Did you know you can actually can butter?
Yes, you read that right, CAN butter! And this recipe is for canning butter with a pressure canner. I use this All-American pressure canner and would recommend it every day—it is high quality and is built to last.
Now, I know what you're thinking, why can butter when it freezes so beautifully? Well, let me tell you, there are a bajillion reasons why! But here are a few that are most important to me:
- Power outages are a serious problem. If the power goes out or a freezer goes bad, the butter will eventually go bad. Butter is expensive and that could result in a lot of wasted butter and money! Imagine if you were building your food storage of butter only in your freezer to find that an extended power outage has struck. Do you have a plan to use that butter quickly? If not, can it now!
- Soft butter is always at hand, and you don't have to deal with that cold, hard butter on your bread.
- Canned butter has a longer shelf life, so you don't have to worry about it going bad anytime soon. It can last up to 5 years on your pantry shelf.
- Canned butter is more convenient to travel with. If you go camping, you don’t have to worry about lugging around butter in a cooler. Just bring your canned butter in a jar.
Because canning butter is not an approved method, everyone has a different way of doing it. I personally felt safest using my pressure canner to can butter.
Some people let the jars self-can in an oven, while others use a water bath. You do whatever you feel comfortable with.
Are you ready to start canning some butter like a pro? Let's get to it!
Why Can Butter?
Canning butter is a popular way to preserve butter for long-term storage. Canning allows you to store dairy products without refrigeration, making them an excellent option for emergency preparedness or off-grid living. Additionally, canned butter has a longer shelf life than their refrigerated counterparts. Specifically, canned butter can last up to 5 years on your pantry shelf!
With my method of rotating through pantry storage, I would suggest to use it before the five years are up so you aren’t crammed with butter at the end of the five years. Make a plan to use it. Building a food storage is all about rotating your food and having a plan.
My freezer was filled to the brim with butter because I use it quite a lot, so I knew it was time to can up some butter.
Butter is a dairy product and has very low acidity, which means it needs to be pressure canned to keep it safe from things like botulism. However, you can make homemade ghee, which is a type of clarified butter that is shelf stable, by heating and removing the water from the butter as another option for canning. I didn’t do this because I wanted straight butter, but it is good to know that ghee is easy to make as well!
How to Can Butter and Ghee Safely
To make your own canned butter or ghee, you'll need unsalted or salted butter, 1/2 pint jars, a heavy-bottomed skillet, new lids, pot holders, and a cookie sheet. If you want to start with your own homemade butter, you can find a recipe here.
Here are the steps to make your canned butter or ghee:
- Unwrap your butter sticks.
- Heat your jars by heating them in the oven at 250F. We will be doing a hot pack, so the jars need to be hot.
- Melt the butter on low heat in a large pot.
- Stir to keep from burning.
- Fill your hot jars with the butter, leaving an inch of headspace.
- Wipe the rim of the jar with vinegar and put on a hot lid.
- Pressure can the jars for 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts at the pressure required for your elevation.
- Let the canner cool down before removing the jars.
- Shake the jars every 15 minutes as they cool to mix the liquid back with any solids.
- Wipe off the jars and store them in a cool, dry place.
Your canned butter or ghee will last for about 5 years and is shelf stable, but you can store it in the fridge if you prefer. So, go ahead and give it a try!
Safety Tips for Canning Butter and Ghee
To ensure safety when canning butter and ghee, follow these additional safety tips:
- Use high-quality dairy products.
- Do not add any additional ingredients or seasonings to the butter or ghee.
- Use a pressure canner for canning butter or ghee at altitudes above 1,000 feet.
- Do not reuse lids or rings.
- Do not stack jars on top of each other during storage.