Jul 6, 2023
Nothing is as good as sipping a tasty bone broth when you feel tired, weak, and down. It’s got the amino acid glycine that’s being studied for its ability to help you regulate sleep. It’s highly nutritious, and many use it to help them regain their health and stay in shape. The problem with bone broth is that it’s so rich that it can only stay in the fridge for 3-4 days. It’s good for one year when stored in the freezer. But there’s a way to make it last longer. Here’s how to freeze-dry bone broth to have a nutritious broth for a health boost.
Bone broth is a delicious, clear, rich soup made from boiling or stewing animal bones and connective tissue. You can use chicken, turkey, pork, beef, lamb, and fish bones to make your broth.
There’s a reason why bone broth is gaining popularity among so many groups of people. You’ll see it talked about in the Keto/Paleo community, in athletic fitness forums, and even ones for mental health. Here are the reasons why:
Bone broth is the most inexpensive broth to prepare. Why? Because you can use scraps from the butcher, your dinner, and even trimmings from vegetables.
It goes without saying that you need bones. Lots and lots of bones with cartilage as much as possible. Go for the most-overlooked animal parts because they have the most cartilage. For chicken, go for the feet, necks, and backs. For pork and beef, go for the meaty ones with marrow. This is usually the feet, shoulder, neck, hip, and ribs.
If you want to use fish, use bones from non-oily fish like sole, rockfish, or cod. You can buy a whole fish and then save the heads and bones. Or you can ask your butcher to save them for you.
Aside from that, you can also get bones from your dinner. For example, save the carcass from a roast chicken dinner or a t-bone from a grilled steak. Any bone that you didn’t stew or boil off. Just make sure the bones you’ll get are clean and safe to store in the freezer until future use.
You have two options for cooking your bone broth. One is the traditional slow cooking method that slowly draws out most nutrients from the bones. Another is using a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot.
If you want a richer, deeper flavor, go for the traditional method. You can use a heavy-bottomed stock pot and let the broth simmer on the stove for at least 12 hours. If you want to go hands-free, set the slow cooker for 24-48 hours on the lowest setting. However, you may have better options if you have allergies and tummy issues. Because the longer the bone broth cooks, the more it releases histamine. It’s the compound released in your body during allergic reactions that causes itching, swelling, and difficulty in breathing. Another thing is that slow-cooking releases a lot of rendered fat. This can cause bloating and stomach upset for some.
Instant Pot, on the other hand, is a faster, more convenient method. This is a good option if you’re too busy and don’t have time to babysit your broth. Just set it to cook for an hour, and it’s good to go. This is a good option if you have histamine and gastric issues with fat. You won’t get the same rich, deep flavor and color, though. But it’s almost as good as slow cooking.
Pre-roasting the bones in the oven helps the bones release more flavor. The caramelization also gives your broth that appetizing golden color. If you want a colorless broth, you can skip this step.
There are many ways that you can make bone broth. Here are some of the recipes that you can try.
Some of these recipes are good for both slow-cooking as well as with Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker.
After you cook the bone broth, take out the solid ingredients and strain it through a colander or sieve. This will help give you a clear broth that’s easy to freeze dry and reconstitute. Let it cool to room temperature, then put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. This will help the fat rise to the surface, making it easy for you to take it out. It’s important that you remove the fat because it doesn’t freeze dry well.
Afterward, you can place the broth in either ice cube trays or lip lock bags for freezing. Or you can also use your freeze-dryer trays. The trick here is to keep the level of the broth no more than 3/4 inch thick. It shouldn’t go level or higher than the lip of your freeze-dryer tray. We highly recommend using ice cube trays so you can easily portion your broth later. Remember to freeze your trays as well to keep the broth cubes from melting.
Harvest Right recommends freezing food for at least 48 hours for the ice crystals to form. Keep in mind to keep the freezer undisturbed during the process as much as possible. Then weigh the broth after freezing. This way you have a good idea of how much water you need to reconstitute your powder.
When it’s time to freeze-dry, put the frozen bone broth on your frozen freeze-dryer trays. Prepare them only when your freeze-dryer’s asking you to put the trays in.
If you prefer to work with room-temperature bone broth, that’s fine too. Just be careful when putting the trays in the freeze dryer after weighing them. If you prefer not to weigh it, it’s okay. Use a measuring cup to carefully pour the liquid while the trays are 2/3 in the chamber to make it easy for you. You can do this before you turn on your unit.
To freeze dry bone broth using your Harvest Right freeze dryer, here’s what you need to do:
Weigh your product after freeze drying so you’ll know how much water you’ll need to reconstitute.
Freeze-drying bone broth can take 26-38 hours, depending on how much water your broth has. If this is your first time to freeze-dry liquids, follow the recipe. Once you get used to the before and after measurements, you can lessen the water. Or you could reduce the broth on the stove after straining.
Reconstituting freeze-dried bone broth powder will depend on your before and after weight measurements. Or it can be 1:1 or 1:2 (powder:water). It would be easier to start with less water because you can add more liquid.
Freeze-dried bone broth carefully stored can last for 25-30 years.
You can use Mason Jars for on-demand use. Mylar bags are ideal for long-term storage and for bringing it outdoors. Use 1-2 300cc oxygen absorber packets for every gallon size of your container to extend shelf life.
After sealing, keep the containers in a cool, dry place with a temperature lower than 72°F (22 °C). Keep the relative humidity 15% or less to prevent spoilage.
Bone broth has a lot of potential benefits for the body. Frezee-drying is the best option if you want to have it with you wherever you go. You can make it last 25-30 years as long as you remove the oil from the liquid. It’s simple to make and has many uses for cooking and boosting your health.
Which recipe would you make for your freeze-dried bone broth? Let us know in the comment section.
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