The 5 Best Bone Broths You Can Buy Off the Shelf

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Bone broth is a labor of love. To reap the benefits of the warming elixir—improved gut health and immune system, stronger joints, nails, and hair—you’re looking at least a full day of blanching, roasting, and boiling bones until they transform into a gelatinous, collagen-rich stock. But not all of us have 8 to 24 hours to commit to making such a fortified stock, and there are dozens of bottled, jarred, boxed, and even bagged bone broths on the market now. But how do you know which bone broth is actually worth buying?

We tried 22 bone broths (chicken and beef only) and found just five worth your time and money, comparing them to the flavor and body of a great homemade stock.

A note on nutrition: “There is no concrete evidence that shows whether chicken is healthier than beef bone broth,” explains registered dietician and nutritionist Charmaine Jones (MS, RDN, LDN). She suggests adding 4 to 8 oz. of any variety of bone broth to your diet each day, which can help with healing wounds, improving skin, hair, and nails, and strengthening bones.

“This broth has a very clean and light aroma—no trace of barnyard,” remarked one taster. It was a “definitely drinkable” broth but was a “little bland” and in need of some flavor enhancers. We noted this could be a good one to cook with, whether for soup, brothy beans, or a batch of quinoa.

Buy Bonafide Provisions frozen on Amazon for $15.58 for 24 oz or at Whole Foods and select other grocers across the country.

Chef Marco Canora started brodo out of the kitchen window of his NYC restaurant Hearth in 2014, and their 18-hour simmered broth is now frozen and shipped nationwide. We thought it had a “surprisingly clean beef flavor, yet also very intense.” There were some notes of “sweetness and brightness” and coats your palate in a very comforting way, like mom’s homemade soup. It has a lot of strong, beefy umami flavor, so is best sipped in small doses.

Buy a six-pack of Brodo’s 30 oz. frozen containers for $119, or get a four-pack mixture of their beef, chicken, hearth (chicken-beef-turkey), and vegan seaweed-mushroom broths for $89.

This was a “very drinkable” bone broth that had a thinner texture than expected, but a “pleasant, well-rounded flavor” that we went back to for a few more sips. It was surprisingly shelf stable and had a use by date for 10 months after we tried it. Ingredients included beef bones, tomatoes, and herbs (onion, carrot, garlic, parsley, thyme), sea salt, bay leaves, and black pepper, and any flavoring was subtle and not overpowering.

Buy a two-pack of Bare Bones broth for $23.98 on Amazon, or look for it in your local grocery stores.

This shelf-stable bone broth didn’t smell like much of anything, so we were surprised that it tasted “SO CHICKENY” and homemade. It had a nice body and mouthfeel of a home-cooked broth, which was surprising since it didn’t have to be refrigerated or frozen like most of our other picks. It was packed with a lot more vegetables than other bone broths: roasted poblano peppers, and all green peppers, scallions, tomatoes, celery, onion, carrot, garlic, and assorted herbs. The use-by date was a full two years (2020!) after we sampled it, which makes it a great pantry-friendly version of chicken bone broth.

Buy two 16 oz. boxes of Kettle & Fire bone broth for $21.99 on Amazon, or look for it in your local grocery stores.

This was our surprise last-addition supermarket pick. Swanson had more body than we expected from a shelf-stable stock and a little spicy, black pepper note. There’s a good chicken flavor that is a step above the bouillon-y taste you typically get from a mass-produced stock, and an herby note that reminded us a little of Thanksgiving stuffing. We may not drink big mugs of this, but in a pinch, it’s the least expensive and decently-tasting option you can at almost every grocery store across the country, and it will last in the pantry for a year.

Find a local store that stocks Swanson chicken bone broth here ($4.29) or buy online at Meijer or ShopRite.

The 5 Best Bone Broths You Can Buy Off the Shelf

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