Learn To Make Easy Homemade Beef Broth From Scratch

If you make your beef broth from scratch, as opposed to buying it at the grocery store, you will find that it has a rich flavor that commercially produced products simply can’t compete with.

homemade beef broth from scratch in a mason jar

Making homemade broth is a very simple process, and it’s a great way to amp up the nutritional value of this versatile kitchen staple. Not to mention that, there is markedly less sodium in beef broth when you make it in your home kitchen.

I love soup. And I’ve been making my own broth for it for a very long time now. Soup making came naturally to me. And, considering how much I adore the dish, I’m pretty thankful for that.

But pretty recently I had the opportunity to spend some time with a really great chef. His skills were varied. He made many great dishes. I never once put something in my mouth that he made that wasn’t stellar.

It was almost surreal to be honest. And yet, of all of the things he made I was most impressed by his soup.

As a matter of fact, I jokingly (or maybe not so jokingly) referred to him as the ‘God of the Soups’. I took advantage of the time that I spent in his kitchen by soaking up his knowledge like a thirsty sponge.

When you have an opportunity to learn from the best, you snag it quickly! And I certainly did. He shared a tip with me that changed my broth/stock making game for the better in a big way. 

I’ll share that with you later in this post. And we’ll also talk a bit about how to use this tasty ingredient in the kitchen for a variety of things besides soup and stew. It can really serve as a staple ingredient if you know what to do with it.

Homemade Beef Broth vs Homemade Beef Stock

The recipe in this post is a beef broth recipe. Please note, that this is not the same thing as beef stock. Broth is made from meat and vegetables. It is usually lighter in color and it is not as thick as stock.

overview of a jar of beef broth

Beef stock is made from beef bones. Vegetables are often added to the pot as well. But the main component in homemade stock is the bones. It is darker and thicker than broth.

Both broth and stock are often made with seasonings. And there are a variety of seasonings that you can choose from. I’ll cover that later in the post.

Broth and stock are both simmered over low heat for a long time to extract the flavor from the ingredients used to make them. And they are both touted for their health benefits. Although, stock is more reknown for this characteristic than broth.

I hope this helps you if you didn’t know the difference between these two liquids. I’ve found that bloggers are interchanging the terms broth and stock pretty liberally on the big ‘ol interweb. 

So, I want to do my part to clear up any misconceptions that are floating around out there on the subject.

There are store-bought versions of both of these liquids on the market today. I have never looked at their ingredients. And I’ve never looked into how they are being produced. 

I’ve been making my own at home for so long that it has never mattered to me. The few times that I purchased broth in the store I found tha the flavor was too mild for my liking. 

And when I make my own I can customize the seasonings I put in it. I find that there is way too much salt in the products on the grocery store shelves.

Ingredients Needed To Make This Recipe

All you really need to make broth is meat and water. But I recommend you take it a few steps further than that and add a few veggies too.

ingredients to make beef broth from scratch on a cutting board

I like to use veggie scraps. I store vegetable scraps, in the freezer, that I have left over from cooking. And when I’m ready to make broth I toss them in the pot.

But now that I live alone, and I’ve started a dog treat business in my other life, I haven’t been cooking very much. So, for this recipe today, I chose to use the aromatic vegetables that are commonly used to make broth; celery, onion, and carrots.

Here’s a list of the ingredients for this recipe for your reference …

  • BEEF – Any cut of beef will work for this recipe. You won’t be eating the beef so it doesn’t have to be tender. I always go for the bargain price when shopping to make broth. When you’re cutting the meat up don’t bother to trim off the excess fat. You can always skim it out of the broth later if you want to, and it will add flavor to the liquid as it cooks. If you want to skip over cutting the meat, you can just pick up some stew meat and it’ll be ready to go for you.
  • WATER – The water you use for this recipe should not be treated. Use pure water. Pick up a gallon at the store if you don’t have any other untreated water available to you.
  • CARROTS – This vegetables imparts a sweetness to the recipe. 
  • CELERY STALKS – This recipe is a great way to use the tops of the celery stalks that often get tossed in the garbage.
  • ONION – Choose the onion for this recipe according to the taste you prefer most. Yellow onions have the deepest flavor, and I like onions a lot, so I went with those in my broth.
  • SPICES – These are optional. See below for more information on what you can use if you choose to spice your broth.

I’m seeing bloggers adding lemon juice, tomato paste, and apple cider vinegar to their recipes. This is to break down the connective tissue in the cartilage in the bones. But, as I’ve already covered, there should not be any bones in broth.

If you’re using bones … you’re making stock. So, we will be skipping these ingredients today.

Should I Put Spices In My Beef Broth?

It isn’t necessary to put spices in a beef broth recipe. You can leave it plain, and spice it more generously when you use it to cook.

spices on a plate for a recipe

However, I always put 3 basic spices in my broth when I make it; salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. I use these spices in most every dish I make. I consider them the holy trinity of cooking.

So, it makes perfect sense to me to put them in broth when I make it. I will be putting them in there when I cook anyway. I often add a couple of bay leaves too.

They are mild enough that they go well with just about any flavor profile. It’s always worked out well to have them in my broth. But honestly, I have no good reason to put them in there. I simply do it out of habit.

Other than that, the sky is the limit as far as this recipe and spices are concerned. You can use any spice that appeals to you; ginger, crushed red pepper, and thyme all come to mind.

​You can also consider rosemary, dill, paprika, and tarragon.

Adding spices to the recipe is one of the best ways to amp up it’s flavor. It’s just very important that you consider what you’ll be making with your broth in the future when choose the spices you are adding to it.

How To Make Beef Broth From Scratch

I’m making my broth today in a large pot on the stove top. I’ve made it many other ways in the past. But now that I live in a tiny space again, I don’t keep various kitchen appliances around.

If you have them, you can make your broth in a slow cooker, crock pot, or instant pot and get great results. I avoid my trusty cast iron dutch oven when making this recipe, because I feel like the flavor is always a little off when I use.

There is too much residual residue in the pot. It taints the pure beef flavor of the dish.

Start the broth by cutting up the beef for the recipe. Cut it into fairly small pieces. The more surface area of the meat that is exposed to the water the easier it will be to extract the flavor from it.

meat cut up on a cutting board with a knife

Then cut the vegetables up. They can be cut into small pieces as well. If you are patient and want to chop them up go for it. I am not that patient, so I tend to leave them slightly chunky.

vegetables cut up on a cutting board

Place the meat and the vegetables in a pot and add cold water. There is no need to saute them in olive oil first, as you would if you were making soup. Although, you absolutely can if you want to. 

ingredients for beef broth in a pot of water

Lightly browning the meat and veggies will develop the savory and sweet flavors of the broth more fully. And those brown bits from the bottom of the pan, that rise into the pot when you add the water, impart flavor to the dish as well.

It’s really rather beneficial to take this step. I should do it more often.

If you are adding spices to your recipe this is the time to put them in. Then put the pot on the stove and bring it to a very low simmer. Don’t allow it to come to a boil; a low simmer with a lid on the pot is what you’re going for here.

You can leave it on the stove like this for anywhere from 4-6 hours. There’s no need to stir it. But you do want to be sure that the water doesn’t evaporate completely at any time (it shouldn’t if it’s not cooking on at a high temperature).

You can skim any yuckiness that forms on the top of the broth as you go. Once the broth has cooked long enough to extract all the flavorful goodness from the ingredients in the pot, remove it from the heat.

Allow it to come to room temperature. And this is where that pro broth making tip that I promised you comes in. You know, the one from the chef that I deemed ‘God of the Soups’.

Don’t strain the broth at this point. Put it in the refrigerator and allow it to sit overnight. Then remove it from the refrigerator in the morning, skim the layer of fat off that has formed on the top, and heat it back to a low simmer.

At this point, you can let it come to room temperature again and then run it through a fine-mesh strainer. There is exponentially more flavor extracted from the meat and vegetables into the liquid as they are heated the second time.

Think about how much better soup is on the second day than it is right after you’ve made it. This is because of the second flavor extraction that occurs during the chilling and reheating process. 

Follow this same process when making broth, and it too will be more flavorful. It’s genius!

Another tip, maybe not so pro (or maybe super pro), is to set the pot outside to cool. This only works in cooler seasons. But it makes the process go much quicker, and that can be a big deal when you’re trying to cool the pot down to go in the fridge at the end of a long day.

The final step for this recipe is to strain all of the meat and veggies from the liquid. A fine mesh strainer works great for this job. Place it over a bowl and strain the broth from the veggies into the bowl.

beef and vegetables in a strainer sitting on top of a bowl

Then pour the broth into a storage container and you have completed a stellar batch of beef broth made from scratch.

How To Use Beef Broth

The obvious way to use homemade beef broth is to make any soup or stew that benefits from a little beef flavor. Beef stews are a hearty meal on a cold winter’s night. And it’s great to have on hand even if that’s all you use it for. But, it’s so much more versatile than that.

overview of a bowl of beef broth from scratch

And once you become accustomed to using it in your kitchen you’ll wonder how you’ve managed without it all this time.

It can be used to cook rice and pasta instead of plain water. It adds flavor to the grains as they cook; amping up the overall flavor of the dish you use them in.

It works great as an addition to cream sauces and butter sauces. And it makes a mean gravy. You can use it to make a pretty delicious au jus for a French dip sandwich too.

I like to add it to the pan when I’m sauteeing vegetables. And I’ve even added it to my mashed potatoes when serving them with a beef roast. So delicious! 

How To Store Beef Broth

Beef broth will last in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. I rarely store it this way as it’s something that I make to have on hand, for later use, long term in the kitchen.

mason jar of beef broth from scratch sitting next to a pot with a strainer of meat and vegetables on top

It can be kept in the freezer for at least 6 months and I find this is the most effective storage method for me. But, regardless of whether you’re storing it in the refrigerator or the freezer it’s important to put it in an airtight storage container.

It’s nice to have a few glass jars in the freezer for soup or stew for sure. Be certain to leave a bit of room at the top of the jar so the liquid doesn’t expand and break the lid, or worse, the jar. 

The bulk of my broth is frozen in ice cube trays or silicone muffin tins and then placed in an airtight container for long term storage. This practice allows me to have perfect portions of broth at my fingertips.

pinnable image for beef broth from scratch

If you try this recipe and love it, please give it 5 stars! It supports my work more than you may realize, and I appreciate that a great deal!

You can also show your support by tagging me on Facebook @sustainableslowliving and/or Instagram @slowlivingbydianegail when you post a pic of your finished dish.

homemade beef broth from scratch in a mason jar
Yield: 8 cups

Beef Broth From Scratch

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 6 hours 10 minutes

Beef broth made from scratch is a great staple to have in the kitchen. This broth has a rich, full beef flavor that will enhance any recipe you use it in. And it's very easy to make.


  • 6 c pure water
  • 1 - 1 1/2 lbs beef
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 3-4 celery stalks
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic


  1. Cut the beef into small pieces.
  2. Cut the vegetables into small pieces.
  3. Place all of the ingredients in a large pot.
  4. Put on the stove and bring to a low simmer.
  5. Put a lid on the pot.
  6. Simmer for 6 hours. Check occasionally to be sure the water is not too low in the pot.
  7. Remove from the heat and allow to come to room temperature.
  8. Place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
  9. Remove from the refrigerator and bring to a low simmer.
  10. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  11. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 11g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 3/22/2024. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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