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If you’ve ever made your own broth, you know that it tastes infinitely better than what you pour from a can or box. Whenever I roast a chicken, I always make broth from the leftover bones (and sometimes I cook chicken on the bone, as in this White Chicken Chili). But, I don’t often cook beef with bones intact and have always bought commercial beef broth. That is, until now.

Beef bone broth in mason jar

I was craving Vegetable Beef Barley Soup and headed to the soup aisle in my grocery store to buy some broth. A box of beef bone broth caught my eye – it was $12 for just over 2 cups. So I got to thinking about making my own. At our local butcher, I bought 4 pounds of beef bones with marrow from grass fed and finished cows for just over $13 (enough to make 11 to 12 cups of broth). A few carrots, ribs of celery, head of garlic and an onion, and I was in business.

The process of making broth is very simple, but you’ll need to begin a day before you plan to use it. What gives bone broth its rich flavor and luxurious mouth feel is many hours of a slow simmer – at least 12 hours and up to 24.

Beef bones ready to roast

Roasting the bones and vegetables before adding them to your slow cooker is a worthwhile step to add richness and depth to the broth.

Roasted beef bones

Once the bones and vegetables have nicely browned, you’ll cover them with water and toss in some peppercorns to add bite and a few tablespoons of vinegar to aid in extracting minerals from the bones.

Beef bone broth in slow cooker

And that’s it. You’ll set your slow cooker to low and let it simmer away until you have 11-12 cups of delicious and beautifully golden beef bone broth. Perfect for so many comforting soups including my favorite French Onion Soup and Mushroom Barley Soup!

More Bone Broth Recipes

Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 17 hours 40 minutes
Total: 17 hours 50 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Calories: 257
Servings: 11 cups
Buying commercial beef bone broth can get expensive and it’s so simple (and much cheaper) to make it at home in your slow cooker.


  • 4 pounds beef marrow bones
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 3 large carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 ribs celery cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 head garlic cut in half crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns ~20 peppercorns (or more)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place bones, onion, carrots, celery and garlic in a single layer. Roast for 40 minutes.
  • Transfer roasted bones and vegetables to slow cooker. Add peppercorns, vinegar and 12-16 cups water (depending on the size of your slow cooker). Cook on low for 17 hours (or up to 24 hours).
  • Allow to cool, then strain solids from slow cooker and transfer bone broth to air tight containers. Refrigerate overnight then skim fat from the top of the cold broth. If you plan to use the broth within a few days, leave it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, transfer to freezer to store for up to 6 months.


Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2915IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Jennie says:

    I followed your recipe precisely. However the 3 tablespoons of peppercorns has proved to be way too peppery for our family’s taste, even with the full 18 cups of water. Can’t even eat it. (We live in Texas so we’re accustomed to spicy food.)
    Has anyone else found the recipe to be too peppery?

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Oh no, Jennie! Thanks so much for your note on the pepper. A couple of other readers have agreed with you and pepper can always be added later, so I’ve adjusted the recipe.

      1. Jennie says:

        Marissa Stevens, Thank you.

  2. Julia says:

    5 stars
    id really like to male this recipe but wondering if i can keep the veggies in there and enjoy it as a beef bone soup? hoping to hear back from you asap 🙂

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi Julia! You can absolutely eat the vegetables, but they’ll be very soft and will have given up most of their flavor to the broth.

      1. Julia says:

        thank you!

  3. Carrie says:

    How big is your slow cooker???? I could only get 8 cups water in with all the bones! Can I refrigerate 1/2 bones and water and cook it all tomorrow? I only have one slow cooker. 🤷‍♀️

    1. Carrie says:

      Cook the other half tomorrow, I meant.

      1. Marissa Stevens says:

        Hi there, Carrie. Sure, you can make this in 2 batches. (I have a 7-quart slow cooker.)

  4. rita says:

    Broth/stock/brodo, call it what you will. No italian mama would be without a substantial supply in the freezer. We make it just like your recipe Marissa, including the pre roast of meat and veg. Pour cooked stock through a metal strainer, remove the bones and give the remaining veg a gentle push so that little bits fall into the broth. Rest in the fridge overnight, remove the hardened layer of fat and freeze in containers. Thankyou, love your recipes.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      aww, Rita, you made my day!

  5. Judy says:

    Just made my first beef bone broth. (Almost identical to yours.). I have it in the refrigerator.). I wish I could send you a picture. Mine has a layer of fat, then a small uneven layer of a light granular, then the creamy liquid and on the very bottom a little layer of the granular. Does this sound correct? I strained it several times with a sieve. Thank you for a reply.

    1. Marissa says:

      Hi there, Judy. Even after straining mine, there is definitely some sediment that remains, which I don’t mind. If you want the broth to be more clear, you could let it pass through a coffee filter or a few layers of cheesecloth. Hope that’s helpful!