Posts Tagged With: preserving

Making and Canning Stock (Bone Broth)


Back when I was in Culinary school (Oui, the farm girl is classically trained!), we learned that a good stock is the basis for almost all cooking. In fact, we spent the first three months learning almost exclusively knife skills and stock-making. Now, real stock (or bone broth) is an entirely different animal than your canned broth. This stuff is flavorful, healthy, and gorgeous. You can use it in all your sauces, you can cook rice in it, basically you can use it anywhere you might use water in a savory dish to increase the flavor potential like mad.

And you can make and can it at home! From scratch!

The health benefits are astounding. It is incredibly vitamin and mineral dense, and is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. It contains collagen for health skin and hair. It’s rich in glycine and proline, which are amino acids important for a healthy gut and digestion. (Some people use it for leaky gut syndrome). And, it contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which reduce inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain.

Well then Charley, how do you make the stuff?!?!

You start with bones. As many as you can muster up. Chicken or turkey bones for poultry stock can be raw, or if you’ve roasted some chickens and picked all the meat off, that’s fine too. I usually freeze the bones from our chicken dinners and then make stock after I have enough to fill our big stock pot. Beef or lamb bones should be roasted for a bit in the oven until they are a nice dark caramel color to give your beef or lamb stock extra flavor.

Take your bones and put them in a big pot. Fill the pot with water so it comes up about 2 inches over the bones. You don’t want to have too much water or your stock will be, er, watery.

Now for your veggies. The amount you add is going to depend on how many bones you have. I’ll give an example for a 5 quart pot (which is the standard large pot in most sets). We use a larger stock pot (15 quarts) so I just triple these amounts. Keep in mind these ingredients are for flavor, so you don’t need to be exact. Don’t let the fact that you only have 1 bunch of celery in the house keep you from making stock.

  • 2 small or 1 large onion. Take off the root end and any moldy skin, cut the onions in half, and plunk ’em in.
  • 1/2 bunch of celery. You can cut the pieces about 3 inches long.
  • 3 or so medium carrots, but the pieces about 3 inches long also.

Next, your herbs. In fancy culinary speak this is called the “bouquet garni”. If you would like to feel fancy and impress you friends, you can bind these herbs up in a cheesecloth bag (kind of like a tea bag), Honestly, I just throw them in the pot. I rarely make stock when friends are over, and my friends are impressed when I have just gone to the trouble of brushing my hair and picking up the children’s discarded cheerios off of the floor. We call them floorios, but that’s for another post.

  • Half a bunch of parsley
  • A few bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons of peppercorns
  • Some rosemary if you’ve got it, and maybe some oregano and/or thyme, about a tablespoon each.

Hint: Fresh herbs are always better. Not just because they are fresh, but because they are way easier to strain out later.

Ready to simmer!

Ready to simmer!

Now, put your pot over medium high heat until it begins to just simmer. When the simmering starts, you want to adjust your heat so that it simmers but does not boil. Boiling will make the stock cloudy. Now let it simmer for the rest of the day. Before bed, check to make sure your water level is about three inches above the bones. Some of the bones will float, that’s ok, just make approximate measurements. Don’t turn the heat up, it will come back on its own. Let it simmer all night.

In the morning, you are ready to strain. Do not be tempted to let it cool down because it will take forever and you are allowing bacteria to grow. yuk. Just use some good tongs to pick out the big pieces, then place a strainer or cheesecloth lined colander over a bucket or another big pot and pour.

Straining the stock

Straining the stock

You have stock! Ta-da! At this point you can freeze the stock, or if you would like to can it, read on.


You must use a pressure canner to can stock. A water bath canner will not reach the temperatures needed to keep stock germ-free.

Make sure all your jars are clean and free of chips or cracks. Fill them with the stock, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Place your lids on and screw the rings on finger tight. Add water to your pressure canner according to the manufacturer instructions.

My Presto Pressure Canner

My Presto Pressure Canner

Hint: I always add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water to keep the outside of the jars from getting cloudy.

Put the lid on you canner and follow your canner’s directions for heating the water up.

Here are the recommended processing times from the National Center for Home Food Preservation:

Table 1. Recommended process time for Meat Stock in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 – 2,000 ft 2,001 – 4,000 ft 4,001 – 6,000 ft 6,001 – 8,000 ft
Hot Pints 20 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 25 11 12 13 14
Table 2. Recommended process time for Meat Stock in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 – 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot Pints 20 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 25 10 15


Now you have canned stock! Go do a happy dance in your pantry!


Charley Davis

A disclosure about affiliate links: Affiliate links allow me to make a small commission from sales related to posts. This is what keeps Funny Little Farm up and running, so if you would like to support the farm and you see something you need, this is a great place to get it!

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

Presto 09995 7 Function Canning Kit

Bayou Classic 1124 24-Quart All Purpose Stainless Steel Stockpot with Steam and Boil Basket

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Smoked Clams


Smoked clams in a can? They’re ok, but they got nothin’ on the real thing. These fresh beauties from the sea will bring out your inner pirate and have you swashbuckling your way down to the seashore at every low tide.

We are really fortunate to be able to dig for butter clams here in the northwest, but if you are an east-coaster you would probably want to use quahogs. This method would work equally well with clams from the store for you land-lubbers.

First you want to clean your clams (clams from the store are probably already cleaned). Soak them in some salt water from the briny deep for about 2 hours. Add little corn meal if you’ve got it to help them flush out the sandy bits. Drain, rinse, and discard any that are gaping open, those suckers are dead.

Next, you want to put them in a big pot. Don’t add any water, they have plenty inside. Steam them for about 10-15 minutes, until they open up. let them cool enough to handle, then you want to remove them from their shells.


We brine up the ones that are about bite size and intact. If they are huge or falling apart, we chop them up and can them for clam chowder. We also strain the juice (clam nectar) and use that in chowder and in canning the chopped clams.


Now, the brine is what makes the smoked clams spectacular. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/2 c Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 c Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 c Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tb Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tb Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • 1 gallon of water

Mix all of these ingredients together and put the clams in to soak. Brine them in the fridge for 4-6 hours.

Now you are ready to smoke those clams! Take them out of the brine and lay them out on your smoker trays. Load up your smoker, but don’t turn it on yet. You want them to dry out a bit and form a “pellicle”. That’s a dry layer on the outside of any meat you are going to smoke. Let them hang out for a half an hour or so, then stoke that smoker up with wood of your choice, and smoke them for about two hours.


When they are all done, take them out and toss them with enough olive oil to coat. Start drooling.


If we are fortunate enough to have a bounty, we will vacuum pack them and put them in the freezer, but usually they will be all eaten up that day. Enjoy!


Charley Davis

A disclosure about affiliate links: Affiliate links allow me to make a small commission from sales related to posts. This is what keeps Funny Little Farm up and running, so if you would like to support the farm and you see something you need, this is a great place to get it!

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller

Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker

Granite Ware 0707-1 Steel/Porcelain Water-Bath Canner with Rack, 21.5-Quart, Black

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