Thursday, November 12, 2009

Making and Canning Broth

Soups and stews are staples in our fall and winter menus. I find them so warm and satisfying on a chilly day. It also helps that they are frugal menu choices, in most cases, and can be made from what you have on hand. That is my kind of cooking!

A good soup starts with a good broth. Making your own broth is a healthy and economical alternative to purchasing canned broth for your recipes. It also is very easy.

It is hunting season around here, and frequently you will find a pot of venison bones simmering on my stove. Those "leftovers" from the meat processing will become the base of many body warming soups over the winter months.

You don't have to have a hunter in the family though, to make your own broth. Making broth is easy, and can be done with any meat. I most often make venison broth, but often I make chicken broth. To make chicken broth, I roast a chicken one night for dinner, and the next day use the carcass to make broth.

Place the bones in a large stockpot. Cover them with water. Cover the pot and simmer until the broth is to your liking. Larger pieces, like venison, will take longer. Those will need to simmer for three to four hours. Smaller pieces, like chicken, only need an hour or less. Remove the bones. It is not essential, but I often will also strain the broth at this point. Meat that remains on the bones, or that is caught in the strainer, can be picked off and added back into the broth. Allow the broth to cool. When the broth has cooled skim off the fat.

Many cooks will add spices and vegetables to the simmering pot to enhance the flavor of the broth. I do not. I make a simple broth, and then add spices and flavorings when I use the broth later.

If you have made a large batch of broth, it is easily preserved. It can be frozen in freezer containers, or it can be canned. I prefer canning for the ease of use later. Broth should be pressured canned at 11 pounds pressure. Pints need 20 minutes, while quarts need 25 minutes.

Making your own broth is a very easy procedure. The time involved is almost entirely for simmering, and the end result is so much better than buying broth in a can. I encourage you to give it a try!

Many soups in my home start with this basic broth, but my favorite jump start to soup is starting it with canned stew meat. Check here next Thursday for more on that!


  1. I made a gallon of broth yesterday. I was going to can it, but ran out of energy. I still have two turkeys in the freezer and my husband's job gave us a 3rd, so I have a few more chances.

    Great tips!

  2. I probably should have also mentioned that if you can your broth you need to reheat it to a boil, and put the hot broth into hot jars. :)

  3. Just a little tip: I cool my broth with the bones in it. I read in a magazine once that that helps enhance the flavor and in my experience, it has.

  4. I'm so glad to read this. I started pressure canning this past summer and was wondering about doing up some broth. How nice it'll be to have the broth already made up in jars there on the shelf.


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