Make Your Own Bone Broth From Thanksgiving Turkey Bones

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Bone Broth

Bone broth is everywhere right now. It officially seems like a “craze” to me. Some crazes are crazy (margarine, for example); others are great (like the running or yoga crazes).

What’s funny to me about the bone broth craze is that I’ve been making it forever. I just called it homemade soup broth. In fact, I blogged about it back in…January 2014 (actually, much earlier than that, but somehow the original blog got lost in a digital re-platforming).

My house and my family would not function without my homemade broth. I make it in bulk, using any carcass or leftover bones I have available (chicken, turkey, ham, smoked ham!, goose, duck, lamb, beef). It has, for centuries, just been a part of any good household management: You make something, and then you make something else from the leftovers.

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Homemade broth is not only financially and environmentally smart, but it’s also the most freaking delicious thing you can ever make. And once you start making it, everything else in the universe that claims it’s broth will taste fake. Homemade broth from bones tastes like truth.

I’m not going to comment on all the health benefits and nutritional data or whether or not collagen will make you look younger. I’m just going to tell you how to make it using your leftover turkey carcass. You will be so thankful you made it!

Turkey Bone Broth


  • One turkey carcass (majority of the meat removed)
  • A large soup pot
  • Enough water to cover at least most of the bones
  • Salt


  1. Place the turkey carcass in the soup pot. Cover it as much as possible with water. I like to use filtered water, just because, but you don’t have to. If the carcass is too big, you can try and break it up and jam it in. If you don’t have a pot big enough, buy one. You won’t regret it.
  2. Place the pot on the stovetop and turn the heat on high. Bring to a boil. Once it boils, skim the weird stuff off the top and turn the heat down.
  3. Let it cook. For hours. I find two to three hours is usually enough. What you want to wait for is that moment when everything just collapses and the broth is golden and fragrant and has a nice glow to it.
  4. Add salt to taste. You will need a lot. More than you think.
  5. Turn off the heat and let the soup sit until cool enough to strain. But in the meantime, enjoy eating as much as you can.

Straining Bone Broth:

For the clearest broth, you will want to strain the liquid from the bones. I use a stainless steel fine mesh strainer that looks like a cone. Put it over another big pot, and pour the whole mixture in so the strainer still holds the bones and all that is in the other pot is a clear broth. Feel free to pick over the carcass and save the meat for use in other ways (all pets will stare adoringly at you while you complete this process).

You now have “bone broth,” or basic soup stock. I vehemently dislike adding vegetables and herbs to this mixture. It takes away from the truth of the broth. Of course, you can add that later when you are making a soup. The variations of soup from broth are endless.

If you’ve done all this correctly, you will have way more broth than you can eat in one meal. So you’ll want to freeze the extra for those times when you just need some broth. It freezes super well.

Freezing Bone Broth:

Ladle the broth into a wide-mouth glass jar (I use a funnel to reduce spillage). Make sure to leave an inch or two at the top of the jar because the broth will expand when it freezes.

Put a label on it. Wait till it cools (store it in the fridge overnight if you must) and then put it in the freezer.

If you or a family member are feeling under the weather and just want some homemade love, this is the secret healing recipe. And now, you have it.


DISCLAIMER: Feeding yourself and your children organic foods may cause extreme health, healing, and happiness.


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24 Responses to Make Your Own Bone Broth From Thanksgiving Turkey Bones

  1. Donna in Delaware November 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    Right you are on all accounts! Been making it for years! I thought everyone did, silly me!


  2. Maya November 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Happy Thanksgiving Donna in Delaware! 🙂

  3. maria (farm country kitchen) November 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    Happy Thanksgiving Donna in Delaware!!!

  4. Chris November 26, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Made this for the first time last year and can’t wait for the next batch!

  5. Donna in Delaware November 30, 2014 at 10:52 am #


  6. pauline December 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    since I can remember I have taken the carcass and boiled it down. I get asked “what’s in this stew” or whatever it is I make from the broth. I also think it’s criminal to toss out half the animal slaughtered for your pleasure. everything needs to be used. and yes the dogs get to eat well too!

  7. Gary Wayne Roman December 11, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    I just wanted to say I enjoy your email and website. The instructions you give are great for soup stock. I have also done this for many years. I am finding out however that bone broth in modern terms is the boiling of the bones for at least 24hrs. Til the bones are so soft they can be turned to mush. They are often broken first to open up the marrow in the center. I smash them and continue to boil them for a while longer. This is said to bring out nutrients that is normally locked away in the bones if only cooked for a short time. I have been doing this since I read about it and am pleased with the results. Again, thank you for all your info you share.

  8. AM December 30, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    I recently discovered the beauty and nutritional value of bone broth, not because it’s a trend — I DETEST trends and run the opposite direction with every new one that arrives! I came into bone broth due to serious health issues.

    Okay, I admit, I loved bones long before my health crises. As a child, I used to crack open chicken bones with my teeth to suck out the marrow. I still do! To me, that’s the best part of an entire chicken!

    So making bone broth a part of my regular diet is no stretch. I concur 100% about the purist part. Though people ubiquitously call for adding veggies to a broth as it simmers, I’m “nah uh.”

    Bones. Water. Sea salt. Pepper. Beauty in a bowl!

    Only challenge is getting a stock pot of bone broth into the freezer. I partake so much of it daily — pure ‘n’ plain — that not much of it actually has time to make it into the freezer.

    Thanks for the post on this golden glory. And for standing up for the no-veggies addition. Couldn’t agree more!

    (Of course, there’s always including veggies & turkey meat if making a soup, chili, etc. …. me, I like my broth simple ‘n’ clean. 🙂 )

  9. Kathy March 30, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    When I first heard about this ‘craze’ I couldn’t understand it! I thought EVERYONE did this with their leftover meat bones! That’s how I was raised and how my kids were raised. In fact, my son (now an adult) will go buy a turkey JUST for the broth and soup that will be made from the leftovers!
    I do leave whatever vegetables were stuffed inside the turkey before roasting while making the broth but don’t add any others. (This is mainly because I don’t want to go through the mess of scraping them all out!)

  10. Heidi Williams April 13, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    I have been using the bones of chicken and turkey for years and years. I have only none one there person who has done this, probably besides my mother. I actually knew how to do this from my friend. Later I found out my mother did this also. I also brine my turkeys and chickens, for 24 hours before I cook them. I found out about the brining from a grocery store customer who was in line before me, I got out of the line, went to the brining bags and there was only one left. I have never tasted a turkey so delicious, moist, and goodness. I have frozen the broth also, found out a few times that a smaller turkey doesn’t quite give me enough to freeze or give me nummy turkey so, always by a big one, and can’t stop eating the meat. Any way I found an old pot at the thrift store. Its my soup pot. My kids borrow it once in a while, with a 24 hour limit…..LOL. Heidi

  11. Beth November 19, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

    Thank you for the instructions for bone broth. I’ve boiled my ham bones all the time, but find it too salty and can only imagine making bean soup and I don’t like beans at all, so I give the broth to my sister-in-law. I was enthralled with the book Cold Mountain, mainly for the old time cooking methods. I noted that ‘Ruby’ boiled the bones of a turkey they had eaten; used to nurse her father to health. So, I roasted some turkey legs today and decided to boil the bones after we had eaten the meat. I imagine I boiled for 1.5 hours. Not knowing any better I decided that was good enough. My broth is the color of milk. I can see a few flecks of yellow within it, but am concerned that I should cook it longer. So I came to the internet to see if people still do this. Has anyone had such experiences?

  12. KAHNA EMERY November 27, 2015 at 12:10 am #

    Doesn’t it make sense that the health benefits of the bone broth would depend on the health of the animal? With all the information about highly processed food verses organic and “clean” food I am surprised this is not mentioned.

  13. Tim Mulherin November 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    I always buy my turkeys fresh from a local farm where they are raised on a vegetarian diet and allowed freedom of movement. The meat is suburb and the broth otherworldly. I simmer the bones for 6-8 hours and add nothing but salt and pepper. I have a batch on the stove as I type filling my apartment with heavenliness. I’ll make a pie on the morrow and can the rest in quart jars. Perfect for a quick soup! I’ve tried freezing in canning jars and leaving 2 inches but I still had some jars crack.

  14. Joy January 31, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    This is not a reciipe for bone broth, this is just soup stock.
    Bone broth is cooking the bones for over 24+ hours to pull the nutrients from the bones.

  15. kathy walsh March 23, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    I do this for Turkey and Chicken in my crock pot on high( until then I add cut up onions carrots and celery cook on high till there’s a rolling boil ) and then turn it down to low anywhere between 24 and 28hrs (overnight is best, except I hear a lot of complaints that they’re starving smelling the broth) Every few hours I skim off the stuff on top and shut it off if it gets to boiling again. However overnight I leave it on low. Last time I cooked a 15 lb. carcass of a turkey and added 2 bay leaves. At the end I discarded all vegetables strained my broth. Probably got about 64 to 80 ounces. It came out a beautiful gel. I mix this into all recipes that call for broth and dilute it with about 2 ounces of water to drink. I rarely cook the beef bone marrows because it takes 2 days and I can’t be bothered with that. Does anyone know where you can get a reasonable beef broth? Also I store it in my plastic containers….Don’t want them to crack in my freezer.

  16. kathy walsh March 23, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    Sorry, I also add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar at the beginning and no salt. You can always add salt but it’s pretty tough to take it away.

  17. Stacey November 26, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    For bone broth you need to boil for at least 24 hours. Yes 3 hours gives you a soup stock but if you want the nutrients from the bones for “bone broth” it needs to boil a full 24. Another great idea is, I like to take some and put it in ice cube trays. Then, after freezing/storing, when anyone wants a cup easy way to take out 1 serving and fill cup w hot water.

  18. Kellly Rauch November 27, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

    Just finished the HUGE batch that resulted from our turkey this year. The only thing I do differently is simmer the broth for at least 48 hours, releasing ALL of the good stuff in the bones. I am a huge bone broth fan and it has always been my understanding that stock is simmered a shorter time and actual bone broth is simmered way longer. I have 3 huge stock pots cooling outside for the final mason jar step and then into the freezer for use all winter. Thanks!

  19. Pat B December 1, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    I have a large pot of turkey bones, meat and seasoning-laced skin simmering slowly on the stove right now since yesterday. It’s been simmering with a big bunch of fresh parsley from the garden, a bunch of fresh scallions and the ends of the stalk of celery since yesterday. Any scraps and ends of vegetables are added into the pot. In fact, I save the ends and skins of onions, carrots, rinsed egg shells and peelings in the bag in the freezer and when enough bones are available to make broth…they are all added in.

    In a roasting pan, I roast the bones, meat fat and vegetable ends first until brown (425 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes). This roasting adds color and great flavor to the broth.

    Meanwhile, in the large soup pot II add cold water and a splash – a few tablespoons to 1/4 cup – of Cider Vinegar to the pot. When the bones and veggies are roasted I add them to the soup pot…NOT turning on the gas but letting it sit for about 1 hour in the cider vinegar water to leach out the valuable minerals from the bones.

    While that is sitting I add into the roasting pan a little water. And over low heat on the stove I scrape and stir all the bits and pieces and pour that into the large soup pot. Then I turn on the heat to start the bone broth cooking.

    I bring it to barely a boil then turn the heat down to low on the stove and let it simmer, taking out a hot cup in the morning and replacing the broth with a cup of water. If I want this large pot of bone broth to heat down to get a richer broth I just don’t replace what I take out. I usually let it cook for at least 24 to 36 hours on simmer for turkey or chicken, longer for the thick, dense beef bones.

    Boiling, to me ,I s a huge waste of gas and money, it does not need to boil but simmer slowly to break down the bones until they can be crushed with my fingers.

    When It’s done I strain everything into a colander with the good “liquid gold” going into a large pot or bowl. Then I pick through and put the bones and limp, well cooked vegetables in my garden to nourish the soil. I can either discard the meat since all the nutrients and flavor has been simmered out. Or remove the meat before cooking the broth and then add it in when making soup, gravy, etc.

    This is how the Chinese people cook such flavorful and delicious broth. I’ve hears one man had his bone broth going for 2 years, taking some out to use and adding back in water, more vegetables.

    Bone broth is so healthy and nutritious. It re-mineralizes and strengthens our bones, makes our hair and nails stronger, aids in healing “leaky gut” and provides necessary minerals that we can get no other way.

  20. Suzanne December 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    Has anyone tried in the instant pot?

  21. Mischa December 27, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

    What’s best way to skim off the weird stuff on top? Is there a particular type of spoon or tool a slotted spoon seems like it would not work.

  22. Lei May 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this, I’m curious on which is better turkey or beef coz I’m more of beef bone broth. I’ve also been drinking Au Bon Broth and saw that it’s made from chicken, turkey and beef bones. It’s surprisingly delicious and tasty.

  23. Beth November 26, 2018 at 2:33 pm #

    I bought a ‘natural’ ‘fresh’ turkey…..actually three this year because they were on sale really cheap. I raise chickens for the eggs so I KNOW what chickens eat as well as turkeys. They eat anything. Bugs, mice and feed. So they are NOT vegetarians at all. Flipped the sand box over once while cleaning the chicken run. I have never seen my chickens move so fast. Mice had been under it and there were pinkies everywhere that the chickens were diving for. And bugs. But I am sitting here with my bone broth from said turkey carcusses cooking away. Another hour or so it will be time to strain.

  24. Jessie November 28, 2018 at 8:54 am #

    I am new in the bone broth game but I love the tips! My first one was me going to the store to get some bones, and I boiled them with veggies, skimmed the fat, and drink it like tea! I have a fridge full of celery, onion, kale, carrot, shiitake, I mean lots and lots…but if you all say to just put the turkey carcass right in dat pot with some S&P for 24 hrs….I shall do it! 😀

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