To make meat stock use a mixture of raw bones, consisting of three different types of bones: bones with meat on them, bones with marrow in them and joint bones. If hoof bones are available, they are extremely nourishing and beneficial to the protocol. Meat on the bone next to a joint will create a gelatinous stock; meat close to the bone does the same. If the stock does not gel, it’s no problem. Different cuts cause different nutrients and a different outcome in the stock. Ox tail is a favorite addition to stock. Hoof bones and connective tissues (joint bones) will give you good sticky stock.

Please note this is meat stock which heals and seals a Leaky Gut, not bone broth which is a soup base that originates from extensive cooking of the bones until they crumble. Click here to learn the history of bone broth and how to make bone broth.

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Bones with a little meat on them are the foundation of meat stock. Shank bones are perfect. The meat closer to the bone is easy to digest. These are considered gelatinous cuts. The further the meat is away from the bone the more it is considered muscle meat, not gelatinous meat. Muscle meat is more fibrous and more difficult to digest for those with the most damaged guts. Optimally, the meat on the bone should be no further than about an inch from the bone. A solid three week freeze and thorough cooking will prevent any potential virus or parasite from surviving.

Put all the bones in a large stock pot. This is a lobster potThis is a dutch oven and this is a dutch oven .

Fill with filtered water no more than one inch above the bones, one finger width is optimal, add salt and mashed peppercorns. Peppercorns can be cooked in a cache so they can be removed after cooking. The salt will pull vital nutrients out of the bones. You can also add apple cider vinegar, with the mother, to help pull nutrients and assist in breaking up the tissues in the meat (click here to read more). The amount of spices used is individual to each person, generally three to four pounds of bones take one tablespoon mineral salt, a tablespoon of crushed peppercorns and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Five to six bay leaves and fresh sprigs of herbs can be added; however, they should be removed after cooking as they are too fibrous for Stage One.

Bring the pot to a boil. Just before it is at a full boil a foamy film, scoobage, will begin to form on top. This is the bones cleaning themselves. With a slotted spoon scoop off the scoobage. By the time you’re done scooping scoobage, it’s at the full boil. Turn the heat down to a low simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 3 hours.

Cook time is very important. The longer the stock simmers the more you cook out the two essential amino acids vital to sealing and healing the gut lining. More specifically, the longer you cook the meat bones the more you cook out the most beneficial aspects of healing from the stock. If you cook too long in the pot these beneficial healers are absent. Meat stock is high in amino acids proline and glycine, bioten, collagen, elastin, glucosamine and gelatin. These are the elements that feed the enterocytes, the building blocks of the gut lining. Cooking the stock too long cooks out these amino acids, prolonging healing.

When it’s done cooking, remove the bones and pick off all the meat and connective tissues you can remove. It the connective tissue dissolves in your hands, it’s perfect to add back into the soup, however, if the connective tissue is hard, it can be added to another pot to cook further with new raw bones. Remove the peppercorns and herbs from the stock, add the connective tissue back to the pot and blend with a stick blender.

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connective tissue and marrow added back to the pot

Pour the stock into mason jars and refrigerate up to 7 days. Meat stock freezes well.

 Add whatever Stage One vegetables are desired and cook the vegetables for roughly 30 minutes, until soft, so that the remaining fiber is digestible. Garlic and onion should be added to every soup. If die off from garlic or onion is too strong, as some classify as a FODMAP issue, they should be removed until more healing has happened, then introduced in small quantities. Some people have such great sensitivities that they start with fermented garlic and onion, starting with the brine first. When tolerated, adding garlic and onion the size of an eyelash and increasing the amount from there reintroduces the vegetables.


Bone broth is cooked for longer periods of time; GAPS healing Meat Stock is cooked for a short period of time. The bones used for cooking Meat Stock can be used later for making Bone Broth.

People with extreme gut damage, sometimes see sensitivities arise with different stock choices. This histamine issue is difficult. Many see success with choosing wild game for stock, preferably fowl as these are the most digestible. Wild caught fish is often well tolerated. Chicken stock is known for being gentle, and is tolerated by most. Lamb stock, from pastured lamb, is generally well tolerated, even by those with the most severe sensitivities.

Processed meats often have additives or feed that is not tolerated in very damaged guts. Animals that ate soy often cause issues for a very damaged gut. Eating wild turkey and other birds removes this concern. Some farmers plant cornfields to attract deer for hunting season. Corn fed deer often cause issue for those with deeper damage in the microbiome.

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Fish stock is very gentle on the gut lining and is one of the most beneficial for damaged guts. Use fish heads, bones, tails and fins especially with some meat on the bones. Strain out all the bones after cooking for 1-1.5 hours. Warning – using oily fish will leave you a very smelly house.

2014-03-18 08.09.19Chicken is very gentle on the gut lining. If you have sensitive issues with stock, a good option is making the stock from pastured chickens who are not fed any supplementary feed – their only source of food is bugs, worms and grass. When cooking chicken stock follow the instructions above but only cook for 2 hours.

If you have extreme gut damage put half the stock in the refrigerator and half in the freezer. This ensures the most nutritional value for optimum healing. It is very important to continue taking high doses of probiotics from food sources like kraut juice, whey, home-fermented sour cream or yogurt, Biokult, Prescript Assist (click on the affiliate links to see the products) or Gut Pro while taking the meat stock. This will both heal and seal the gut lining while you are building the good bacteria up, repairing the gut lining.

Do not reheat cups of stock with the microwave as it is very damaging to the stock, killing the beneficial life giving enzymes and nutrients that are needed for healing.

For stages one and two of GAPS it is important to be drinking meat stock throughout the day continually. A good plan is to eat a soup for each meal and enjoy a cup of stock between meals. Add good quality grass fed butter like Kerrygold (affiliate link) to each cup as well as an egg yolk or two from pastured chickens. The more cholesterol you eat during the stages of healing the less cholesterol your body needs to make to heal. The less your body needs to do the more energy it can spend on healing.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.

Other sources:,d.cWc



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46 Responses to Meat Stock

  1. Kimberly says:

    I think I just became a vegetarian.

  2. I am going to make this and try it. Very interesting and informative. Thank you.

  3. Tammy says:

    I need better instructions on exactly how to make the meat stock, or slop looking stuff. Do I have to get new bones for each making? Also, what liquid do we use to make the recommended soup? Any one with more answers? Thanks in advance! Tag me please.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      good questions! i added them to the post. thanks for the assist. it already said to use filtered water so i’m a bit foggy on the what liquid do you use question. i added a few more pictures so hopefully it’s more clear.

  4. When you say “the more you cook out the two essential amino acids”, does that mean we should cook it longer to pull out the amino acids out of the bone, or if we cook too long the amino acids will be destroyed (for lake of a better word)? Thanks. Love the blog.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      No. I will edit that, thanks for the assist. It means the longer you cook the product the more you cook out the most beneficial aspects of healing from the stock. If you cook too long in the pot these beneficial healers are absent.

      • Amala says:

        The phrase “cook out” is ambiguous and confusing. I had to read that section a few times to understand what you are saying. It would be better to say “reduce,” “destroy,” or something similar. “Cook out” could mean you are getting more of those healers into the stock.

  5. Ken says:

    Nice recipes and good recommendations. Just not sure about the difference in bone broth and meat stock. These two words seem to be used interchangeably by many chefs, even though there are some differences in cooking time, texture and flavor. However, the basic ides remains the same with both. Nutritionally, there does not seem to be a big difference as most broths and stocks are made with bones with some meat on them.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      I thought the same thing until I realized something was wrong because I was not getting better with bone broth. After researching the two in depth I found there is a huge difference. If the person has great gut damage it is evident quickly. The breakdown is given in the post here. If you have someone who is autistic or suffers from depression or an autoimmune disease bone broth will only make the matter decline. If the client is FPIES or PANDAS even the meat stock often has to be wild fowl for no reaction to occur. Nutritionally there is a huge difference. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is the forerunner on this, my teacher. Her GAPS book explains it in depth.I wish more chefs were knowledgeable. There are hundreds of thousands of people that can not take a night out to dinner because the food will set their healing back a good three months.

      • Jen says:

        This is really very helpful. I was wondering why my leaky gut hasn’t been getting better with bone broth. I need to switch to meat broth. Where can I find meat on the bones? I’ve been getting my bones from a meat market but the bones are picked clean.

        • Becky Plotner says:

          If you can not find a farmer ask your meat market to cut a package of meat and inch from the bone. Once it’s further out from the bone it’s more muscle meat which isn’t as good for healing the gut.

  6. Sharon says:

    Can this be made in a pressure cooker? How would you adjust the cooking time?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Yes. It depends on the depth of gut damage you have and the pressure cooker you have.

      • is says:

        in instanpot most recommend 120 minutes, i feel like thats too much – is 60 minutes enough ?
        also, will chicken feet increase histamine or they are safe?


        • Becky Plotner says:

          In my Instant Pot I do a chicken for the “chicken” setting which gives me the same effect of making meat stock on the stovetop for a 2 hour simmer. I drain the broth and consider that meat stock. Then I do it again with the bones and meat if it wasn’t coming off the bone easily on the “soup” setting after refilling with water and adding more salt. I consider that to be between a meat stock and a bone broth. Then I do the bones with a little bit of water so I can eat the ends of the soft bones where the joints are – lots of calcium. Chicken feet do not cause a histamine reaction but they CAN feed so much good that is causes more die off which can be confused for a histamine reaction. If this is the case adding the healing feet in slowly so the die off is tolerable is GAPS recommended. If you feel you can push through go for it.

          • diana myers says:

            Becky, I am trying to follow you, but my brain is a little slow. I also use an instant pot but have been using the 120 min recommended time. My gut has not healed. I do have autoimmune issues. I also have histamine issues. How long should i cook beef bones in the instant pot? thank you for your post.

          • Becky Plotner says:

            Dr Natasha does not recommend pressure cooking as it doesn’t allow sealing and healing of the gut lining. Following the recipe here is what is recommended.

  7. Mel says:

    Hi Becky. Thanks so much for this info. I am not on gaps yet but slowing making changes. Have started the broth and now understand that shorter cooking is impt.
    Would a chicken carcass and some wings and legs be ok. I have a large Dutch oven or a slow cooker. Also I would like to start kraut juice. I have a 7 & 9 y/o. How much kraut juice would I start with?
    Thank you so much,

  8. Ella says:

    Wonderful explanation, question though, CHICKEN STOCK, how long can you safely store this in the fridge?? Thank you

  9. Lusille says:

    Hello! I’ve noticed that you have different cooking time for chicken meat stock(1.5-2 hours) and meet stock above (3-3.5 hours). Is that because beef meat is different and requires more time?

  10. Mark says:

    Why is it better to drink meat stock rather than actually eat the meat you put in the meat stock? Wouldnt eating the meat give you more nutrients, protein, fats etc that will heal you?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Meat stock has everything in it to seal up Intestinal Permeability. Eating just the meat will not seal up the ulcerations.

  11. Diana says:

    Thank you for this explanation and the pics. I did not previously understand the difference between meat broth and bone broth. I have had repeated episodes of diverticulitis and have tried multiple lifestyle and dietary changes in an attempt to minimize the frequency of my attacks. I will make my broth differently now.

  12. Diana Davis says:

    I have a 47 year old son who has “dealt with” Leaky Gut syndrome for 20 years. No real healing and now progressing to depression and despair. I want to help. Where to I go for help? I have ordered the GAPS book by McBride but don’t have it yet.

  13. Elizabeth Simmons says:

    I see great pictures that explain what kind of cuts to use for making a beef stock. What parts of the chicken should I use to make sure I have all the requirements for making the stock correctly. I’ve just been using a whole chicken which I cut down the middle, exposing the marrow. Apparently this has too much fibrous meat on it, though I love how the meat taste when cooked this way? I want to get the most benefits from our stock as we can.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      The white meat on the bird is very fibrous and difficult to digest when there is great damage in the tract. When the body needs something, that is a healthy food, it tastes divine. If it tastes good to you, congratulations!

  14. kristyler101 says:

    Is it true that it’s okay to make meatballs out of ground beef on stage one of GAPS as long as they are boiled in stock? I haven’t read that in Dr. Campbell-McBride’s book, but I have seen meatball recipes all over the internet for stage one. In fact, I read on one site that you can make hamburger patties and steaks and eat it with a fork, with the key being the meat was cooked in stock. Would that be okay for stage one?

  15. jbg says:

    This is a very helpful post. I’m trying to wade through the difference, nutritionally, in the end product of stock vs broth. You said,

    “The longer the stock simmers the more you cook out the two essential amino acids vital to sealing and healing the gut lining. … Meat stock is high in amino acids proline and glycine, bioten, collagen, elastin, glucosamine and gelatin. These are the elements that feed the enterocytes, the building blocks of the gut lining.”

    And from your post on questions on meat stock, “There are two specific enzymes, essential to healing a damaged gut, that are cooked out of the stock if cooked too long.”

    I think you answered my question in the first quote, but in the second, it doesn’t say what the two specific enzymes are. Again, trying to understand the difference nutritionally (more than just “it heals the gut better”). I’m guessing the meat stock has what you listed above because of the meat. Is there somewhere I can find what’s in broth, nutritionally?

    I like to understand the details a little more:) Thanks!

  16. Ciara says:

    Is it possible to make chicken stock in a slow cooker? How long would you cook on low or high? Thanks

  17. Tina says:

    Getting ready to start GAPS, I hate handling bones (don’t Is it possible to purchase something from a whole foods? TIA

  18. Sally Griffin says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I have been struggling with leaky gut all my life but only found out a few years ago. I live in the UK and can’t always get organic oxtail, could I use grass fed?

  19. Chelsea says:

    I made beef broth today following your instructions and it’s almost all white. Did I do something wrong?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      No, that’s just reflective of a higher collagen level. It’ll be different every time you make it. If you would like it clear, don’t add the connective tissues and meats back into the pot.

  20. flopeur says:

    Hi Becky,
    thank you so much for all theses super useful informations!
    I started making meat stock since few days, really love it so far but I’m having big issues with gas, is it a current side effect at first or am I doing something wrong with the meat stock? Thank you very much!

  21. Tarah Blackwell says:

    Great info! Thank you for your well written description and explaining the difference in chicken stock and bone broth! Much needed info! I have ordered your book GAPS, Stage by Stage with Recipes. I am excited to receive it!

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