Does Whole Foods Sell Beef Bones?

When a recipe calls for beef bones to make bone broth or to give flavor to a sauce or stew, many home cooks find themselves wondering – can I easily find beef bones at my local market? For those fortunate to live near a Whole Foods, the answer is yes! Read on to learn all about the types of beef bones sold at Whole Foods and how to use them.

Why Cooks Use Beef Bones

Beef bones provide several benefits in the kitchen:

  • Flavored broths and stocks – Simmering meaty bones makes a mineral-rich bone broth perfect for soups, braises, risotto, and more.

  • Extra texture – Bones add richness and body to dishes like beef stew or tomato sauce.

  • Meat flavor – Marrow, fat, and tissue in bones impart deep beefy flavor as they break down.

  • Nutrition – Bone broth made from beef bones contains collagen, amino acids and essential minerals.

Popular choices for cooking include marrow bones, knuckle bones, oxtails, and neck bones. The type of bone determines the amount of collagen and marrow it provides.

Availability of Beef Bones at Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market makes it easy for home cooks to source high-quality beef bones through their butcher department. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Marrow bones – Split lengthwise to expose the marrow cavity. Great for bone marrow appetizers.

  • Knuckle bones – Meaty round bones perfect for flavoring soup stock.

  • Oxtails – Bony tails with tender, collagen-rich meat. Use in stews or braise.

  • Neck bones – Irregular bones with a decent amount of attached meat Add to bean dishes for flavor

  • Soup bones – Mixed beef bones like shanks, knuckles, and neck bones for stock.

  • Ground bones – Freshly ground for convenience. Use to fortify minced meat dishes.

Availability varies by location, but most Whole Foods carry at least a couple beef bone options either prepackaged or from the butcher case. Call ahead to check availability at your local store.

Prices and Portion Sizes

As a premium natural grocer, Whole Foods beef bones cost more than regular supermarkets but less than specialty butchers. Expect to pay:

  • $3-5 per pound for knuckle or neck bones
  • $5-7 per pound for marrow or oxtails
  • $7-10 for 1 pound packages of mixed soup bones

Packages range from 1 to 2 pounds, making it easy to buy the right amount for your needs. Some locations also sell larger soup bone assortments.

For the best value, choose meatier oxtails or knuckle bones over skinny marrow bones. Make a rich bone broth by combining a few pounds of assorted bones.

Tips for Cooking with Beef Bones

  • Soak bones in water for 30 minutes before cooking to remove impurities
  • Add vinegar to the cooking liquid to help extract more collagen
  • Simmer bones for at least 3 hours, up to 24 for maximum broth richness
  • Scoop out the bone marrow to use as a spread after cooking
  • Reserve cooked bones to make a second batch of broth

With their wide selection of beef bones, Whole Foods makes it easy for home cooks to add rich, beefy flavor to their cooking. Stop by the butcher counter on your next trip for high-quality bones.

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