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Jun 7, 2011 09:01 AM

Best place to buy stock bones in San José?

My pressure cooker arrives today, and I'm finally going to try making my own stock.

Any suggestions for good (quality/price) places to buy chicken backs, beef bones, smoked pork necks, etc.?

I live in San José and work in Sunnyvale.


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  1. Any whole foods, draegers or lunardi's. Just ask at the butcher counter.

    I'm missing the connection to the pressure cooker though... I usually roast the bones in the oven for an hour then stick them in a pot to simmer with the holy trinity.

    2 Replies
    1. re: openhelix

      Yes, we get ours from Whole Foods or Draegers - you have to call ahead. They only have stock bones some days, but you can specify how many pounds you want, and they'll have it wrapped up and waiting for you at the counter.

      1. re: openhelix

        I was at the San Bruno Lunardi's today and asked what they had available for stock. The butcher showed me some veal neck pieces that were 99 cents a pound. He said they because they break down their own meat they always have bones, but they go quickly so you do have to call ahead.

      2. So Ranch 99 has bones really cheap... however, their meat quality is questionable (they have select grade beef)... however, I don't know how much that matters for things like beef bones.. I do buy mine more often than not at WFs and Draegers (Draegers is slightly cheaper); however, I get upset paying $2/lb for chicken bones when I can go to Sigona's and get a whole chicken (meat included) for $1/lb.

        Also, I used to by bones a lot at Dittmer's; they should be reopening soon.

        1. Thanks, everyone! Very useful info, I had no idea where to look or what reasonable prices were.

          So, reading between the lines I'm guessing Safeway and Costco do *not* have usually carry stock bones?

          Last question: anyone get stock bones from Mexican grocery stores? I know in Latin America butchers tend to cut around bones and sell just the meat, whereas US butchers tend to have more cuts that include bones... it would seem to follow that there'd be a more bones available to purchase at Mexican butchers. If nobody knows I'll check today and post my findings.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mrbenji

            I've tried at Chavez markets and never had any luck at 2 different locations....

            1. re: mrbenji

              Not at a Bay Area branch, but I've gotten free beef bones from Mi Pueblo. The butcher said I needed to buy something (meat) from the case, and he'd give me as much marrow bones as I wanted. there are 4 in San Jose.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I have gotten free lamb, beef, pork and chicken at various butchers in the area when I am buying something else. I have never assumed I am getting it but asked about the bones and they show up in my purchases with no charge.

                1. re: wally

                  Stopped in at my local Chaparral Supermercado last night (Santa Clara & 21st, GREAT place! Items from every Latin American country you can think of). Looks like it's the same deal there... free bones with your purchase, however they do their cutting in the morning and the bones are usually all gone by early afternoon.

            2. Stock-making marathon tonight! In the end, I braved the 99 Ranch on Hostetter Rd. -- $1/lb for beef bones, $1.19/lb for chicken bones. Pork bones were also on display, will try those next.

              Added inexpensive meaty beef neck bones($1.59/lb?), green curry paste, bean sprouts and coconut milk to my basket, but also left with images of live fish gazing wearily from crowded tanks, skinned rabbits, tubs of cooked pig's blood and countless varieties of gelatinous candy. Then again, I'm Latino and am not weirded out by the pigs' feet, whole beef tongues, chili-flavored candies, etc. at my local supermercado...

              Thanks again to those who replied to this thread!