Stock vs Broth – Are You Confused?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist October 8, 2012

ConfusedBy Kim Schuette, CN, Certified GAPS Practitioner, founder BioDynamic Wellness and GAPSInfo.com

French chefs have a term fonds de cuisine, which translates to “the foundation and working capital of the kitchen.”

Bone and meat stock provide just that, the foundation of both the kitchen and ultimately one’s physical health. One of the most common questions that those individuals embarking upon the GAPS Diet have is “Do I make broth or stock?” What is the difference between the two?

The two words are often used interchangeably by the most educated of chefs. However, for purposes of the GAPS Diet, a temporary diet to heal/seal the gut wall and resolve autoimmune issues, Natasha Campbell‐McBride MD uses the terms “meat stock” and “bone stock.” In this article, I will use “stock” when referencing meat stock and “broth” for bone stock.

Start with Meat Stock When Healing The Gut

Stock is used in the beginning stages of the GAPS Diet, especially during the Introduction Diet where the primary focus is in healing the gut. Broth is ideal for consuming once gut healing has taken place. The significant difference is that the stock (meat stock) is not cooked as long as broth (bone stock).

Stock is especially rich in gelatin and free amino acids, like proline and glycine. These amino acids along with the gelatinous protein from the meat and connective tissue are particularly beneficial in healing and strengthening connective tissue. These nutrients are pulled out of the meat and connective tissue during the first several hours of cooking meaty fish, poultry, beef and lamb. The larger the bones, the longer the cooking time.

In Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Campbell‐McBride explains how to prepare stock (meat stock) to be used during the early stages of the GAPS Diet. Her recipe can also be found at the end of this article.

Stock prepared in this way supports good digestion, as well as promotes proper secretion of hydrochloric acid, which is needed for breaking down proteins in the stomach. Lack of adequate hydrochloric acid can lead to a myriad of symptoms including acid reflux, skin disorders, anemia, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, asthma, food allergies and more. Gelatin, a major component of meat stock, also assists in the proper digestion of proteins ensuring optimal growth in infants and children. Gelatin improves the integrity of collagen, which is reflected in the improved appearance of the skin as well as in the lessening of digestive tract inflammation.

Additionally, gelatin enhances the digestibility of grains and legumes cooked in it. Both grains and legumes are eliminated in the beginning of the GAPS Diet, with grains avoided completely until one is ready to transition off the GAPS Diet. Once gut healing is complete and the digestive tract function is restored, properly prepared grains and legumes will be best enjoyed prepared using meat stock or bone broth.

When to Introduce Bone Broth

Broth or bone stock is introduced after the Introduction Diet as gut healing has advanced. Some with longstanding gut issues find that if they introduce broth (bone stock) early prior to the sealing of the gut, they have reactions to the free glutamates that result from the longer cooked gelatin.  Those who are sensitive to MSG will generally be sensitive to these free glutamates until their guts are healed.

The timing on when a GAPS person is ready to progress from meat stock to bone broth is individual. Those children who are autistic or ADD/ADHD and who are suffering from seizures or tics are among the people who should avoid free glutamates until their guts are healed. Free glutamates include not only MSG but glutamine and glutamic acid. These are excitoxins and can have a damaging effect on neurons. This is why I do not recommend using nutritional formulas containing glutamine in cases of the above mentioned conditions as well as Crohn’s or Leaky Gut Syndrome. Excitotoxins encourage inflammation in the gut and brain, the exact situations we are trying to heal.

Uncomfortable die off reactions, as well as symptoms of nervous system agitation, are signs that your digestive tract is best served staying with the meat stock. Die off reactions can include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, constipation and skin eruptions or rashes. Making the transition gradually from stock (meat stock) to broth (bone stock) is advisable. Cooking broth at a very low temperature (slow simmer) will minimize the formation of free glutamates.

Excellent broth (bone stock) recipes can be found in Sally Fallon Morell’s Nourishing Traditions Cookbook. This timeless cookbook should be in every kitchen. Broth is an invaluable addition to the diet of young children and all who desire optimal health. Broth is rich in all the minerals necessary to build strong teeth and bones. Broth serves as an excellent replacement for milk in the diet of those who are lactose intolerant.

However, in most cases we find that once the gut is healed, raw milk is well digested. Regardless, once homemade broth is introduced, it will be a welcomed staple to your diet.  Both stock and broth can be made from the same bones. It is simple to begin your stock and after cooking for several hours, remove the carcass for deboning. Reserve the meat for eating and then return the bones to the pot with fresh water. Continue cooking for 6 to 48 hours, depending upon the type of bones. Stock and broth can be stored in the refrigerator for several days with the layer of fat on top to prevent oxidation or frozen in the freezer for several months. Unused stock or broth in the refrigerator may be reheated, cooled and returned to the refrigerator for several more days before consuming.

Fish Meat Stock

Ingredients

2 medium non‐oily fish, such as sole or snapper
4 or more quarts of purified water
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
Assortment of vegetables, as desired

  • 1‐2 medium yellow onions
  • 2‐4 carrots
  • 3‐4 celery stalks

Bouquet garni (tie together using cooking twine)

  • Fresh bay leaf
  • Fresh thyme, rosemary, sage

Celtic Sea Salt, 1‐2 teaspoons, to be added in the last 10 minutes of cooking
Parsley, to be added in the last 10 minutes of cooking

Instructions

Rinse fish in purified water. Remove meat from the fish and reserve for cooking. Place bones, fins, tails, skin and heads in the pot. Add remaining ingredients. Fill pot with purified water. Allow the pot and its contents to stand for 30 minutes, giving the raw apple cider vinegar time to draw minerals out of the bones. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Add parsley and salt during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the fish bones and other large parts. Strain the stock. Set aside remaining ingredients for preparing fish broth (fish bone stock).

Chicken, Pheasant or Turkey Meat Stock

Ingredients

1 whole chicken, pheasant or turkey
2‐4 chicken, pheasant or turkey feet, optional
1‐2 chicken, pheasant or turkey heads, optional
4 or more quarts of purified water
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
Assortment of vegetables, as desired

  • 1‐2 medium yellow onions
  • 2‐4 carrots
  • 3‐4 celery stalks

Bouquet garni (tie together using cooking twine)

  • Fresh bay leaf
  • Fresh thyme, rosemary, sage

Celtic sea salt, 1‐2 teaspoons, to be added in the last 10 minutes of cooking
Parsley, to be added in the last 10 minutes of cooking

Instructions

Rinse chicken, feet and heads in purified water. Cut whole chicken in half down the middle lengthwise. Place these in the pot. Add remaining ingredients. Fill pot with purified water. Allow the pot and its contents to stand for 30 minutes, giving the raw apple cider vinegar time to draw minerals out of the bones. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Add parsley and salt during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken and other large parts. Debone and reserve the meat for eating. It will be delicious. Strain the stock. Set aside remaining ingredients for preparing chicken bone broth (chicken bone stock).

Beef or Lamb Meat Stock

Ingredients

4‐5 pounds of bone marrow and knuckle bones
3 pounds of meaty ribs or neck bones
1 calf’s foot, if available, cut into pieces (optional)
4 or more quarts of purified water
2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
4 ounces raw apple cider vinegar
Assortment of vegetables, as desired

  • 1‐2 medium yellow onions
  • 2‐4 carrots
  • 3‐4 celery stalks

1 teaspoon dried peppercorns, crushed
Bouquet garni (tie together using cooking twine)

  • Fresh bay leaf
  • Fresh thyme, rosemary, sage

Parsley, to be added in the last 10 minutes of cooking

Instructions

Place the bones, meat and joints into a large pot. You may roast the meaty bones in a pan in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You may roast the meaty bones in a roasting pan until well browned, for extra flavor. Place these in the pot. Add remaining ingredients. Fill pot with purified water. Allow the pot and its contents to stand for 60 minutes, giving the raw apple cider vinegar time to draw minerals out of the bones. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 hours.

Add parsley during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the beef and other large parts. Debone and reserve the meat for eating. It will be delicious. Strain the stock. Set aside remaining ingredients for preparing beef or lamb bone broth.  Additional ingredients to consider for variety would be garlic, ginger and lemon rind, to name a few. Avoid adding starchy vegetables to your stock.

Bone Broth (Bone Stock) Recipes

To make bone stock (broth) you may follow the above recipes and after deboning, add additional purified water and continue cooking according to these recommendations:

  • Fish Bone Broth – simmer for 4 hours.
  • Chicken, Pheasant or Turkey Bone Broth – simmer for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Beef or Lamb Bone Broth – simmer for 36 to 48 hours.

Bon appétit!

About the Author

Kim Schuette has been in private practice in the field of nutrition since 1999. She earned her license as a Certified Nutritionist in 2002. In 2002, Kim established Biodynamic Wellness, now located in Solana Beach, California, which staffs four additional nutritionists whom she has mentored. Her love for organic gardening, gourmet cooking and healing through foods and real food‐based nutritional therapies led her into a practice where she offers private consultations specializing in nutritional and biotherapeutic drainage therapy to address gut/bowel and digestive disorders, male and female hormonal imbalances, autism, ADD/ADHD challenges and a myriad of other health concerns.

In 2011 after using the GAPS Diet in her practice for over five years, Kim became a Certified GAPS Practitioner under the training of Dr. Natasha Campbell‐McBride MD. Additionally Kim has been trained in hair mineral analysis, salivary hormone balancing and blood chemistry assessment.

Kim teaches numerous workshops centered on the work of Drs. Weston Price and Melvin Page. Her workshop topics range from children’s health and female hormonal concerns to transitioning to a whole foods diet. She serves as co‐leader of the San Diego Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. She is the mother of three healthy children (two adults and one teenager). Kim resides in Encinitas, California with her husband and their youngest son.  Kim can be reached at her websites Biodynamicwellness.com or Gapsinfo.com

Picture Credit

 

Comments (93)

  1. Yay! Excellent information, presented in an easy, concise manner. It is a great complement to your videos. Thank you, Sarah, for hosting her. I’d love to read more from Kim.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Stock vs Broth – Are You Confused? | CookingPlanet

  3. What a great information-rich article! Stocks and broths have become a “lost art” in the modern kitchen. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers knew what a vital tool these were and were seldom with out them! Thank you for bringing awareness back to the very nutritious and healing properties of stocks and broths!
    Sabrina\’s last post: Tasty Toastadas

    Reply
  4. I have been making a lot of beef broth lately and have read somewhere that the fat should be skimmed and discarded. Is it true that the fat should not be eaten but rather thrown out? The reason I came across had something to do with the potential oxidation of the fat that may occur during the prolonged slow-cooking process. Is it possible for the fat to be “rancid” from cooking on low heat for many hours (24+ hrs)?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • I think once you’ve used the meat for the meat stock, you’ve stained the stock, removed the meat to be eaten. The only thing that you put back into the pot are the bones. Without fat, you won’t have any problem with rancidity and the recipes for meat stock are 4 hours or less. The longest time is for the beef or lamb stock and I think their fat is the most able to tolerate heat without oxidation.

      Reply
  5. What would you recommend freezing the broth or stock in? Not plastic, that tends to break. Glass breaks, too.
    Thanks,
    Stephanie

    Reply
    • I freeze my broth in glass jars and have been for years and have only broken one (didn’t leave enough head space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion) are you breaking the glass jars because of dropping them? Or because you are trying to thaw them too quickly? I run my jars under warm water (not hot water) when trying to thaw them quickly. But really it’s easier to thaw them overnight in the fridge.

      Reply
      • I have never actually broken a glass jar, but have heard of people who have. Thanks for those tips, Suzanne. I will try it.
        Stephanie

        Reply
        • I freeze in glass too. Like Suzanne said, make sure you leave enough head space and don’t thaw too quickly. I also learned to not put the jars in the freezer when the stock is still hot inside the jars. I fill the jars with hot stock but then put them in the frig for a couple hours before sticking them in the freezer.

          Reply
    • I used to freeze mine in glass mason jars but decided to try a new way & now love it! I first measured out 1 cup of broth. Then I poured it into ice cube trays. I wanted to know how many cubes it would take for 1 cup. For mine, 10 cubes = 1 cup so I can pull out accordingly for recipes. I freeze the ice cube trays. Once frozen, I remove the frozen broth from the trays & store in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. They are so easy to take out just the amount I need for a recipe & not have to worry about defrosting.

      Reply
  6. Can broth and/or stock be made in a crockpot? With the amount of broth/stock I go through, cooking on the stovetop is very energy and time intensive. I have begun making it in the crockpot but am not sure if I am getting the same benefits. (Sometimes it gels and sometimes it does not. )

    Reply
    • Yes, you can do it in a crockpot, although it may take a very long time to heat up to a simmer. You might be better off using a enamel or stainless electric roasting oven which has a much wider and more controllable temperature range.

      Reply
    • Agreed! I used my crockpot to have stock or broth going all the time! The benefits are the same as long as it stays at a low simmer–whether or not it gels just depends on the ratio of gelatin to water. You are still getting the benefits (as long as the bones are healthy & you cook long enough) if it doesn’t gel–it just means there is too much water & the gelatin is diluted. Usually if you just barely cover them with water, it will gel!

      Reply
      • When making my bone broth in crock pot It often bubbles after only 12 or 24 hours. It is on the lowest setting. Is this a bad thing? I don’t want to use the stove. Crock pot seem safer and more energy efficient. This first commenter was afraid the crock pot would not get hot enough.

        Is it from small amounts of fat on the bones?

        Thank you.

        Reply
  7. Thank You! I feel like this is exactly what I needed! We are day 7 on intro and teetering between stages. I was already makes bone broth before starting GAPS and natural just continued making it. I am one who is MSG sensitive and had NO idea there was such a difference between the two. Im half discouraged having done it partially wrong but sure hope that with this info and cutting out the bone broth I will be moving right along on this GAPS journey to BETTER HEALTH:) could this explain why my little one gets little red spots on his face after eating bone broth?

    Reply
    • The reason for using an acidic liquid is to help pull minerals out of the bones. Without adding an acid, you might lose some of the benefits of the broth in terms of the mineral content.

      I personally wouldn’t suggest using Kombucha in place of vinegar just because I wouldn’t expect it to taste good. Also, you are not limited to ACV…any type of vinegar – rice, wine, or balsamic – can be used. If you have absolutely no vinegar, lemon juice will be a tastier substitute than Kombucha. However, if you do try Kombucha, you might be able to “mask” any odd flavor by using garlic, onions and ginger, etc.

      Reply
  8. Pingback: Stock vs Broth – Are You Confused? – The Healthy Home Economist | Healthy Easy Cooking

  9. I’m so frustrated and confused! I have NEVER read about the difference between the two broths before and have done the intro diet of GAPS/SCD for myself and my kids. My kids hated the bone broth and felt worse after eating it so I only had them eat it for 1 1/2 weeks. I thought they were just suffering from die off so kept going with it. They were also taking L-glutamine powder for leaky gut which we thought would be helping heal the gut, not make it worse! The ND suggested taking it so they have been on it for over a year. My daughter has since suffered from many stomach/digestion issues since doing these diets and supplements. Now she is suffering from severe chronic nausea since Spring. Many tests have been done but can’t find anything wrong with her. My son suffers from a tic where he flexes his arm and leg muscles. Could all of this have been from the L-glutamine irritating them?? I have always thought the bone broth, simmered for at least 24 hours was what had the healing properties for leaky gut. I really wish these two types of broth were stressed more heavily in the GAPS and SCD books and websites.

    Reply
    • I know i’ve been confused also. I have been making broth and drinking it for a few months now thinking i was healing my gut but I guess not! I will now cook it a shorter time and use the ACV and give it a go…see what happens! I almost bought some L-glutamine also. glad I didn’t now… there is so much confusion that some days I just want to give up..ugh

      Reply
    • Hi Susan-

      I see that your post is some months old but I thought I’d comment anyways since I have similar issues. The L-glutamine could absolutely be making them worse. Often glutamate levels need to be brought down and balanced with gaba. I’m doing this, while using other methods to heal my gut. Perhaps one day when my levels are balanced I’ll be able to enjoy homemade broths. Issues with the broth can be discouraging, but they’re clues as to what’s going on. My reaction to GAPS was a step closer to finding answers that are bringing everything together for me.

      I’m not sure what your children’s health issues are but if they’re experiencing leaky gut and a reaction to excitotoxins I believe that you could benefit from some of the resources I frequent.

      http://www.dramyyasko.com/wp-content/files_flutter/1279663001Neuroprovokers8.pdf

      http://www.heartfixer.com/AMRI-Nutrigenomics.htm#Methyl Cycle Genomic Analysis and Supplementation

      I also find support for the MANY questions I have on forums and facebook pages such as http://www.facebook.com/mthfrsupport and http://www.ch3nutrigenomics.com/

      Reply
    • (Sorry left the reply under the wrong post, so I’m re-posting)

      Hi Susan-

      I see that your post is some months old but I thought I’d comment anyways since I have similar issues. The L-glutamine could absolutely be making them worse. Often glutamate levels need to be brought down and balanced with gaba. I’m doing this, while using other methods to heal my gut. Perhaps one day when my levels are balanced I’ll be able to enjoy homemade broths. Issues with the broth can be discouraging, but they’re clues as to what’s going on. My reaction to GAPS was a step closer to finding answers that are bringing everything together for me.

      I’m not sure what your children’s health issues are but if they’re experiencing leaky gut and a reaction to excitotoxins I believe that you could benefit from some of the resources I frequent.

      http://www.dramyyasko.com/wp-content/files_flutter/1279663001Neuroprovokers8.pdf

      http://www.heartfixer.com/AMRI-Nutrigenomics.htm#Methyl Cycle Genomic Analysis and Supplementation

      I also find support for the MANY questions I have on forums and facebook pages such as http://www.facebook.com/mthfrsupport and http://www.ch3nutrigenomics.com/

      Reply
  10. Pingback: your ultimate bone broth resource « bellatrix nutrition

  11. Just starting making my own chicken bone broth. It seems to have a bit of a bitter taste. Any help with that? Also does it matter what kind of veggies I cook in with it?

    Reply
  12. Thanks, a great article. I too was ignorant of the difference between stock and broth. I will try cooking for a shorter period of time and maybe my youngest will enjoy it more and show more signs of healing.

    Reply
  13. Hello ladies and thanks so much to Sarah for all the interesting articles and videos..

    I have been making stock/broth after learning it from Sarah. My most recent broth gelled even though I had cooked it on high for 10 hours (then low for another 10) using the crockpot. The bones were frozen as well when I threw them into the pot. I think the person who commented that too much water will dilute the broth and hence not gel is right as far as my experience with broths go. The water has to just cover the bones.

    I am Asian of Chinese descent and we always have soup for our meals, mostly dinner when everyone in the family gathers around. Our soups are simmered for about 2-4 hours if we’re cooking it on the stove but if we use a crockpot, we start early in the morning and have this delicious soup brewing when we have our dinner. If you would like to try different kinds of soup, please check out Chinese recipe books or search for them online. You’ll be amazed at the variety!

    Reply
  14. Quick question:
    Once you’ve made a great gelled stock/broth, do you kill any nutrients or damage the gelatin if reheated to a boil when using in soups or other recipes?

    Reply
    • Devorah, take my answer for the “not-a-mother” opinion it is.

      Just in the last couple weeks I read a real food blog (somewhere) that talked about the benefits & traditional wisdom of having meat be a baby’s first food before any other type of “modern traditional” food like cereal. I don’t recall the specifics, and I’m sorry that I don’t even remember which blog it was.

      However, my uninformed & inexperienced opinion, given that blog, is that giving an ounce or so of stock probably wouldn’t hurt. My question would be whether to give the stock straight or to dilute it with a few ounces of water in a bottle. And I have to think it would be healthier than giving the baby a bottle of fruit juice.

      Reply
    • Broth is a good first food. It can help to seal a babies gut as well. If you would like to read a good book about getting babies started off on the right foot, check out Mommypotamus.com- she has an e-book called “Nourishing Baby”. Good luck.

      Reply
  15. I notice these recipes are calling for 4 quarts of water. Then there are pounds of meat & bones plus the vegetables. So what size pot is needed as a minimum? I have a 5quart pot, but I’m not certain I can keep a low enough flame on the stove for the amount of simmer time (not to mention the pot is a non-stick… I know – switching to stainless steel is on the to-do list). My crockpots are 4quart and 6quart. Is the 6quart going to be big enough to hold everything without spillage once the food gives up its liquid, or should I make only half the recipe?

    I suppose I could always buy an 18quart Nesco roaster oven, but it is just me I’m cooking for and I don’t know for what else I’d use the Nesco.

    Another question… I don’t have any gut issues (that I’m aware of), but if I wanted to start with stock – just to be safe – any opinions on how long to stick with it before moving onto broth?

    Reply
    • AndiRae, my 6 qt crockpot is just right. I would think an 18qt roaster would be too big. Couldn’t cover the carcass. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  16. I have a question. I’m a bone broth maker but am new to meat stock. I’d like to do a whole chicken. Kim says the meat is delicious, and this is what I’m hoping for. My question is, can you reheat this meat successfully for a main dish recipe (ex. chicken with a sauce), or is it best left as soup meat, chicken salad, sandwich meat, and other cold uses?

    Also, can you store this meat in the freezer for future use? Thanks.

    I’m newer to your site and am finding a wealth of good info. Thanks for that too.

    Reply
  17. All my “chef” friends have told me just the opposite — that beef stock is made with just the bones, no meat on them, and that beef broth is made with meat left on the bone and roasted first (both times you can roast them first).

    So, of course this causes confusion. I am not on the GAPS diet, but ordered my grassfed beef from the local farm where I get my raw milk from, and requested the marrow bones and suet to make stock / broth and tallow.

    Reply
  18. I’m confused a little by the recipes. When you are done cooking the meat broth, do you strain it and put it into containers for storage? Or is that what you are adding additional water to to make the bone broth? Just want to be sure I’m doing this right… Thanks!

    Reply
  19. I am finally delving into the world of stock/broth making and I love it! But I didn’t realize until now that meat stock and bone broth were different. So yesterday I made beef meat stock and then I removed the meat and used those same bones to make my bone broth. My question is do I continue to use the same vegetables for the broth or do I add new ones or leave them all out?

    Reply
    • tap water has fluoride and chlorine (among other things) so it’s not what you want to use to make stock/broth. It’s also not what you want to drink if you can avoid it. Purified water would be natural spring water or filtered water (http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/) I have a Berkey and think it is totally worth it!

      Reply
  20. Sarah,
    I have done my own research on palm oil and I really don’t think it’s healthy- its an artery clogger. In fact I have written companies that put it in their products (Nabisco for one) and they agree that it’s not the best thing to use and they say they are looking for something better. My local supermarket uses in some of their baked goods and after my complaint they too agreed it was not the best oil to use in their baked good because of health reasons.
    Palm oil also extends shelf life of products as opposed to butter, etc.
    Finally plants that produce palm oil grow in the rain forests and “they” are cutting down the rain forests to grow these plants . Not only have I read this and seen pictures of this but I talked to a woman who lived in that area and verified what I read. This alone is a reason to ban the use of palm oil. As most know, or should know, the rain forest has a lot to do with the world’s weather and cutting it down to grow plants that yield unhealthy oil is really dumb.

    Reply
  21. Pingback: A good stock (otherwise known as cheap nutrition packed with flavour) | Balanced Naturopathics

  22. Well, I just started the into by simmering the bones in my crock pot for 14 hours. I guess this would turn it into broth? An hour or too after drinking, I get widespread body pain and aches and really bad depression/urge to cry. I just feel awful. Any thoughts if this sounds like die off OR reacting to MSG? I don’t have the book and just started this after reading some things on the internet. Maybe the wrong way to do it! Thanks..

    Reply
  23. No one has ever told me why you put herbs and vegetables into broth and when it’s done you throw them out. These are the first recipes I have seen that DO NOT specifically tell you to throw out the vegetables after the broth, stock, or whatever you are making is done. I never throw the vegetables away as I feel there must still be good nutrition in them. Therefore, I either simmer the bones in the water, apple cider vinegar, herbs and vegetables leaving the herbs and vegetables in to eat when it’s done or I leave out the herbs and vegetables to add later when its done if I think they will be cooked too long or be too mushy. Does anyone have any comments on this, whether one way or another is better, or if one way or the other is better for specific circumstances.

    Reply
  24. Thanks to the clarification this article provided, I’ve kept my meat broth cooking time to 5 hours or less to avoid MSG reactions. However, I’m still unclear as to when to add the longer cooked bone broths. Nowhere in Dr. McBride’s GAPS book, or in this article, can I find any mention about what stage to add longer cooked broths at. I understand to add it slowly and after after some healing has been attained, but when? During a certain phase of the Intro or Full diet? Would really appreciate some guidance. Thank you.

    Reply
    • As per the article above you introduce bone broth after intro when you go on the full diet. “Broth or bone stock is introduced after the Introduction Diet as gut healing has advanced.”

      Reply
  25. Thanks for the great article. Does the meat stock gel? I read that you have to simmer the stock for at least 6 hours for it to gel. So if we are going to simmer for just 2 hours, will it gel?

    Reply
    • I make a Chinese beef noodle, sometimes using beef shank and cook it about 3 hours and if there are left overs, the soup has always gelled, not only slightly, but into thick, hard gelatin when I remove it from the frig the next day. I’m pretty sure it would gel in two.

      Reply
  26. Thank you for this info. I didn’t realize that there was a difference in stock/broth as I have previously made bone stock. I am wondering though about the amount of bones in this recipe. Am I reading that each batch of meat stock should include 8# of bones for each and every batch? I have some bones in the freezer but my local butcher is going to charge me $3.49 a lb for rib bones. $25 just for bones in one batch seems like a lot.
    Brandy\’s last post: Swarovski Crystal Faceted Wing Necklace with sparkling Aurora Borealis by BrandyLanceLLC

    Reply
  27. I have a question, my husband having really bad digestive problems, he has been diagnosed having low acid in his stomach. We’ve been staying away from soups for a long time because he would always complain when he eats soup his stomach hurts even more and have more acid. He explains when he drinks with food or eat food that is mixed with liquid he doesn’t feel good. I find hard to believe, how is it possible. Isn’t soup stock so gentle on your stomach?

    Reply
    • Luda,
      It could be that he also has a food sensitivity or two. I used to feel sick whenever I would eat or drink anything, including water. It turns out I had a myriad of food allergies and I was reacting by feeling nauseous. I cut out the offending foods, added a homeopathic detox kit, acupuncture and routine chiropractic care and felt better. However, my family started the GAPS diet to try to improve our systems so that we don’t have any sensitivities at all rather than simply avoiding them. Also, from what I’ve read, people with sensitivities should start with meat broth and not bone broth because it tends to be too strong of a detox for their systems to begin with. Good luck!

      Reply
  28. I also get a weird anxious reaction when drinking beef bone broth, I guess from the free glutamates and leaky gut, oh well back to the drawing table, I guess making chicken stock for a mere 2 hours or whatever would limit glutamatic acid but also Calcium which is what I’m after since being casein intolerant. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  29. I’ve learned so much since the post I left above. The biggest lesson being that there is no one size fits all nutrition/healing plan. I always felt poorly after the broths and I was able to confirm that I do indeed have issues with glutamate in the broths as well as quite a few other foods in the GAPS diet. (Things that seem less obvious, like garlic, onion, chicken) Leaky gut is definitely involved but it goes much deeper than that. Many of us that end up seeking these nutrition plans have problems with our Phase Two detox pathways, specifically methylation. I have to support certain weaknesses in that system before I can even eat most of the things in GAPS. Since learning all of this I’ve thought about the people in these forums and wondered how many were mistaking methylation impairment for die off. Having my methylation analyzed has taken MUCH of the guesswork out of treatment and diet.

    Reply
  30. My son has severe autism and the hospital administered him medication which burned his bottom and insides raw, they don’t want to know about that though. His leaky gut symptoms went through the roof and I was told to give a soil based gluten and dairy free probiotic but this caused his candida symptoms to grow out of control to the point where he could only consume one carb meal a day without effecting his brain (the autism gut brain link). He has been diagnosed with gastroenteritis to and was on omeprazole which has now been changed to ranitidine. I can only give him 3 to 4 droplets of nystatin each meal time which is just keeping the candida in check because that is all he can tollerate before he gets stomach pain and starts holding his head! I have tried everything going on the market to help him but he has a reaction to it because of the leaky gut. I tried chicken broth and he reacted badly but I noticed an improvement when he went to the toilet! I now realise I should have started with chicken stock but my concern is will I be able to heal him with the candida? Or perhaps I may be able to increase the nystatin as he starts to heal again. This is my last hope as I have spent a fortune on all the products going you can think of. He can only tollerate brown rice, meats but not fish and advocado and sunflower oil.

    Reply
  31. Pingback: Meat Stock or Bone Broth – which do you make? | Real Food Houston

  32. Thanks for the info, I do not have a face book account and I suffer from blepharitis which makes my eyes irritated and it gets worse when I sit infront of the computer but I will have a go at the face book page and see how I get on. I have been testing out chicken stock cooked for 2 and a half hours and then 2 and a quarter hours but he again is struggling with tolleration so I will try cooking a stock for 2 hours. I use a Swan slow cooker and Waitrose organic chickens after we roast them and I use the leftovers and I get a set jellied stock each time. However I am going to change the slow cooker to a Visions glass saucepan as the chicken is in the slow cooker some time for it heats properly and that could be what the problem is. He is on Biocare calcium EPA and Higher Nature vitamin d in sunflower oil and these are tollerated very well. I also have been using Biocare childrens multi vitamin and minerals but these have disappeared from the website and they have not replied to my email asking if they are bringing them back but I have a good stock of them. I have split his meals up so he does not eat 3 meals a day but 5 smaller ones so I can get nystatin into him at 3 droplets per time.

    Reply
    • You may also find the website Kersten’s Kitchen helpful. Kersten Chapman has extremely food-sensitive children and her family was limited to six tolerated foods for several years before she started on GAPS. She took it very, very slowly – e.g. a quarter teaspoon of meat stock once per week – to begin with but has seen huge improvements in their health and the range of foods they can tolerate. She is also active on a couple of facebook groups. She’s put a bunch of her frankly genius recipes (who knew you could make nice things with just 6 ingredients) into an e-book. And no, she’s not paying me to advertise for her! :) Good luck with healing your son!

      Reply
  33. I’ve been making stock for many years and broth just recently and just now found out it’s affect on my digestion and why I’ve had rashes erupting when I try to sleep. It’s all fitting in the skin rashes after eating wheat, the night ones from bone broth. I’ve got to stick to the stock until my gut is heal. Thanks so much.

    Reply
    • But your gut should be ok as you’ve been making stock for years. Reverting back to stock until you get healed doesn’t make sense.

      Reply
  34. the reason Natasha uses word meat stock and bone stock is because in Russian there is only one word for stock or broth from animal – meat or bone (chicken, beef, et.). Interestingly enough, there is a different word in Russian for fish broth-stock (fish bone or fish flesh).

    Reply
  35. What a fantastic blog! Thank you!

    I’m just about to take a leap into the world of stock so I’m glad I’ve come across your great advice.

    I’m hoping someone could help me- I don’t want to keep the pot bubbling on my stovetop or oven so was wondering if there is any electric auto versions to make my “meat stock”?
    Im nearly buying a crock pot but I see that it takes an age to heat up and for something that takes 2 hours on the stove I wouldn’t know timings etc can anyone suggest any alternative machines/devices? If crock is a good choice can someone please give me some ballpark timing?
    Thanks in advancejimi

    Reply
  36. Hi,
    I’m new to all this, can someone please tell me if the recipies for the chicken and fish meat stock above require the chicken/fish to have been cooked beforehand or can it be raw?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Leon,

      I have always used raw fish heads and bones for fish stock but if you had baked a whole fish you could probably toss that carcass into the pot as well. For chicken or beef stock I have used both raw and cooked depending on what I have on hand. The flavor changes a little between cooked or raw but both are still tasty and both should have similar nutritional values. My determining factor is usually what we are having for dinner. If I bake a chicken I’ll toss the cooked carcass in the pot and add a couple raw chicken backs and feet in with it. If not I’ll use all raw backs and feet. Beef bones I will typically roast in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes first. It adds a richer flavor but I have been know to be lazy on occasion and just put the raw pieces in the pot. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  37. Thank you for your information. I have read alot of people reacting to the glutamine in bone broths? Any comments on that please?

    Reply
  38. Is it fine to replace the apple cider vinegar with lemon juice? I cannot tolerate the ACV for some reason. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  39. Hi, I just wanted to update on my son, I have been giving him pure rice bran oil, I started with 1 teaspoon a day mixed in a little avocado evening times and it is having a very healing effect on him. It also helps him to sleep at night. There have been a lot of studies done on rice bran oil (pubmed) which have shown anti inflammatory responses and it has high vitamin e content and gamma oryzanol in it which is very healing. My son is now currently on difflucan at 5 mils per day. Since being on the difflucan some of his food intolerances have improved and he is now eating green beans, suede, broccoli and sprouts. I would also warn on taking soil based probiotics as in some people they can become spore forming and sometimes strong antibiotics will be needed to get rid of the bacterial infection and there is almost a 50% chance of the condition coming back within 6 months. Trenev probiotics should be a good option. Bone broth is not tolerated very well but he gets away with it once a week in a small dose.l

    Reply
  40. Update, spoke to autism paediatrician today and he has told me to carry on with the fluconazole antifungal for 3 months and maybe longer and possibly at a higher dose and he does not recommend soil based probiotics but instead of prescribing antibiotics he says to try lactobacillus gg which is made by culturelle because that will crowd out the bad gut flora and give him a starting dose of 1 billion which is quite low to see how he responds and whether I should continue with it gradually increasing to 10 billion. There has been a lot of studies done on lactobacillus gg with many positive outcomes. He told me not to waste my money on food intolerance testing as this is not reliable and only allergy testing is reliable. Introduced another vegetable today and he has tolerated this well.

    Reply
  41. I would like to say that I’ve been consuming lots of bone broths for 2+ months and felt much better than on a previous low-carb diet. After reading this article I’ve been consuming meat stock only and have felt tired, sore and moody all week. I would like to think this is die-off but it seems strange to me.

    Reply
  42. Pingback: Strange physical reaction after eating bone broth.. | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page

  43. Pingback: Real Food Alternatives for Health and Enjoyment « The Spark Blog

    • I had problems with the long cooked stocks and now cook chicken for 1.5-2 hours. This will get a jelly texture when cooking legs/thighs. I have not done necks alone but I would guess this time period should be enough.

      Reply
    • You need to let chicken bones cook 24 hrs, and beef bones 48 hours. You do not want a boil. just a slow simmer. Bring cold water to boil, then turn down heat to lowest setting

      Reply
  44. I’ve been unable to tolerate small amounts of beef stock and broth. I’m not sure why. Maybe fish or chicken would be better?

    Reply
  45. Pingback: Bone Broth Benefits

  46. On the GAPS diet, with a 13 year old starting on the Introductory Diet, can she have any of the meat or just the stock?

    Thank you!

    Reply
  47. Pingback: Recipe: Chicken Bone Broth—Day 1 | Creating Silver Linings

  48. Pingback: Body Fat Check In – 15.42% Body Fat & Ketosis (March 21, 2014)

  49. Pingback: Food Sensitivities, Histamine, FODMOP & Adrenal Fatigue!

  50. Pingback: Protein Power & Ketosis: Are They Compatible?

  51. Hi,
    I have a really simple question…I have been on the GAPS diet for a few weeks now and am realizing I’ve been making the bone broth rather than the meat stock. So I’ve switched to the shorter cooking time and have been adding quite a few feet to each batch. My question is how long do you cook it for in a crock pot? I prefer to cook it this way rather than the stove but I don’t know how to judge the cooking time so I don’t end up with bone broth.The original recipe in the Natasha’s book says to cook it about 2-3 hours but I don’t feel this would be long enough in a crock pot…any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

    Reply

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