Make Butter

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Introduction: Make Butter

Making homemade butter is surprisingly simple - even if you're name's not Heidi and you have no milkmaid experience! All you need is some heavy whipping cream, a few tools, and some elbow grease!

Step 1: Supplies

  • one pint of heavy whipping cream
  • one 2 cup / 500 ml wide mouth mason jar with lid
  • pinch of salt
  • small sieve
  • glass measuring cup

Step 2: Pour It!

Fill the mason jar half way with heavy whipping cream.

Add a pinch of salt, if desired. The salt isn't necessary for the process, so feel free to leave it out if you prefer. You can also add other spices if you'd like to get fancy. I've tried dill and it was delicious!

Place the lid on the jar and screw it on tightly.

Step 3: Shake It!

Now comes the magic....

All you have to do to make the butter is shake the jar for approximately 10 minutes. That's really it. If you have kids, this is a great thing to do with them as it really is kind of magic AND their excitement and stamina will save your arms from all the shaking. : ) It's also a big hit at a party.

But even if you're doing this project solo, the time passes quickly and you get a little arm work out to boot.

You'll be able to see when the butter is starting to form and separate from the buttermilk. It will go through a creamy phase - you can stop here and use it as whipped cream (adding sugar at the beginning makes this extra delicious) - or you can go for the gold and keep going until you achieve separation. (see last photo of this step)

Step 4: Strain It!

Place a small sieve over a spouted vessel of some kind and pour off the buttermilk*. What remains is the magic - smooth, creamy, and DELICIOUS butter. I think that the effort of making it yourself makes it taste even better!

I recommend using your butter within one to two days as this process doesn't remove all the buttermilk, which can go sour if left for much longer.

*Store the buttermilk in a sealed container in the fridge for use in pancakes or biscuits.

Step 5: Spread & Enjoy!

I might just be lightheaded after all the shaking, but I really think that my butter tastes better than the store bought kind.

Having said that, I really only make it for a special occasions, when there's at least one shaken butter newbie. Store bought butter is so cheap that it's hard to justify the time of making it for regular use butter.

But when in need of crowd pleasing magic, it's a winner!

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37 Comments

Very nice! I did this once. I was a little disappointed in the color till I realized it was just missing the yellow dye. Also no salt. But that is easily fixed.

To have this keep longer press all the buttermilk out using cheese cloth. Wet the cheesecloth in COLD water and wring til almost dry. Place the butter in a bowl and using a wooden spoon--dampened in COLD water---the bowl should be COLD too---or a set of butter paddles--press and turn the butter until the buttermilk is squeezed out. then wrap it in the COLD cheesecloth and squeeze the last bits out. Reserve ALL the buttermilk for other uses such as--pancakes; dressings; marinades, biscuits etc.

Then WRAP the butter well in waxed paper or plastic wrap or other AIR TIGHT wrappings or place it back in the Mason jar for storage.

Usually the salt or seasonings are added at the last step not in the beginning.

You will also begin to hear the butter "come" as it forms solids when you are shaking---or having the kids roll it on the clean floor is another time honored way to do this!!!---it will make a soft ":chunk" against the side of the jar. If you live on a particularly bumpy road you can also prep the cream and the jar and stash it upright in your car trunk. IF you like a slightly more Euro style butter let it culture at room (cool) temp for a day or so to sour a bit and then churn it. It is actually pretty hard to churn really fresh from the cow cream!

I have always wondered if you could churn in an elec ice cream maker-----

I've got an old glass jar butter churn with wooden paddles and a hand crank, I've often wondered if it would be suitable for making ice cream, since it is basically built almost identically to the hand-crank ice cream makers I've also got (just smaller.) So I don't see why an electric ice cream maker wouldn't work for making butter! ;)

A food processor works very well and only takes minutess.

Sure, if you've got one ;)

Great idea and can you maybe expand to the flavoring?

I'm not a cook, but would love it if you or someone could come up with a recipe adding honey to it to make a really good and tasty "honey butter". I visited NC on my honeymoon and discovered I absolutely loved honey butter biscuits. I often buy the premade ones they sell in the roll, but that gets expensive. I did find some commercial pre-made honey butter in the grocery store recently, but it was way too sweet and not very good.

This works great for kids if you use small baby food jars and a clean marble or two to act as an agitator. Shake until you don't hear the marbles anymore, then continue to shake. Eventually you can pour out any liquid and smoosh the butter in a clean, wet cheesecloth. Store it in the baby food jar and it lasts quite awhile (if it doesn't get all eaten first).

We did this in kindergarten and I remember it to this day. We kids took turns passing the jar around to shake it. Then we sampled it on soda crackers. Great project for kid's kitchen science. Thanks for reminding me.

Nice instructable :-)

I've tried it. Depends on the ice cream maker. The higher end ones use a media locked in a freezable bucket with a external small plastic paddle mount that churns the milk into ice cream. Butter texture would probably snap it off.

If you're not into the arm workout; I actually use a 1 litre mason jar and bungee cord it to my bike rack (rear). Nice little ride through the local nature trail and it's halfway there.

I won't make butter due to the saturated fat, but I appreciate the article. I will say that I've started making my own peanut butter from organic, store-bought, roasted peanuts. It tastes so superior to store-bought, is a little less expensive, and lacks the additives of store-bought.