Last week I saw an ad in a prepper catalog for 12 oz. of canned butter for $6.99/lb. After talking to a friend, she encouraged me to buy butter and can it myself. I accepted the challenge. I found butter at Aldi’s for $1.69/lb which was quite a deal. Kroger was advertising it for $2.00/lb and the butter at Sam’s and Costco worked out to be $1.89/lb.
I looked online and found a couple of sites that offered directions. One of them recommended actually processing the butter in a canner for an hour. The other one didn’t, and said their butter was good after 3 years, so that’s the option I chose.
Here are the steps:
1. Put clean canning jars, without lids, in a 275 degree oven to sterilize for 15-20 minutes. It’s easier to put them in the oven if you just place them in a cake pan.
2. Put the new lids in a pan with water. Bring to a soft boil while you’re heating the butter.
3. Put the butter in a saucepan and melt on low heat. Allow butter to come to a soft boil but keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.
4. Skim the froth off the top of the butter and put it in a bowl.
5. Once the butter has melted, allow it to continue a soft boil for about 5 minutes. This will remove some of the moisture. Remove the sauce pan from the stove while you prepare the jars.
6. Remove the pan with the jars from the oven.
7. Pull the jar lids from the boiling water and place them on a towel to drain or dry slightly.
7. Using a canning funnel, start pouring the melted butter into the jars. Leave an inch of headspace. This is important.
8. Be sure to wipe the rims so there is nothing to keep the jars from sealing when you apply the lids.
8. Immediately place the canning lid and ring on the jar. Twist the ring so that it’s secure.
9. As you’re working to fill the rest of the jars, you will hear the jars start to “pop.” That means the jar has sealed. Pick up the jar with oven gloves, or a towel, and begin to swirl the jar to join the parts that have separated.
10. Once all of the jars have sealed, put them in the refrigerator to cool, but watch them closely. You have to keep swirling and shaking the bottles to make sure the butter all comes together. I set the timer for 5 minutes so I wouldn’t get distracted and forget to shake and swirl.
The first time I tried this, I only melted 3# of butter, and I’m glad I started with a small batch. It wasn’t difficult to do, but the shaking and swirling of the butter took the most concentration and time. I wouldn’t have wanted to be processing 10# or more on my first attempt.
Remember that froth that we removed in Step 4? When I was finished with the canning and ready to clean the kitchen, I tilted the bowl and was surprised to see a good amount of water run off of it. Read more about butter here. (You may have noticed moisture accumulate on the top of butter that’s been left out in warm weather. ) It’s not necessary to discard this froth. I poured the water out, made a batch of popcorn, melted the froth, and poured it on my popcorn. I was surprised at how salty it was without adding any extra salt.
Some people like to use a combination of unsalted and salted butter because they say the canned butter gets saltier. I don’t like too much salt, but I didn’t see a problem with just canning the salted butter. My daughter liked the consistency of the canned butter. I’m happy about having shelf-stable butter that will be good for up to 3 years, and am hoping that my husband will like it enough to stop buying the expensive real butter in the tubs.
Have you tried canning butter? Would love to hear your comments.