Oh the ways we’ll make broth!
You’ll be on your way to great chef-dom!
You’ll be smelling great smells!
You’ll join the top chefs
for whom our hearts swell.
Ahem. I’m back (from story time of course!) staying cozy in my sweater by the warm fire (it rained again today!!) Of course, what’s a blog for if not to get silly, right? And Dr. Seuss was always a favorite author of mine. Agree? Agreed.
Last week we talked about all the reasons why I make broth instead of buying it. But does it seem complicated? Time consuming? Let’s break it down by the tricks and tools when you make a broth recipe.
This week I’d love to give you the tool options for making broth. And let me tell you, I’ve rarely made broth the same twice! I love that there are constant variations to keep you having fun in the kitchen. You can change up the ingredients, the time, the tools, and for me, that’s how you keep the kitchen interesting. This is one recipe you should own as your own!
1. The slow cooker broth
Slow cooker broth will always be my favorite way to make a broth recipe. Who doesn’t love the time saving, carefree aspect of the slow cooker? You don’t have to watch it to make sure it doesn’t boil over, and gives a fairly consistent result, using about the same amount of water every time. I also prefer this method since I notice a better broth yield than the stove-top method. I think the slow cooking keeps more of the condensation inside.
2. The stove-top broth
I’ve made broth this way when I’ve had multiple broths going at the same time, but otherwise, I think it’s a little more time-consuming since you have to be home for this. The benefit: less cooking time than a slow cooker. Or, if you have a slow-cooker that automatically turns off, this is the method for you, reason being that most bone broths are simmered more than 24 hours to get all the collagen and other nutrients into the broth.
3. The high-speed blender broth
If you are low on time, freezer, or fridge space, this may be your least traditional but best option. You can opt to make a concentrate! You use the same ingredients, just no water since you will use it like a bouillon cube. Haha. Those were so cool when I was a kid. 🙂 The downside: There is no straining, so although you are adding flavor, you are also adding a subtle texture. Most people add a lot of salt as well, since you dilute it later, but I wouldn’t be one of those people.
Storage when you make a broth recipe
1. Fridge or freezer? This depends on when you plan to use it. If you are making soup right away, you won’t need to freeze it.
2. Canning? If you know how to can, by all means, go for it!
3. I’ve seen people use ice cube trays, muffin tins, gallon bags, etc. My personal preference is to use quart mason jars and fill to the freeze line.
Let’s talk tips:
To sweat or not to sweat? Some people think the flavor changes are an old wives’ tale. For the vegetables, if I’m making stovetop broth, I will saute/sweat my vegetables before I add the water. For the slow cooker version, I never bother. Cooking vegetables for anything longer than 4 hours and I’m pretty sure you are getting every ounce of flavor out of ’em. But if you want that candied browned flavor, you’ll want to sweat your vegetables. I don’t usually think it’s worth the extra effort. However, if you are making bone broth, like I saw in the comments from my last post, I would absolutely take this extra step. I’ve noticed a huge difference in bone broth if I’ve roasted the bare bones/vegetables in the oven first.
Water: The less water you use, the more concentrated your broth will be. I would think about this when you decide what containers you want to use to store your broth. For example, if it’s super concentrated (less or no water), wouldn’t it make the most sense to put it in ice cube trays and then water it down? For me, I like my soup broth pretty strong and flavorful, therefore, I like cooking my broths for a long time, but I also like using a lot of it in my soups. After all, the more you use, the more nutrition you are infusing.
Proportions: Although you can start dumping your veggie scraps in your broth, remember that if you use mostly one vegetable, it will taste like that vegetable. Now, this may be a good thing if you like a monochromatic theme, but aim for variety to get the most depth of flavor. I like creating variety of root vegetables as my primary focus.
Straining: Unless you are using a blender, this is a really heavy thing to strain. After making this with my husband multiple times, he finally came up with using our measuring cup to scoop out of the pot, then straining it into a wide mouthed container with a lip, AKA our blender.Then we strain a final time from the blender, through a fine mesh strainer, into a bowl. That’s how we do it at home. But the important thing to remember is you will need a fine mesh strainer.
Knowing when it’s done cooking: The easiest way to make broth isn’t by a timer, but by taste. If you taste a veggie and it doesn’t taste like anything, it has released all it’s flavor to your broth.
Next week, we’ll be talking flavor profiles, pantry checks, and creating the shopping list for ingredients 🙂
So tell me below:
- Do you have the equipment you need to make broth at home?
- Will you be making broth in the crockpot? On the stove? Or in a blender?
- Do you have any fun verses to add to my crazy poem?
- Are you having soup weather?
*Please note my sidebar description about my Amazon affiliation. I chose to work with Amazon because it has everything! Plus we love taking advantage of our Amazon Prime shipping. So, if you choose to buy any of the items on my site by clicking on the links in the pictures above, thank you! You support this blog every time you do. Your purchases make it possible for me to keep improving this blog. 🙂