Homemade Beef Bouillon Powder - Recipe

Making your own homemade beef bouillon powder at home is simple and rewarding.

Homemade Beef Bouillon Powder - Recipe

Not only does it provide a rich, meaty umami flavor to enhance soups, stews, gravies and more, but you also control exactly what goes into it.

How to Make Beef Bouillon Powder

Making beef bouillon powder is a multi-step process, but each part is fairly straightforward. Here is what's involved:

  • Step 1: Roast beef bones to intensify flavor
  • Step 2: Simmer bones and scraps with herbs and spices to extract flavors
  • Step 3: Strain and reduce broth to concentrate it
  • Step 4: Dehydrate concentrated broth into powder

The following sections walk through this process in more detail:

Homemade Beef Bouillon Powder - Recipe

Homemade Beef Bouillon Powder - Recipe


  • Beef bones - marrow bones, knuckles, oxtails, etc.
  • Beef scraps - cheap cuts with tendons/connective tissue
  • Aromatics - onions, carrots, celery
  • Herbs and spices - thyme, parsley, black pepper
  • Wine (optional) - for deglazing pan


Roast the Bones

  • Roasting the bones before simmering helps intensify their flavor. Here's how:
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Place bones and beef scraps in a roasting pan and roast for 45 mins to 1 hour.
  • Turn bones halfway through roasting. Bones should brown nicely.
  • Optionally add veggies the last 15 minutes to roast them as well.
  • When done deglaze pan with a bit of wine or broth to get up browned bits.
  • Roasting extracts extra flavor from the bones that will go into your broth, making it richer.

Simmer the Broth

  • Now it's time to extract all that beefy flavor from the bones into a concentrated, flavorful broth:
  • Transfer bones and roasted veggies from the roasting pan into a large pot.
  • Add any leftover wine/broth from the pan as well.
  • Fill pot with water to cover bones by a few inches.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer.
  • As it simmers carefully skim off any scum that rises to the top.
  • Add herbs and spices - thyme, parsley, peppercorns. Bay leaf optional.
  • Simmer broth for 6-24 hours. Longer equals more flavor extraction.
  • The long simmering time extracts gelatin, minerals, and flavor compounds from the marrow-rich bones to make a tasty, nourishing broth.

Strain and Reduce Broth

  • Once your beef broth has simmered to the desired richness of flavor, it's time to strain out the solids and concentrate it down:
  • Set a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl.
  • Carefully pour broth through the strainer to remove all solids.
  • Transfer strained broth back to a clean pot.
  • Bring to a boil and let it bubble vigorously.
  • As water evaporates, reduce broth to 1/4 original volume.
  • Add salt to taste once reduced.
  • Reducing concentrates the broth down to just rich, concentrated beef essence.

Dehydrate into Powder

  • The final step is to turn your concentrated beef broth into shelf-stable powder:
  • Line dehydrator trays with parchment paper or fruit leather trays.
  • Spread reduced broth onto trays in a thin layer.
  • Dehydrate at 135 - 155°F for 8-15 hours until completely dry.
  • Break up any clumps and grind into a fine powder in a blender or spice grinder.
  • Store the finished beef bouillon powder in an airtight container out of sunlight for 1 year.
  • Now you have homemade beef bouillon powder to add rich, meaty flavor to recipes any time you want!

Tips for Making Beef Bouillon Powder

Follow these tips when making your beef bouillon powder:

  • Use marrow-rich bones like knuckles, oxtails, or marrow bones for maximum flavor extraction.
  • Roast veggies like onions, carrots and celery alongside bones.
  • Add acids like wine, tomatoes or vinegar to help extract nutrients from bones.
  • Simmer for longer for a deeper, meatier flavor - up to 24 hours.
  • Reduce by 75-80% to concentrate flavors intensely.
  • Use a coffee grinder to turn leathery dehydrated broth into fine powder.

How to Use Beef Bouillon Powder

Homemade beef bouillon powder is extremely versatile. Here are some ways to use it:

  • Add to graviesstews and sauces in place of commercial bouillon cubes or granules
  • Whisk 1 teaspoon into 1 cup hot water to make instant broth
  • Sprinkle on veggies before roasting them
  • Use when making soup mixes and casserole mixes
  • Add to bread or pizza dough for extra savory flavor
  • Sprinkle on popcorn along with butter and salt
  • Use in place of beef base or demi-glace in recipes

Pretty much anywhere you'd use packaged bouillon products to boost flavor, you can sub in your homemade beef bouillon powder. Sprinkle, whisk or stir it into savory dishes as desired.

The key is to start with 1 teaspoon at a time, then adjust to suit your preferences. The flavor will be cleaner and richer than commercial bouillon.


What's the difference between bouillon and broth?

Bouillon is made by further concentrating broth down until it becomes a very thick, flavorful liquid that can be formed into cubes or dehydrated into powder. So bouillon starts from broth.

Is beef bouillon gluten-free?

Yes, homemade beef bone broth and bouillon powder are naturally gluten-free. However, always check labels on commercial bouillon products as some may contain wheat or additives that aren't GF.

Can you substitute bouillon cubes for homemade powder?

In most recipes, you can substitute bouillon cubes or commercial granules using a 1:1 ratio to replace homemade beef bouillon powder. However, the flavor won't be as clean and rich.

How long does homemade bouillon powder last?

Properly stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, homemade beef bouillon powder will last for 9-12 months.

What's the difference between stock and broth?

Stock is made mostly from bones, tends to be cloudy with fat/proteins, and has a deeper flavor. Broth is made with meat as well as bones, is clearer, and has a lighter flavor.


Making your own beef bouillon powder at home does take some time and effort upfront, especially in simmering the broth for 8-24 hours.

However, the payoff is having a natural, additive-free flavor enhancer with the rich savoriness only bone broth can provide.

Sarah Cortez
Sarah Cortez

My name is Sarah and I'm a baker who loves trying out new recipes and flavor combinations. I decided to challenge myself to use a new spice or ingredient powder in my baking each week for a year. Some successes were the cardamom sugar cookies, vivid turmeric cake, and beetroot chocolate cupcakes. Failures included the bitter neem brownies and overwhelmingly hot ghost pepper snickerdoodles. Through this experience I've discovered amazing additions to spice up desserts while learning how to balance strong flavors. Follow my journey as I push the boundaries of baking with unique powders!

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