How to Clean Beef Neck Bones for Cooking

Beef neck bones are a great choice for making bone broth or bone stock. They contain collagen and nutrients that are released into the liquid as the bones simmer. Cleaning the bones properly before cooking is important to get the best result.

Why Choose Beef Neck Bones?

Beef neck bones have a good amount of meat on them in addition to the bone, cartilage, marrow, and connective tissue. Here are some of the benefits of using beef neck bones:

  • Full-bodied flavor – Neck bones contribute a rich, beefy flavor to broth or stock. This makes them ideal for soups, stews, gravies, and sauces.

  • Collagen and gelatin – simmering neck bones releases collagen from the bones and connective tissue. This helps create a gelatinous broth that is rich and mouth-coating. Gelatin is also beneficial for gut and joint health.

  • Nutrients – Bone broth made with neck bones contains minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. It also provides protein and chondroitin sulfate which supports joint health.

  • Affordable – Neck bones are one of the more affordable cuts of beef. You can get plenty of bone broth nutrients without the higher cost of marrow bones or knuckle bones.

Gathering Supplies

Before getting started, gather together all the supplies you’ll need:

  • Beef neck bones
  • Kitchen knife and cutting board
  • Large bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Vegetable brush or clean toothbrush
  • vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Large pot with lid
  • Water (about 2 quarts per 1 lb of bones)
  • Cheesecloth

Step 1 – Remove Meat and Excess Fat

If the neck bones have large pieces of meat on them, remove the meat first and set it aside. You can save the meat to add to the finished broth later or use it in another recipe.

Also trim off any large excess pieces of fat from the bones. A little fat left on the bones is beneficial for flavor.

![Beef neck bones with meat removed][]

Step 2 – Rinse the Bones

Place the bones in a large bowl. Rinse them under cold running water while scrubbing with your fingers or a vegetable brush to remove any visible dirt and debris.

Change out the water several times until the water runs clear.

Step 3 – Soak the Bones

Soaking helps draw out impurities from deep inside the bones.

Option 1 – Vinegar Soak:

Fill the bowl with enough cold water to cover the bones. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice and let soak 30 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Option 2 – Salt Soak:

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt in water, add bones and soak 30 minutes. Drain and rinse well.

Soaking in vinegar or salt water helps purify and draw out blood, debris, and impurities from the bones.

Step 4 – parboil the bones

For extra cleaning, you can parboil the neck bones:

  1. Place the bones in a large pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches.

  2. Bring to a boil over high heat.

  3. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

  4. Drain and rinse the bones under cold water.

Parboiling helps loosen and purge any residue or debris from the bones. Most of the scum will boil up to the surface where you can skim it off.

Step 5 – Roast the Bones

For deeper flavor, you can roast the bones before making broth.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Arrange bones on a baking sheet.

  3. Roast for 30-45 minutes until nicely browned.

  4. Remove from oven and drain fat from the pan.

Browning the bones through roasting adds greater depth of flavor by caramelizing the natural sugars and proteins in the bone.![Roasted beef neck bones][]

Step 6 – Simmer in Water

Now you’re ready to simmer the neck bones to make bone broth or stock.

  1. Place bones in a large pot and add vegetables like onion, celery, carrots for more flavor.

  2. Pour in cold water until bones are covered by 2-3 inches.

  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.

  4. Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer 3-24 hrs.

  5. Add salt, herbs and seasonings if desired.

  6. Strain and cool broth completely before use.

Low and slow simmering will extract the collagen, gelatin, minerals and nutrients from the bones into the water.

Storing Beef Bone Broth

After making your bone broth, let it cool slightly and then transfer to storage containers.

  • Store broth in the fridge up to 5 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze broth in jars, bags or ice cube trays for up to 6 months.
  • When freezing, leave at least 1 inch headspace for expansion.
  • Remove fat layer from the top of chilled broth before storing. The fat will solidify and can easily be lifted off.
  • Reheat frozen broth over low heat on the stovetop or microwave in short bursts to preserve nutrients.

With cleaned beef neck bones and low, slow simmering, you can make a tasty, nutritious bone broth packed with minerals and collagen. Enjoy bone broth in soups, stews, gravies, sauces or as a nourishing drink on its own.

Uses for Beef Bone Broth

Beef bone broth made from neck bones is very versatile. Here are some delicious ways to use bone broth:

  • Drink it – Sip the broth on its own or use as the base for soups.
  • Cook grains or beans – Use broth instead of water for extra flavor and nutrients.
  • Braise meats – Braising meat in bone broth infuses flavor and tenderness.
  • Make sauces and gravies – Whisk in flour to make a flavorful, rich gravy.
  • Use in stew or soup – Beef broth provides the base for delicious soups and stews.
  • Pan sauces – Deglaze a pan with broth after cooking meat.
  • Risotto – Make risotto extra luxurious by using bone broth as the cooking liquid.
  • Reduce for glaze – Simmer broth until reduced to a syrupy glaze to coat meats or vegetables.
  • Marinate meats – Soaking meats in broth before cooking infuses moisture and flavor.

Common Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about cleaning and cooking beef neck bones:

How much meat should be left on the bones?

It’s best to remove large, easy to pull off pieces of meat from the neck bones. Leave smaller bits of meat and soft tissue attached for added flavor and nutrients.

What if I don’t have vinegar or lemon juice to soak the bones?

You can skip the soaking step if needed. Just be sure to rinse the bones very well before cooking. Soaking helps extract impurities, but a good rinse will still work.

Is it necessary to roast the bones?

Browning the bones is optional but does add richer flavor through caramelization. If you want a deeper taste, take the extra step to roast before simmering.

Can I freeze the broth with bones in it?

It’s best to strain out the bones before freezing broth. The bones can alter the flavor and texture of the broth over long freezing.

How long should neck bones simmer?

Simmer time can vary from 3 to 24 hours depending on your goals. Aim for at least 3 hours to fully extract collagen and gelatin. Longer simmering continues to concentrate the broth.

Tips for the Best Results

Follow these tips when working with beef neck bones for optimal nutrition and flavor:

  • Choose grass-fed bones or organic if possible for higher quality.
  • Scrub bones well before cooking to remove debris, blood, and impurities.
  • Roast or char the bones for caramelized flavor.
  • Simmer bones for a minimum of 3 hours, or up to 24 hours.
  • Add an acid like vinegar or lemon juice to help draw out minerals.
  • Skim fat and foam during simmering for a clearer broth.
  • Avoid adding spices to the broth until after straining for better flavor.
  • Let broth cool completely before transferring to storage containers.

With cleaned bones and proper cooking techniques, you can unlock all the collagen, gelatin, nutrients and rich flavor neck bones have to offer.



Do beef neck bones splinter?

Raw, Meaty Bones Because they are easily digestible and will not splinter like cooked bones. Some of the popular types of bones fed on the raw diet are beef tails or necks from poultry and are usually available from your local butcher.

Are beef neck bones healthy?

Beef neck bones are a game-changer for anyone who makes their own soup broth. They are also highly nutritious and an excellent source of collagen, which promotes bone density and overall skin health.

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