How to Make Delicious Turkey Broth

How to Make Delicious Turkey Broth

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is turkey soup.   

Making broth really is as simple as simmering bones in water.  But if you are like most people who’ve tried making broth sometimes it turns out amazing and other times not so great.

It can feel like a hit or miss endeavor.  I used to feel that way but after lots of experimenting, I’ve found a method for making a consistently delicious broth – every time.  If you keep stick with a few simple guidelines, boiling your turkey carcass will yield the best turkey broth you’ve ever tasted. 

Here are my top tips for brewing up amazing broth every time

  • Don’t let anyone nibble on the wings!  Wings add oodles of flavor because they have lots of flavor.  The more, the better.  If you know someone who is making a turkey but won’t be making bone broth, try to snag an extra wing or two.  (You could get the whole carcass but your pot probably isn’t big enough, so you’d have to go through the process twice.)  Even if you just use the two wings from your turkey, it will help lots.

  • Throw every part of the leftover bird into the pot – all the skin, fat, grizzle.  Don’t throw anything out.  If you didn’t put the giblets into the gravy, you can throw them into the pot, too.  And definitely put the neck in.

  • Don’t pick all the meat off the bones, especially the dark meat. 

  • Keep it very simple and let the flavor of the turkey dominate.  Mountain Meadow Bone Broth is made only with bones, onion, carrot, celery and peppercorn. 

  • Add salt after the broth is finished.  Otherwise you run the risk of creating a briny mess.  

  • You don’t need vinegar.  Lots of people will tell you to add 2 tablespoons of a apple cider vinegar for each gallon of water.  The theory is that the acid will draw out the minerals from the bones. The problem with the theory is that in order for the acid to have an impact, you’d need to simmer the turkey in pure vinegar!  Add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice at the end for a little zing of flavor, but just let time and heat do the work on the bones.

  • Simmer for a loooooong time.  I suggest at least 10 hours.  If you can go for 12 hours, that would be better.  When I first started making broth with long simmer times, I was nervous about leaving the stove on overnight.  (cuz I never could get it together to start in the morning!).  After a couple of times, I relaxed about it.  If it makes you uncomfortable, start early or turn it off, put the pot in the ridge and start it over again the next day.  I’ve never had success with making broth in a crockpot, but many people swear by that method.

  • Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer just below the boil, about 200 degrees F. Fahrenheit. starts to boil again, turn it down, even if that means turning the heat off for a few minutes. 

  • Don’t put too much water in the pot.  Leave only about 1 to 2 inches of water above the level of the carcass.  This is probably one of the most common mistakes people make.  “Let’s fill the pot to the top so we get lots of broth!”  Unfortunately, broth made that way won’t taste very good.




Turkey Carcass

1 medium onion -peeled and cut in half

1 medium - peeled and cut in half

1 stalk of celery - cut in half

1 Tablespoon pepper corn


Salt to taste


  1. Put the carcass, onion, carrot, celery and pepper corn in a large stock pot. Fill the pot with cold water so that the water level is about 1 to 2 inches over the carcass.

  2. Bring the water to a boil. Then simmer for at least 10 hours.

  3. Strain the broth and cool over night.

  4. Skim the fat and put the broth into containers. Keeps in the fridge for 3 to 5 days or up to six months in the freezer.

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