Why didn’t my bone broth gel?
Okay so you have taken the plunge and have started making your own bone broth, but you are not getting any gel! What’s up with that?
Well first of all, what is bone broth and how do you make it?
Head here to read my Beginner’s Guide to Bone Broth to find out the basics.
Second of all, what is ‘gel’ ?
Bone broth creates a jelly consistency when it cools down, so you can scoop it out with a spoon. It gels up like this because of the gelatin it contains. Gelatin is basically a cooked form of collagen. Simmering your bones in water to make broth extracts collagen from the bones and cooks it into gelatine. So when the broth is cold, it will hopefully go into a nice jelly. Reheating makes it liquid again.
So why is gelatin good for us?
Cyndi O’Meara, nutritionist from Changing Habits says… ‘Gelatin is incredibly healing for the digestive tract as broth works towards normalizing digestion and makes foods cooked in broth easier to digest. It helps to helps to heal, seal and soothe the gut lining and in doing so can be very helpful for reducing intestinal inflammation, reversing leaky gut syndrome and other digestive problems. Other benefits of drinking gelatinous rich broth include strengthening hair and nails, reducing, preventing and healing cellulite and wrinkles.’
How can you get your broth to get a good gel?
♥ Add more bones with cartilage and connective tissue like chicken feet, wings, necks, knuckles, oxtail, skin, joints, trotters and even heads! You are ideally looking for half joint type bones and half meat type bones.
♥ Add more bones compared to water. You need lots of bones and water to just cover.
♥ Get your timing right. Cooking too long makes the collagen break down and too short doesn’t allow enough to be extracted. 8-12 hours is enough to extract the goodness and get a good gel.
♥ Don’t cook too fast or too hot. The collagen will break down if the broth is boiled vigorously. A gentle simmer is perfect.
♥ Use apple cider vinegar to help release the collagen. Pre-soak the bones with water and ACV for an hour or so before you apply heat.
♥ Use good quality, grass-fed animal bones.
♥ Let the broth rest in the fridge – it may take up to 8 hours to turn jelly like.
Is broth that doesn’t set still okay?
Of course! It still has wonderful health benefits and will contain some gelatine, just not enough to make it go like jelly and set firmly. Use it and try again next time!
Do you get a nice gel with your bone broth? Do you have any tips to share?
Want to talk broth? Join Mich Andrew’s Facebook group, Bone Broth Basics.