Dem bones, dem bones, dem (surprisingly expensive!!) bones.


angledge

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OK, I've really become a devotee of bone broth, because 1) it makes everything taste better; & 2) my hips aren't aching as much as they did before I started making/consuming bone broth.

 

However, many of the online articles extolling the virtues of bone broth include something about how cheap bones are to purchase. Ummm, what?? At the three Whole Foods grocery stores I've checked, beef bones are $4.99/pound. The local butcher (Marczyk Fine Foods) has them for $5.99/pound! And the Denver Farm to Table Trading Post (where you can buy directly from suppliers) has "bison broth bones" for $19.00/5-lb bag ($3.80/pound) or "bison soup bones (meaty)" for $22.00/3-lb bag ($7.33/pound).  These prices are not cheap in my book. Am I missing out on some secret way to get bones at a better price?

 

Thanks!

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I don't have anything to add aside from "Amen, sister!" I made my first batch of beef broth recently and almost fell over when my hubby brought the bones home. I'm hoping folks have some suggestions, because I really loved making the broth but at $20+ a batch, it's pretty tough to do as often as I would like!

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They are expensive and if you don't know how long they've been there at the store, they can be quite old.   They taste old and you know you've been stung.   Hopefully, you can find a local butcher and/or processing plant that can keep you supplied with a steady batch of fresh bones.  :lol:   Old ones taste rancid, you'll know if you get your hands on some of those. :P 

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Before bone broth hit the news and people started talking about it, butchers would give you bones if you asked at the meat counter. Popularity is shifting bones from waste product to new income source. Oh well. 

 

I mostly just save bones from meat that I cook. I keep a one gallon ziplock bag in the freezer and add bones as I consume the meat that was on them. Then I make broth when I get a bag full. Also, my local farmer gives me chicken feet because none of his other customers want them and his wife still finds making broth with them creepy. 

 

Chicken broth is not as good as beef/lamb bone broth, but I cook a whole chicken in my pressure cooker ever week or two and make a batch of chicken broth every time. It does a body good too. 

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I buy my bones from a local butcher, I always order pork.  I can usually get 8 trotters (feet) and 10# of bones for around $20 and that makes me around 4-6 batches (10-12 litres per batch).  Which I found pricey but now that I hear you guys, I think is probably a smokin' deal!  He also gives me the "racks" from when he does chicken and while I'm not a huge fan of chicken broth, free is a good price.

 

I would highly recommend that you reduce the amount of bones you're using. I do pork bones and use one trotter and three or four half bones (leg bone cut in half) and then cook it in the crockpot on low for about 4-6 days.  I draw off every night and jar it and then replace that water and go again and again.  Definitely increases the mileage you can get from one set of bones.  I also happen to like my broth extremely dark and rich.  In fairness though, it often doesn't fully gel because of the length of time that I'm cooking it...but I take a separate gelatin supplement so I really only care about all the other minerals and healthy bits in the broth.

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mdraegerPNW, keep in mind you can re-use the bones to make multiple batches of bone broth. That helps with the cost.

 

MeadowLily, how can I find a processing plant - particularly, one that is processing healthy, grass-fed, organic animals? Thanks!

Try further south...like Castle Rock, Elizabeth, Kiowa, CO.   Look in the yellow pages, independent meat processors.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bones are expensive, it's true.  As someone who sells grassfed beef and lamb, the truth is, I would rather keep my bones than sell them.  When I process a cow, I might get 300-500 pounds of meat and 30-40 pounds of bones.  So, it takes a lot longer to go through the meat than it does the bones.

 

However, not all bones are created equally.  I find the best broth comes from bones that have cartilage in them (like a hip joint.)  Not all the bones from the cow are those types of bones....so the yield of 'good broth bones' is less.

 

Unfortunately, the only way to get bones from my cows is to order in bulk.  Then you get all parts of the cow.  Otherwise, I don't sell them individually.

 

Another factor pushing the price higher are the 'raw' food dog people.  I often see them at my butcher picking up large boxes of bones and organs (50 pounds typically).  The butcher can sell to them as well.  So he's not so inclined to just give them away anymore.

 

I get called on a regular basis from people who want the 'waste'.  They offer to take it off my hands for free.  I tell them, 'Sorry, there really isn't any waste!  Everything that we are legally allowed to take from the butcher gets used by someone.'

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Thanks for all the feedback. Just to be clear, I'm not exactly complaining about bone prices - they make a delicious & healthy food, so they have value. I was just wondering why so many of the articles I read online about bone broth claimed that bones were cheap & my shopping experience was not matching that expectation.

 

Time to go stir my poultry (Thanksgiving leftovers) broth!

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I prefer chicken broth to beef and I just use the bones out of the chicken or turkey carcass. Maybe I'm just not consuming as much broth as you are, but I don't usually run low.

Tom, how do you make your beef broth? I find it has an odd smell.

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  • 1 month later...

I had a thought about bones....most people overlook the oxtail.  It's a great 'bone' item to make broth or soups out of.  I just made oxtail soup this past weekend.  It's so gelatinous.  It's awesome.  You can easily make just plain broth out of it as well.

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A resource you may have and not know about....

 

Our local university's Agriculture department runs a beef operation. Grass fed, organic, etc. They operate a full service abattoir/ butcher shop/ retail sales business. They offer good prices for oxtails, soup bones, and bone-in cuts of meat.

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Customer demand has jacked those prices up.   Who knew what our mothers/grandmothers have been making for lifetimes would become so popular with a new generation.

 


Thanks for all the feedback. Just to be clear, I'm not exactly complaining about bone prices - they make a delicious & healthy food, so they have value. I was just wondering why so many of the articles I read online about bone broth claimed that bones were cheap & my shopping experience was not matching that expectation.

 

Time to go stir my poultry (Thanksgiving leftovers) broth!

 

Thanks for all the feedback. Just to be clear, I'm not exactly complaining about bone prices - they make a delicious & healthy food, so they have value. I was just wondering why so many of the articles I read online about bone broth claimed that bones were cheap & my shopping experience was not matching that expectation.

 

Time to go stir my poultry (Thanksgiving leftovers) broth!

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  • 4 weeks later...

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