Bone Soup Part 2: Pressurized Cooking or Not?

Thanks for the numerous viewing and responses. As I mentioned on the other post, I usually make my bone broth in at least 4 hour, and usually between 8 to 16 hours. I find that cooking for 4 hours or less does not extract much flavor. Most of you responded that you cook even longer – 24 hours to 48 hours. This makes me wonder. Why not pressurized cooking? It would save time and energy usage. (HouseofEscobar mentioned this as well)

So my question to you all who make bone broth.

  1. Do you usually use pressurized cooking to make bone broth?
  2. If not, why not? (considered that most of the replies were 24-48 hours, I assume that most do not use a pressure cooker).


Pressure cookers do not do a good job of melding flavors, and they certainly don’t reduce the amount of liquid required to make a true stock. When I make a classic stock I start with 7 or 8 gallons of water and a big bunch of roasted bones, I don’t own a pressure cooker that will hold 8 gallons of water! Which is just as wel, because it still wouldn’t condense the “soup” down to a gelatinous stock!

But I do use my Souse Vide Supreme water oven to produce medium rare bone-in grass fed beef roasts that I vac seal with some pan roasted mirapoise I’ve cooked in beef tallow, then cook the unsalted vacuum sealed roast at 140F for 3 to 4 days. When completted, the cryovac bag will have a pretty darn good “facsimile” of a rich bone broth, but… It’s even richer than bone broth because NO water was used to make the stock. When the roast has sufficient boney cartilage in it, the “stock” is exquisite! For this, I use a whole portion of grass fed beef shank. It gels firmly and all that good stuff. But hey, I’m pretty self indulgent on kitchen equipment. That’s what happens when you get really old and NEVER throw anything away! '-)

That’s actually one of the things I got the IP for; long cooking vastly increases accumulation of histamine and also glutamate, and I wanted rich collagen broth for the inflamed gut I had at the time due to mast cell disorder. The IP makes a really delicious bone broth (I use pastured beef knuckle and stock bones from a farm that freezes immediately upon slaughter/bleeding) that gels well. I toss in some parsnip, carrot, celery and fresh herbs and it’s good in 50-70 minutes.

Since long cooking doesn’t increase mineral content or any other potential benefits, I think pressure cooking is a great method. I’ve also used it to make homemade chicken stock very successfully.

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What is IP? Induction Pressurized?

InstantPot :slight_smile:

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I find that the pressure cooker makes a cloudy stock which might not matter for some. I sometimes use it for chicken stock if I am in a hurry. For beef stock I tend to use a slow cooker for about 16-24hrs. I do not have to watch or think about the stock at all using the slow cooker and always get a good solid gel. When I made beef stock in the pressure cooker it look longer than I wanted to babysit the pressure cooker for and I felt that I should have done it longer than I had done it for.

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It’s funny you mention cloudiness, that’s something most folks say opposite. It hasn’t happened to me yet. Since my IP is electric, I don’t have to watch it, but it’s fast, so I can hang around til it’s done. I was pretty sure if I’d gotten a stovetop one, I’d have ended up on the news standing in front of what was my home before I blew it up. I’m that ditzy.

I absolutely agree. If your goal is to make clear broth, then it should be done at a lower temperature (below boiling). However, for milky and cloudy stock, I would think pressure cooking would be good, like Japanese tonkotsu stock for ramen.

Yet, most Japanese restaurants I know still do it by regular cooking for 12+ hours instead of pressure cooking. I wonder why.

Straining a PC stock will help with the cloudiness

I make PC stock most often and strain it. I’m not looking for clear stocks since the stock will be the base for a soup, stew or other dish that doesn’t need clarity at least for me

“Cloudiness” is a natural occurance when making soup or stock. There are marketsful of equipment desighned to help manage the problem If you want to make soup or stock without cloudiness the very very old tradition of straining through cheesecloth and or a fine guaged sieve. When I make a classic stock from scratch, it’s a four day process with LOW heat. It’s a very old, well refined be genarations of god cooks that has given us a sure fire method for clear and nutritionally concentrated syocks, aka “bone broths>”

The interesting thing about cooking bones rich with cartilage and connective tissue (the ingredients that yield gelatin and collagen) is that to gain maximum nutrient yield and flavor, ONLY slow low simmering for many many hours gets the best results. The less time you simmer a stock, the less “stock-like” it will be.

Pressure cooking will never yield a true stock because the intense heat cooks the collagen and gelatin INTO the bones instead of gently teasing it out. It is possible to make a “facsimile” stock in a pressure cooker by reducing the quantity after presure cooking by slow-simmer evaporation (simmering the soup uncovered so steam carries away some of the water) and then adding unflavored gelatin to promote the silky texture and nutrition of a traditional soup stock. But you will still not get the full range of nutrients that the traditional method will give you, but it’s a lot closer with the added gelatin than it is without.

As usual, “life in the fast lane” means we miss a whole lot! And it’s not just scenery we’re missing. If it wasn’t for my allergies and autoimmune diseases, I’'d probably be racing down the fast lane too. I’m not against shortcuts per se. I’m just against the ones that don’t work. '-)

I actually first learned about the lack of cloudiness from a nice old Jewish lady online who only has used a pressure cooker for her many decades to guarantee it. So far so good.

I make really rich, clear and thickly gelled chicken and beef stock or broth in my Instant Pot, or did when I was more acutely histamine intolerant. Unfortunately, a recent analysis demonstrated that nutrients were not increased with slow cooking, certainly flavor is not. Along with the higher biogenic amine content formed in long, slow cooks, notably histamine in my case, and elevated glutamate the longer it’s cooked, I find pressure cooking the most nutritious and healthful technique.

My best stocks have come from my IP, second only to Ina Gartens 2 whole chicken stock, which I never cooked for hours or days on end, either. Both always clear; I never let the stovetop one boil.

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I don’t have a pressure cooker so I don’t use it. My understanding is that it’s difficult/impossible to create a creamy white bone stock with a pressure cooker, so if that’s what you’re looking for it’s a no go. But if you want maximum extraction on a clear stock, it’s probably the best way to do it.

Just went back and read the comments and I see this has been discussed. I think it’s important to distinguish a white creamy stock like tonkotsu or sullungtang vs cloudiness in a stock. The creaminess I believe is achieved by the heat and agitation of the boiling process, which does not occur in a PC. I think Kenji tried making a tonkotsu with a PC and stated that he couldn’t get it to be creamy with this method.

You reminded me to look up this old CH thread, which I found very useful:

All I know is my pressure cooked stocks gel like crazy when cooled. I’m assuming collagen and gelatin came out of the bones


I’m a huge fan of using the pressure cooker/Instant Pot to make stock.

My information is that the steam and pressure extracts flavor/protein/collagen much more effectively than slow cooking. Plus, it’s fast.


I use it for quick chicken stock, it comes out clear if you wash the wings/feet/backs in several changes of cold water first. I do the same with any meat broths. Soak the meat in cold water for 1/2 hour or so. Or if using a whole chicken, blanch briefly in boiling water to remove the impurities. These are standard Korean and Japanese cooking techniques.

If you are only cooking meat, then you can get relatively clear stock even at high temperature, but if you are cooking bones, joints, cartilage and fat, then you will get pretty milky stock. This is how Japanese tonkotsu ramen stock is very milky.

True, but don’t they usually do a hard boil for that? Clear stock is simmered gently.

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Then I am a little confused. I thought you said you do use a pressure cooker to make stock, and it come out clear. Yeah, a pressurized cooking is even a “harder” boil than regular cooking (above normal boiling temperature)

The time is much briefer. And the pressure cooker is a tricky beast, sometimes my broth is beautiful, other times, not so much.

I use it when I need some gel stock at the last minute, or to use up rotisserie carcasses taking up space in the freezer. For real, beautiful clean stock, I prefer stove top. I like skimming, it’s very zen. :slight_smile:

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold