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What Does Bone Broth Taste Like?

Bone broth has skyrocketed to popularity in many wellness circles. For those new to drinking the liquid gold, that first taste can come as quite a shock. Most tend to assume that bone broth tastes like soup stock, and when they find that it doesn’t, they either give up on the idea or gag it down. We have a wide range of bone broth benefits at Bone Broth

While bone broth is an acquired taste for some, I have good news: you can learn to like it, even if you don’t right away. Our mouths and brains can be taught to like new flavours, textures, and foods, but sometimes we give up on something before we’ve had the chance to reprogram our taste buds.

In this post, it will show you how to make the bone broth taste good and include it in your daily diet. Let’s dive in!


What Does Bone Broth Taste Like?

Here’s the nitty-gritty guide on what bone broth tastes like. If you’ve never had a sip, then remove the notion that it tastes like chicken noodle soup broth or beef soup broth. It does not. There are two key differences between how soup broth and bone broth taste:

Soup stock is often very flavourful and in many cases, salty. Bone broth is often blander and does not taste salty.

Soup stock is a thin liquid; bone broth has an oily texture and feels thicker in the mouth.

These two differences are often what make bone broth jarring to the first-time drinker. I’ve heard people say the bland taste was what they couldn’t get past, while others were unpleasantly surprised how oily it felt in their mouth. Truthfully, the first thought I had when I first tried bone broth back in the day was, “It felt like I was drinking melted coconut oil, with a very watered down soup taste.”

Not very appealing! However, I did learn to like it, and it really wasn’t that hard, especially with this bone broth sipping guide on hand.


How to Make Bone Broth Taste Good?

So maybe you’re like me, and your first taste of the bone broth was not exactly pleasant. Do you give up on this popular wellness trend and ignore the potential benefits? Of course not!

Here’s the secret for working bone broth into your diet while teaching your taste buds that it’s not a bad thing. Part of learning to like bone broth involves educating your brain that it is not, in fact, soup. The association of soup and broth brings with it the expectation that when you see it, it will taste like soup when it hits your mouth. It will not, and the brain needs a little help in sidestepping this.

First, add flavours that you are familiar with. You can start by combining bone broth with soup stock. It sounds counterproductive, but trust me, this is a good place to start. You can combine with beef or chicken soup stock. Then add an extra dash of salt or pepper, or whatever flavours your mouth truly loves, and sip away.

Eventually, you can reduce the amount of soup broth and increase the amount of bone broth. After doing this for a while, you can leave out the soup broth altogether and keep adding that extra bit of salt and pepper. This should eventually lead to decreasing the amount until you realize that you’re good with just the plain bone broth.

The process is a bit like learning to like black coffee after getting used to coffee with cream and sugar. (If you hate black coffee, don’t give up here—it’s just an analogy. I believe it is easier to acquire the taste of bone broth than it is for black coffee if you’re not already a black coffee lover.)

If adding flavours you’re familiar with doesn’t work, try mixing it into something else. This can mean adding bone broth to a soup or stew you’ve made, making sure to use bone broth for at least 50 per cent of the liquid so that you’re starting to work that taste in. Add it to mashed potatoes or other mashed vegetables instead of chicken stock (it actually makes them creamier because there is more oil in the bone broth!).

If adding and mixing seems like too much work, then all you have to do is start small. Take one sip daily of bone broth for a week. That’s it. After the first week, take two sips daily. By the third week, aim to drink ½ cup. After those 21 days, your brain will have learned a new habit—that bone broth is its own unique food, and that it’s really quite good.


My broth smells bad

How bad is bad? Are we talking about a scent that is not too appetizing or a scent that makes you want to fling your broth into a nuclear waste dump site and run?

Mostly it just doesn’t smell very appetizing – not what I was expecting at all.

When we taste homemade stock for the first time, it may not smell or taste at all like the canned and boxed broths we have used before. If it smells truly awful, more investigation is warranted.

First, check the wrappers on your bones and meat. Make sure that none of the following applies to the meat and bones used in your stock:

  • Bones or meat are not past their due dates – check FDA rules for chicken and beef.
  • Bones and meat have been stored at appropriate temperatures to prevent spoilage.
  • Bones and meat came from a quality supplier or store. You may find there are significant differences in quality and odour between pastured/grass-fed and grain-fed beef bones.

Ok, that was the easy part; let’s get back to sleuthing. Deducing the other reasons for funky-smelling stock get a little more complicated from here. So much of the way we feel about the scent of bone broth is highly personal and extremely subjective. A broth that tastes great to one person may cause Exorcist-like nausea in another.

The scent of chicken broth is pleasant to most people. It smells a bit sweeter. Beef broth can smell a little unappetizing but then still taste just fine. If you are confident that the bones and meat in the broth have not expired, take a taste of the broth. Does it just taste sort of like boiled bones? Does it seem to be missing a big flavour? Were you hoping for a broth that tasted a little more like homemade gravy or nicely browned roast?


My broth smells really boring and unsavoury

Add new chopped onion, carrot, and celery to the stockpot, even if you already cooked with these vegetables while you were cooking your broth. Sometimes the fresh vegetable flavours can fade during a long cook. Letting the broth simmer below boiling with new vegetables for an hour or two can boost the flavour. Taste after an hour and determine if you have made progress.


  • Adding herbs, salt, and pepper can also help. I would recommend waiting to salt your broth until the broth is completely cooked and almost ready to store.
  • The leaves from a stalk of celery or a teaspoon of celery seed can have a transformative and almost cleansing effect on the flavour of a less-than-appetizing broth. Let the broth simmer below boiling for one hour.
  • If you did not roast your beef bones, you might be missing the fifth flavour: umami. Does the broth smell like raw meat or just sort of bony? Some people have a profound dislike for broth made from raw bones. You might prefer to roast your ingredients before making your next batch of bone broth.
  • To add umami to a broth you want to fix, simmering chopped fresh mushrooms for an hour really helps. Adding a pound of sliced white or portabella mushrooms can add some of the umami flavours that you are missing. When you next make broth, first place bones in a baking dish and roast for 1 to 3 hours at 400 F. Place roasted bones and any juices from the baking dish into your broth.
  • Some like to roast or saute the vegetables used to flavour the broth. This, too, adds roasted flavours to the broth. Saute the vegetables until they begin to develop little brown specks. Those flecks mean flavour! I don’t recommend sauteeing the herbs or spices. Some cooks cover beef bones in tomato paste before roasting. The idea is that the tomato paste will brown, adding umami flavour and colour to the broth. I recommend this step only if roasting the bones as directed above doesn’t give you enough flavour.
  • If you enjoy the flavour of roasted tomato sauce but forgot to roast your bones with it, it’s not too late. Place 2 TBSP of tomato paste into a very small saucepan. Stir frequently over medium heat until the paste changes to a darkened colour closer to brown, much the way you would prepare a roux. Be sure to taste the browned tomato paste before stirring it into your broth. This will ensure that you aren’t adding any scorched flavours to your broth. Looking for bone broth benefits ? Look no further! Bone Broth has you covered.
  • If you enjoy the flavour of Worcestershire or soy sauce, try adding a 1/2 teaspoon of either sauce in the broth. You want to start low and go slow when adding these flavours to your broth.


My broth is beyond awful. I think something crawled into my crockpot and died!

Some people are extremely sensitive to the smell of broth and beef broth in particular. Some broths stink but taste great. If your broth is reminding you of roadkill, you can still try the steps above to revive the flavour. If the broth cannot be saved and the smell is making you sick, consider getting rid of the broth. I know it’s hard to let go of something you may have been working on for hours and days. I have not found any specific scientific reason in references from leading food scientists to explain why this happens.

Yet I know the smelly broth scenario pops up occasionally, and I wish I had a brilliant method to share with you that would forever prevent it. The use of vinegar to help draw nutrients out of bones is popular now, but even a nice vinegar soak will not completely fix smelly bones.

I quizzed the farmer who provides my grass-fed beef bones. Were some bones smellier than others, I asked? Are there some parts of the cow best avoided? His opinion was that any beef bone should make great broth – even the skull. That’s good to know, but I think I’ll stick with leg bones.

A few other smelly broth considerations:

  • Bones from old or sick cows are sometimes a bit more odorous, but it is often quite impossible to know if your bones came from an old or sick cow. This is when having a trusting relationship with the farmer or butcher providing your beef bones is a huge benefit. You can ask to stay away from bones donated by older cows.
  • Grass-fed or pastured beef bones tend to smell better to me than those from conventionally raised cows, but that is a personal opinion.
  • Some find that cooking fresh or thawed bones creates more odours than starting your broth with cold water and frozen bones. Perhaps frozen bones may have less active and odour-causing bacteria.
  • If you are cooking with bones from game animals, adding wine to the broth can help reduce the ‘gamey’ flavour.


My broth seems very weak and too watery. Can this broth be saved?

This happens most to cooks who are using a crockpot and cooking for short periods of time without vegetables and herbs. Usually, you can salvage this type of broth.

  • How long did you cook your broth? You can cook broth from just a few hours to several days. Adding cooking time helps develop flavours and extracts more nutrients from the ingredients. Toss the bones back in until you get more flavour.
  • Were you reusing old bones? Make sure you add some new bones along with the previously used bones. This keeps the flavour bright and also helps keep up the nutrient levels.
  • Sometimes even broth made with plain chicken and beef bones doesn’t smell very appetizing. It might not smell awful, but the flavour might seem too weak. Adding bones with meat (either cooked or uncooked, roasted or unroasted – choose your preference) and simmering a few hours longer may add more of the flavours you enjoy.
  • You can also add more parsley, celery leaves, and newly chopped vegetables to revive the flavour. Yellow onion skins can help brighten the colour, though a long cooking time does the best job.
  • Reducing the broth by 25% at a heat just below a hard boil can help concentrate the flavours you do have.

You can always jazz up your broth routine by making a bone broth nightcap, which is made with hot broth and easy-to-assemble ingredients. These are helpful if you find it hard to get into drinking bone broth regularly because of the flavour or viscosity of broth.


My broth tastes and smells fine, but it’s really cloudy

Bone broth is considerably cloudier than a traditional consomme or canned broth. What is that cloudy stuff? Nutrition. While clear broths are tasty, they look very different from what a home cook would make. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer. My major concern is removing all bone fragments, leftover meat, and tired vegetables.

However, to get a clearer broth, you can line your wire mesh strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth. You can clean the strainer, replace the cheesecloth, and repeat the straining until you are satisfied with the result.

High heat can also contribute to the cloudy broth. Cooking your broth at a rolling boil agitates the ingredients more, causing small pieces to break off into the broth. As these pieces cook down, they cloud the broth.

The ideal temperature for broth-making is 208-210 F/99 C(2). At this temperature, the surface of the broth will be mostly still. You may see a few small bubbles here and there. Slow and steady wins the race.


What to do with bitter broth? Make a bisque!

If you’re frugal and don’t want to discard the bitter broth, make a bisque to hide the flavour.

Steam or simmer veggies like onions, zucchini, winter squash, or peppers. Cool them and the broth slightly. Add about 3 cups each of veggies and broth to a blender. Then add flavour! 1- or 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, sea salt, white pepper, fresh garlic, and lots of fresh or dried herbs.

To finish it up, add 1/4 cup butter, bacon fat, or fatty parts from a carcass (including the skin). Simply puree the mixture on medium-high speed for 30 to 50 seconds, and enjoy!

Bisques also make a great base for soups. Add meat and sauteed veggies, and create a delicious soup from a mediocre broth.

All nonvegetarian broths and stocks are made by simmering bones, aromatics and other ingredients for hours on the stove. So what exactly is “bone broth”?

Those who think it’s nothing more than broth with a trendy, paleo-friendly label will be surprised to hear that bone broth has about double the calories, a fraction of the sodium and nearly four times the protein content of canned broth. It also has none of those fat globules that crowd the top of all but the “fat-free-traditional broths”. Bone Broth has a wide range of best bone broth benefits in Melbourne

As a category, bone broth is meant to be a high-protein, nutritious snack that’s tasty enough to be sipped from a mug. The best are made by roasting high-quality bones, then simmering them with vegetables and herbs at a low temperature for hours, often with a dash of vinegar to promote the breakdown of cartilage and bone, which infuses the broth with collagen, gelatin and amino acids. The result is a clear, slightly viscous, luxurious bone liquor that is flavour-rich and believed to promote gut health.

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