How to Roast Beef Bones for Stock: A Step-by-Step Guide

Beef bone broth made from roasted beef bones is incredibly nutritious and flavorful. It can be used to make delicious soups, stews, gravies and more. Roasting the bones properly is the key to extracting maximum flavor and nutrients. This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to roast beef bones for stock.

Why Roast Beef Bones?

Roasting beef bones before making bone broth provides several important benefits:

  • Enhanced flavor – Roasting caramelizes the outer layer of the bones, adding richer, deeper flavor to the finished broth. This is known as the Maillard reaction.

  • More gelatin – Roasting helps break down connective tissue in the bones, releasing more gelatin into the broth. Gelatin gives the broth body and that lip-smacking richness.

  • Increased nutrients – Roasting may help extract more nutrients like minerals, vitamins and amino acids from the bones. The high heat helps break down the marrow inside.

  • Better broth texture – Thanks to the increased gelatin, roasted beef bone broth has a silky, mouth-coating texture that is highly desirable.

Clearly, taking the time to properly roast beef bones pays dividends when making bone broth at home.

Choosing the Right Beef Bones

Not all beef bones are created equal when it comes to making bone broth. For best results, choose bones that have these characteristics:

  • Marrow-filled – Bones like knuckle bones, femur bones and neck bones contain lots of nutrient-dense marrow inside. The marrow melts into the broth during cooking.

  • Some meat – Bones with a bit of meat left on provide proteins and flavor. Avoid completely cleaned bones.

  • Collagen-rich – Bones like oxtails, knees, and knuckles are loaded with collagen. This contributes gelatin to the broth.

Grass-fed beef bones are ideal, but not absolutely necessary. Talk to your butcher about acquiring beef bones for stock.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps for perfectly roasted beef bones:

1. Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 400°F-450°F. High heat is needed to properly brown the bones.

2. Arrange Bones in a Roasting Pan

Place the raw beef bones in a single layer in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Avoid overcrowding.

3. Coat Bones with Oil

Drizzle or brush the bones lightly with olive oil or avocado oil. This helps them brown.

4. Season the Bones

Sprinkle some salt over the oiled bones. Kosher or sea salt works best.

5. Roast the Bones

Roast the bones for 20-30 minutes. Flip them halfway through for even browning.

6. Add Aromatics

Add vegetables like onions, carrots and celery to the pan. Also add some tomato paste and garlic.

7. Finish Roasting

Roast for 20-30 minutes more until the bones are well-browned.

That’s all it takes! Now you have perfectly roasted beef bones ready for making bone broth.

Pro Tip: Save any juices from the roasting pan to add extra flavor to the broth. Deglaze the pan with water to get every last bit.

Making Beef Bone Broth

There are several methods for making beef bone broth using your roasted bones:

  • Stovetop – Simmer the bones in a stockpot for 12-24 hours. Keep the heat very low.

  • Slow cooker – Add bones and water to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 24-48 hours.

  • Pressure cooker – Lock the lid and pressure cook on high for 1-2 hours. Fast extraction.

  • Oven – Cover pot and cook in a 200°F oven overnight. No need to watch the stove.

For all methods, start with roasted bones and enough water to cover. Add any juice from the roasting pan. Season with herbs and spices as desired.

Once done, strain out the solids. Cool the broth completely before freezing for long term storage.

Tips for the Best Roast Beef Bone Broth

Follow these tips for maximum success:

  • Roast bones in batches if needed to prevent crowding

  • Choose grass-fed and organic bones when possible

  • Add vinegar or lemon juice to the broth to help extract minerals

  • Skim fat and impurities off the top as broth simmers

  • Use broth within 5 days or freeze for later use

  • Add fresh herbs and spices to suit your taste preferences

Enjoying Beef Bone Broth

Homemade beef bone broth is incredibly versatile:

  • Drink it straight as a nutritious beverage

  • Use as the base for soups, stews and gravies

  • Pour over rice or grains for added flavor and nutrition

  • Cook beans, lentils or veggies in it instead of water

  • Thicken with cornstarch or arrowroot and use as sauce

  • Mix with miso paste for a savory, probiotic-rich drink

With properly roasted bones, your beef bone broth will have amazing depth of flavor. Enjoy this nourishing, traditional food often!

How to Make Grassfed Beef Bone Broth


Should I roast my beef bones before making broth?

Roasting your bones before cooking will make your broth richer and add an extra layer of deep rich roasted flavor. Roast the bones by drying them with paper towel, season with salt, and arrange in a roasting pan.

How to roast bones for a stock?

Put the bones on a roasting pan or baking sheet, cover with oil and roast for 30-45 minutes in a 400 degree oven or until dark brown. I love scapula for this as well as ribs. Cut them if needed so they can fit in your stock pot after roasting.

Can you overcook bones for stock?

There’s a limit to how much flavor a given ingredient will impart—past that, extra time just turns everything to mush. Big beef or lamb bones can be cooked for up to eight hours, or overnight. Chicken bones are more like four to six. Veggies give up all their flavor in about an hour.

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