Somewhere around a decade ago, I learned the magic that is using real butter in a recipe. Margarine may be cheaper in the store, but frankly; it is flavorless. I like food and therefore I like my food to have flavor. Butter is expensive though. Here in North Texas, it can top $5.98# if it’s not on sale. So what is a girl who loves real butter to do? Well, she learned how to make homemade butter instead of buying it.
Because our family switched from pasteurized milk to raw milk early in 2019 because raw milk has so many benefits.
However, because it is more expensive per gallon and because full fat raw milk is too rich for my stomach, I began to make homemade heavy whipping cream with it as well.
How to Make Homemade Butter
This foray into making homemade heavy cream is what eventually led me to making homemade butter.
Now, homemade butter is one of the top things on my list of things I stop buying to save money and I will never go back to store bought butter again!
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And I discovered something; homemade butter is not difficult to make.
In fact, it’s so easy to make that many homeschooling moms use it as a homeschool lesson.
But we are a society of convenience and because of that, we tend to avoid things that take any real amount of time. And it takes more time to make homemade butter than it does to open a stick of store bought butter or margarine.
So making homemade butter recipes fell by the wayside.
Creating Flavored Butter Recipes
Making any homemade butter recipe opens up so many possibilities! They’re so easy to customize right from the start!
Want to make homemade honey butter? Make homemade butter then add honey! Add herbs? No problem! Add garlic, salt or whatever else tickles your fancy.
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It’s your recipe and that means you are free to experiment and create as you see fit.
How does making butter work?
All butter – real butter that is – starts out as milk. Okay, it starts out as a milk by product.
Cream. Real, thick, delicious, heavy cream.
Can I Use Regular Milk to Make Homemade Butter?
As I said, all butter technically begins as milk. This means your homemade butter will being one of two ways:
Either as raw milk that you will need to remove the cream from
or as heavy whipping cream from the store.
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If you have raw milk and need to remove the cream, you can learn how to do that HERE.
Making Homemade Buttermilk
Another reason that I love making homemade butter?
Buttermilk is a the natural byproduct of making butter so when you make homemade butter, you get buttermilk!
It’s a twofer and a win-win situation for anyone looking to save money and eat a more natural diet!Jump to Recipe
Homemade Butter Recipe
Just a quick side note; It is incredibly hard to get a good photo down inside a mason jar – okay at least for me it is. Bear with me, lol.
To start, wash and dry your mason jars, lids and rings very well. This is especially important if you ware working with raw milk.
As I said, if you’re using raw milk, you will need to remove the cream from the top of your milk. to do this, allow your raw milk to sit in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours.
The cream will rise to the top. You will be able to see where the cream and milk separate.
Let the cream come to room temperature if you’ve had it in the fridge then skim it off with a ladle or other kitchen tool.
Side Note: Don’t let it get much warmer than room temp. If it does, it will start to sour and you will have homemade sour cream instead of homemade butter.
In the photo above, you can see that the cream is the lighter color at the top of the jar and the milk is under it.
This is what you will use to make your butter.
Once the cream has come to room temperature and you have it separated from the milk, add it to the mason jars.
I tend to add around 1/2 cup of cream to each quart sized mason jar. I have found that I get the most homemade butter and homemade buttermilk leftover when I spread it out this way.
If you are using sea salt to make salted butter, add a pinch or two now too. Otherwise, continue on.
Add the lid and ring, turn upside down and…
Shake like your life depended on it.
Make sure the lid is on tightly.
It’s quite messy if it is not. Ask me how I know.
Shake your homemade butter some more.
and keep shaking until you thing your arms might fall off.
Because right about then your homemade butter will probably be ready.
Any homemade butter recipe is made by churning the liquid into a solid. The action of churning or shaking causing the fats to separate from the liquid. This leaves you butter and butter milk.
You are using a mason jar, but you would have the same effect if you used an actual butter churn.
I do have an old fashioned butter churn but I much prefer this method. It’s far quicker, plus, my churn is an antique Dazey butter churn like this one and I love to just look at it.
Yeah; I know how odd that sounds.
Anyhow, you will need to shake – or churn – your cream for around 8-10 minutes depending on how much cream is in your jar in order for the fats to separate into butter.
Once the butter has formed, pour the whole jar through a fine mesh sieve or strainer. This will separate the butter from the leftover liquids.
Do not throw that liquid away!
Pour it into a clean jar and save it!
Use it just like store bought buttermilk in baking recipes such as buttermilk biscuits, pancakes and more.
After you’ve poured off the buttermilk, allow the butter to sit in the sieve for a few mintues to drain.
Next, you will need to rinse the butter itself.
Yes. Rinse the butter.
I don’t have photos of this step because frankly it can be messy but it’s quite simple:
Rinse the butter in the mixing bowl in cold water.
Use a wooden spoon or your hands to move the homemade butter around sort of “kneading” it.
When your water gets cloudy, pour it off and replace it.
Your butter will harden as you do this and your water will – or should – get clearer each time.
I tend to rinse mine anywhere between 4 and 6 times depending on how long I allowed it to drain.
Why Do You Have to Rinse Homemade Butter?
The reason you have to rinse homemade butter is because no matter how much you let it drain, it will still have buttermilk in it.
This buttermilk residue will cause it to go rancid.
The more buttermilk left in the butter, the quicker your butter will go rancid.
After you have rinsed the butter, place it in cheese cloth and remove as much water from it as possible.
Like buttermilk left in it, water residue will cause it to go rancid quicker as well.
Once the water reside is removed, you can either store it in an air tight food stroage container in the fridge or freeze it for later.
How Long Does Homemade Butter Keep?
Some say it is a shame to freeze homemade butter, but the truth is that I get more butter out of my raw milk than I could reasonably use before it goes rancid because I make it so often.
For instance, the batch I made for this post used 5 gallons of raw milk. Out of those 5 gallons of raw milk, I made approximately 4# of homemade butter. Since I don’t want to waste the cream or the butter, I freeze it.
Yes, it does lessen the taste, but it is not enough of a difference to keep me from doing it.
In the refrigerator, homemade butter will last approximately a week. You may be able to stretch that to ten days if you removed enough buttermilk and water however I would not trust it much past that.
In the freezer, it will last up to three months.
If you are going to freeze homemade butter, shape it into a log after you rinse it then wrap it in wax or parchment paper.
Wrap it a second time with butchers paper and secure with tape. Be sure to label it with the date and rotate it oldest out first so you don’t lose any to expiration.
Looking for more foods you can make at home? You may enjoy these:
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- Quart Mason Jars
- Fine Mesh Sieve
- Mixing Bowl
- Heavy Cream
- Sea Salt Optional
- Add heavy cream and sea salt (if using) to quart sized mason jar.
- Replace mason jar lid and ring and tighten to finger tight. Shake 8-10 minutes until fats separate into homemade butter.
- Pour into fine mesh sieve and allow to drain.
- Save buttermilk.
- Rinse butter until all buttermilk residue is removed. Use cheesecloth to remove water residue. Store in refrigerator or freeze.