Cooking with pre-made broth is an easy way to add flavor to many different foods, from basic broccoli to rib-sticking stews, broth is an essential cooking tool. For most, the pre-made kind that comes in a can or paper box seems simple and cheap. However, a person who does a lot of home cooking can use as much as three cups per meal.
The average price per 14 oz. can at Publix, in the Tampa Bay Area, is $.97; that means the cost of broth can add up to as much as $30 each month. Instead, save that $30 for a family pizza night at The Mellow Mushroom and try this simple trick for making homemade broth for free instead:
Steps to making free broths at home:
- Label each of three gallon-size freezer bags with the following: beef Scraps, chicken scraps, veggie scraps.
- For a week or two, collect the scraps that would normally be thrown away in one of these bags. For example, place the skin from chicken in the bag labeled Chicken Scraps or the peels from carrots and onions in the bag labeled Veggie Scraps. Place the bags in the freezer to store until they are filled with scraps.
- When a gallon-size bag is full make the broth by simmering the contents of the bag, a little salt, and any additional seasonings—like basil or parsley—in a large pot of water for two to four hours. The longer the broth simmers the bolder the flavor will be. Allow to cool slightly.
- Next, place a pasta strainer in an over-sized bowl or pot in the sink. Pour the contents of the cooking pot into the strainer, allowing the liquid to collect in the bowl below it. Discard the meat and vegetable scraps. Allow to cool completely.
- Finally, with a helper and a funnel, pour the cooled broth into two to three clean gallon-size freezer bags, be sure to label each with the type of broth and the date, and seal the bags, removing as much air as possible from each. Lay each bag flat on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen, the broth can be taken off of the cookie sheet and stacked for easy storage.
Now, the next time a recipe calls for prepared broth, pull one of the bags out of the freezer and viola: Free broth! A savings of as much as $30 each month for most Tampa Bay residents.
If you try this, come back and let me know what scraps you used so I can try them too!