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If our family didn’t love and use butter, I might have given up after my first three failed attempts at making homemade butter. It had been about a month since my last failed butter making attempt so I decided to give it one more try. I remember from making butter as a kid that it should be easy but every time I tried it, I failed. Then last week we had success. Sweet, soft, creamy success in a bowl! Here’s how we made homemade butter on our fourth attempt, and I’ll also tell you why I failed on my first three attempts so you won’t have those same failures!
Homemade Butter with a Glass Mason Jar
My first attempt at making homemade butter involved a mason jar. I remember a couple times as a kid making butter in a mason jar. In my vague memories, I thought it was quick and easy. The first time I remember doing this I was in preschool. If preschoolers could do it, I surely could. But I failed. After I put our fresh raw milk cream in a mason jar, I started shaking it. Little A shook it for a second or two, but at three she really wasn’t much of a help since she didn’t have the strength to shake it. After a couple minutes my arms started getting tired from the constant shaking. Once I hit five minutes, my arms couldn’t shake anymore. My husband wasn’t home to help either. I’m really feeling like a big failure after reading this post from Homestead Honey on making butter in a mason jar and her six year old daughter made it! Tip number one: If making homemade butter in a mason jar, do this with a bunch of friends to share the shaking (or have a very energetic six year old around who would love to jump around to shake the butter!)
Homemade Butter with a Mixer
My second attempt was with my hand mixer. Once I realized I couldn’t shake the butter in a mason jar by myself long enough, I poured the cream into a large mixing bowl. I got out my trusty hand mixer and turned it on low. Cream flew everywhere! It was all over the walls of the kitchen, the countertops, the cupboards and even me. I tried draping a dish towel around it with one hand as I held the mixer with the other hand but the cream continued to spray everywhere. After seeing this beautiful hand illustrated info-graphic from ImaginAcres on how to make butter with a mixer and this post from Reformation Acres on making homemade sweet cream butter, I think the key is using a stand mixer with a taller bowl. Tip number two: Only use a mixer with a deep bowl!
Homemade Butter With a Blender
My third attempt was with the blender. A friend told me this is what she does after I confessed my two prior failures. This is actually a two part faliure. I first tried my hand held immersion blender in the bowl of cream. Same issue occured that happened with the small mixer: the cream went flying everywhere! So I dug out my counter top blender that I don’t use too often anymore since I have my favorite immersion blender. This blender was a gift from my husband a few years ago and the blender looks really cute but I think they invested their time too much in the cuteness of the device instead of its functionality. There is only a high and low switch and that is it.
I put the blender top on the base, poured in the cream, put the lid on and turned ‘er on with high hopes of making butter on my third attempt. At first it seemed like it was working. The butter started to get a little thick like homemade whipped cream. I got so excited! Then the longer is processed, the more the base of the blender heated up and thus heated up the blender cup itself. This caused the cream to get too warm and basically be like melted butter. It was too soft to process. What a nightmare! I stuck it in the fridge with high hopes of trying it again once the blender cooled off. I tried it again a little while later, same thing happened. Failure!! Reading a post like this one from The Toups Address on how to make butter with a blender makes it look so simple and easy, which again makes me cringe at my butter making failures! Tip number three: Don’t try to make butter in a blender if you have one that overheats easily!
By this point I was feeling quite discouraged and was longing for my great grandmother’s antique hand crank butter churn that my mom uses as a decoration in her house thousands of miles away. I even went online thinking I could just buy a used hand crank butter churn. These things are crazy expensive! Probably because they are collectors items and not really for people like me crazy enough to want to actually make butter in them!
Homemade Butter With a Food Processor
So this leads us to attempt number four and my ultimate butter making success. The fourth time I got out my trusty pink food processor and told myself I was going to do this today- no failures this time! I got out our jars of raw milk, sucked the cream off the top with my turkey baster and poured the fresh raw cream into the food processor. I turned it on and let it whir for a few minutes. I kept checking but no major change but it was getting thicker. After a couple minutes I started to worry it was another failure. But I told myself I needed to be patient and just let it whir. So whir it did. After about five minutes I could tell it was thicker and something was happening in there.
The more it whirred, the more changes I saw. Finally after about 8-10minutes, I noticed little yellow bits of butter starting to separate from the white liquid buttermilk. I turned it back on and it whirred some more until there was a lovely mound of little yellow bits of butter floating in the buttermilk.
Yes, we had success!! I finally made homemade butter. It is a miracle!
I removed the food processor dish and poured the contents into a fine mesh sieve over a glass bowl to strain off the buttermilk. I poured the buttermilk into a glass jar and put it in the fridge to use in some homemade baked goods.
Then I returned the butter to the food processor and added a cup of fresh cold water. I turned it on and let it whir for a minute then poured off the liquid. I did this three times until the liquid was no longer cloudy and was clear. I then poured the butter into a bowl and used a wooden spoon to fold and press the butter to remove any remaining liquid. If you don’t remove all the liquid, the butter will go rancid more quickly.
I sprinkled on just a wee bit of salt and mixed it in. I then formed the butter into a little round ball to try and make it look prettier. (I’m saving my pennies to buy one of these to make my homemade butter look even prettier!) Then it was done. I could hardly believe it! I had just made homemade butter. Yes! After three previous failed attempts I persevered and I did it. Of course I had to immediately do a taste test so slathered a piece of homemade sourdough bread with our homemade butter and took a bite. It was heaven in my mouth! The taste of raw homemade butter is out of this world and store bought doesn’t even compare.
After I finished making our homemade butter, I read this post from Livin Lovin Farmin on making homemade grass fed raw butter but culturing it first. Next time we’ll be making it this way since cultured foods are better for our health.
Now every week I can easily make homemade butter with the cream from our fresh raw milk. No more having to buy butter at the grocery store! Check that one off the list of things I need to buy at the grocery store and instead take us one step closer to living more self-sufficiently and not having to shop at a grocery store!
Have you ever made homemade butter? How do you make it?