Butter

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Disclaimer: Do not do as I say. Make your own educated choices for yourself. This is a documentary of what I have done for my own historical purposes. I am not telling you to home can your own butter. I am not responsible for your choices and actions. Everything you do is up to you.

There is a huge amount of controversy when it comes to canning particular foods at home. There are those who believe that if a process or food isn’t blessed by the USDA home canning guide it is a recipe for death. The USDA does not recommend any dairy products for home canning. I can’t say that I blame them. Too many people take short cuts and don’t follow even most basic directions for water bath canning jam and jelly so why would they follow directions for anything more complicated? I wouldn’t want to take responsibility either.

On the other hand we also know big government isn’t really looking out for our own best interests. It looks out for its own interests. Millions of dollars each year are allocated to the USDA but you won’t see new recipes or newer methods for preserving food. The same recipes and recommendation have been printed in books, leaflets and pamphlets for almost 20 years now. Where is the funding going that should be used to test broader spectrum of foods and their preservation methods? To see more and better food preservation instructions then you, me, we all MUST get busy and campaign the USDA to do specific tests on specific foods.

Knowledge is power. The less you know the less power you have. In all things. Mind you, this is the same agency, the Department of Agriculture, who allows a percentage of rat poop and bug body parts to ‘safely’ be found in commercially prepared foods. You read that correctly. Bugs, eggs, larvae, rat poop, etc. It’s in there they just don’t tell you it is.

On to the butter.

After doing months of research back last year in the very early fall – around about this time actually – I was trapped in my house with the ear thing, suffering pain, almost total loss of hearing and very much so in my own little world in a world of noise I could barely make out and understand. It left a lot of time to live inside my own head.

All the things I have been mulling over and had simmering on the back burner that is my thought process were addressed in not one but two powerfully written pieces written recently on the Preparedness Pro website authored by Kellene Bishop.

Her post on food expiration dates and myths about butter caught my attention in a big way. She validated my own thoughts about food expiration dates on sealed packages – a date on a box or a label should not be the only factor in deciding if you will throw out a food product. This statement was exactly what I had been saying to Steve for years. “Anytime I see my government do something that makes no sense, I realize that it’s usually about money and/or power.” That really is what it all boils down, too. If you are using your knowledge to make yourself more efficient at providing for your family then you instantly become less dependable on the government to do those things for you.

The other post To Bottle or Not To Bottle Butter was the definitive authority that influenced me to continue in my pursuit of better self sufficiency in more ways. Again she validated my own thoughts on how commercial produced butter, salted, from pasteurized milk should not have the fear of botulism bacteria stigma attached to it. This article gives complete step by step instructions for canning butter. You can also find a videos on youtube by other individuals who use the same basic methods for canning their own butter.

It wasn’t until I became motivated to try solar cooking that the concept of canning my own butter really took a foot hold. Then I came across this article -again written by Kellene, using a solar oven to can butter. This one is the one that solidly set my thoughts on canning butter.

“remember that you cannot burn or scorch anything in a solar oven. Thus, instead of having my butter melt in a saucepan on my stove for a long enough period of time that will eliminate the botulism concerns, I’ve begun melting the butter in my solar oven. This eliminates the oft-hyped concern that most bottle butter naysayers have to contribute about the process. At 180 degrees you are cooking low and slow. Botulism doesn’t have a chance in that environment.”

Again my own thoughts are being reflected back to me through another level headed and empowered person.

So, when I finally saved enough egg money I ordered the solar oven I had been eyeing since before last Christmas. I wrote about it’s maiden voyage last week with a chicken dinner that turned out fantastic. Easily the solar oven climbed to temperatures at 330 degrees or more and maintained that heat for several hours throughout the day. This is what convinced me I could indeed can my own butter and do it safely.

First I sanitized my jars in the dishwasher using the ‘santize’ setting where it super heats in the cleaning and the drying cycles. Then I took those jars and put them in the microwave and let it run while I prepared the butter.

I found in the wide mouth pints is was easier to put 3 sticks in than to try to squeeze in the better part of four. The jars were so very hot they burned my fingers to touch them for more than a few seconds but it helped to get the butter to slip right in without a mess. Except for one jar I managed to get the butter in with even a smear of butter on the lip. I did use a hot damp paper towel wipe the lip of every jar before add 2 sterilized marbles and applying a lid and ring.

Then I placed them into the solar oven that had been preheated for at least an hour or more.

It took about 35 minutes for the interior temperature to begin to climb. Remember the jars and the contents had to come up to temperature and then maintain heat. Yesterday’s sun was fantastic and the temperature rose to just above 300. I kept the jars in for a 2 hour cycle.

Once the jars were processed I removed them carefully. Believe me, 300 degrees in the solar oven is as hot as 300 degrees in your kitchen oven. I used a jar tong to move the jars. I couldn’t touch them with bare fingers.

I set them on the counter and allowed them to cool down. About every 10 minutes I gave them a good shake to keep the milk solids from settling at the bottom.

Once the jars had cooled to a reasonably warmish temp I moved them into the fridge. I continue to shake them about every 10 minutes to keep the milks from settling.

After coming out of the fridge all of the cans have sealed.

All together over the weekend I did 16 pints of butter. It wasn’t time consuming or a big ‘chore’. Once the solar oven got up to the desired 300 degrees and maintained the temps for over 2 hours I have no fear that bacteria could survive in that environment.

I don’t know if you have noticed or not but the price of everything is on the rise. Just a month ago I paid under $7 for 4 lbs of butter at Costco. This weekend butter was priced at $9.99 for 4 one pound packages. That is an increase from $1.75 per pound to $2.50 per pound. I expect in a few more months those prices will increase yet again. It is happening to everything. Two weeks ago I paid $2.98 for a gallon of apple cider vinegar. Last night I saw the exact same vinegar priced at $3.44 per gallon.

Be frugal. Be prepared. Use your knowledge to make yourself powerful.

Read the links I posted in this article. Decide for yourself. Don’t follow me. Follow your own instincts. As in everything do your homework and make educated decisions and choices that best suit you and your own family.

50 Responses to “Butter”

  • Julie says:

    Angie, I loved this post! I So agree with you on this one, 100%! The butter that you canned, was it bought from Costco or a dairy? Also do you have to keep it in the fridge? And how long will it keep, do you think?
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Angie says:

    I bought from Costco, Julie. It is shelf stable and fromw hat I read will keep 5 years or longer. Use your nose and instincts for your own guide. These jars can go in the freezer if you don’t want to leave them on the shelf but then that sort of defeats the purpose of canning it.

  • Tina says:

    I’m admitting right now that I’ve never considered that you COULD can butter. Now I’m intrigued! It sure is pretty, too.

  • Anita says:

    Where did you buy marbles? I haven’t seen them for years.

  • Angie says:

    The jars are gorgeous, Tina!

  • Angie says:

    The dollar store had the marbles in bags of 50 for $1. Sometimes walmart/kmart has them in the cheapy toy section.

  • Bea says:

    This looks like a very interesting prospect, I will admit though that it’ll be a while as I am still gaining confidence in my basic canning skills.

  • Stacey Clay says:

    Now this is something that I have never even considered doing, as I had no clue that it was even possible. The price of things is definitely on the rise. I noticed that when I was grocery shopping this past Friday. We don’t use anything but real butter here and this is an excellent idea! Thanks!

  • Stacey Clay says:

    Oh, and I forgot to add that this is yet another reason that I need a solar oven. Lol

  • renn says:

    I LOVE THIS!

    Like others, I had no idea this sort of thing was even POSSIBLE. I used to can my own jelly (with plums readily available in the back yard). I haven’t canned since my daughter was born – 10 years ago.

    I think it’s time to get back to it! Thanks for the inspiration and ideas.

  • Sharon D says:

    I have seen other posts about canning butter also. They melted it & poured it in. I love the idea of putting the sticks in & not getting melted butter on everything. I may have to try it but didnt know if it would be cost effective. Since the prices keep going up I guess that it would be. Thanks for all the ideas.

  • Brenda says:

    Love this. Thanks.

  • TeeJay says:

    I love this idea and will certainly be trying it. I have one question though – I noticed the mention of using store-bought butter.

    Has anyone ever tried this with butter made from raw milk? I prefer to make my own butter at home rather than buy it (to get the most out of the gallon of raw milk that I buy every week!). To purchase the butter from the store kind of defeats the purpose for me as far as being frugal is concerned.

  • Amy says:

    Wonderful post! We will be starting our cow share very soon and I can’t wait to have all of my dairy goodies fresh!

  • Melissa says:

    You are definately getting your egg money out of that solar oven!!! You rock!!!

  • Becky says:

    This is an interesting way to store butter… one I had never thought of. A quick question, have you tried the melted then solidified butter? I’ve had butter melt before and then I’ve tried to use it again once it’s cooled and it’s very grainy and not at all like it was before it’s melted. I couldn’t stand it on my toast. Does this happen when you can it?

  • Angie says:

    That is the milk solids in the butter. If you clarify it first you won’t have that issue.

  • I love that you did your canning in the solar oven!! Is it possible to do canning of other things in the solar oven, too, I wonder? That would be a great tool for us in saving energy.

    ~Angela 🙂

  • Teresa says:

    I have been wanting to learn how to can butter but is this the only way to can it?

  • Janet says:

    Although we have solar panels that will keep a refrigerator and a freezer running, I’m very interested in trying your canning butter. Thanks again for another great post.

  • Casandra says:

    What purpose do the marbles serve?

  • Betty says:

    Can you can homemade butter? Would you salt it or not?

  • Susan says:

    Angie,
    Love your articles. Have read much about you and your blog. Will watch for more of everything. Very, Very interesting and entertaining blog.!!!

  • Traci says:

    Can you do this in a pressure cooker/canner?

  • lorie says:

    I have never canned butter, but will do so now. I have canned jars of water to level out my canner and a just incase. I also make and can my own dog foog along with everything else. Great article, very inspiring

  • Vickie Wheeler says:

    1.what type & model of solar oven did u purchase?
    What is the cost?
    2. Could we have an alternate canning option
    – I do not have a solar oven
    3. Could we can in the oven?

  • Elizabeth May says:

    What purpose do the marbles serve?

  • Gale Grove says:

    Wow! I have only recently started to can and this sounds really intriguing.

  • Wendy Lange says:

    I wanted to know about the marbles too . What’s the purpose for the marbles

  • I presume the marbles, when the jars are shaken, mix the several separate butter strata into a homogeneous consistency. Several have asked. So that is my guess

  • Shirley DeCuir says:

    Where do I look for a solar oven. I have a solar generater. My sister and I recently canned chicken. Oh, very good. Check out where you live as to the pressure cooker timing. The site said 1 1/2 hours but we found out they were in Canada. In Texas 30 minutes is more than enough

  • Andi says:

    Can you can other fats like lard and rendered duck fat? I can barely find anything about it I. The Internet and I want to know why some people are so negative about it. Pleas help in any way you can!

  • Tineza says:

    How long is the shelf life on canned butter?

  • I do not have a solar oven, can this be done in a regular oven. Would love to do this, butter is getting so expensive. Also, How long does the butter keep on the shelf. Would love to receive emails of all your post. thank you so much

  • Joan says:

    I have done very little canning BUT this is a thought. The way this country is heading what if we lost all power. No freezer, TV, Internet , etc. etc. etc. makes sense to can and dehydrate foods. I’m not a preper but want to use wisdom for my family. Proverbs 31.

  • Maxine says:

    Can you do this by making your Homemade butter

  • Linda says:

    Can you can the butter in an electric oven?

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  • Sandy says:

    DO NOT can butter in the oven. Giving food advice that goes against safe canning practices………. Especially in the event of no medical help. I know that there are few outbreaks of botulism and other diseases from IMPROPER canning practices. It is because MOST people follow proper procedure. Put it in a pressure canner. Pinterest……………

  • Loucile says:

    I rendered lard in my crockpot. After it got cold and solid, I used my vaccum sealer and jar attachment and vaccum sealed the jars. No idea how long it will last cause I just canned it this summer.

  • Lisa says:

    After canning your butter, where do you store, fridge or at room temp?

  • Tabi says:

    I did this several years ago when I could get a pound of butter for $1.50 a pound. I wasted 20 pounds of butter. A year later, all of the butter had gone rancid. I properly sterilized everything. I heated the butter,i made sure the jars sealed, I did everything according to the directions. It didn’t work.

    I watchef a video later by Katz Kradul that said to pressure can butter. That’s what I will do in the future.

  • Amanda says:

    Can this be done in a water bath or pressure canner?

  • I do love the manner in which you have presented this particular concern plus it really does offer me personally some fodder for consideration. Nonetheless, from everything that I have experienced, I simply trust when other comments stack on that people today keep on point and don’t get started upon a soap box of some other news of the day. Still, thank you for this fantastic point and whilst I do not really go along with the idea in totality, I value your perspective.

  • Annique says:

    This is s gteat idea if u want to dafe more money u can even make ur own butter u tube has serveral videos on it and it is very eady to make

  • Annique says:

    This is a great idea if u need to safe more money u can make ur iwn butter u tube shows you how

  • Patricia Yarian says:

    Tripped upon this and enjoyed reading your instructions for canning butter! With no solar oven-how long in h2o bath or a steam canner —P/

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