due to the veggies and herbs that we’re in the turkey cavity. Do I need to skim off the veggie scraps or is it okay to let them stay in? I’m going to transfer this monstrosity to my wood stove to cook slowly (simmer only, I hope), but is there anything else I should be aware of? Any suggestions anyone?

  26. chicken pox natural remedies says

    I hardly leave a response, but after reading a few of the comments here
    Perpetual Soup. I actually do have a few questions for you if
    you don’t mind. Could it be only me or do some of these comments look like they are left by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing on other sites, I would like to keep up with you. Would you list of every one of your social networking sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  27. says

    This recipe sounds fantastic and a real time saver. My concern is also safety–the broth really stays safe to eat the entire week? My first thought was that it would be loaded with bacteria after three days or four days.

  28. wendy says

    I’ve done this with both chicken, turkey or beef bones, all with good results.
    My favorite thing is to use beef shanks, remove the meat when it’s fork tender then just keep cooking the bones.
    I always use a little dash of apple cider vinegar when using beef bones.

  29. S says

    My husband left for deployment around the holidays. I threw my Thanksgiving turkey leftovers in the crockpot and followed your directions. When I started freaking out about being a single mom for a few months, I was able to sip some warm broth and calm me down. When I was too tired to make a meal for myself after putting the kid to bed, I had some protein and fats from the meat to hold me over. Now that it’s been a week and I’m starting to settle down and destress, I have some broth to freeze for later use when I freak out again. I’ll likely just put in the refrigerator as I can see myself needing it before it can thaw out :) Thank you for the awesome recipe that’s good for the body in many ways.

  30. Marthalynn says

    Hi Jenny! So excited to try bone broth for my new year of health! I noticed in an earlier comment a reader was having problems with her broth smelling/tasting funny and you diagnosed her problems as removing too little (causing a burnt taste) or too much (causing a watery taste). Do you have any recommendations for a single person implementing this recipe? If I am only removing a quart a day, will this cause flavor problems? If so, what should I do to avoid this? Thanks so much for all you do and I’m excited to follow you this year in my journey toward traditional foods!

    • Karen says

      If Jenny would reply to this I would appreciate it to – I am only one person as well and I would not be using three quarts a day. Thanks in advance!

  31. says

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  32. says


    I have been making bone broth for two weeks. As I love this process, I found my crockpot was boiling away, even on the low setting. After an exhaustive search, it seems there are no crockpots or slow cookers that have a temperature control setting. I did find slow roaster that allow for a low temp down to 125 degrees, but it isn’t a ceramic insert, which I prefer.

    What appliance do you use and why? Does your bone broth boil away constantly all week?

    Thank you,


  33. Debbie says

    I have made this broth a few times and is seems after about a day I can’t stand the smell of it. It smells burned/overcooked which I find very weird as my stock does not bubble at all (maybe that is the problem). It tastes just OK. I fill the pot with 3/4 full of water, bones and a glug of ACV. I find I have to add a ton of sea salt to make it taste ok. Does adding the veggie scraps help the taste significantly? Garlic at the end sounds good. I know this is a good idea, but my family complains about the overpowering smell.

    • Jenny says

      If it smells overcooked/burned, it’s because you’re not removing enough broth from the slowcooker on a daily basis. You don’t need to use ACV. And you shouldn’t season the broth in the slowcooker, just when you use it.

  34. Bettina says

    can someone explain the calorie content here. I read that the average calorie serving in homemade chicken stock is 4.9 calories per gram and there are over 900 grams in 32 ounces putting this at a 4000 plus calorie drink everyday, or am I missing something?

    • Brody says

      Pure carbohydrate (sugar) has 4 calories per gram, pure fat has 9 per gram.
      Say your stock is 5% fat, 4% protein and 1% carbs, you would be looking at 500 calories. (This is probably an overestimation.)
      Compared to whatever else you’re eating, the stock is going to be barely worth thinking about in terms of calories.

  35. AllisonK says

    So I have made a lot of broth in the past, but not the perpetual broth. Good idea by the way.
    I stumbled on your site when I was looking for a weird problem I have with my turkey broth this time. I thought I would throw this question out there because you and your readers are clearly experienced broth makers.
    I had a turkey carcass with skin and some meat from family dinner, saved it until the next day when I put it on the stove in a 7 quart soup pot and added water only. I simmered it very slowly for approx 16 hours and then placed in the fridge as is. I did not get to it until 3 days later. When I opened it, it smelled absolutely awful, I wouldn’t call it rotten, but I compared it to getting your hair died, and having that same aroma that burns your nostrils. Warmed it up slightly so I could strain it easily, and it didn’t smell any better. I tasted it, and it was brown and “burnt”, but that does not account for the hair day smell. Any idea what this is? Is it just super concentrated with minerals and vitamins from sitting in the fridge for three days with the bones? Or is it some sort of rotting stage I’ve never encountered? I’ve done many soups over the years and have never had a bone broth smell like this.

    • Lili says

      My guess is that you have bacteria in there. You can cook continuously and it will be safe or you can refrigerate if you have to but You cannot put stock away hot in the refrigerator. Especially a large amount. It needs to reach an internal temperature of 40 degrees or less within 4 hours to have a bacteriostatic effect. If you MUST refrigerate the best way to control this is divide up your broth so that it cools faster, put it in a cold water bath in smaller containers, or divide it up and put ice in it. No idea why it smelled like hair but probably a result of something in the turkey itself.

  36. Melissa says

    Thanks for such a detailed recipe. I’m looking into making bone broth to give my 4-month-old son…I know this is fine, but I’m wondering if spices are okay? I roasted a chicken tonight and of course seasoned it. Since some seasoning will inevitably make it into the broth, I just wanted to make sure it was alright for baby. I’m talking olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh rosemary…plus I stuffed the chicken with onion and garlic. Any insight on bone broth specifically for babies appreciated…thanks!

  37. Melissa VW says

    Hi all — I posted this question already, but I don’t see it here, so I’m thinking it didn’t post…I apologize if it ends up being a duplicate.

    Anyway, I’m looking into making some bone broth as one of my 4-month-old son’s first foods, and I’m curious as to whether the seasonings I use first on the chicken are okay to make it into the broth I give him? Or is it better to prepare the chicken plain and use that for bone broth? I’d just be using olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and onion, and herbs like rosemary and thyme…nothing crazy. Is all of that alright to potentially be in the bone broth?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Marie says

      I know it is too late for this one, but for future babies I will give you this advice. I assume you are here because you want the very best for your child, so here it is. Breastfeed. And breastmilk should be the ONLY food your child gets for at LEAST 9 months

  38. steph says

    It’s been 3 days and my broth is getting VERY dark amber. Is this normal or should I stop the cooking process?

    • Jenny says

      This happens when one of two issues occurs: 1) Your slowcooker runs too hot, or 2) you are not removing broth from the slowcooker regularly, and replacing it with fresh water frequently enough.

    • Karen says

      This happened to me the first time I tried to do bone broth. I noticed my slow cooker – even on the lowest setting – was boiling. Seriously. By the next day I could not stand the scent.

  39. Terri Leigh says

    Just a little something extra …. We had made 2 rounds of this and decided to try something. My husband and I both really enjoy the broth at the start of the week but around the middle of the cycle the flavor gets to be lacking for us. So, this week he suggested we pull 2 quart jars right when the broth was ready to be harvested. We kept them refridgerated until about the middle of the week and then we add them back 2 seperate times… It worked! Today is our switch day and the broth that I brought with me to work this a.m. is almost as lovely as the first day.

  40. amanda says

    making my first batch! started yesterday, therefore having my first cups tonight. At first i just strained the broth in a mess strainer but it was very greasy, so found a reusable coffee filter that seems to work. My question is, when using the coffee filter it seems that there is alot of fine particles being filtered out. Isn’t that part of the good stuff we want?? Just wanting to get the most out of it.

  41. Lou says

    I’m in the food business for many years now.
    Started learning how to make various broths or stocks from my grandmother with either chicken, beef, lamb or pork when I was around 8 years old.
    I still prepare them weekly from the 2 turkey carcasses I get from the restaurant I work at.
    I make easily over a gallon weekly. The bones I take and crack open with a hatchet to expose the marrow.
    By the time the soup is done and chilled, it sets like jello.
    I add onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, summer squash, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, thyme, oregano, marjoram, bay leaves and black and white peppercorns that are cracked.
    To strain the stock, I simply use a fine strainer to filter out the bones and vegs. The idea of using a coffee filter to remove everything to me is not practical. I don’t mind some bits of herbs or vegs in my broth.
    I couldn’t imagine spending a good hour if not more waiting for any broth to drip its way through a coffee filter.
    I suppose if you have that kind of time, go ahead. Many times I will pull the vegs out and chop them up for the stock to make a soup. If there is any meat on those bones, they get utilized too.

  42. Karl says

    Maybe this is a dumb question, but is the broth supposed to taste like chicken at all? I made the easy roast chicken recipe, then put the carcass in the crockpot with water. There was still a good deal of meat left on the carcass (thought it would help) but when I tasted the broth after 24 hours it really just tasted like water and something else (maybe bone?). I put garlic and some salt/pepper but that didn’t help much either.

    The only thing I can think of changing is the quality of the chicken. I did not use an organic chicken (decent chickens are really hard to find here in Hawaii) so I wonder if that would make a difference.

    • Luci says

      We live on Kaua’i and buy organic chickens (2 in a bag) from Costco. You can get the same ones at Foodland, but they’re way more expensive there. The stocks we make come out delicious, even though we only cook them about 3 hours. I am so trying this perpetual recipe trick to save on $. 😀

  43. Caitlin says


    I’ve recently starting making my own bone broth and I’m loving it! I struggle with several food sensitivities, so I’m hoping that a good quality homemade bone broth will help with the healing process :)

    Quick question, and perhaps this was already addressed: can I skim the fat off (once it cools) and keep all the beneficial nutrients intact, or do I need to leave it? The gelatin will remain in the broth even if I skim it, correct? Thank you for your help!

  44. says

    I’m not sure why but this website is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I’ll
    check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  45. says

    So I know this is a bit of an old post, but I have a couple questions that weren’t answered in any of the comments.

    When I make the broth in the slow cooker, it starts to cook down on its own after the first night. Not sure if this is normal or a problem with my slow cooker. If I add water back all each day to keep the pot full, will that dilute the flavor of the broth? Should I pull out broth to use after it’s cooked down or after I add the water?

    Also, does anyone else have the issue of the broth just smelling up the whole house? I like the idea of being able to make so much broth out of one chicken, but I can’t stand the smell!! Any suggestions?

  46. Bethany says

    I am single and can’t eat a whole chicken by myself but I love to drink and use a lot of bone broth. I was trying to think of a way to get just the bones when I asked the deli of my local Whole Foods if could buy the left over roasted chicken bones after they removed the meat for use in the prepared foods they serve. At first the deli gal had to ask a few of the Higher ups at the store before it was decided that I could have them for free anytime I wanted. Now when I want to make broth I ask them to save a few frames for me and I pick them up after they close. They still have some meat on them, sometimes most of the dark meat is left on ( free meat bonus!!) I save the larger pieces of meat and put the frames in my biggest pot with celery, carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, apple cider vinegar, and what ever veggie scraps I have saved in the freezer. I bring it to a boil reduce the heat to the lowest my burner can maintain and cook for 2 days. then I strain and cool as fast as I can. after cooled completely its the consistency of jello. I remove the solid fat to use for other things and either freeze what I don’t use then, if I only made a few quarts or pressure can it if I made a few gallons. (I make enough to can only in the winter because I can keep the broth at a safe temp outside in a cooler filled with snow without taking up all the fridge space.) I try to can as much as possible during the winter so I have enough to get me through the warmer months. Its so nice to have it ready for me when the mood strikes for a mug of broth or a quick soup dinner.

    I know the meat isn’t the ideal pasture raised meat I go out of my way to buy for myself, but Whole Foods chicken is bound to be better than the roasted chicken from anywhere else. One day I will have a family and a farm to raise all of my own meat the way I believe is right, but for a poor single gal in her 20’s this is the best I can do for now.

    • Lili says

      You are so smart! How awesome that you are only in your 20s and you are taking control of your health. Good for you for doing the best that you can.

  47. vicki says

    I’ve been doing this for 3 years now. I switched from a crockpot to an electric roaster. It’s much nicer because it has a real thermostat. You can set it to a perfect simmer without constant fiddling and adjusting. And it holds more.

    The first two years I used a Hamilton Beach 3in1 crockpot. I used the largest crock but set it to the small crock Low setting. That held a perfect simmer and worked really well.

  48. Stephanie says

    When rebooking chicken bones, do u remove cooked meat from bones? I use chicken backs and necks. It’s hard to remove bc bones are so small. Seems impractical

  49. Rosa Elkins says

    Do you eat the veggies or are they just there to season.? This is going to be my first time to w er do this. Excited!

  50. Merle says

    I have perpetual beef bone broth – but I really mean perpetual. Same bones for over a month or two — is that too much??

  51. Elle says

    Jenny, what time zone are you in? I just noticed when I posted my reply, it says 1:36 am. It’s 9:39 pm here! :o)

  52. says

    Has anyone tried using Chicken Feet for their broth/stock or toss a couple in with each batch?
    This is very nourishing and really really really makes thick stock, when cooled it is like gelatin. I add it to everything I cook… Feet must be from organic, pasture raised birds and probably needs to be attained on the sly as I don’t think it is legal to sell these to people.

  53. Shelley Goforth says

    Caution: Be careful with perpetual broth if your house is too humid. My AC has had trouble removing moisture from the air, and mold has grown. I can’t wait until I get a dehumidifier solution so I can make broth again!

  54. Victoria says

    This is somewhat a random tip but animal people might be interested. Dogs especially will love this. At the end of the week use a potato masher or blender to liquify the bones. (Yes, dogs aren’t supposed to eat bird bones because of brittleness but they are fine to eat when liquified after serious cooking like this). Add in a little of the broth itself to help turn the bones into what will look like porridge then strain it to make sure there are absolutely no bone particles in it. You can add this to dog food as a special treat or put in in the fridge to solidify like a pate and use it for treats or to give medicine in. Way better tasting for them and way better ingredients than the gross fake stuff sold at stores.

    • Michele Denise says

      Thank you, I like ideas like yours for good quality pet food. I’ll be picking up organic pasture chickens from a humane and beautiful farm in Puna, Hawaii tomorrow. First, I’ll roast it, then do this broth, and make pet food!

  55. Michelle says

    Love the idea! I work away from home for 9 hours a day. Is it safe to leave a slow cooker on whole away from home? Would u be comfortable with that? I’ve rarely used one so I’m not sure.

  56. Sheila says

    I usually make just stock not broth from feet, heads and body parts. I never know how many feet/ heads to use.
    I don’t have a scale so I usually put 4 feet, 2 heads and 1-2 body parts. Is this sufficient?

  57. Rachel Grunder says

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! I have been making broth on the stove for years and having to strain, bottle, cool, freeze, defrost, break half the bottles, then try to use!!!! Ugh! What a pain!!! This is going to make my life soooooooo much easier as a homeschooling momma of three :)

  58. Beverly says

    I’ve been using my slow cooker to cook bones for about two years. I use the broth to cook my dog’s food (brown rice, lentils, split green peas, pearled barley, sweet potato, and garden tomatoes). I always use all the broth in a pot of dog food. I never throw out the bones! I crumble them over my dogs’ food as “doggie granola” or give it to them as a treat during the day. They absolutely love it, and I love that nothing is wasted, and my dogs are getting the marrow and perfectly safe bones to enjoy. I am going to try the perpetual method now that I know about it. Thanks for the tip!

  59. Yannick Phillips says

    I am new to crock pots. So I have my chicken and it’s been on low all day…should I switch to warm now for the next couple days or keep it on low? (on low…it bubbles…).

  60. Liz says

    Jenny, I find the recipe interesting and like the simplicity of replenishing the water, but I’ve looked through the comments and it seems that you haven’t responded to anyone’s concerns about depleting the gelatin content or whether fats will become rancid from cooking so long. Is there any science behind this method working or is it simply something you came up with to make life easier?

  61. Jennifer says

    A good friend told me that in “The Old Country”, neighbors would “pass the bone”. Someone would have a roast with a joint and when they made their soup, they’d pass the bone along to a neighbor, and it would keep going until it was used up. I don’t know how many households that would be, probably not that many, but it does show that they realized there was value to it long after the meat was long gone.

  62. Crayo says

    Just something I read concerning the gelitan properties
    Guess when you restart each week you get the good gelitan healing in the beginning then the good bone minerals healing in the end … Balance of both

    Copied from a different site …
    I’ve observed that refrigerating the pressure canned stock after opening the jar does not affect the gelling properties. The gel strength of gelatin degrades slowly when held at temperatures above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher the temperature, the faster the degradation. At 240+ degrees (the temperatures achieved during pressure canning) the gel strength will degrade from 100% to 0% in about 90 minutes. You can expect that a bone broth will have slightly less of a gel strength than a 4-hour stock and you should also expect that any pressure canned stock will have no gel strength.

  63. nysia says

    Was wondering what the author does with the fat at the top of the broth? I made bone broth in my crock pot per instructions above using a whole chicken. In you pictures I can see the skins floating so I knew that wasn’t an issue, but when i went to scoop out some broth I basically ended up with a mouthfull of fat in a cup! yuck! Is there something I am doing wrong? It doesn’t make sense that we needed to remove the crock to teh fridge to scoop off the fat only to replace it in the crock. May as well leave it in the fridge??

  64. Kelly S. says

    Quick question – what kind of slow cooker do you have? The one I have is a nice newish Hamilton Beach that is programmable and all fancy..yet it won’t stay on for more than 12 hours at time so I have to constantly remember when I turned it on to not miss it turning off and ruining our broth. I would really rather not have to keep track of that constantly and just have one that stays on. Any suggestions?

  65. Kelly says

    Yes, I am worried about the stableness of the chicken fat as well. I’ve been cooking my chicken in a slow cooker for about 36 hours now (the broth was delicious after about 10 hours cooking) and I just tried some more of the broth, but I feel like it had a rancid aftertaste to it! Why could this be?

  66. Tanya says

    I’d like to use this recipe with duck bones/neck and another time with beef marrow bones… what do you think? Also, is it okay/recommended to keep your crockpot on “warm” after it’s been on low and bubbling for nearly half a day??? Perhaps I should switch between “low” and “warm” from time to time throughout the week?

    By the way… your recipe FINALLY inspired me to start making my own broth… Sure, I’ve made chicken soup using a whole chicken quite a few times, but not perpetual broth to freeze or use throughout the week. For some reason, other homemade broth recipes have just been overwhelming/intimidating, but not yours! Thanks! :)

  67. Gerald says

    There are blogs out there noting the possibility of over exposure to lead from bone broth consumption and they note a couple of conflicting studies. Based on these reading do you still think it is wise to have a perpetual broth? Or would it be wiser to just cook the bones for no longer then 24 hours then discard them? Or not consume it at all? …and/or look into doing a heavy metal detox every so often?

  68. Darcie Lynn says

    Thank you for this fabulous recipe. I am new to your site and just getting started on my traditional, real-food journey. I love bone broth done in the oven but now I think it’s time to dust-off my slow-cooker!

    Thank you for sharing all your hard work and knowledge!

  69. Erica says

    Hi Jenny,

    I have started a perpetual broth with beef bones and am finding a layer, about an inch deep, of fat on the top of the broth. Should I be straining that off? It is hard to scoop a cup of broth without half of it being fat.


  70. Allie says

    I got a Rival slow cooker for free on craigslist and started my perpetual broth. It seemed to boil too hard when I left it on low for a long time, but not enough on warm, so I’ve been fiddling with the temperature, depending on how it looks. Today, I had it on low for some hours and the top literally flew off and half the broth exploded all over my kitchen. I’m going to try what one person suggested, high for thirty minutes and then warm after that, but has anyone else had this issue? How can I leave it on all the time without worrying that it’s going to explode and injure me or someone else in my house?

  71. Sue says

    I do want to address the ‘burnt’ smell. issue and offer a possible explanation. For me, I found that certain store brands (conventionally raised) began to have an off burnt taste to me. I switched brands a few times and got totally grossed out over store brand chickens/turkeys. I now use pastured organic and find it does not have that smell anymore.

    Also, the newer crock pots cook way too high. I cannot make spaghetti sauce in any of my new ones because it burns it rather than simmer.

  72. says

    Am I correct in assuming you can use basically this same process with grass-fed beef bones? What temperature setting should I keep my slow cooker on after it is basically ready to maintain? Would warm be okay as long as above 170 deg. F?

  73. Brynisha says

    Are you supposed to add water to the pot as it cooks down? I noticed water gone after cooking for a while and thought I should fill it up with more water. I could not find this answer anywhere. First time making bone broth.

  74. Lg says

    I love the recipe! – thank you for sharing!

    To the commenters asking about health risks to babies and debating cooking methods or have concerns about the rancidity of fat – ask your doctor medial questions, do your own research, make your own choices; the comments are not relevant to how good the recipe. is. If you don’t like the method, don’t use it!

    It is no wonder the author does not respond to off topic questions and the relevant questions get lost.

    If something goes wrong in your life, who ideals with it and who is responsible?

  75. says

    Do you know how this process would work in a hot climate? Or i guess is might not matter if you were cooking is 24/7 , 7days a week. But over here in Thailand, once the stock has cooled down, you’d need to put in the fridge straight away

  76. Mandy says

    I just made this recipe in my crockpot. It’s been cooking way for about five days now. I was planning on making a big bowl of soup this weekend. I dipped a spoon into the crockpot to taste the broth and found that it had a very burnt taste. Obviously I’m very disappointed. I had the crockpot set on low. What went wrong? Does my crockpot just cook too high? Has anyone come across this problem? Thanks. Mandy.

    • Jenny says

      It sounds like you didn’t remove broth from the slowcooker during the 5 days. Remember, you need to remove broth (about 1 quart) every day and replace it with water.

  77. Jamarys Hwang says

    HI. I was wondering if this perpetual broth can be made with beef bones instead of chicken?
    I get alot of bones since I buy 1/2 a grassfed cow every year.

  78. Angie says

    I’ve read a lot of comments about not being able to drink a cup full of fat and that it didn’t taste very good and I used to feel the same way until I started drinking it a new way that I can tolerate and actually really enjoy. I usually only do beef so what I do is put my roast in the crockpot and cook the meat until it is done. I then take the cooled broth from my roast and put it all in mason jars in the fridge. I put the bones from the roast in a stock pot with fresh filtered water to boil. Then I transfer everything to crockpot to simmer to make the gelatin. When the gelatin is ready, I take some broth from my original roast (it’s the broth that is still liquid and may have some meat bits in it but is full of beef flavor) in a pan on the stove to warm it up and then add gelatin to it so it mixes in with the broth. The strong beef flavor masks any bad taste of the gelatin and when combined with the broth it doesn’t feel/taste like I’m drinking a cup full of fat – it’s like you’re drinking just a cup of broth but you’ve got the benefits of the gelatin in there. I usually use a ratio of about a 1/4 – 1/2 of a coffee mug of broth and the rest is gelatin. Hope this helps make it palatable for others to enjoy (this is also the only way I can get my kids to drink gelatin/bone broth).

  79. Sam says

    Can I do this with a 4 quart crock pot? I know my pot will hold a whole chicken, I’m just not sure how much water will fit in there with it.

  80. katie says

    When using a while chicken, should the meat be taken out early in the week or is it OK to leave in all week until you’re ready to eat it? Does the meat overcook?

  81. Dana says

    I tried this method, using a whole chicken and found the broth was really good but it was a waste of the chicken. After 24 hrs. the meat is mushy and flavorless which is understandable. My son is a chef and a purist, he uses only a stock pot because that what it’s for, reduce, reduce, reduce, he said. I will try again using the frame, and pre-cooking the veggies before putting them in the crock pot and then letting it simmer without removing liquid, only adding as it reduces by half. Maybe this will be the best of both worlds.

  82. Leila says

    Hi Jenny — you say that you have a 6 quart crock pot and that your family drinks 2-3 quarts of bone broth per day. Is that how much you remove/replace daily? I’ve noticed my perpetual broth tasting burnt sometimes, which I realize is probably because I’m not removing enough of the broth. I’m not sure how much liquid I should be removing each day, and I don’t really see that addressed in the blog post or comments. Obviously how much you remove will depend on how big your crock pot is, but could you maybe give a guess? — i.e., remove half the volume of your crockpot daily (so 3 quarts removed/replaced if using a 6 quart crock pot). Thanks for a great post!

  83. Karen says

    I saw one person recommended the Hamilton Beach 8 quart slow cooker and said that most slow cookers run hot. For my first batch of bone broth, even on the lowest setting it was bubbling constantly. Can anyone recommend a slow cook that heats true and not extremely high, even on the low setting? Thanks in advance!

  84. Tyler says

    My only issue with many of the crock pots / slow cookers today is lead. Many of the common brands that “meet FDA requirements” contain lead and or other toxins in the glaze. Fortunately, we can purchase much safer/inert cookware (stainless, pure glass – does anyone have glass or stainless models they like?) in the form of a slow cooker/ insert. Unfortunately, I live in the UAE and most of the slow cookers are from china…extra lead, yummy :) Which is why I researched and switched to a stainless pressure cooker for my bone broth.

  85. Marge says

    I am wondering about the cost of continual cooking. Would it be more efficient on the stove in a stock pot or in the crock pot? If doing this continually this could become worth thinking about.

  86. Aimee says

    Just want to clarify the beginning of the cooking process. I don’t have to bring to a boil first and then let it simmer? Please advise. Thanks so much!

  87. A says

    You all must have lead-free slow cookers/stockpots. I have yet to find one that is; can anyone refer me to one? The lead is in the cookery glaze, and manufacturers do not deny it’s there. They reply that their products are within “allowable limits”. I’d like to try making the bone broth myself in a stock pot, but that would require long hours on a gas stove. For the time being, I purchase mine from either TheBrothery, or…. not cheap but considering the costs of the raw ingredients and the time involved, as well as the benefits of the bone broth itself, I think it is totally worth it.

  88. Kim says

    So, if I do this and leave it for a week as you described, no worries about bacteria? I am a little nervous about a pot I made and keeping my crock pot on with it cooking for a week as you mentioned. Some folks are telling me bacteria could become an issue?????

  89. Jerron says

    Has anyone tried making bone broth using lamb or goat bones? And cooking those for long periods of time in the crockpot? I am new to reading about this but sounds interesting to me. I would appreciate any feed back.

    • Avis Lyons says

      I made my first bone broth using pasture raised lamb bones. I also cooked on my stove top in a stock pot because my crock pot is too small. So much gelatin and very little fat. Lovely broth. The first cooking was gel rich the next, not so much.

  90. Karen says

    I am new to making bone broth. Makes the house smell so good! My first batch turned out great. Next 2 batches not as good, but still good. I still am not able to get it to gelatinize. I was told to put 2 free range chicken feet in my broth. Done that. Still has not gelatinized. I am using filtered water, fresh free range bones, all the other ingredients and Bragg’s ACV. Where am I going wrong?

    I also read it is okay if it does not gelatinize it does not mean gelatin is not in the product. Then I read also that if the slow simmer is too high of heat ( using crockpot on low 24 hours ), that it will destroy the gelatin.

    Please help someone?

  91. MIkki says

    Hi, I have tried making this twice and once I have strained out the first batch and added more water, it’s very watery tasting. Even if I leave it for 24 hours or more. Am I supposed to add more bones to it each time I take out the cooked broth and add more water? I really want to be able to have broth all week.

    • Jenny says

      Hi Mikki, By the end of the week it will taste watery. I find the best flavor is around day 3. You can certainly add more bones if it suits you.

  92. Joanna Smith says

    I noticed you use chicken, if I use grass fed beef bones can I still keep the crock pot going for a week? I am worried about bacteria growing and me harming not helping my family. Thank you.

  93. sashi says

    We are (completely!) off the electric grid… thus no crockpot. Our system can handle electricity, but nothing that pulls even the tiniest current 24/7– not even an egg incubator!

    We often use “hay box” old-school slow cooking (ie, heat the pot of food for 10-30 min, then wrap in insulating material– wool blanket/ down comforter/ old sleeping bag/ box of hay or straw; then wait). This method invariably out-performs any slow cooker I have ever tried– food is hotter longer per energy consumed, and never over-cooked.

    How often would we need to re-heat the pot for perpetual soup? This may bear some experiments with a thermometer– maybe re-heat after each addition of water? Or every morning and evening? If only I could find a thermometer with an alarm for temps below 150f!

    Any ideas or experiences are welcome!

  94. javalover says

    I really want to try this recipe. Do I need to worry about having the crockpot on that long, a fire?

  95. Sandra says

    Please include broths and other recipes that come out as nutritious. by cooking them in an electric pressure cooker.

  96. truefeather77 says

    One thing the recipe doesn’t mention is whether you leave the crock pot *covered* or *uncovered*? Since the author doesn’t seem to be responding, anyone want to chime in? I’d feel strange going out and leaving the crock pot on, but even stranger leaving it uncovered.

  97. heather says

    That’s why we use crockpots instead of, say, the stove! The new ones are all safety tested. If you have an old one, check the length of the cord for frays or nicks and make sure the inside of the burner is very clean. Be vigilant the first time you try it. If you smell burning plastic, shut it down! Other than that, it should be fine! This is what they are made to do!

  98. Karen says

    cover the crock pot it helps maintain the liquid levels. I use the recipe from Nourishing Traditions for my broth. I have cooked it in the crockpot for a little over 24 hours but not for a week or perpetually. It is really good! the recipe suggests carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, ACV, celtic sea salt.

  99. says

    Slow cookers won’t work properly if left uncovered; they won’t retain enough heat. It’s completely contrary to the way they were designed to operate.

  100. Bonnie Mae says

    Why don’t you recomment using a pressure cooker? I have heard people say that they turned out some amazing broth with them.

  101. Jenny says

    Pressure cooking is not a traditional practice and as this site is focused exclusively on traditional foods, I avoid their use.

  102. sharri swindle says

    hi, love the broth ideas, I would like the ideas for beef bones and turkey. I think I would prefer to can my broth . only because it is only me at home most of the time and, I am gone alot. your broth sounds so delicious and healthy, and I do use alot of stock at 3.00$ a pop, it gets very costly. looking forward to your responses! thank you.

  103. Dana says

    I’m more worried about safety issues, myself. I know the modern pressure cookers are supposed to be a lot safer but it only takes one glitch.

  104. Marie says

    hooey. The pressure cooker was invented some three hundred years BEFORE the crock pot… silly reason to toss out a wonderful time saver and nutrient saver :)

  105. Jess says

    No no no… not pressure cooker. SLOW COOKER or CROCK POT (whichever you want to call it.) I think someone mentioned pressure cooker up top and it kind of derailed the comments.

    As for safety, there’s little chance for a fire. There is no flame, only heat. As long as it’s not near anything flammable that could ignite (I leave mine on my electric stove), the wire isn’t frayed, and you don’t let it boil down to nothing, there’s little chance that anything could happen.

    Cooking mine right now! Can’t wait to see how it works out!

  106. Christie Phillips says

    My crock pot will automatically turn off after 12 hours. So I start it in the morning and in the evening, I turn it off and start it again just to reset the clock. I don’t want it to automatically turn off during the night!!

    But yes, I just finished simmering a chicken frame in my crockpot for 72 hours – no fire. The heat is contained in the pot. AND KEEP THE LID ON!! Otherwise the water will boil out and it might burn. PLUS Crockpots are NOT EVER / NEVER designed to be used with the lid off. They will be unable to maintain a correct temperature if the lid is off.

  107. Christie Phillips says

    Has anybody CRACKED their crockpot? This is the 3rd time I did perpetual soup and I noticed that on day 2, the soup level had really gone down. Well, just cleaned up my crockpot (I only go for 3 days at a time) and my crockpot is now CRACKED! So I guess it really isn’t a good idea to leave the crockpot on perpetually for 3 days at a time. It probably cracked when it was left on HIGH overnight. (I made the mistake of starting the soup near bedtime, so the next day when I took a quart out and put new water in – it was bedtime. And I figured it would never get back to boiling on low, so I put it on HIGH and went to bed. From now on, (IF i can get a new crockpot) I will start the soup mid-morning so I can turn it from HIGH to LOW after it starts boiling. Even better, I will probably preheat the water I’m about to add on the stove so it’s near boiling anyway.

    BUT I AM SO BUMMED, My handy-dandy
    Hamilton Beach Crock Pot with the meat probe is now CRACKED! (DH is not going to be happy about this)

  108. Elle says

    Call the customer service department from the Hamilton Beach to tell them what happened. It shouldn’t have cracked just from cooking on high overnight. They may replace it. I have a Rival C.P. that I havn’t used very often but when I did, it would burn the food in certain spots. I used it recently for a roast and vegies. I cooked it on high for a couple hrs. then turned it to low for ten hours. My son came the next morning and all of it was burnt! I called cust. serv. and exlained what was going on. They are going to send me another heating element for free. I couldn’t remember how long I’ve had it but they didn’t even ask me. So give that a try!

  109. Elle says

    Call the customer service department from the Hamilton Beach to tell them what happened. It shouldn’t have cracked just from cooking on high overnight. They may replace it. I have a Rival C.P. that I havn’t used very often but when I did, it would burn the food in certain spots. I used it recently for a roast and vegies. I cooked it on high for a couple hrs. then turned it to low for ten hours. My son came the next morning and all of it was burnt! I called cust. serv. and exlained what was going on. They are going to send me another heating element for free. I couldn’t remember how long I’ve had it but they didn’t even ask me. So give that a try. I hope they are able to help you!

  110. Jen says

    Hi Christie, I have had a similar problem in the past. It may be that you need to heat the water before adding it. A When the temperature changes too quickly it can cause it to crack.

  111. Christie says

    Thank you, Elle – but they did ask how long I’d had it, and since it was over a year, I had to pay for a new liner (about $25). But it was worth it. In the meantime we got a different (cheaper) crockpot, but it lost liquid so fast that the broth would cake on the sides and burn before I could top it off with water – so that crockpot was useless for perpetual broth. Now we keep it on low all the time and it bubbles away just fine. We’ve done broth for 3-4 days each time, probably 3 or 4 times with the new liner and no problems. No more HIGH for me! :) I also put a chicken foot in each batch to up the fat content and help with my husband’s joint problems.

  112. Maid Mirawyn says

    Slow cookers are twentieth century tech, but slow cooking isn’t. Previously they kept pots going perpetually over a hearth or on a wood stove. So with a crock pot, you can approximate old cooking methods—but more safely, and using a lot less electricity.

  113. Jenny says

    You miss the point. It’s not about *when* the device was invented; rather, it’s about how it’s cooked. Slow cooking is a traditional and very old method of cookery, pressure cooking is not.

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