Homecraft Happiness: Butter Love

Disclaimer: There is no official, approved method for canning butter by the USDA and it is considered experimental. Use your own discretion and judgment.

I really hate that disclaimer. But I have to put it there. As if we are to believe that our grandmothers and great grandmothers didn’t can cheese and other forms of dairy.

I love to can butter. I do not use any form of margarine and haven’t for years so we tend to go through a lot of butter the way I bake. When canned, it becomes sort of a convenience food. Road trips, picnics, camping, not having to run to the store at 8 o’clock at night when the kids ask for cookies, that kind of thing.

There are lots of different ways to can butter. Here’s how I do it.

After washing my pint jars I place them in the oven at 210 degrees to dry/sterilize. After they are dry in the oven, I add sticks of butter one at a time until they are melted with one inch of headspace.

Meanwhile I have my canner heating up. (Don’t want to stick hot jars in cold water)

I pressure can butter for 60 minutes at 12 pounds pressure. I remove the jars and let sit for a half hour or so. The butter and solids will be separated like this.

After they are barely cool enough to touch, (and have sealed) I invert each one a few times to mix the butter solids back in. Throughout the afternoon, whenever I walk by, I’ll give each one a little shake. When they are cool enough to hold I move them to the fridge and set the timer, shaking vigorously every five minutes until solid. The resulting product looks like this.


The opinion on shelf time varies with butter. I have read as little as one year or as many as ten. Frankly I don’t see why they wouldn’t last ten if the seal is good. I have eaten it up to two years old and that is only because a jar got shoved to the back of the cabinet and forgotten about. Canned butter rarely lasts more than 6 months around here. There are also other ways I've found people canning butter. Some use a water bath method which is faster and easier to do if you don't have a pressure canner. I have used that method in the past with good results.

Now bring on the popcorn! And the honey butter...and the caramel sauce....

Posted on May 10, 2014 and filed under Canning, Homecraft Happiness, Frugal Eating.