How long should I boil my bones for?
April 21, 2008 10:23 AM   Subscribe

How long should one boil bones for to get the meat/fat off them?

I have two large marrow bones, and assorted smaller ones, any advice would be much appreciated!
posted by emperor.seamus to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
6-8 hours.
posted by grateful at 10:35 AM on April 21, 2008

Best answer: Here
posted by govtdrone at 10:37 AM on April 21, 2008

Response by poster: It's actually the bones themselves that I want, putting this under food and drink was probably a little misleading, flavor and surviving meat is really meaningless to me.
posted by emperor.seamus at 10:38 AM on April 21, 2008

Hmm. The way you phrase it, emperor.seamus, it sounds as if you might intend to discard the meat and fat and keep the clean bones for a macabre gothcraft project. Knowing more about your goals, other than merely separating meat from bone, would help.
posted by mumkin at 10:38 AM on April 21, 2008

Response by poster: Very shrewd of you mumkin, I actually intend to either burn into or engrave the bones when I'm done, for what is indeed a slightly macabre but less gothcraft project!

Thanks to govtdrone for the link, that actually looks perfect thank you!
posted by emperor.seamus at 10:42 AM on April 21, 2008

Argh, simulcomment. And indeed, govtdrone FTW. I was going to be concerned about marrow retention in those smaller assorted bones, assuming that they're whole, but it sounds like that'll be a non-issue if you follow those directions.

Not immediately apropos to your situation, but speaking as one bone-boiler to another, I once simmered a lamb's skull for half a day. The stench was remarkable, and lingered about the apartment for weeks. Should you be inclined to do such a thing, I recommend boiling your lamb skulls outdoors.
posted by mumkin at 10:55 AM on April 21, 2008

Response by poster: I shall commit the tale to memory mumkin! Right now I am quietly pitying my flatmates for the delicious scent of my bones that will soon be infecting our communal kitchen!
posted by emperor.seamus at 11:32 AM on April 21, 2008

Having boiled bones for art projects myself, I've had good luck boiling per the above instructions, then soaking in peroxide overnight, then rinsing very well.
posted by desuetude at 1:15 PM on April 21, 2008

Ahh, fond memories of the Dirty Jobs episode.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 6:14 PM on April 21, 2008

I know from an earlier thread that boiled skulls come out with a yellow cast to them. If you want an ivory color, you might not get it without dermestid beetles or removing as much fat as possible before boiling.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:13 PM on April 22, 2008

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