Canning butter in your kitchen
By Joseph Parish
Now home storage is complete without the addition of an emergency supply of butter. Granted you can easily store your pound packages of this dairy product in your freezer however there are several disadvantages to this solution.
First this method of butter storages uses up valuable freezer space which could have been better utilized for other products, secondly, during emergency situations and the likelihood of electricity loss you risk losing all your butter supplies.
There are several ways you can accumulate your emergency butter supply. If you have unlimited funds at your disposal you could purchase the 12 oz cans of butter commercially for approximately $6.00 per can. However, if you are cost conscious as I am you are likely to make your own canned butter. The process is fairly simple and offers an attractive alternative from the high retail cost of ready made products.
I would like at this time to caution my reads to the fact that the US Department of agriculture does not endorse home canning of butter and dairy products. With that said let me continue on to explain the entire process.
You can use any butter which you have access to. It does not have to be the most expensive versions but must be butter and not margarine. Watch either for grocery store sales or you can purchase a multipack of four pounds for a little over two dollars per pound at your local SAM’s wholesale club. Keep clearly in mind that with the butter of lower quality you will be required to “shake” the jars more but the final results will be the same.
Start by heat your pint jars for 20 minutes at 250 degrees in your oven. Do not place the rings or seals in the oven with the jars. You will find that one pound of butter will yield slightly more than one pint of final canned product. You can use your roasting pan for easy removal of the jars from the oven.
While you are waiting for the jars to get sterilized you can start melting the butter slowly in a pot. Keep the temperature low enough that you bring the butter to a slow boil. Make certain to stir the bottom of your pot often in order to prevent the butter from burning. Finally reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for an additional 5 minutes. You could simmer it slightly longer if you so desire and it may reduce the amount of shaking at the end. Place your jar lids in another pot and bring the water to a rapid boil. Leave the lids in the water until you need them.
When you are ready to fill your jars begin by stirring the butter starting at the bottom of the pot and working your way towards the top. Use a small ladle and scoop up the butter placing it carefully in the prepared jars. Canning jar funnels are especially useful for this part of the procedure.
As with any canning process leave ¾ of an inch head space in each jar. This will aid in the upcoming shaking process.
Wipe off the rim of your jars and adjust a sterilized lid from the simmering water pot onto each jar. As the jars start to cool the lids will seal and you will hear the familiar "ping," sound. While the jars are still warm, but able to be safely handled, shake them every so often. You will notice that as they are cooling down the butter inside is separating. Continue shaking until you see a consistent texture in the jar.
With the jars still slightly warm place them in your refrigerator. As they start to cool continue to shake them every five minutes until the contents begin to emit the lovely glow of real butter at which time you should leave them in the refrigerator for an additional hour.
Your canned butter should store successfully for at least three to five years and possibly longer if stored in a cool, dark location. Since canned butter will not melt a second time once you open one there is no need to refrigerate the contents assuming it is consumed within a reasonable length of time.
Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish