Yes you can can butter.... shelf life of at least 3 years.

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Equilibrium, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    How to can butter, Butter.pdf
    Canning Butter

  3. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Interesting. Definitely cheaper than "Red Feather" canned butter.
  4. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    Oh ya baby!!!! I saw the price of dairy shoot through the ceiling and remembered watching a YouTube on canning butter and well.... the rest is history. I bought 20lbs of store brand butter today. Next month I'll buy another 20 lbs.

  5. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I wonder how folks in southern Florida keep their stored goods cool? It just dawned on me that if I move back there, I might have to dig a water hole.
    franks71vw likes this.
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

  7. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

    Yes you can die from home so called canned butter.

    The following link is the source of the counter article below. IMHO, the oven method of so called home canning of butter is not safe, and is playing russian roulette with botulism poisoning and possible death!
    National Center for Home Food Preservation | Canning FAQs
    National Center for Home Food Preservation

    Should I use directions for canning butter at home that I see on the Internet?
    Indeed, there are some directions for 'canning' butter in circulation on the Internet. Most of what we have seen are not really canning, as they do not have Boiling Water or Pressure Canning processes applied to the filled jar. Jars are preheated, the butter is melted down and poured into the jars, and the lids are put on the jars. Some directions say to put the jars in the refrigerator as they re-harden, but to keep shaking them at regular intervals to keep the separating butter better mixed as it hardens. This is merely storing butter in canning jars, not ‘canning’. True home canning is when the food is heated enough to destroy or sufficiently acid enough to prevent growth of all spores of Clostridium botulinum (that causes botulism) and other pathogens during room temperature storage on the shelf.

    Additionally, when you consider the economics of the process (energy costs involved with heating, cost of jars and lids, etc.), even if the butter is bought on sale, it may not be economically viable to prepare butter to store for years in this manner. Good quality butter is readily available at all times, if butter is needed for fresh use. If the concern is about emergency food supplies, there are dry forms of butter that can be purchased and stored, oils that can be used in an emergency, or commercially canned butter in tins (although we have only seen this for sale from other countries). Melted and re-hardened butter may not function the same as original butter in many types of baking anyway.

    There are a few issues with the common directions circulating on the Internet at this time (Spring 2006):
    1. Physical safety and food quality: In the provided directions, the jars are preheated in an oven (dry-heat), which is not recommended for canning jars. Manufacturers of canning jars do not recommend baking or oven canning in the jars. It is very risky with regard to causing jar breakage. There is no guarantee that the jars heated in this dry manner are sufficiently heated to sterilize them, as we do not have data on sterilizing jar surfaces by this dry-heating method.
    2. The butter is not really being 'canned'; it is simply being melted and put in canning jars, and covered with lids. Due to some heat present from the hot melted butters and preheated jars, some degree of vacuum is pulled on the lids to develop a seal. It rarely is as strong a vacuum as you obtain in jars sealed through heat processing. The practice in these 'canned' butter directions is referred to as 'open-kettle' canning in our terminology, which is really no canning at all, since the jar (with product in it) is not being heat processed before storage.
    3. Although mostly fat, butter is a low-acid food. Meat, vegetables, butter, cream, etc. are low-acid products that will support the outgrowth of C. botulinum and toxin formation in a sealed jar at room temperature. Low-acid products have to be pressure-canned by tested processes to be kept in a sealed jar at room temperature. It is not clear what the botulism risk is from such a high-fat product, but to store a low-acid moist food in a sealed jar at room temperature requires processing to destroy spores. A normal salted butter has about 16-17% water, some salt, protein, vitamins and minerals. Some butter-like spreads have varying amounts of water in them. We have no kind of database in the home canning/food processing arena to know what the microbiological concerns would be in a butter stored at room temperature in a sealed jar. In the absence of that, given that it is low-acid and that fats can protect spores from heat if they are in the product during a canning process, we cannot recommend storing butter produced by these methods under vacuum sealed conditions at room temperature.
    4. Some other directions do call for 'canning' the filled jars of butter in a dry oven. This also is not 'canning'. There is not sufficient, research-based documentation to support that 'canning' any food in a dry oven as described on this web page or any page that proposes oven canning is even sufficient heating to destroy bacteria of concern, let alone enough to produce a proper seal with today's home canning lids.

      In conclusion, with no testing having been conducted to validate these methods, we would NOT recommend or endorse them as a safe home-canning process, let alone for storing butter at room temperature for an extended period. We do know that the methods given for preheating empty jars, or even filled jars, in a dry oven are not recommended by the jar manufacturers or by us for any food. Aside from the physical safety and quality issues, and the fact that it is not canning at all, if there happened to be spores of certain bacteria in there, these procedures will not destroy those spores for safe room temperature storage.
    kellory likes this.
  8. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    You raise some valid points that everyone should consider before they embark upon canning butter for themselves. Me.... I'm going for it. I'm admittedly not using the oven exclusively to heat my jars though. I use my dishwasher to start. I've got a Bosch and it heats up to 180° unlike more common dishwashers. I move the jars from the dishwasher to my oven preheated to 200° then crank it up to 250°. Sheesh.... I can poach salmon in my dishwasher if I want to. I've been canning jams, jellies, preserves, and sauces for quite a few years and definitely would agree that rim cracks or chips would be a cause for concern. I would like to believe anyone who cans is aware that all canning jar rims need to be checked and that any that are compromised do need to be tossed in a recycling bin. As far as the lids.... I do use tattler. Tattler are superior to traditional rings and lids IMHO but.... I don't necessarily see any issues with using classic rings and lids though as long as they're new.... especially the lids. The other issue I see glaring me personally in the face is the author mentioned using any butter that was on sale.... no no no.... I don't think so. The butter must be salted to the best of my limited knowledge on this. It's the salt that will help preserve the butter. I do agree with the author that a cool dark shelf is best for storing canned butter.
    I've had canned butter before. It was stored in root cellars. I can read the dates on the jars... they're tossed in the center of the table while the jar is passed around. Some of it was a couple years old. It was watching that YouTube that reminded me butter could be canned which then reminded me I had relatives that used to can butter. I believe the issue here most likely is that the USDA hasn't run tests on this process and until they do.... we can expect to see legalese language in their printed material on the subject. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the USDA to run tests.... they've got it in for dairy products lately.... cows do contribute to AGW ya know. Anywho... what prompted me to decide I was going for it was... I know folk have already been canning butter successfully for at least 30 years that I know of and I can't find one butter related botulism death on the books. I do believe canning butter could result in serious illness or death.... unfortunately... I believe the likelihood of me dying from getting struck by lightning to be greater and no way am I paying the prices they're asking for canned or powdered butter.
  9. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    In South FLA you need to have a closet and an AC going at the same time... it sucks cause we cant dig a hole cause we hit water and or rock... I am thinking of using an insulated container with a small AC to maintaince temperature... also use natural veggitation to reduce the suns effect on the outside of container...
  10. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Doing up 4 pounds tonight.
  11. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Franks: I am a Miami native, grew up in the Ridge. I can tell you that several methods, including "building" a root cellar above ground would work fairly well in So Fl, as long as they were hurricane proof.

    Ever been to Coral Castle? Notice how cool it is inside? Coral is a very good insulator. Heck, you can even go into some of the homes built pre-1950's (cinder block walls, terrazzo floors) and while they are damp from the humidity, they are relatively cool, even without ac, as long as you have the widows cranked open.
  12. suzyb1

    suzyb1 Monkey+

    Thanks for the discusstions on canning butter. I have wondered about that.
  13. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    I did 22lbs today in 5.5lb batches. The author was right on the money that 11 lbs would fill 12 pint jars leaving 3/4" head space. The 1st batch I did exactly as he said.... melt slowly then bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. I found I couldn't hear the tops pinging so I started shaking when they were cool enough to pick up with my bear hands. 2nd batch I simmered for 8 minutes instead of 5. Only one shake for that batch so I brought batches 3 and 4 to a boil and simmered those for 8 minutes and discovered the extra 3 minutes of simmering definitely made a difference in reducing the number of times I had to shake the jars. One time if you simmer for 8 minutes and about 6-7x if you simmer for only 5. Every jar sealed regardless of the amount of time I simmered them for. Overall... I'm pleased with the results. I am storing mine in my basement on a north wall that receives no direct sunlight. The basement is about 60 but my bet is that area of the basement is a little cooler by a few degrees since it's the northwest corner right next to a large window well that isn't low-E or filled with argon.
  14. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

    Just a quick canning note. I am not trying to hijack the thread. I made this mistake, and have no problem letting you all know I ain't
    I thought it would be a good thing to keep rings on my canned food stuffs to protect the lids and jar rims from rough handling and to ensure the seal wasn't accidentally broken. Major Mistake!
    First off, after canning and obtaining a good seal, always remove the rings/bands and carefully clean the entire exterior of your jars. DO NOT PUT THE RINGS BACK ON FOR ANY EXTENDED STORAGE.
    If you want to put the rings on for short term transport protection fine. Just remember to immediately remove them when they get to their new home.
    The reason you never leave the rings on for any extended time is this; Moisture will gather under the rings and can and will cause the lid seals to fail as the whole sealing assembly rusts. Rings and lids will rust weld together as well making it damn near impossible to open the jar without damaging it. Don't be a well intentioned idiot like I was. jmho
  15. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    I have a whole box of rings to prove you right.... especially on canned goods stored in basements and root cellars. When I buy jars from estate and garage sales.... the rings are almost always toast. Some can be scrubbed out and re-used if they're not too bad but.... most are too far gone. I do leave them on my jars that have my oxygen absorbers in them and the jars I give away as gifts with the dry mixes in them.
  16. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    kellory and Ganado like this.
  17. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @T. Riley lol that is the funniest post today[biggrouphug]
  18. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    You can can ghee aka clarified butter safely.
  19. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    T. Riley likes this.
  20. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    As many of you know mayonnaise for restaurant use is bought in a 5 gallon plastic lined box and never refrigerated.

  21. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    My mom learned form her mom to use paraffin wax to seal when canning jars/lids were not available . sometimes mom did both.
    Ganado likes this.


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