Farm-Fresh Butter 101: Make it at home!

Making fresh, homemade butter is simpler and easier than you might think! All it takes are a couple ingredients, some well-made equipment and a little time. Enjoy these basic recipes for homemade butter.

blue ball jars

Canning Jar Method
Yield: About 8 oz fresh butter

  • 1 pt (16 oz) heavy cream or whipping cream
  • cold water
  1. Allow the cream to reach room temperature (about 72°F) and let sit for a few hours to ripen slightly.
  2. Pour cream into a clean canning jar and screw the lid on tightly.
  3. Shake the jar vigorously for several minutes (depending on how hard and fast you shake, making butter could take anywhere from 10-30 minutes).
  4. You’ll see the cream go through several stages, from frothy to firm to coarse. Then, rather suddenly, the cream will “seize” and turn to fine grains of butter in buttermilk.
  5. Keep shaking, and soon a ball of butter will separate from the buttermilk.
  6. Drain the buttermilk and save in refrigerator for baking.
  7. Rinse the butter well with cold water until the water runs clear. Note: Rinse well! If you don’t do this, your butter will sour and be inedible.
  8. Transfer to a bowl and remove as much water as possible (a potato masher works well for this) and store your butter in a covered crock or air-tight container, or roll it in waxed paper.
Long revered as the best churn design available, Lehman’s has brought the Dazey churn back after a long hiatus. Dazey churns are the original, since 1906. Now improved so only easily cleaned glass and sanitary stainless steel touch your cream. Original Dazey churns are available only from Lehman’s.

Lehman’s Best Butter Churn Method
Yield: Approx. 24 oz fresh butter

  • 2-2½ quarts (48 oz) cream
  • cold water
  1. Allow the cream to reach room temperature (about 72°F) and let sit for a few hours to ripen slightly.
  2. Pour cream into Lehman’s Best Butter Churn and screw the lid on tightly.
  3. Just turn the handle! With fast, vigorous turning, you’ll have butter in as little as 30 minutes.
  4. You’ll see the cream go through several stages, from frothy to firm to coarse. Then, rather suddenly, the cream will “seize” and turn to fine grains of butter in buttermilk.
  5. Keep turning, and soon a ball of butter will separate from the buttermilk.
  6. Drain the buttermilk and save in refrigerator for baking.
  7. Rinse the butter well with cold water until the water runs clear. Note: Rinse well! If you don’t do this, your butter will sour and be inedible.
  8. Transfer to a bowl and remove as much water as possible (a potato masher works well for this) and store your butter in a covered crock or air-tight container, or roll it in waxed paper.

Here are some additional tips local organic gardener Karen Geiser, who often makes her family’s butter with Lehman’s Best Butter Churn:

  • When using raw cream, butter consistency and color vary greatly during different seasons of the year. June butter is prime and January butter is often grainy and pale.
  • If using store bought cream, be sure not to use ultra-high pasteurized (UHT) cream.
  • Temperature makes a big difference in turning time. Thirty minutes would be for a smaller batch of butter; a full batch takes even longer (up to 45 minutes or more).
  • Fill level is important – filling the jar nearly full could result in a mess once the cream expands while churning.
  • Sharing the churning among several eager children makes it go faster!
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9 years ago

[…] as “butter churn technology”). We tried to unlock the secrets, many long forgotten, of making good butter at home. We tested, then tinkered with the design, then tested […]

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1 year ago

[…] Want to learn more? Click here for instructions on making your own butter, with or without our churn. […]

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