Sister Julia’s Very Best Bone Broth (Instant Pot Edition)

For Christmas I made my pregnant sister 32 pints of canned beef bone broth (that’s four gallons!), and developed a pretty good system along the way. The results here are not 100% consistent from batch to batch because the composition of every bag of bones is a little different — some have more marrow, some have more meat, some bones crumble sooner, etc — but every batch has been good.

I like to have a mug of hot broth in the morning. For an extra treat, I crack a raw egg in the bottom of a large mug, add a few drops of sriracha, then pour a pint of boiling broth over it. The white forms fronds that thicken the broth, and when you get to the bottom there’s an egg-yolk treat waiting for you! Obligatory warning about the dangers of undercooked egg yolks here!



Sister Julia's Very Best Bone Broth (Instant Pot edition)

This recipe assumes a 6-quart Instant Pot or similar electric pressure cooking. If you're lucky enough to have an 8-quart IP, use three quarts of water for each batch (or just fill it up and let me know how it is!).

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 50 minutes
Servings 6 quarts


  • 3-5 lbs beef bones preferably grass-fed
  • 2 tbsp coarse salt less for finer salt
  • 6 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 celery root peeled and cut into big chunks


Make the first round of broth

  1. If beef bones are frozen, place in a large colander and run under luke warm water until you're able to separate them. Fit them into the stainless steel Instant Pot insert as tightly as possible. (It's okay if they cross the max line, but the lid needs to be able to close without impediment.) Place the insert in the Instant Pot.

  2. Add one quart of water, then *half* the salt and apple cider vinegar, and all of the onion and celery root. Fill pot rest of the way with water to the max line or just below. DO NOT OVER FILL. No stirring necessary.

  3. Close lid and set Instant Pot to high pressure for 240 minutes (max), and allow to full natural release. At this point, make sure that the IP stays on Keep Warm until you are ready to proceed so your broth doesn't drop into the Danger Zone, but if you need to let it stay overnight until you go on to the next step, that's fine.

Strain & cool it

  1. Place a colander or strainer over a large stockpot, and strain contents of IP into pot. Transfer bones and any other solids (meat, veggies) back into IP. Taste your broth (careful, it's hot!) for saltiness.

  2. Allow the stock pot to cool for a little while, either on the counter or outside (if it's cold and there's a safe place for it!), then place in the fridge.

Make the second round

  1. Add a quart of water to the bones back in the IP, and salt proportionately to correct your first round -- if it was too salty, add significantly less than you did in the first round; if not salty enough, add more -- the two batches will be combined at the end. Add remaining apple cider vinegar, and once again set the IP to high pressure for 240.

Combine them!

  1. When second round of broth is done in the IP, remove stock pot from fridge and remove hardened fat from the top. Some people keep this; I do not; don't feel bad if you don't have a use for a bunch of beef fat. Probably, what remains underneath will be jello-like, or close. This is exciting!

  2. Put that colander or strainer back on top of the stockpot and strain round two into it. Now you can discard the bones (which may be falling apart at this point) and other solids.

  3. Place the stockpot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil to allow the two batches to fully combine. If canning, do that now; otherwise allow to cool and then freeze (if you're not going to use it all in five days or so) or refrigerate.

Recipe Notes

There's no such thing as overcooking this. Sometimes I would get derailed and it would be a full 24 hours from when started the first round until I could move on to the second round. At some point the Keep Warm function will turn itself off, so if you find yourself in this position, just start the IP again for a 5 minute cycle and then let it go back to Keep Warm until you can get to it.