Simmering Secrets: How to Cook Soup Bones

Simmering Secrets: How to Cook Soup Bones

Soup bones are a highly nutritious and flavorful ingredient that can elevate any soup recipe. In this article, we will explore the simmering secrets of cooking soup bones to extract their maximum flavor and nutrition. We will cover everything from choosing the right type of bones to tips on storing them. So, let’s get started!

Choosing the Right Type of Bones

Not all bones are created equal when it comes to cooking soup. Some of the best types of soup bones include beef bones, chicken bones, and turkey bones. Generally, bones that have higher collagen content and are harder to chew, like beef shanks, oxtail, and marrow bones, make the best soup bones. However, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Beef Bones

Beef bones are ideal for making hearty, flavorful soups. When purchasing beef bones, look for cuts with a lot of connective tissue and marrow. The ideal beef bones for soup include beef shanks, oxtails, marrow bones, and knuckles. These types of bones are rich in collagen, which gives the soup a thicker texture.

Choosing the Right Cut of Beef Bones

Before cooking, make sure to choose a cut of beef that is best for soup. A few examples of ideal beef cuts include:

  • Beef shank
  • Oxtail
  • Marrow bones
  • Whole beef bones
  • Knuckles

The Importance of Roasting the Bones

Roasting the bones is essential when making any type of bone-based soup. By roasting the bones, you caramelize the natural sugars in the bone and add depth of flavor to the soup.

How to Roast Beef Bones

To roast beef bones, preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Place the bones on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast the bones for 30-40 minutes, or until they turn a rich brown color. Once the bones are roasted, proceed with your soup recipe.

Chicken Bones

Chicken bones make a lighter, more delicate soup than beef bones. They are ideal for soups that are seasoned with fresh herbs or vegetables. Chicken soup is also great for those recovering from an illness and need to replenish their bodies with fluids.

Choosing the Right Cut of Chicken Bones

When purchasing chicken bones for soup, choose cuts that are rich in gelatin and collagen. These include:

  • Chicken feet
  • Neck bones
  • Backbones
  • Wings
  • Neck and backbones from a roasted chicken

How to Remove Meat from Chicken Bones

If you are using a roasted chicken to make soup, it’s essential to remove as much meat as possible from the bones. Not only does this keep your soup broth light and clear, but it also helps to prevent spoilage. To remove the meat, use a sharp knife or your hands to pull the chicken off the bones.

Turkey Bones

Turkey bones are a great way to use up leftovers from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Roasting the bones before simmering brings out the flavors and nutrients. Turkey soup pairs well with strong herbs, like thyme or rosemary.

The Importance of Using Leftover Turkey Bones

Using leftover turkey bones is not only budget-friendly, but it’s also a great way to reduce food waste. By simmering the turkey bones, you’ll extract more flavor than just using the meat alone.

How to Store Soup Bones

If you’re not going to use the soup bones right away, you can store them in the freezer for future use. To store them, wrap the bones in plastic wrap and then place them in an airtight freezer bag. Bones can stay frozen for several months, so you can make a batch of soup whenever you’re ready.

Simmering the Bones

The secret to making a flavorful bone broth is to simmer the bones for an extended period. By adding in vegetables and herbs, you’ll create a delicious, nutrient-dense soup your whole family will love. Here’s how to do it:

Ingredients for Simmering Soup Bones

  • 2-3 pounds of soup bones
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 celery sticks, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 8-10 cups of filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of peppercorns, whole
  • Bouquet garni (a bundle of herbs tied with string) made up of thyme, parsley, and bay leaves

How to Simmer Soup Bones

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Sprinkle salt over the soup bones and roast them on a baking sheet for 30-40 minutes, or until browned.
2. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until translucent.
3. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the carrots, celery, and bouquet garni. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly softened.
5. Add the soup bones and cover with filtered water.
6. Add in the peppercorns and apple cider vinegar.
7. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6-8 hours.
8. When the soup is done, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids. Let the soup cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.

The Benefits of Soup Bones

Making soup bones at home provides numerous health benefits, as they are packed with nutrients and minerals that are essential to a healthy, balanced diet. Here are a few of the benefits soup bones provide:

  • Rich in collagen and gelatin
  • Boosts immune system and joint health
  • Improves digestion and gut health
  • Enhances skin, hair, and nail health
  • Provides essential amino acids

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best types of soup bones to use? The best types of soup bones include beef shanks, oxtail, marrow bones, chicken feet, neck bones, and turkey bones.
  • How long should you cook soup bones for? Soup bones should be simmered for at least 6-8 hours to extract their maximum flavor and nutrition.
  • Can you use frozen soup bones? Yes, you can use frozen soup bones. However, be sure to thaw them completely before cooking.
  • What herbs are best for soup broths? Herbs like thyme, parsley, and bay leaves are excellent for soup broths.
  • Should you remove meat from the bones before making soup? Yes, it’s best to remove as much meat as possible from the bones before simmering to ensure a light and clear broth.


– Kieffer, K. (2018). How to Make Bone Broth at Home. Retrieved November 23, 2021, from
– Why Bone Broth Is So Good For Us. (2021). Retrieved November 23, 2021, from

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