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Where can I get bones for broth?

1418 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  tanyalynn
Hello! I was hoping that somewhere would give out bones for free! I'm probably just dreaming
but I was thinking most places might just throw them out. Problem is, I don't want just any bones. Preferably ones from organic grassfed beef and free range chickens, kwim? Any chances of this happening. We can't order a whole or half cow of our own or anything and request the bones with it. No freezer space right now
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I find bones in my supermarket, for a lot less money than either the boneless cuts of meat or the bone-in cuts of meat. They're not free though!
We buy beef bones from the same suppliers that we get grass fed beef from. They usually cost $2.50-3.00 per lb (for comparison, ground beef costs around $5.00 per lb from the same suppliers). No idea if that is a good or bad price but that's what they cost around here.

For chicken stock, we just buy whole chickens for eating and use the carcasses for stock. Unfortunately our chicken suppliers don't include the feet (which are supposed to be great for stock). We've been trying to find affordable pastured chicken sold with feet.

We keep meaning to go ask around at fish markets and see if we can get bones and heads from fish that they filet, to make fish stock, but we haven't gotten around to doing that yet.
I also get our bones from a local organic, grassfed ranch. They sell beef bones and chicken carcuss...I have some in the crock pot as we speak!
We go hunting.
I save the bones from deer and make broth then can it.
I make broth from pheasant and turkey also

Also when I cook a whole chicken I save all the bones and make a wonderful stock from that.

We have a butcher in town but I havent gone and talked to him about beef bones.
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is it a good idea to use cooked chicken bones for broth? my husband and I roast 4 whole chickens a week. i assumed that the bones wouldn't work in stock.

am i wrong?
Chicken bones are the only thing I've made my stock from so far. It's worked, but I may try just doing the entire chicken in there next time and just using the chicken pieces in recipes. Chicken works great! Can't wait to try some of the others.
zoebird, I always save the bones from roast chickens I've bought. I stuff them in freezer bags until I have about 4-5 carcasses then I make a stock in my huge crockpot. They make GREAT tasting stock because the roasted bits add to the flavor. Not sure how healthy is it to do this but I've roasted bones before when I've wanted a flavorful beef stock. I guess it's the same health concerns as with grilled meat.

I find it hard to get cheap beef bones where I am. I usually use chicken bones, if you can find a shop that processes chicken they usually sell the bones pretty cheapily.

Also the bones from legs of lamb and lamb shanks make great soup.

My dh hunts too so we use the deer bones also. I make deer, barley, vege soup out of that cause lamb is too expensive most of the time. I had to ask to get the deer bones after they were butchered, cause most people don't seem to want them. I bet a deer butcherer would have a good supply of bones.
anything that contains marrow would be suitable for stock. Make friends with you're local butcher and you might be suprised what they are willing to get rid of!
I'm another one of the chicken-bone savers. I'll take them off of people's plates and stick them in the freezer. Yes, I'm that gross.

When I get a whole chicken and get it cut up, I save the wings and the back, then add the bones of the other stuff once it's been cooked. It works out pretty well and I get a good gel goin' on.

Chicken bones are more expensive from my friendly local farmer than are beef bones. I have no idea why. BUT chicken feet are pretty cheap from him, so my next fiendish plan is to buy some feet and use them to bulk up my scrap bones.

Originally Posted by phroggies
I'm another one of the chicken-bone savers. I'll take them off of people's plates and stick them in the freezer. Yes, I'm that gross.

Well I don't take them off people's plates but I always ask what they're going to do with that turkey carcass after Thanksgiving. Mmmn last Thanksgiving I made some wonderful jook (Asian flavored soupy rice porridge) - Yum! Can't believe how many people throw the turkey carcasses away after Thanksgiving.
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Originally Posted by phroggies
I'm another one of the chicken-bone savers. I'll take them off of people's plates and stick them in the freezer. Yes, I'm that gross.
Me too. Um, do you think it's bad to save the bones my toddler's been gnawing on to use for stock? She ALWAYS asks for bones when we have meat with bones.
I got a couple good ideas from this thread, and I wanted to add my recent successes for anyone else searching the old threads.

I just found good-priced beef bones and split pigs' feet at our local Asian grocery store (Hong Kong Super Market on 183 for anyone in Austin). Not organic or grass-fed, but I can't afford that quality given how many I'm trying to use. And it's cheaper than my local grocery store and they have a lot more (my grocery store is pretty hit-or-miss).

The big Whole Foods in town (which is the flagship, so may not be applicable for all of them) has chicken backs in the freezer section for 99cents/lb. Since not many places butcher chickens on-site (I asked my grocery store, there are lots of regulations), this is the only place I know of to get more chicken bones, and some of the packages have enough extra meat that, when I roast them, I can get enough for a nice big pot of soup, too.

A pp mentioned hunting--well, we don't hunt, but I called a local store that advertises that they process deer in-season. The season doesn't start until November in TX (earlier elsewhere, I gather), but he was perfectly willing to set aside some bones for me if I gave him a call. Free bones! I felt weird calling and asking, and I don't think anyone had ever asked him before, but he was very nice about it (I actually called several places, and they were all nice and said they'd help me out).
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