Canning butter

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Chicknladee

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This afternoon I canned butter...thought I'd share some pics and how I did it. I used 4lb butter and ended up with 4 pints, and 2 half pints. I really like wide mouth jars and I found these squat wide mouth pints just a little while ago! I couldn't wait to use them. :)

1. sanitized my jars in the dishwasher (I know...I didn't have to do this but I'm sometimes crazy about things)
2. pre-heat oven to 250°F. Put jars in roasting pan to go in oven for minimum of 20min
3. put lids in water and simmer until needed.
4. put butter (salted or unsalted) in pan. Slowly melt. (make sure you use a big enough pan, you don't want it bubbling over!)
5. bring to boil stirring OFTEN so it doesn't scorch. Gently boil for at least 5 min.
6. remove 1-2 jars from oven at a time...use canning funnel in each jar (or if only one funnel move from one to the next carefully) carefully ladle (or pour) into jars leaving 1/2 inch (or more) headspace.
7. carefully use damp cloth to wipe jar edges and place lid on jar. tighten ring onto jar (tight but not TIGHT!). place on padded surface!
8. once jars begin to ping (that's the cover sucking down and sealing) shake jars every 5-10 minutes. When jars are cooled, place in refrigerator and shake every 5 (or so) minutes until solid!

That's it!
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sharkbait

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Nice Chicknladee,Looks simple enough.I've been wanting to do that for a while as the only butter in our stores is a few #10 cans of freeze dried butter (good for cooking,but not as a spread).Do you know the shelf life of canned butter by any chance?
 

bill harrell

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Nice, I've never even heard of canning butter. That would be great while you wait for your milk cow to start back giving milk. Say... how do you can raw milk? By the way Trapper , after all the work of making butter, building a bridge to England seems easy.
PS ...how about some awesome cheese recipes y'all have up there chick.
 

old_anorak

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Looks wonderful Chick! I need to do up some more as well as can up more velveeta . Other cheeses I wax good. I don't like to can mozzarella because it turns a brownish color and it just looks funny; tastes fine, but looks odd. It's easy enough to make though, so not too worried about keeping it in storage. Although I might try smoking it, I've heard that is a good way to keep it preserved.
 

Chicknladee

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Nice Chicknladee,Looks simple enough.I've been wanting to do that for a while as the only butter in our stores is a few #10 cans of freeze dried butter (good for cooking,but not as a spread).Do you know the shelf life of canned butter by any chance?
I would LOVE to find some freeze dried butter in my grocers but no luck there! I keep meaning to buy some online but I'm cheap! I hate paying for stuff! lol

As for shelf life...I can't say...I'm told 3-5 years with proper storage (cool/dark like all other canned goods). We'll see!
 

Chicknladee

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...how about some awesome cheese recipes y'all have up there chick.
Hey, I'm in Minnesota! Not Wisconsin...I don't know a darn thing about cheese (other than it is GOOD!) Visited the local buffalo ranch with my son when he was a scout...got to tour the cheese making facility...that is as much as I know...I'm wanting to make soft/fresh cheese with milk and lemon juice (or was it vinegar) on the stove...that supposed doesn't last too long. We'll have to eat it up fast!!! lol

I need to do up some more as well as can up more velveeta . Other cheeses I wax good. I don't like to can mozzarella because it turns a brownish color and it just looks funny; tastes fine, but looks odd. It's easy enough to make though, so not too worried about keeping it in storage.
Canned cheese??? Tell me more PLEASE! How do you can velveeta? (not my fav but will do in a pinch) How do you can mozzarella?? Even with it looking unappetizing I may need to try it. Can you can cheddar or is it better to wax cheddar?
 

sharkbait

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I would LOVE to find some freeze dried butter in my grocers but no luck there! I keep meaning to buy some online but I'm cheap! I hate paying for stuff! lol

As for shelf life...I can't say...I'm told 3-5 years with proper storage (cool/dark like all other canned goods). We'll see!

Yeah,the freeze dried stuff is expensive,most of ours is not ready made meals (i think those are a waste of money),but stuff to help make meals from our staple supplys like cheese sauce mix,gravy mixes,meats,fruits,etc.

But thanks so much for the info,we can a bunch of stuff now,garden veggies/fruits,salsa,soups/stews and some meats,but always looking for new things to add to our root cellar.Greatly appreciated!
 

old_anorak

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You put your half pint jars in a roasting pan and pour water in the pan then set it on the burners of your stove. Add your cheese cubes gradually, stirring gently to mix it as you go. Leave 1/2 inch head space. Don't worry about the little bit of oil that will rise to the top, it reincorporates. Water bath for 40 minutes. You can do mozz, cream cheese, velveeta, cheddar, swiss, and probably others. For the hard cheeses, I like to wax them several times as long as I have a cool place to store them.
 

Chicknladee

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You put your half pint jars in a roasting pan and pour water in the pan then set it on the burners of your stove. Add your cheese cubes gradually, stirring gently to mix it as you go. Leave 1/2 inch head space. Don't worry about the little bit of oil that will rise to the top, it reincorporates. Water bath for 40 minutes. You can do mozz, cream cheese, velveeta, cheddar, swiss, and probably others. For the hard cheeses, I like to wax them several times as long as I have a cool place to store them.
Thanks Anorak! I will try that soon! I'll be watching for sales like I did on the butter.
 

old_anorak

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No problem. If you have an Aldi, get their version of velveeta. It's cheaper and good to learn on and it tastes good as well.
 

Chicknladee

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the nearest grocer is 6 miles, the nearest walmart is 24 miles and the nearest Aldi is somewhere between 40-45...The Aldi is normally not on my way to anything but the store is on my list of to-do's eventually. My daughter shopped there when she lived in town...she is a penny pincher (even at 22, imagine how she'll be as she matures!)
 

topdoc30

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Should I use directions for canning butter at home that I see on the Internet?
Indeed, there are some directions for 'canning' butter in circulation on the Internet. Most of what we have seen are not really canning, as they do not have Boiling Water or Pressure Canning processes applied to the filled jar. Jars are preheated, the butter is melted down and poured into the jars, and the lids are put on the jars. Some directions say to put the jars in the refrigerator as they re-harden, but to keep shaking them at regular intervals to keep the separating butter better mixed as it hardens. This is merely storing butter in canning jars, not ‘canning’. True home canning is when the food is heated enough to destroy or sufficiently acid enough to prevent growth of all spores of Clostridium botulinum (that causes botulism) and other pathogens during room temperature storage on the shelf.

Additionally, when you consider the economics of the process (energy costs involved with heating, cost of jars and lids, etc.), even if the butter is bought on sale, it may not be economically viable to prepare butter to store for years in this manner. Good quality butter is readily available at all times, if butter is needed for fresh use. If the concern is about emergency food supplies, there are dry forms of butter that can be purchased and stored, oils that can be used in an emergency, or commercially canned butter in tins (although we have only seen this for sale from other countries). Melted and re-hardened butter may not function the same as original butter in many types of baking anyway.

There are a few issues with the common directions circulating on the Internet at this time (Spring 2006):

  1. Physical safety and food quality: In the provided directions, the jars are preheated in an oven (dry-heat), which is not recommended for canning jars. Manufacturers of canning jars do not recommend baking or oven canning in the jars. It is very risky with regard to causing jar breakage. There is no guarantee that the jars heated in this dry manner are sufficiently heated to sterilize them, as we do not have data on sterilizing jar surfaces by this dry-heating method.
  2. The butter is not really being 'canned'; it is simply being melted and put in canning jars, and covered with lids. Due to some heat present from the hot melted butters and preheated jars, some degree of vacuum is pulled on the lids to develop a seal. It rarely is as strong a vacuum as you obtain in jars sealed through heat processing. The practice in these 'canned' butter directions is referred to as 'open-kettle' canning in our terminology, which is really no canning at all, since the jar (with product in it) is not being heat processed before storage.
  3. Although mostly fat, butter is a low-acid food. Meat, vegetables, butter, cream, etc. are low-acid products that will support the outgrowth of C. botulinum and toxin formation in a sealed jar at room temperature. Low-acid products have to be pressure-canned by tested processes to be kept in a sealed jar at room temperature. It is not clear what the botulism risk is from such a high-fat product, but to store a low-acid moist food in a sealed jar at room temperature requires processing to destroy spores. A normal salted butter has about 16-17% water, some salt, protein, vitamins and minerals. Some butter-like spreads have varying amounts of water in them. We have no kind of database in the home canning/food processing arena to know what the microbiological concerns would be in a butter stored at room temperature in a sealed jar. In the absence of that, given that it is low-acid and that fats can protect spores from heat if they are in the product during a canning process, we cannot recommend storing butter produced by these methods under vacuum sealed conditions at room temperature.
  4. Some other directions do call for 'canning' the filled jars of butter in a dry oven. This also is not 'canning'. There is not sufficient, research-based documentation to support that 'canning' any food in a dry oven as described on this web page or any page that proposes oven canning is even sufficient heating to destroy bacteria of concern, let alone enough to produce a proper seal with today's home canning lids.

    In conclusion, with no testing having been conducted to validate these methods, we would NOT recommend or endorse them as a safe home-canning process, let alone for storing butter at room temperature for an extended period. We do know that the methods given for preheating empty jars, or even filled jars, in a dry oven are not recommended by the jar manufacturers or by us for any food. Aside from the physical safety and quality issues, and the fact that it is not canning at all, if there happened to be spores of certain bacteria in there, these procedures will not destroy those spores for safe room temperature storage.
 

topdoc30

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I personally do not know the facts on this, only this article I happen to read about shorty before reading on this site about butter... Just sharing the info and you decide. I am far from any kind of expert on this subject. I only pressure cook meats and can veggies.... So I have no clue on anything else...lol


Should I use directions for canning butter at home that I see on the Internet?
Indeed, there are some directions for 'canning' butter in circulation on the Internet. Most of what we have seen are not really canning, as they do not have Boiling Water or Pressure Canning processes applied to the filled jar. Jars are preheated, the butter is melted down and poured into the jars, and the lids are put on the jars. Some directions say to put the jars in the refrigerator as they re-harden, but to keep shaking them at regular intervals to keep the separating butter better mixed as it hardens. This is merely storing butter in canning jars, not ‘canning’. True home canning is when the food is heated enough to destroy or sufficiently acid enough to prevent growth of all spores of Clostridium botulinum (that causes botulism) and other pathogens during room temperature storage on the shelf.

Additionally, when you consider the economics of the process (energy costs involved with heating, cost of jars and lids, etc.), even if the butter is bought on sale, it may not be economically viable to prepare butter to store for years in this manner. Good quality butter is readily available at all times, if butter is needed for fresh use. If the concern is about emergency food supplies, there are dry forms of butter that can be purchased and stored, oils that can be used in an emergency, or commercially canned butter in tins (although we have only seen this for sale from other countries). Melted and re-hardened butter may not function the same as original butter in many types of baking anyway.

There are a few issues with the common directions circulating on the Internet at this time (Spring 2006):
  1. Physical safety and food quality: In the provided directions, the jars are preheated in an oven (dry-heat), which is not recommended for canning jars. Manufacturers of canning jars do not recommend baking or oven canning in the jars. It is very risky with regard to causing jar breakage. There is no guarantee that the jars heated in this dry manner are sufficiently heated to sterilize them, as we do not have data on sterilizing jar surfaces by this dry-heating method.
  2. The butter is not really being 'canned'; it is simply being melted and put in canning jars, and covered with lids. Due to some heat present from the hot melted butters and preheated jars, some degree of vacuum is pulled on the lids to develop a seal. It rarely is as strong a vacuum as you obtain in jars sealed through heat processing. The practice in these 'canned' butter directions is referred to as 'open-kettle' canning in our terminology, which is really no canning at all, since the jar (with product in it) is not being heat processed before storage.
  3. Although mostly fat, butter is a low-acid food. Meat, vegetables, butter, cream, etc. are low-acid products that will support the outgrowth of C. botulinum and toxin formation in a sealed jar at room temperature. Low-acid products have to be pressure-canned by tested processes to be kept in a sealed jar at room temperature. It is not clear what the botulism risk is from such a high-fat product, but to store a low-acid moist food in a sealed jar at room temperature requires processing to destroy spores. A normal salted butter has about 16-17% water, some salt, protein, vitamins and minerals. Some butter-like spreads have varying amounts of water in them. We have no kind of database in the home canning/food processing arena to know what the microbiological concerns would be in a butter stored at room temperature in a sealed jar. In the absence of that, given that it is low-acid and that fats can protect spores from heat if they are in the product during a canning process, we cannot recommend storing butter produced by these methods under vacuum sealed conditions at room temperature.
  4. Some other directions do call for 'canning' the filled jars of butter in a dry oven. This also is not 'canning'. There is not sufficient, research-based documentation to support that 'canning' any food in a dry oven as described on this web page or any page that proposes oven canning is even sufficient heating to destroy bacteria of concern, let alone enough to produce a proper seal with today's home canning lids.

    In conclusion, with no testing having been conducted to validate these methods, we would NOT recommend or endorse them as a safe home-canning process, let alone for storing butter at room temperature for an extended period. We do know that the methods given for preheating empty jars, or even filled jars, in a dry oven are not recommended by the jar manufacturers or by us for any food. Aside from the physical safety and quality issues, and the fact that it is not canning at all, if there happened to be spores of certain bacteria in there, these procedures will not destroy those spores for safe room temperature storage.
 

old_anorak

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Canning butter is not USDA approved so if you choose to do so then you are also assuming the risks which may accompany it. There are several food preservation methods I use that are not USDA approved, I know that and I will accept those risks. The guidelines change from time to time and at one point canning butter was an approved act.
 

Chicknladee

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Also, I sanitized my jars BEFORE I put them in the oven so I wasn't using the oven as a sanitation method...I find it hard to imagine that butter just purchased, transported and used was able to be tainted with botulism. But like Anorak said, I am assuming the risk for myself and my family. I was only putting out there how I'd done it. I wasn't instructing other to go and do it. If someone is very worried they are free to pressure can the "canned" butter after the above process...the need to shake wouldn't happen until AFTER the pressure canning step.

I understand that butter is readily available and if presented with a SHTF situation I could fall back on powdered butter (if I had some) but powdered butter on bread doesn't produce the same satisfaction as real butter...in a SHTF situation certain comfort items are necessary for sanity! For me that sanity would be BUTTER (and CHEESE) :)
 

old_anorak

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I think that in the future if we post anything to do with canning that isn't USDA Obama sanctioned bureaucratic wrapped and presented with a bow, we need to make sure we note that our loving government doesn't approve.

Chick and topdoc, this isn't a dig at either of you, I'm just cranky today and this should keep the ones who like to nitpick happy and if not, they can suck the... never mind, I'm going to attempt to be good.
 

topdoc30

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Also, I sanitized my jars BEFORE I put them in the oven so I wasn't using the oven as a sanitation method...I find it hard to imagine that butter just purchased, transported and used was able to be tainted with botulism. But like Anorak said, I am assuming the risk for myself and my family. I was only putting out there how I'd done it. I wasn't instructing other to go and do it. If someone is very worried they are free to pressure can the "canned" butter after the above process...the need to shake wouldn't happen until AFTER the pressure canning step.

I understand that butter is readily available and if presented with a SHTF situation I could fall back on powdered butter (if I had some) but powdered butter on bread doesn't produce the same satisfaction as real butter...in a SHTF situation certain comfort items are necessary for sanity! For me that sanity would be BUTTER (and CHEESE) :)

yeah I am not sure as I have not tried pressure or canning butter myself. I was not trying to offend anyone, just sharing some information. I am sure at some point I will give it a try and see what happens myself........I learned the hard way using garlic in oil during my meat canning "early" experiences..... I as with most of my pressure/canning when I open I smell and eat a small quantity(room-temp or heated) if unsure and wait a few hours...I had some N/V/D, nothing to serious but threw those 2 jars out and the rest were very good..........
 

Chicknladee

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Topdoc, no worries ... Not offended! I had read all those things before trying the butter! I didn't include that info but it is good to put it out there :) Clean facilities, clean utensils, clean habits (hand washing, etc) so I should be okay!
 

old_anorak

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yeah I am not sure as I have not tried pressure or canning butter myself. I was not trying to offend anyone, just sharing some information. I am sure at some point I will give it a try and see what happens myself........I learned the hard way using garlic in oil during my meat canning "early" experiences..... I as with most of my pressure/canning when I open I smell and eat a small quantity(room-temp or heated) if unsure and wait a few hours...I had some N/V/D, nothing to serious but threw those 2 jars out and the rest were very good..........
IF YOU ARE EVER IN QUESTION ABOUT SOMETHING YOU HAVE CANNED, DO NOT PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH!!! Seriously, if it looks weird, smells funky or just gives you the hairy eyeball either burn the contents or bury them deep so nothing will dig them up. I'm not trying to be a canning nanny, but bad things can happen to anyone, even those who have canned since Jesus was a child.
 

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