Instant Pot for Beginners: Never Buy Broth Again!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

If someone had told you 15 years ago that there would be a market for fancy, expensive, "artisan" broth, would you have believed them? Because it's a thing. People are paying $8+ for just a couple cups of fancy broth. While I'm sure it's very good for them... It's not that hard to make your own broth. Especially when you own an instant pot!

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I like using my Instant Pot for broth for a variety of reasons—it's WAY faster than using a slow cooker or a stock pot, it doesn't stink up the house for days at a time, and it's much easier to drain! We use broth in tons of meals now that I have an easier time making it, and while I can't say for sure that it's improved our health, it's definitely improved the flavor of our meals.

Start with one or two whole chicken carcasses—feet, backs, necks, even heads (if you're not squeamish!) can go in, too.

Pour 2-4 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar over the bones to help draw good minerals out of them.

Add whatever veggies you have—onion ends, parsley stems, celery middles, carrot tops... I keep a quart bag in my freezer and add scraps whenever I cook, so making a batch of broth ends up being basically free.

Top the whole thing off with cold water a little short of the "max" line (this will work in either the 6qt or 8qt pots), and then cover and cook for 90-100 minutes on high pressure. Allow natural release for 20-30 minutes, then drain into a large pot with a fine mesh strainer. Cover and cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until you're ready to use it (or use it right away!).

Then!! Put those scraps right back in the pot (breaking up the bones with a wooden spoon to help them release the rest of the goodness), add a little vinegar, cover halfway up the pot with cold water, and do it again! Your second batch will be more diluted, better for cooking rice or one-pot pasta in, but still full of good nutrients. (I feed the resulting sludge to our chickens, but you can compost it, too)

*You can do this with bones from other animals, obviously. Roast beef soup bones before using those for stock, or just use the bones from your short ribs, pot roast, rib steaks, whatever. A ham bone will make a delicious smoky broth, perfect for split pea soup or ham and potato soup.

*If you don't want your broth to be neutral-tasting, experiment with adding other flavors—a head of garlic, herbs, a tablespoon of fish sauce, a few hot peppers... Have some fun with it!

*Don't salt your broth until you're ready to use it. It might taste bland at first, especially if you're used to salty store bought broth or powdered bouillon. Just keep salting until the flavors come through!

*You might want to skim the fat if you end up with a very thick layer (it really depends on the bones you use). Don't toss it! Use it for roasting vegetables or sauteing rice before cooking it. It's easier to skim the fat once the broth has been refrigerated.

*For extra-clear broth, strain through a reusable coffee filter. You can prop it up with a canning funnel and freeze quart portions in smaller containers (I've tried mason jars and have had them break too many times, even with plenty of head room—Ball does *not* recommend freezing anything in quart jars).

What's next on your beginner's cooking list? Mashed potatoes? Applesauce? A whole chicken?

More in this series:
How to Cook White Rice


  1. Oooo, thanks Rosie. Perfect timing; I have a carcass and an instant pot but I hadn't tried broth in the instant pot yet!

    1. Soup for dinner!! The hardest part now is figuring out what to *do* with all the broth ;)

  2. Artisan broth is so weird. Not against it, I just can't get excited about it. I'm a Better than Bouillon girl and when it was hailed as a Secret to Savoury goodness by The Kitchen, I considered myself off the hook for making broth ;)
    Oh I will take this opportunity to say I tried that pretzel receipe you posted in the spring. Yum. It's great with soup! I use whole wheat flour.

    1. I know!!! There are a lot of people who get really excited about it and I guess it's good that they're getting all those nutrients but... That's so much money! I like Better Than Bouillon when I'm in a pinch, but it honestly takes like, half of a Costco-sized jar to make soup for the whole family, so this ends up being a lot cheaper! I think that's definitely preferable to buying tons of cans or cartons of broth, for sure. I think making your own broth has a lot more beneficial nutrients than anything else, but sometimes there's no time!

    2. Half of my soups I use deboned chicken thighs in so I boil those to cook them and then there's broth which I can put the chicken back in. I also skimp on bouillon because I figure I am boiling veggies so that's vegetarian broth.


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