How long do beef bones last in the fridge?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long do beef bones last in the fridge?”, and how to make beef broth at home?

How long do beef bones last in the fridge?

Beef bones should not be kept for more than 2-3 bones in the fridge. Loosely packed beef bones in plastic bags or tubs last 3 months in the freezer while the Vacuum-sealed beef bones will keep for 6 months. Roasted bones with little exposed marrow have a longer shelf-life. 

What is the difference between a stock, broth, and bone broth?

Stock: Stock or “bouillon” is either a Mirepoix (veggies plus bouquet garnis) or a soup with meat. Some define broth as a clear and fat strained stock. While others say that stock is made when ones with little meat attached are simmered with aromatics. It has an intense flavor.

Broth: It is a clear liquid obtained after simmering meat in water. It has a mild flavor. 

Bone broth: Bone broth is a liquid similar to stock. It is prepared by simmering animal bones in water. Ingredients like veggies, spices, and aromatics are added to the water to intensify the flavor. 

Usually, an acidic ingredient like apple cider vinegar is also added for the efficient extraction of minerals and collagen from bones. 

Why should you make your bone broth?

Homemade bone broth costs you less as compared to its branded counterparts. Unlike the branded bone broths with a rather bland flavor, homemade bone broths can be customized and are usually more flavorful and rich. It is a great way to put the veggie’s scraps and eaten bones to good use.

Benefits of bone broth

The rick and delicious bone broth provides a variety of nutrients that support immune health, strengthen the joints and bones, support hair, nail, and skin health. Moreover, this easily digestible liquid is great for the gut and digestive health.

How to make bone broth at home?

Bones: Use a combination of meaty bones and those with some attached connective tissue. Leftover animal (turkey, beef, chicken, etc)  bones from the roast chicken carcass, bone-in roasts can be used. 

Veggies + aromatics: Save the garlic and fresh herbs for the last hour to get a mild taste instead of an intense one. Feel free to use any veggies of your choice. 

One option is to use chopped onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomato paste, bay leaves, and a splash of tamari for beef broth.

Apple cider vinegar: A splash of cider vinegar helps add a touch of acidity and promotes an efficient extraction of minerals.

Cooking vessel: This could be an instant pot, electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, or stockpot. 

Last but not the least, you will need a large bowl/pitcher or pot and a fine-mesh sieve to strain and save your clear broth.


Roast the bones 

  1. It is important to roast raw beef, pork, or lamb bones. This step is optional for chicken bones. 
  1. Preheat oven to 400F (or 200C). Spread the oil-coated bones on a baking dish in a single layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. 

Place everything in the cooking vessel

Add all the ingredients into your cooking vessel. Cover with a generous amount of water so that everything is submerged in water. Keep the water 1 inch below the Max Fill line when using an instant pot.

Cook the bone broth: Instant pot method

  1. Place the lid on the pot and adjust the steam release valve to the “Sealing” position.
  1. Press the “Soup” button (or Manual/Pressure Cook button) and set it to cook for 120 minutes or 2 hours (high pressure) followed by a natural release.

Stovetop method

  1. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer and let the bones cook 12-24 hours for poultry and 24-48 hours for beef and other meats. Keep the lid slightly open.
  1. Add water during cooking if too much of it evaporates. Remove the scum from the surface using a spoon or ladle.

Slow cooker method

Cook on High for the first hour, then simmer for the aforementioned cooking times in the stovetop method.

Strain plus quick chill

Remove the large ingredients using tongs. Strain the rest of the broth using a sieve. Cooldown the broth in an ice bath. Alternatively, add ice cubes for quick chilling in the broth. 

Store it

Broth stored in an air-tight container lasts upto 1 week in the fridge and upto 6 months in the freezer. For freezing, you can either use mason jars or pour the broth in silicone molds or ice-cube trays.


In this article, we answered the question “How long do beef bones last in the fridge?”, and how to make beef broth at home?


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