Two Techniques For Making Butter

old butter churnI’m planning on making a dent in the California wild pig population in a couple of months.  I’ve got a buddy that reloads his ammo.  He got tired of hearing me bitch and moan about how I was having a difficult time securing enough .308 for one of my rifles, and offered to teach me how to make my own.  After a bit of haggling, we cut a deal.

I was over in his garage building cartridges, and he decided to use his time more efficiently than watching me while I worked one of the machines.  He went inside, grabbed a one quart mason jar, filled it a bit over half way with heavy cream, and proceeded to make butter.

I’ll be damned if he didn’t have a glob-o-butter in about a half hour!

So, today, I bought a couple quarts of heavy cream to attempt to repeat his act.  Success!  It’s crazy-easy, and I swear, it tastes WAY better than the store-bought stuff.

I followed his lead, and filled a quart mason jar about half full – a bit less than he had done.  And then I started shaking.

And shaking.

And shaking.

The cream goes through a couple of stages on its way to becoming butter.  You first get a weak whipped cream.  Then a stiff cream.  At this point, you don’t hear or feel a lot of stuff sloshing around in the jar.  After 20 minutes or so, the cream “breaks” into butter and skim milk.

butter in jar


You then pour off the skim milk, and shake some more.  Repeat as necessary.  Here’s the view from the top –

butter in jar


You take the blob of butter and put it into a bowl.  There’s still milk in the butter, and if you leave it there, it will make the butter go bad more quickly.

Add cold water to the bowl of butter, and start mashing the blob with your hands.  The water will go cloudy.  Pour that out, and repeat until the water stays clear.  You’ll then end up here –

butter in bowl


I then took a wooden spoon and mooshed everything around some more.  The butter will “leak” more water and milk.  I just used a paper towel to sop it up.  When done, I ended up with just under a pint of skim milk, and 13.7 ounces of butter!

butter on scale


I returned the butter to the stainless bowl, added 1/2 tsp of salt and mooshed it around some more.

Holy, uhm, cow, what awesome stuff!

Still, I’m not sure it was worth the effort (other than knowing I can now turn cream into butter – not a bad skill to have).  Forty-five minutes, all in.  So, I went to the Internet and found a couple of sites on making homemade butter (Seriously, there were 240 MILLION entries on Google.  Am I the last person in American to make his own butter?)

One that caught my eye used a KitchenAid mixer – my second favorite appliance (right after my sausage stuffer).

I poured the cream into the bowl, attached the balloon whisk, and turned it on.  Medium speed to start – until the cream frothed up a bit – then I cranked it.  After about two minutes, I turned it off to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Two minutes later, I did the same again.

After about 7 minutes, I had this –

butter in kitchenaid


If you look closely you can see the separated skim milk at the bottom.

Boo-yah, baby!  Butter in 7 minutes!  I just followed the same steps as with the post-jar manual process (cold water, etc.), and ended up with exactly the same amount of butter….

Which posed a bit of a problem.  I now had over a pound and a half of butter.  In a household that eats about a quarter pound every two weeks (hey, I’m an olive oil kinda guy), that’s a lot of butter!

So, I decided to make some of it into a compound butter.  These are just butters that have other herbs and flavors added.  I was going to make a seafood butter with some dill weed I had picked up for an upcoming pickled bean project, but decided to go more generic.  I decided to just make a parsley and garlic butter.

I took 4 cloves of garlic and smooshed them into a paste.  I added that to a half pound of the salted butter, and about half teaspoon of dry parsley.

I laid out a sheet of plastic wrap and plopped down the butter mix –

prepping butter


I rolled up the butter into a tube about the height of a silver dollar –

butter rolled


That was then wrapped up in aluminum foil, and wound up pretty tight so I’ll be able to slice off nice medallions of butter.

butter in aluminum foil


I figure the garlic butter will work with fish, chicken, beef and pork.

Speaking of pork, here’s a little bullet porn that will be used to acquire those chops-on-the-hoof –

hand load ammo


Mrs. Chief Instructor just got home and went nuts over the butter.  Two thumbs up!

And yes, I AM the last person in America to make his own butter.  My wife proceeded to tell me that her 5th grade students make butter in baby food jars every year.

At least I’m ahead of most of the 4th graders…


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