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Kitchen Notes

Making Butter

by Michael Chu
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Sometimes, buying cream in bulk is too good of a deal to pass up. For about the price of two cups (470 mL) of heavy cream at the supermarket, you can pick up a half gallon (8 cups) at the local wholesaler. But, unless you're cooking for a party, that's a lot of cream to use up before you hit the expiration date. After you've made a couple cream pies, clam chowder, and topped your angel food cake, you realize that you've only used four cups of cream! What do you do with the rest? Well. . . I make butter.

I suppose I'm obliged to talk briefly about how butter isn't actually bad for you and how natural saturated fats can actually be beneficial to your body and, maybe, even necessary for good health. I'll try to keep it short: In an earlier article on the topic of Saturated Fats, Cholesterol, and Heart Disease, I wrote about the misinformation concerning saturated fats (the family of fats that butter belongs to) and questioned the link between cholesterol and heart disease. Scientific studies that make a distinction between natural fats and processed fats show that previous evidence that linked fat consuming with obesity and heart disease may not be as straightforward as the commonly believed notion that fat consumption increases weight gain and the risk of heart disease. More and more often, as studies are being conducted more accurately (by not lumping processed fats with natural fats in the same category of study), it is being shown that there is either no correlation between natural fat consumption and obesity and in some cases an argument can be made that the consumption of natural fats can actually promote weight loss! Cholesterol has been "feared" in the last thirty years because it is suspected to be an indicator of heart disease. However, as study after study shows that blood serum levels of cholesterol are less accurate at indicating risk than a meteorologist is at predicting weather two weeks in advance. In fact, cholesterol is a fundamental building block of the human body necessary for proper operation of our brains, maintains a healthy digestive system, is a fundamental building block for many hormones, and serves as the body's main healing agent. It is in this capacity (as a healing agent) that has perhaps caused the most confusion in the understanding of how cholesterol works in the human body. When large amounts of cholesterol are found in the brain of someone afflicted with Alzheimer's disease or who has suffered a stroke, is the cholesterol the cause of the problem or is it there because the body is trying to fix a problem? Many researchers are beginning to believe that what is readily accepted in the medical community (that cholesterol contributes to heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer's, etc.) may in fact be a misinterpretation of the facts. Cholesterol is often found in the plaque that forms on the interior lining of arteries, but more and more researchers believe that the cholesterol is being used by the body to fix damage caused by other substances (such as polyunsaturated fats that have broken down releasing free radicals). Additional research has recently shown that the consumption of cholesterol helps to regulate blood serum cholesterol levels as well. Not only does feeding dietary cholesterol to individuals with low serum level increase their cholesterol, but feeding dietary cholesterol to those who have high cholesterol levels actually brings the level down. High serum level of cholesterol are typically caused by the body's overproduction of cholesterol and the dietary intake of cholesterol provides triggers to the body to reduce the excess production. It should also be noted that dietary cholesterol accounts for less than 1% of the cholesterol circulating in the blood and is less than 0.2% of the total body pool of cholesterol in the average person.

It turns out that butter is excellent source of vitamins, anti-tumerogenic fatty acids, anti-microbial fatty acids, and dietary cholesterol. Cream has the same properties as butter, but butter is like concentrated cream - with all the health benefits, plus it cooks up real nice and lends wonderful flavors that can't be duplicated no matter how much companies try to mimic the flavor with margarine.

Making butter is simple and easy (with modern appliances). You can churn the butter from cream in a blender, food processor, mixer, or even some bread machines. All you need is a machine or device that will agitate the cream so that the fat globules in the cream are destabilized. This causes the fat globules to start to clump. This clumping first enables tiny air bubbles to be trapped in the cream forming a relatively stable foam that we know of as whipped cream. When the agitation continues, the fat globules begin to clump so much that the air and fluid being help in place cannot be contained any longer. The foam seizes and the fat network begins to break down into large fat clusters that we call butter. In this example, I'll use a standing mixer to produce almost a pound of butter.

Start by pouring heavy cream into the bowl of a standing mixer. In this example, I started with a quart of heavy whipping cream. Traditionally, butter is made from soured cream. The milk is allowed to sit for a long time (perhaps a week) and the cream is skimmed off regularly to build up enough cream for churning. During this process, acids are formed as the cream sours. These acids help to break down the fat globules during churning so that they can stick to each other - thus aiding the creation of butter. The acids also provide a flavor to the butter that we no longer enjoy with manufactured butter. Since we are using an electric appliance to churn the butter for us, it's not necessary to sour the cream prior to butter making. However, for stronger flavor, you can add a tablespoon (15 mL) of store bought cultured buttermilk to each cup (235 mL) of cream used. Let sit for about 12 hours at room temperature before beginning the butter making process.

Start the mixer with the whisk attachment on low speed (to avoid splatter) and progress to medium speed as the liquid begins to thicken. At this stage, the cream drips in long thick strings.

Increase the speed to medium-high or high (if the cream allows that without splattering). Just a short while longer will bring the whipped cream to what is known as soft peaks. At this point, dipping and withdrawing a whisk or other implement (such as your finger) from the cream will form a sharp rise in the cream that has a drooping tip. This is referred to as forming soft peaks. Whipped cream in this stage is often used for baked goods and usually involves folding the cream into another mixture.

The next stage that the cream enters happens very quickly. The cream begins to form stiff peaks (when an implement is dipped and withdrawn, the peaks that are forms stand up straight without drooping). This is typically the target stage for whipping whipped cream. Whipped cream that forms stiff peaks is often used as a topping for fruit, pies, beverages, and anything else you can think of. (Try adding a little horseradish and serving with prime rib). This picture shows the cream just past when stiff peaks begin to form. To avoid overwhisking, it's often a good idea to whip the cream to soft peaks and then take it to stiff peaks with a hand whisk.

Next up, is a stage for which I do not know the name (or even if there is one). It's just past stiff peaks where the cream just begins to crinkle up. This is when the cream is about to seize and become butter. The color of the cream also takes on a very pale yellow color. This stage is a favorite of mine for topping cakes and cupcakes. I like how it's not as airy as regular whipped cream and has a rich, full flavor. You can "save" the cream from entering the butter stage by adding more cream and whisking it back into stiff peaks. It won't be quite the same as if you stopped at stiff peaks, but it should suffice.

A few seconds later, the mixer should churn the cream into butter. This happens quickly and rapidly - the cream suddenly seizes and buttermilk floods out while pellets of yellow butter form. You'll want to slow down your mixer at this point to prevent slashing the buttermilk all over your kitchen.

The amount of liquid that is expelled as the butter begins to mash together into a larger lump is considerable. At this point, it's best to remove the buttermilk (you can reserve it for use in baking recipes - use as if it was whole milk, not buttermilk) and keep mixing a bit longer. The buttermilk is only about as acidic as regular milk because we did not sour the cream before churning. You can approximate store bought buttermilk (which is actually cultured buttermilk) by adding a little lemon juice, but it won't be quite the same. Also, our butter milk has a bit more fat than the 1% fat cultured buttermilk sold in the supermarket.

The butter should be washed to remove as much of the butter milk as possible. This can be done by placing the butter in a bowl with cold water and kneading the butter. When the water discolors, pour it out and more cold water. Not washing the butter will result in butter that my go rancid because of the buttermilk.

At this point, the butter can be wrapped and frozen or refrigerated for storage. But why not keep working it a little? Continuing to whisk the butter at high speed will start to beat in some air making the butter a little lighter and smoother.

Additional ingredients can be added to make new kinds of butter. Salted butter can be made by whipping 1/4 teaspoon table salt to every 4 ounces (115 g) of butter. Other popular additions are herbs and garlic. Use about 1 clove of garlic, finely minced, for every 4 ounces of butter (or more if you like garlic). For herbed butter, I use about 2 Tbs. of dried herbs for every 4 ounces of butter. In this example, I used an even mixture of dried basil, parsley, tarragon, and crushed rosemary.

Once you're done whipping your butter, measure out reasonable portions (I like going with the U.S. standard of 4 ounces per stick) onto separate pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap. Roll the butter into cylinders and twist and close the ends. Slip them into the freezer or refrigerator for future use.

Of the 32 ounces of heavy cream I started with, I ended up with 14 ounces of buttermilk and 14 ounces of butter. I assume the other four ounces were buttermilk rinsed away during the washing phase.

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Written by Michael Chu
Published on June 03, 2005 at 09:38 AM
137 comments on Making Butter:(Post a comment)

On June 03, 2005 at 12:56 PM, clintp (guest) said...
Subject: My method was slightly simpler...
Heavy cream and a marble in a tupperware tub. Hand this to a kid and tell them, "shake it till you can't hear the marble anymore".

With enough sugar in the child, this is very effective and takes just a couple of minutes. Keeps them busy too.

On June 03, 2005 at 03:54 PM, Xanthipe (guest) said...
Subject: Hang on...
...I remember my mother doing that to me as a kid!

Quick question, is heavy cream the same as double cream?

On June 03, 2005 at 05:54 PM, Michael Chu said...
Going by memory, I think the minimum fat content for creams is as follows:
Whole milk - 3.6% (depending on breed and diet)
Half-and-half - 10-15%
Single cream - 18%
Light whipping cream - 30%
Heavy whipping cream - 36%
Double cream - 42% (some countries as high as 50%)

In any case, double cream has a lot more fat, and so will be easier to churn into butter (and really easy to overwhip when making whipped cream).

On June 04, 2005 at 09:54 AM, Clare eats (guest) said...
It might be prudent to note that you can not use thickened cream to make butter (just incase)

I also agree with you about the butter, I would much rather have a bit of yummy butter, than heaps of horrible margarine (yuck)

On June 05, 2005 at 02:01 AM, Jen (guest) said...
hey, Michael, do you take requests? I would love to see an article on oils. stuff like smoking temperatures, nutrition, flavour and so forth.

On June 05, 2005 at 03:55 AM, Michael Chu said...
Jen wrote:
I would love to see an article on oils. stuff like smoking temperatures, nutrition, flavour and so forth.

Fats is a pretty complicated topic, but I think that's a great idea. I have a table of smoke points already, but I think I can focus on a variety of popular cooking fats and their nutrition, affect on the body, etc. It has now been added to my to-do list.

On June 05, 2005 at 12:10 PM, Jen (guest) said...
Ah, thanks. I looked in the archives for "oil" but I didn't think of searching "fat."

On June 06, 2005 at 11:06 AM, Martin (guest) said...
Subject: different types of olive oil
Its about time engineers get our own cooking site <grin>!


In regard to the "heavy cream" I can only find half and half, coffee, and whipping cream designations in the stores? Is heavy cream whipping cream? (30%MF) ?

Also for a future article....

I often wondered the differences between olive oil, light, extra light, virgin, extra virgin designations.... could you please shed some light on when to use which kinds, or if there is "quality" differences between them? Someone told me use only extra virgin as a salad dressing but cook (heat) only regular or light? Any background, scientific or otherwise would be appreciated!

GREAT site! keep up the good work!


On June 06, 2005 at 12:17 PM, Bwap9719 said...
Subject: brother from another mother
I am taking pictures of food processes just like my job! I have to provide step by step visual instructions (standard work documents - for those of you in the Lean or IE fields) for all of our chilled prepared food items.

Great shots of the mixer!

No sarcasm, really...what digital camera do you use to get such great exposure and resolution?

I don't think we'll be making butter soon, but we have recently started making a mayo for potato salad. It's a big hit, except with the Hobart mixer operators.

Thanks for a serious yet fun website on cooking -- the scientific way.

On June 06, 2005 at 09:12 PM, Anonymous coward (guest) said...
Subject: Dairy Wholesalers?
As a lover of all things fatty and delicious, I was excited at the mention that the price of a half gallon of cream is the same price as 2 pints from the grocery store, should you be able to find a wholesaler.

Except.. How do I find a cream wholesaler?

Like, what would I look up in the yellow pages to find something like this? I'm just drooling over the idea of buying a half gallon of cream, but no idea where to look. On that note. Anyone know of a good place to get ridiculously large containers of cream or mascarpone in the Berkeley, CA area? Thanks!

On June 07, 2005 at 09:03 AM, ejm said...
Great article! I am really surprised to hear that the buttermilk is sweet if the cream is sweet. (I shouldn't have been, if I had thought about it....)

Anonymous coward (unregistered) wrote:
Except.. How do I find a cream wholesaler?

Ah, exactly what I was wondering myself.


On June 08, 2005 at 03:17 AM, Barbara (guest) said...
Subject: another idea
I've made butter with heavy cream by putting some into a clean mason jar, the quart sized ones, and shaking it until the butter lumps together. This way, you don't have to worry about the buttermilk sloshing all over the room.

On June 08, 2005 at 03:18 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I just assumed he meant Costco or Sam's Club. I know I don't have a local place that just sells cream wholesale. :shock:

On June 08, 2005 at 11:28 AM, Gopi (guest) said...
I think the stage after stiff peaks is when the mixture starts to curdle (like when you overbeat eggs).

I learnt to make butter from my grandmother and mom. We would skim the cream off of milk and from the yoghurt we made. I guess the little bit of yoghurt that creeps in to the cream helped give the butter some flavor (like the soured cream you mention).

On June 10, 2005 at 12:27 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: can't you taste the difference?
The problem I have is that I haven't found a compelling reason to make my own butter since I generally can't taste the difference between freshly made butter and freshly made Land O'Lakes butter (which makes it through the same process, just on a massive scale...thank you Good Eats!). The only time I make my own is when I need beurre aux fines herbes or some variation on that theme.

While I won't deny that there's a certain satisfaction that comes from making things from as scratch as possible, can other people taste a difference?

On June 12, 2005 at 01:18 PM, Erica (guest) said...
The stage after stiff peaks is clotted cream, I think--a popular topping for scones and the like. Fantastic site, by the way.

On June 17, 2005 at 10:02 AM, Compmouse (guest) said...
Ahh this is good stuff, I always wondered how you do this with modern day appliances. I can't count the number of times I've read Little House in the Big Woods and wished that I too could make my own butter.

On June 17, 2005 at 09:47 PM, Dave Schuler (guest) said...
Subject: Caution on "heavy cream"
If whatever product you buy is labeled “Ultra Homogenized”, you may not be able to make butter with it. Such products typically include gelatin or carageenan to make them whippable but they don't behave like real heavy cream.

On June 19, 2005 at 10:51 PM, Teresa Lo (guest) said...
Subject: Fats and Oils - The 411
One great resource on fats and oils is Udo Erasmus. This book, Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, is one of the best I've ever read.


On June 20, 2005 at 03:26 PM, juliamom (guest) said...
Subject: clotted cream
I seem to recall a recipe for clotted cream, which called for cooking milk and cream slowly for 8-10 hours, and then letting it cool overnight. But no beating.

On July 08, 2005 at 10:41 PM, butterlite (guest) said...
Subject: making butter memories of the 1966 dairy farmer strike
This interesting column brought back memories of the 1966 dairy farmer strike when farmers protesting poor mlk prices flooded rural communities' main streets with thousands of gallons of sweet cream milk.

My father who owned a tiny dairy was resourceful. He collected the cream and made butter. How? He sterilized our wringer washer ( very old laundry technology) with several bleach washes and boiling water rinses. He poured gallons of cream into the sanitized washtub. He turned on the washer and the centrifuge churned the cream into pounds of yellow butter. We stashed the pounds into the freezer and had fresh butter for three years!

On August 19, 2005 at 08:10 PM, Kristin (guest) said...
Subject: Mmmmmm Butter
I get fresh raw milk from my in-laws, skim the cream with a ladle and shake it in a Mason jar for about 15 minutes. Must be something like the marble & tupperware method. Does the marble make a difference?

On August 19, 2005 at 08:18 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Mmmmmm Butter
Kristin wrote:
I get fresh raw milk from my in-laws, skim the cream with a ladle and shake it in a Mason jar for about 15 minutes. Must be something like the marble & tupperware method. Does the marble make a difference?

My guess is that the marble helps agitate the cream while you shake it. It might reduce your shaking time - or it might not make a noticable difference (or a bad shake may break the mason jar...)

On August 23, 2005 at 11:59 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: pasturizing and the culture you mentioned, flavor
How has pasturizing affected the taste of butter? Does it make a difference. Also the culture mentioned above versus the old skimming method what has a live culture in it yet? What would I buy in a store? Is the old skimming method produce tastier results? Other butter than Cow butter? What butter is the best salted butter in the stores for taste on breads?

On September 04, 2005 at 02:43 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: making butter
The cr*p they sell at the grocery store isn't usually suitable for making butter. First, they always add carageenan and assorted other things to make it hold together, which don't work well in butter. Second, all the cream I have seen at the store lately is ultrapasteurized and DOESN'T CULTURE. It's dead dead dead.

I managed to find real cream at the farmer's market, and it doesn't have any additives, works well, cultures well, and I can get an entire quart for the same price I was paying for a pint of grocery store "cream."

On September 04, 2005 at 02:54 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Re: pasturizing and the culture you mentioned, flavor
Anonymous wrote:
How has pasturizing affected the taste of butter? Does it make a difference. Also the culture mentioned above versus the old skimming method what has a live culture in it yet? What would I buy in a store? Is the old skimming method produce tastier results? Other butter than Cow butter? What butter is the best salted butter in the stores for taste on breads?

Pasteurization makes some difference in flavor if you're going to culture the butter--raw milk has a slightly different blend of bacteria than an add-your-own culture. UHT milk, as noted above, often won't culture at all. You can buy culture starter at a healthfood store, or you can use PLAIN live-culture yogurt to start the culture (Stonyfield Farm whole-milk is the best commercial yogurt, and it even comes with a nice thick layer of cultured cream on top--yummy).

Lurpak is a very good, although expensive, salted butter (it's in a silver foil wrapper and is usually found with the specialty cheeses). Kerrygold is also good, and expensive. Horizon Organic makes a decent butter (supposedly they also have a cultured butter, but I haven't seen it yet). If you can track down a local farmer who makes butter, it is usually superior to anything in the store.

On October 02, 2005 at 12:58 PM, Kathleen Livingston (guest) said...
Subject: Making butter
The website was easy to navigate, with clearly and well-written language, containing EXACTLY the information I was looking for. Well done. Thank you.

On October 12, 2005 at 07:45 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: ultra homogneized cream
Two people spoke about "ultra homogenized' cream not working when making butter. Is there any confirmation to this? I wanted to make butter with some school children and I don't want them to shake and shake and end up with??? whatever? What would they end up with?

On October 12, 2005 at 09:26 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: ultra homogneized cream
guest wrote:
Two people spoke about "ultra homogenized' cream not working when making butter. Is there any confirmation to this? I wanted to make butter with some school children and I don't want them to shake and shake and end up with??? whatever? What would they end up with?

I believe only one person stated that ultra-homogenized cream would not form butter. I don't know if this is true, but just check the ingredients list on your container of heavy cream to see if it contains anything besides cream. If it does, you probably don't want to be making butter with it any.

The other individuals who mentioned ultra-pasteurized were talking about cultering the cream (growing bacteria) prior to making butter for better flavor. You'll have a tough time doing that with ultra-pasteurized cream unless you introduce your own bacteria colony. However ultra-pasteurized does come together to form butter without any problems.

On October 20, 2005 at 02:32 PM, natalie (guest) said...
Subject: soymilk
i'd love to try this with soymilk. what would you suggest i add to thicken it? some sort of baking powder/soda? corn starch? i'll definately add lemon juice to sour it. soy milk is about as thick as skim milk.

On October 20, 2005 at 04:32 PM, Michael Chu said...
Butter is the concentration of fat from milk. You can't make butter with soymilk.

On October 22, 2005 at 09:28 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: marbles
My guess is that the marble helps agitate the cream while you shake it. It might reduce your shaking time - or it might not make a noticable difference (or a bad shake may break the mason jar...)

The marble was more of an auditory clue that butter was forming, as I recall. Shake until you can't hear it rattle, and you've got butter.

On October 25, 2005 at 04:29 AM, heyam (guest) said...
Subject: making chedder cheese at home
please learn me how to make chedder cheese at home with simple way
thank you very much

my email:

On November 28, 2005 at 11:51 AM, smilesalot (guest) said...
Subject: Another experiment
What is the half life of butter vs margarine? I remember reading in a magazine article of a Health food store owner trying an experiment, he set out a cube of butter on a plate and on another plate a cube of margarine. He stated within weeks the butter was eaten/decomposed and disappeared but the margarine he left out for 6 months without anything happening to it, event the insects and rodents wouldn't touch it. He then went on to challenge any reader to do the same. I liked his challenge a test anybody can do and see.
Ive always thought the things healthiest for you will go bad quickly, and those that stay aren't so nutritious. I like your statement that butter is not bad for you, another option you didn't mention is mixing some other oil with the butter to increase other variations of fatty acids but yet have the butter taste and texture. Some examples I have tried are Grapeseed oil, Olive oil and Rice bran oil, each of these I have added without changing the taste of the butter dramatically.

On January 03, 2006 at 03:42 PM, speleomike (guest) said...
Subject: ultra homogneized cream
I can say, without a doubt, ultra h. cream will not work for making butter. I thought it would be cool to show my 8 year old daughter how to make butter so I bought "heavy cream" at the grocery store for something to do on a Saturday. I had made it a couple of times as a child and always thought it was neat. After 30 minutes (the limit of my patience/arm strength) of us vigorously shaking it in a jar not a drop of butter. The "make butter" experiment turned into the recovery experiment of making whipped cream. I must say after shaking so long it turned into great whipped cream in less than 2 minutes of whisking. Don't know what I'm going to do with the 1/2+ gallon it turned into though...

On January 14, 2006 at 11:44 PM, hockeymom (guest) said...
Subject: making butter
I just did the "marble in a tupperware" method of making butter with my two boys while watching the Broncos beat the Patriots. Woooooo-hoooooo! We did not shake vigorously, just consistently for about 45 min. to an hour. My husband was taking a turn and said, "hmmmm, it actually seems like it got thinner." We looked and there were five big round globs of yellow butter floating in buttermilk! Yea! Then we tried the mixer method and never did get butter. I actually think it did change, but instead of pouring the buttermilk off, we ended up whipping it into the butter. Oh well. I like the marble method better. This was ultra pasteurized grocery store heavy cream.

On January 15, 2006 at 05:09 PM, scottwhitenyc (guest) said...
Subject: ultra-parturized heavy cream works
I just completed my first attempt at butter making. I took a 2-cup Tupperware container, filled with about 3/4 cup of heavy cream, ultra pasturized. There is no mention of ultra homegenized on the container. 1 tbsp has 5g of total fat. After about 10 minutes of vigorous shaking it turned to whipped cream (I peeked) and I couldn't hear liquid sloshing anymore. I kept shaking hard and began hearing some sloshing and then 'boom' I could tell there was a big chunk of butter surrounded my buttermilk. I shook a bit longer just to be sure. Opened, and there was a big ball of butter sitting in buttermilk (with some creative shaking you can help shape it with your shaking). Washed the butter in cold water, added a good pinch of salt, and it was perfect! Total time was about 15 minutes. I've had better store bought butter, but I've also had this cream in my fridge for a couple of weeks, it expires in about 3 weeks. My next attempt will be with the freshest cream I can get my hands on. Best of luck with your attempt!

On February 15, 2006 at 12:52 PM, zed (guest) said...
Subject: buying cream
here is a great idea check the freezer section of a discount store (in SLC we have Market Square) i buy frozen outdated cream (it was frozen on the final retail date) its $1.40 to 2.00 per gallon depending on the day) I buy it in pints and quarts, i find that 1 gallon of heavy whipping cream yeilds 3.5 to 4 lbs of butter, also try contacting your local dairy company about buying outdated heavy cream, i find that it is good for a while past the expiration (30-60)days

On February 27, 2006 at 09:24 PM, Cat H (guest) said...
Subject: carageenan
I made butter tonight in my kitchenaid mixer and inadvertantly used whipping cream with carageenan in it. It did finally turn into beautiful butter, but it took a long time - over 10 minutes on the highest setting, which is a lot of mixing in a cuisinart. It wouldn't be do-able in a mason jar, but if you couldn't find anything else at the store and wanted to try it, it will eventually work. My kids were impressed.

On March 13, 2006 at 11:11 PM, hvccook (guest) said...
I can buy raw milk at Whole Foods Market here in California - Would I be able to make that into butter? Would I need to scoop the cream off of the top and use that, or just leave some of the raw milk out at room temperature for 12 hours? Thanks!

On March 14, 2006 at 01:10 AM, Michael Chu said...
hvccook wrote:
I can buy raw milk at Whole Foods Market here in California - Would I be able to make that into butter? Would I need to scoop the cream off of the top and use that, or just leave some of the raw milk out at room temperature for 12 hours? Thanks!

In my opinion, making butter from milk is too long of a process to be worth it. You'll need to let the cream rise, skim it, and let the collected cream sit for about a day. Drain the liquid and whip it for a bit (thirty minutes or more) and let sit. Drain and repeat until the cream starts to clump up and form butter.

On March 15, 2006 at 05:44 PM, moonshadow (guest) said...
Subject: Butter making
Does anyone remember squishing a plastic bag with white vegetable fat and a yellow plastic capsule to make an ersatz butter during WW11? Butter making using real cream sounds so much more civilized! Love your Web Site!

On March 22, 2006 at 10:59 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I'm surprised people say store cream won't work.

I just bought a carton of 500ml 35% whipping creme, regular stuff, put it in a bowl, turned on my mixer, followed these instructions, and wow I now have fresh yummy butter!

I won't buy butter again. Reason? For some reason here in Montreal whipped butter is almost impossible to find. I love whipped butter. This stuff is great. I did find that it did not turn yellowish at all, but other than that, no difference. Good description and instructions!

On April 13, 2006 at 03:50 PM, an anonymous reader said...
How does heavy whipping cream turn into butter ;)

On April 17, 2006 at 09:10 AM, Melanie (guest) said...
Subject: yoghurt
I would love a recipe to make yoghurt, especially some that is thick like Greek yoghurt. Thank you

On May 20, 2006 at 09:03 PM, cphoenix at (guest) said...
Subject: Heavy cream can make butter
I just managed to make some excellent butter, right in the carton, with Coburg Ultra-Pasteurized Heavy Cream, with mono and di-glycerides, polysorbate-80, and carrageenan. I got it on the first try, so I don't guarantee this procedure is repeatable or optimized, but:

Start with 1 quart heavy cream. Shake it gently--more rocking than shaking--until it stops sloshing at all. This will take some time but it's easy. I did it off and on, over a period of a couple of hours, in a house at 78 degrees (warmer than some procedures recommend).

Open the cap on the side of the carton and pour out about 1/3 of the cream (you'll put it back later). This is just to get air space. It should be a smooth thick liquid, almost pudding. Now, close the carton and shake vigorously. In just a minute or two, the creamy liquid will start to stiffen up, rather abruptly. Give it just a few more really hard shakes, and in seconds, it starts to separate; it'll go from sloshing to muddy to almost a crackling sound as the buttermilk frees up.

Shake it a few more seconds to get all the butter out of the buttermilk. Then open the carton, pour out the buttermilk, and pour the rest of the cream back in. Repeat the vigorous shaking, and pour out the second batch of buttermilk.

Now you can pour in water, shake vigorously, and pour it out again, a few times, to rinse the butter. When you're done, just cut open the carton and scrape out the butter. It made close to two cups.


On July 14, 2006 at 04:21 AM, notasnowballs (guest) said...
Subject: I made butter with ultra-pasteurized cream
Well I saw some posts here about ultra-pasteurized whipping cream and how it didn't work. I was reading this as I shook a quart jar of it 3/4 full of Darigold ultra-pasteurized whipping cream. I was getting really discouraged. I read this article and at first I went to work with my blender in a bowl. I beat that thing for like an hour, and no butter. No globs. No nothing. So I don't have any salt in the house since I hardly use the stuff. So I found some celery salt, and tried that, just experimenting with the salt content to see if maybe salt would help it along in turning to butter. Please bear in mind that this is storebought stuff that has all those unpronouncable ingredients such as carrageenan and polysorbate, etc. in it. I will list the fat content and ingredients at the end of this post, if anybody is interested.

Anyways, I added the celery salt. Now I have funky tasting cream (It never really turned into decent whipping cream, either. sigh...). So I experimented with a little bit of it in a quart jar in the microwave, just to see what it would do. At three minutes on high the stuff boiled off a LOT of water content, or milk, or whatever. It reduced to about a third of it's size, and I saw yellow globs in there. Hmmm... curious. I put it all in the fridge for the night because I was pooped.

So the next morning there are still a few globs in the microwaved concoction, but they are now white again. Go figure. I abandoned that batch. The funky tasting celery salt concoction is still in a bowl in the fridge.

So I'm in here in my bedroom shaking this mason jar full of plain ole whipping cream, thinking that it's not going to work because I'm reading about all the difficulties of ultra-pasteurized or stuff with those extra chemicals in it, and I'm thinking, ok, it's about time to stuff this stuff in the fridge and hit the hay. I open the jar for about the fourth time, thinking I'm going to have some bubbles in my whipping cream, and I find that.... I have about a cup amount of butter floating in my cream! I had this quart mason jar about 3/4 full and it took me about an hour of constant shaking, but here it is.

So I stuck with the jar thing because I seem to remember that's how my Grama did it when they worked at the dairy. She used to skim the cream off the gallon of milk they dipped out of the milk tank (straight from the cow) and brought home. Then she filled up 4 or 5 mason jars and all of us, grownups and kids alike, would shake a jar of the stuff while we were watching a movie together. Then Grama had baked bread too (I can still remember it's drop dead delicious flavor, too- gotta love Grama's Southern fat filled cookin') and we had some on some warm bread.

So now I know how to make soap and butter. The sky's the limit!

If anybody knows of any places where I can buy milk straight from the dairy or cow before it gets stuffed full of crap, uh, I mean... chemicals, and boiled to death, I would much appreciate an email:

Oh yea: Nutritional info on the thing I was shaking around:

Brand name: Darigold ultra-pasteurized whipping cream, one quart
Serving size for nutritional facts: one tablespoon or 15 ml

Fat calories are 40
Total fat is 4.5 g
Saturated fat is 3 grams or 7 %
Trans Fat is 0 g or 0%

Hope that helps, and please drop me an email, I plan on making more butter because I heard from my diet friends that now the health folks are saying that instead of margarine being good for you and butter is bad, now they have switched and said that margaraine is REALLY bad for you (cholesterol, heart disease, etc.) and that butter has "good" fats, that you need. I wish those idiots up there running things would make up their minds. Personally, I think God gave us what we need to survive in this world, and man is really good at screwing it up. I think I will try to stick to food that is natural as possible and to heck with the FDA or whoever makes those rules. According to all the experts, I'm gonna' die anyways. LOL

On July 26, 2006 at 03:28 PM, Amber (guest) said...
Subject: Butter!!!
Dear Michael or Someone who can help lol,

I was just wondering if I wanted to make a medium size jar at home with my daughter for fun. How much heavy cream or double cream I should use and if i wanted to sweeten it up a bit with some sugar (so my daughter will eat it) how much sugar should i use. I dont have any type of food processor or mixer except a blender and a electric hand mixer so I was going to take the plastic jar approach with a marble or something for an agitator. Unless i could use a blender or something lol. If someone could help me out I would appreciate it thanks.

Amber H.

On August 08, 2006 at 11:47 PM, car (guest) said...
Subject: did it by hand!
for anyone who doesn't have a plethora of kitchen equipment like me, i have good news!

I made the butter with a whisk and a mixing bowl.

it took me a good 25 or so minutes of constant mixing... and my arm is sore now (great workout for my arm, really)... but it turned out just fine!

and i used just normal store-bought carton of cream... "UHT pasteurized" works! =)

the hardest part is waiting for the cream to thicken to even just the "soft peak" stage... it took a good 18-20 minutes just for it took thicken up to soft peaks... but after that, the other stages come pretty quick...

so don't give up! it just takes a while! and it sure does help the process if you're watching tv while whisking!

the butter is yummy and fresh... it's just got a different feel to it compared to store-bought butter... i'll definitely be making it again in the future!

On August 23, 2006 at 02:31 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Has anyone tried culturing the buttermilk? If it's like making yoghurt, all you need to do is add some culture (ie some cultured buttermilk from the shops) to it and let it sit in a warm spot for a while.

BTW I'd love to know exactly what is going on there. How does one emulsion (fat in water = milk) turn into another emulsion (water in fat = butter), just by beating it?

On September 15, 2006 at 09:03 AM, nandita (guest) said...
Subject: Making yogurt
Homemade yogurt is just very easy to make. Most Indian homes do it on a daily basis. But we have our own cultures to start with from the previous day's yogurt.

take one litre of milk (2% and above), bring to a boil and cool until lukewarm. Add a generous tsp of greek yogurt (live cultures). With a whisk, mix it well into the milk. Keep the milk covered in a warm place, like a cabinet or inside your oven, undisturbed. You will get fresh homemade yogurt in 7-8 hrs depending on the weather. While using it, remember to save the last few spoons to use to make your next batch of yogurt.

If you make this with whole milk, you will get a whole thick layer of creamy yogurt on the top. Scoop it out each time and collect in a bottle in the refrigerator. Once bottle is half full, you can add some warm water to it and manually shake the bottle for 10-15 minutes to get your own homemade butter.

Hope that helps the guests who've asked about making yogurt above!

On December 01, 2006 at 08:51 PM, Mary (guest) said...
Subject: UHT Cream
I've tried making butter with UHT cream, which seems to be the type available now (regardless whether it's light or heavy). Getting it to form butter via the mixer was easy. Unfortunately, it had virtually no flavor.

I can buy raw milk at Whole Foods Market here in California - Would I be able to make that into butter? Would I need to scoop the cream off of the top and use that, or just leave some of the raw milk out at room temperature for 12 hours?

You can go us all better and make Cornish-style clotted cream.

On March 19, 2007 at 03:59 PM, Kristina from Georgia (guest) said...
Subject: response re raw milk
In response to the post: If anybody knows of any places where I can buy milk straight from the dairy or cow before it gets stuffed full of crap, uh, I mean... chemicals, and boiled to death, I would much appreciate an email:", here are a few options, depending on where you live.

1 - Visit a local, preferably organic, farmers market and ask around to find out if anybody knows of a dairy selling raw milk.
2. - Do a google search for a local organic farmers organization that could help.
3. Check out the Weston Price website for plenty of info:

I've been buying raw whole milk - cream on top - and eggs directly for several months now. Thanks for the great website - I'll be making butter soon!

On April 01, 2007 at 07:40 AM, (guest) said...
Subject: making butter
Excellent site! I am going to use your tips to make butter at home before launching myself to make it in the old-fashioned way at Morwellham Quay Visitor Centre, Devon, England, U.K. which is an old 19th century Copper Mine.

On June 02, 2007 at 01:06 PM, Jan H (guest) said...
Subject: Butter and leftover buttermilk
I just made fresh butter using separated cream from raw goat's milk. It worked beautifully, and tastes heavenly. I have the leftover (sweet) buttermilk. Is there anything I can use this for besides using it in baking? Can it be used for making yogurt or cheese? Any suggestions? I do make kefir with whole raw goat's milk, so any ideas for the buttermilk with kefir would be appreciated too. I'm assuming I can't use the buttermilk to culture as kefir as the fat's pretty much gone into the butter. Thank you so much. Jan

On June 03, 2007 at 07:55 PM, Rebecca (guest) said...
Subject: Leftover buttermilk
Ricki Carroll's excellent Home Cheesemaking book has a recipe for buttermilk cheese. I have not tried it, but I bet it would be perfect with leftover goat's milk buttermilk.

On June 23, 2007 at 10:31 PM, FrozenFlame22 (guest) said...
Subject: Made butter by accident!
We were trying to make whipped cream from heavy whipping cream. We put it in a 1 cup tupperware container with a bit of sugar and vanilla, but we filled it almost to the top of the container. After a much longer time than it usually takes to make whipped cream, it started to thump - slosh - thump - slosh... that's not normal. We opened it up and it definitely did not look like whipped cream! Turns out that we didn't have enough air in the container, so it went straight to butter. I don't recommend filling the container so full for making butter 'by hand' because it did make the container leak a little. We went online to figure out how we did what we did and found this website. Very spiffy find for a couple of computer geeks like us. :)

On June 26, 2007 at 12:46 AM, MeganAmyH said...
I accidentally learned a trick to making butter faster.

When you whip cream, you put everything into the freezer to help the fats solidify and give a nice solid whip. However, if you heat the bowl by running hot water in it first, the whipping cream seems to bypass that whole "whipped cream" stage. Needless to say, it was while making whipped cream that I found this out....but have done that many times since for butter making. It doesn't seem to harm the final product in any way.

On July 11, 2007 at 06:19 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Overchurned Butter--any saving?
This is great info, love your site!

I just attempted to make my first batch of cultured butter with organic low pasteurized cream. Everything was going along swimmingly. Cream thickened nicely overnight, beat up to soft then stiff peaks, separated a bit. But, I thought it didn't look like enough buttermilk came off, so I kept on mixing, apparently blending both back together. No matter how much I whipped, I couldn't get the butter to come out again.

Next time I'll quit at the first sight of buttermilk, and I already threw out the cream, but I'm really curious as to if there is anything to do at that stage to save the process?

On July 27, 2007 at 12:34 PM, moconnell (guest) said...
Subject: Note on Raw Milk
A quick caution on raw milk: In many states (including Michigan, my home), it is illegal to sell raw milk. It must be pasteurized prior to sale.

Additionally, all of the cultured milk products in the US must be pasteurized prior to being cultured. So we kill of the naturally occuring bacteria before we add nice,new, FDA approved ones. This applies to organics (Horizon, Stonyfield Farm) too.

On August 04, 2007 at 05:37 PM, Gira (guest) said...
Subject: raw milk & raw cream
moconnell warns against raw milk, but I did some research into it before I started drinking it (after discovering some at my Whole Foods six years ago) and the only real warning about it is that it shouldn't be used by young children, the elderly, or the immuno-compromised.

I have used it (solely for drinking because it's so expensive) as I could afford it over the past six years with no problems.

I just noticed yesterday that there was a pint of raw whipping grade CREAM for sale at Whole Foods, with the prohibitively expensive price tag of over $11. I didn't check the butterfat content as it wasn't on my shopping list, but now I'm curious.

So after reading all of this about the butter, I just may have to give it a go. ;)

On September 07, 2007 at 01:19 PM, an anonymous reader said...
you can use the goat buttermilk for your Kefir . . . . you can even use water to make a kefir ginger ale beverage.

As for the raw milk in Michigan . . . . as well as other states . . . . you can buy part of a cow (cowshare) and then drink the milk from your part of the cow. Most states have a loophole to where you can get raw milk. Some states say it is only legal for animals to drink raw milk, so you buy it for your 'animals'. Raw milk is excellent for ALL people. Especially the immunocompromised, young & elderly!! Esp. since most of our diseases & immune problems come from not having the proper bacteria in our gut. Raw milk helps balance your gut & your mouth for a better, cleaner smile too! :) visit for great insight to this lost information!

It's pretty sad they have a law against drinking something healthy, whereas it's perfectly fine to fill our foods with known TOXIC chemicals! Go figure!! :shock:

we have been bombarded by the FDA & media that raw foods are dangerous to our health. :angry: UNTRUE! We are more sick now because of all the 'processing' man has done to our foods because of fear of germs. Now we have super viruses because of that interferance. I really believe it's not the viruses that have gotten stronger, it's that our bodies have become so weak that we fall prey to every type of bacteria & germ out there! Our bodies don't know how to respond to any kind of invader.

ok, off my soapbox!!! ;) Love the site so far: right-on information! Great forum too!

On September 28, 2007 at 08:02 PM, grilljockey (guest) said...
Subject: Butter in a food processor
Last night I tried this using the emulsifying disc attachment on my food processor. I used 250 ml of whipping cream (33%). After less than a minute of spinning at high speed, I got a nice lump of yellow butter! I had no idea making butter was so simple. It tastes great too.

Thanks for posting this!

On October 30, 2007 at 09:01 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: salted butter
if using salted butter in a recipe such as cookies, can you leave out the salt that it calls for

On November 28, 2007 at 10:57 AM, dr.luke (guest) said...
Subject: salted butter
[if using salted butter in a recipe such as cookies, can you leave out the salt that it calls for]

This is a tricky question.
The short answer is: No.
The complete answer is: It depends!

YES #1: Cookies do not really [need] salt, so even unsalted butter may be used, AND/OR no added salt.

HOWEVER #1: Most people would find that cookies (and most other foods) taste better with some salt added to the recipe, either in the butter or in the teaspoon. Your cookies may seem bland without the recommended amount of added salt.

YES #2: If you are trying to reduce sodium in your diet, you may certainly eliminate or reduce the amount of salt specified in the recipe.

HOWEVER #2: The amount of salt added in baking recipes is fairly insignificant if a person consumes a reasonable number of cookies at a time. Keep in mind that for any salt-reduced diet plan that salt is found in almost all prepared foods; just be aware of where your salt "allowance" is coming from.

NO #1: Salted butter may be used in any recipe for cookies or cakes, etc. which call simply for "butter". The "salt that it calls for" should be used in the recipe. While some people will insist that only unsalted butter should be used in baking, using unsalted butter in a recipe which includes adding salt serves no purpose. It is a myth that only unsalted butter should be used for baking.

However #3: Recipes which call for unsalted butter have validity when the salt content must be precisely controlled or eliminated, usually having to do with the chemical properties of salt. This does not generally include cookies . . .

NO #2: Recipes using cultured (unsalted) butter should use the appropriate ingredients to achieve the intended result.

HOWEVER #4: Recipes are instructions to reproduce exactly a product that someone has decided is worthwhile reproducing. Alterations to any recipe are not wrong; they just produce a (usually slightly) different product. The different product may be a disaster or an improvement or something in between, depending on who is judging the difference. For some people, even slight deviations from a very specific standard fall short of a satisfying result. Others may notice no difference at all.

On November 29, 2007 at 08:12 PM, plindsay (guest) said...
Subject: temperatures for butter
We have raw milk from a jersey.We skim the cream for butter and have had good results a few times- more not. Is there a fullproof way of getting the cream to turn to butter? A temperature? Thanks

On December 15, 2007 at 12:04 AM, Trevor (guest) said...
How long will homemade butter last in the refrigerator?

On December 28, 2007 at 04:05 AM, VStoklosa (guest) said...
Subject: "Souring" the cream
I found this board after googling for butter recipes. The first site I found was an old-fashioned method. They recommend 'souring' the cream by exposing it to a 60 degree environment for 24 hours. Not having the time to do this, I tossed in a half teaspoon of lemon juice (along with some salt and freshly ground pepper). The 3/4 cup of ultra-pasteurized cream that hadn't transformed in the previous 10 minutes then needed only another 5 minutes shaking to congeal. The steps of washing and kneading followed. It doesn't taste 'lemony', it has the right subtle 'bite'.


On January 05, 2008 at 08:21 AM, La D Kiara said...
Subject: La crème de la crème
I had always heard I could make butter from cream, so I thought I'd check, and WOW! I landed on this site! 8|
This is exactly what I've been looking for...a cooking site that isn't just a recipe site, but a TEACHING site as well.
I've always been very inquisitive, so learning is a big part of my mental happiness.., and Michael, you've taught me my first lesson of the day!
Even though I've beaten cream into butter before, I really never knew that I had to "wash" the butter for safety reasons. Thanks for that information!
Great site! Reminds me of an Alton Brown segment on the food channel, which I LOVE! lol.
Thanks for being here! I'll be visiting often! :D

By the way, how much honey goes in for a really GOOD honey butter, without breaking down the butter?

On January 05, 2008 at 06:49 PM, Annie (guest) said...
Subject: Homemade butter
I found some of these comments very interesting and it made me think of my own experience. I have bought heavy whipping cream several times. I would forget to use it and then after a few weeks, I would open the carton and the cream would be solid. It did not smell soured. Is this butter?

On February 02, 2008 at 10:19 PM, DebbiedoesPap (guest) said...
Subject: Very helpful site!
I just found your site when looking to see why my "buttering" was taking so long in my Kitchen Aid mixer. I see I screwed up by not letting the cream sit at room temperature. I will correct that with the next batch. We have a small farm in PA and I milk a Jersey by hand and our family uses raw milk, fresh whipped cream and fresh butter. We also have chickens and have fresh eggs. It is great to be able to control some of the toxins and preservatives going into our bodies ! I have used an old fashioned butter churn, but I will be going to the hospital for carpal tunnel surgery in a couple of weeks, so I was looking to use my Wonderful Kitchen Aid Mixer for my future "buttering." Thanks again for such a useful site !! I will be visiting often !!!

On March 10, 2008 at 06:25 PM, ddlyn (guest) said...
Subject: butter

Just tuned in to this site, wonderful.
Can hardly wait to try making butter. If I am starting with raw milk from our Jersey, how long do I wait for the milk to rise? Is it safe to let it sit at room temperature (bacterial concerns)? and for how long ?
some one seemed to experience less success than more, would like to hear the answer on that also.
thankyou for the teaching how to.

On March 15, 2008 at 05:58 PM, icz (guest) said...
Subject: UP Cream
Just to add to the data - I was whipping UP cream in the Kitchaid -- started fretting about whether it would work, came up to the computer to re-check this site, went back downstairs and "Voila!" Buttermilk splashed all over and butter in the bowl. So, it works fine, but it is bland.

On May 07, 2008 at 07:35 PM, plynch (guest) said...
Subject: butter making
Can anyone tell me if making butter undergoes a physical or chemical change? Or both?

On May 07, 2008 at 10:36 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: butter making
plynch wrote:
Can anyone tell me if making butter undergoes a physical or chemical change? Or both?

As far as I know, only a physical change. The fats in the cream do not alter chemically (as in their chemical formula do not change) but they form weak bonds as they are slammed up against each other and intertwine like a bunch of yarn clumping together into a tangle. Some water (as well as some of the water soluble components of cream) gets stuck in the tangle and the rest puddles outside of the ball of butter. If you melt the butter gently it doesn't alter it chemically either since it simply untangles and flows more freely. When the heat is removed it retangles and slows down to form butter again.

Of course, technically all of this counts as chemical changes since phase changes and precipitating molecules from a suspension are all considered chemical changes, but I think I answered your question as you'd expect.

On May 09, 2008 at 01:07 AM, YoKitty said...
I tried this using my blender, and it worked quite well. I grated a small amount of orange rind and added it with the cream, delicately flavoring the butter.

Thanks for the idea.

On May 24, 2008 at 12:54 PM, Raw Dairy Magyari (guest) said...
Subject: how vs why
Most of these posts are concerned with how to make butter at home, but I think why one might want to should be addressed. Raw milk, unpastuerized and unhomogenized , has "good" bacteria as well as enzymes to digest the food. Without these 2 components, it may be or may not be "safe" from spoilage but it has very little health benefit. Unless one is just curious about the process of what our ancestors did to make butter(which would have been raw and healthy) there is little reason to make your own butter from pastuerized cream. You can buy many fine products from health food stores, etc. If you are searching for better health, sustainable living, boosted immune systems, making butter that retains the symbiotic realtionship with man of "good" bacterias as well as the enzymes to digest it, makes good sense. There are MANY web articles about pastuerization and homogenization that are quite detailed to explain more, but after reading the different comments here, I felt the need to clarify this point.

On June 05, 2008 at 05:57 PM, anonymous mom (guest) said...
Subject: Using evaporated milk?
Does anyone know if using evap milk is an acceptable "meet in the middle" option? My boy wants to do this ASAP, we live way out of town (but don't have cows, darn it), and I know it would be near to impossible to start with whole milk. But what about evap milk? I've always been told evap milk is just concentrated milk, i.e. certain amount of the liquid has been removed. But can you make butter with it? Is this even a reasonable question?

We HAVE made butter w/heavy cream, which was delightful/tasty/fascinating, hence the boy's desire to do so again. Being 12, he wants to do it now, of course. Any advice?

On June 06, 2008 at 07:05 AM, Dilbert said...
churn butter from evaporated milk?

sorry, not gonna' happen. you need high fat cream.

On July 28, 2008 at 04:09 AM, wenday (guest) said...
Subject: washing the butter...
just to make sure, but does this mean literally scooping out the butter from the bowl, dumping it into water and kneading it? won't the churned butter melt or dissolve or become really watery?

On July 28, 2008 at 03:46 PM, Michael Chu said...
Yep, just put it into a bowl with some water, knead it for a few seconds, pour out the water and add fresh water, repeat. The butter is mostly fat, it won't dissolve.

On August 23, 2008 at 01:44 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Making Butter
Wonderful! My son has been asking me to help him make butter for quite a while. Googled "making butter" and found this website and your recipe. We did it with a hand mixer and it came out perfect and delicious. THANKS!!!

On October 01, 2008 at 03:53 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: over-shook
Shook it too much and the buttermilk and butter re-united and now it's this creamy white stuff - what is it? what can we do with it? how long will it be good for?

On October 01, 2008 at 09:58 AM, Realmencook (guest) said...
Subject: Shakers
Hey Micheal,

If I were to put heavy cream in a tuperware bowl and tell my little 2nd cousins to shake it, how long would it have to sit and what other steps would be used in this process?

On October 01, 2008 at 01:07 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: over-shook
Anonymous wrote:
Shook it too much and the buttermilk and butter re-united and now it's this creamy white stuff - what is it? what can we do with it? how long will it be good for?

You should be able to knead some moisture out of that butter and pour out whatever comes out and then keep repeating to get your butter back.

On October 01, 2008 at 01:11 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Shakers
Realmencook wrote:
If I were to put heavy cream in a tuperware bowl and tell my little 2nd cousins to shake it, how long would it have to sit and what other steps would be used in this process?

How long would it have to sit? Or how long would they have to shake it? I don't know the answer to either of those questions - I'm not sure why it would need to sit unless you were doing the step of adding buttermilk to the mixture to provide some more flavor/tang. In that case, just let it sit at room temp. for about twelve hours before having your cousins shake out their excess energy. As to how long it takes before butter forms - that really depends on how vigorous your cousins shake. I'd guess between 15 min. to an hour.

On October 07, 2008 at 07:10 AM, Don (guest) said...
Subject: ersatz butter with a yellow coloring
To the poster who mentioned ersatz butter with a yellow capsule. That sounds like you were coloring margarine.

In WWI (& WWII) dairy butter was strictly rationed, the only substitute was oleomargarines. Due to some pretty stupid laws prompted by the dairy industry, you had to color it yourself ...

On November 11, 2008 at 02:37 PM, Cowtown Wren (guest) said...
Subject: butter that doesn't churn
Just a thought for people who have not studied or thought about the influence and the rhythm of nature according to the moon, there is a time to gather milk and churn for buttermaking and a time not to. I refer you to work by Johanna Paungger and Thomas Poppe...I can't find the dates in the books right now but have them noted at home. Email me at if you are interested. ("Guided By the Moon" and "Moontime".)

I have made plenty of butter from our own cows' milk and goats' milk but not for a while so the timing doesn't stick in my mind (too much stuff crammed in there!) :P

On November 11, 2008 at 02:48 PM, Cowtown Wrej (guest) said...
Subject: Re: butter that doesn't churn
Cowtown Wren wrote:
Just a thought for people who have not studied or thought about the influence and the rhythm of nature according to the moon, there is a time to gather milk and churn for buttermaking and a time not to. I refer you to work by Johanna Paungger and Thomas Poppe...I can't find the dates in the books right now but have them noted at home. Email me at if you are interested. ("Guided By the Moon" and "Moontime".)

I have made plenty of butter from our own cows' milk and goats' milk but not for a while so the timing doesn't stick in my mind (too much stuff crammed in there!) :P

I meant to say cream instead of milk...of course I let the cream rise to the top of the milk and use that. What is the sense of churning your own butter if you use dead (pasteurized) cream? Healthwise, makes no sense. You can, though, control the quality of your product if you purchase milk from organic or naturally raised animals instead of taking the commercial product of factory-raised animals...poor thangs! If you can't afford organic, at least buy your fats, then meats that are organic as pesticides cling to fats and your brain needs/uses fats, you can probably figure out the rest yourself. In my opinion, what the USDA says is good is probably bad and what they say is bad is likely good. There are exceptions to every rule...!

When I said "find the dates" I meant signs, the moon passes through the signs of the zodiac and they influence the butter making, breadmaking, planting, fishing, etc. For example, today, November 11th of '08 the moon is passing through Aires. The moon is waxing and it will be full in a couple days.
Again, I may not find this site again and will forget about it (the stuffed brain syndrome) so if you want to dialogue with me, Later.

On November 12, 2008 at 06:09 PM, Fed Up (guest) said...
Subject: Re: butter that doesn't churn
Cowtown Wrej wrote:
When I said "find the dates" I meant signs, the moon passes through the signs of the zodiac and they influence the butter making, breadmaking, planting, fishing, etc. For example, today, November 11th of '08 the moon is passing through Aires. The moon is waxing and it will be full in a couple days.

You guys say you're engineers and "analytical". What bullshit. You're all just fucking psycho undereducated idiots who are living in the Middle Ages. I'm fed up with this site and it's promotion of outdated ideas and concepts. The internet really is an idiocracy!

On November 22, 2008 at 02:41 AM, neeki (guest) said...
chill out dude. as you may have found out, anybody can post on the article forums, engineer or not. if you want cold hard science, then read the articles and forgo some of the comments.
or if it irks you so much, just stop using the internet altogether. it would be terrible for an intelligent, educated person like you to stumble across more drivel like this.

On November 24, 2008 at 10:35 PM, an anonymous reader said...
On November 12, 2008 at 11:09 PM, Fed Up (guest) said...
Subject: Re: butter that doesn't churn

You guys say you're engineers and "analytical". What bullshit. You're all just fucking psycho undereducated idiots who are living in the Middle Ages. I'm fed up with this site and it's promotion of outdated ideas and concepts. The internet really is an idiocracy!
Hey buddy, I'm a fan of Randi and the skeptics, but

1) This a great site, full of helpful food science information and techniques

2) You sound like a delightful person, full of tolerance and warmth

3) Instead of ignoring the silly people, you crap all over the site

On December 14, 2008 at 08:26 AM, dlovegrove (guest) said...
Subject: cream with additives can work
I tried this with a Land-o-Lakes heavy whipping cream, purchased at Sam's Club. The ingredients list was frightfully long, including carrageenan. It still worked wonderfully, although it took a while -- about 15 minutes in the mixer, and each step took longer than these directions indicated. Added a little finely-ground sea salt, and it was tasty. I ended up making english toffee with it. Yum.

On April 07, 2009 at 02:22 PM, Dimples (guest) said...
Subject: gold top milk
While visiting a farm with my children last year we were wondering why there were a lot of people gathered round a tent shaking plastic cups(with lids on)
When we neared the tent we heard the farmer say and thats the butter forming at the top of the cup so keep shaking.
They were making the butter from gold top milk
Ive not tried making butter myself using gold top but thought I'd pass this info on.

On May 01, 2009 at 12:11 AM, Katie (guest) said...
Subject: Time it takes for making butter
Hello, I just bought a cow share and tried to make butter from the cream off the top of the milk, but I couldn't get it to work. I used a kitchen aid mixer for about 40 minutes, so, I don't know if I simply didn't go for long enough or if accidentally picked up too much milk when I was skimming off the cream. Any estimates for how long I should mix until giving up?

On May 01, 2009 at 03:26 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Time it takes for making butter
Katie wrote:
Hello, I just bought a cow share and tried to make butter from the cream off the top of the milk, but I couldn't get it to work.

You'll probably need to let that cream sit for a while and then lift the cream that forms from that. Usually cream that comes from the initial sitting/separation of milk is too low in fat to be churned into butter.

On May 03, 2009 at 09:57 AM, amateur cook (guest) said...
Subject: ultrapasteurized milk
Thanks for this website. After having looked at other websites, I made my first attempt to make butter. Actually, I was more interested in getting the buttermilk for baking, but I have also always wanted to make homemade butter. All I have available to me is store bought ultrapastuerized heavy cream (with additives), which was about to expire in 1 wk. Most sites recommend shaking the cream in a jar. I attempted this, and it just seemed to take a long time and too much energy without much progress. Next, I saw someone said he accidentally made butter using an ice cream maker as a churn. This also failed for me using my manually churned ice cream maker, perhaps because the cream was too cold (straight from the refrigerator), or I would have needed to churn for hours.

Finally, I looked at your website for troubleshooting, and decided to go to bed and let my churned cream sit in a glass mixing bowl (put a plate to cover, but make sure there is some air space) at room temp for 12 hours. Next day, using a electrical hand mixer, I varied the speed from medium to low for about 5 - 10 minutes (there is some minor splashing; remember my cream was semi-churned from the day before so if it was not already churned, it may require longer mixing time with the blender), then it instantly separated into whipped butter and buttermilk. I decided to use both this homemade butter and buttermilk to make my banana bread, and it turned out wonderfully.

For my next attempt at making butter, I hope to be able to skip the churning step. I will also experiment with letting the cream go past the expiration date for possibly better results and flavor because it seems like the longer the cream sits in the refrigerator, you start getting thicker cream on top. Based on this website, I may be able to skip waiting for the cream to get to room temp. When pouring the cream into a large mixing bowl, definitely tear open the carton and collect all the cream that sticks to the walls of the carton which is the primary component for butter you don't want to go to waste.

I am not a big fan of salted butter. I prefer unsalted butter. Once you get accustomed to unsalted butter, you don't want to go back to the adulterated form. The salt overpowers the delicious pure butter flavor. The dairy company wants to get you addicted and habituated to the salted butter because the salt helps the butter store longer. You never want to use salted butter for baking, or cooking for that matter, because it's harder to control your salt content, and can ruin the recipe.

On May 14, 2009 at 11:14 AM, Happy Camper (guest) said...
Subject: Ultra Pasteurized worked for me
I just made butter from Organic Valley Organic Heavy Whipping cream (ingredients are Grade A Cream and Carrageenan). After letting the cream sit overnight at room temperature, I was able to whip it into butter using my Kitchen Aid in about 5 minutes at medium speed. It happened so fast that I walked away to do something and it was butter before I got back! The additional steps (rinsing out the buttermilk, and herbing it - in this case with garlic, garden chives, salt/pepper) were an additional 30 - 45 minutes.

I would say that unless you have access to cheap cream, this is a pretty expensive way to make butter, but it tastes delicious!

On August 03, 2009 at 02:35 AM, SeeversMJ (guest) said...
Subject: cholesterol
Hi Michael

I appreciated your comments on cholesterol. Could you elaborate a little further on the good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol that we hear about in the light of your research? Where does it fit into the emerging picture? Thanks.

On August 03, 2009 at 04:59 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: cholesterol
SeeversMJ wrote:
I appreciated your comments on cholesterol. Could you elaborate a little further on the good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol that we hear about in the light of your research? Where does it fit into the emerging picture? Thanks.

From what I've deduced from my readings, bad cholesterol is correlated with heart disease (such as atherosclerosis). As LDL levels rise, risk of heart disease and artery blockage increases. LDL is also found in the plaque that forms on the arterial walls in the case of atherosclerosis. However, increased risk does not indicate causation. There are studies that show that some populations with high LDL levels have a reduced incidence of heart disease. Some doctors believe there are other factors (genetic, etc.) and more or less ignore those studies as outliers. I currently believe that cholesterol levels should be used as an indicator - if you normally have low cholesterol levels and it increases, then there may be something causing the increase that should be addressed. The body naturally produces larger amounts of cholesterol when stressed (either physically or mentally) and the removal of these factors could do more to reduce the chance of heart disease (and subsequent reduction in bloodstream cholesterol content).

On October 19, 2009 at 08:04 AM, Al (guest) said...
Subject: Buttermilk
Started making butter recently and love it, just haven't been using the resultant buttermilk. I understand that you can use it in recipes as a substitute for milk, but can I turn this into a substitute for buttermilk called for in recipes? If I culture the milk before I make the butter, will the resultant buttermilk be like the buttermilk called for in recipes? WHat about culturing the buttermilk afterwards such as in the recipes for making buttermilk from regular milk?

On December 04, 2009 at 06:00 PM, realbutter (guest) said...
Subject: soymilk
This may be about cooking for engineers (@natalie) but trying to engineer butter by adding all manner of weird synthetic ingredients to the already highly-processed substance that is soymilk is really a far less elegant solution than simply making and eating real butter. If you are lactose intolerant, get some lactose-free milk. If you're a vegan, it's worth considering that while a vegan diet may be kind on animals, most vegan alternative foods are not kind to your body—full of chemicals, artificial ingredients and genetically modified crops (namely soy and corn). Eat real butter!

On December 19, 2009 at 01:04 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: thanks!
I'm so glad to find this site! My husband and I are buying heavy whipping cream from the local restaurant supply store. We cook a lot, and the bulk cream is cheaper.

After making butter from that for awhile, and then using store butter, I noticed that there was still a difference in the outcome. I realized from reading your site that we just weren't whipping it enough (didn't get to the buttermilk part---didn't know that there was even seperation involved!). Thanks for the detailed information, as well as pictures. I might look around your site more, and perhaps invest in a KitchenAide : )

Quick question: what is the chemistry behind the color change when you make butter?

Quick tip: did you know that 1 Tablespoon of sour cream can be substituted for 1 egg in a recipe?

On January 18, 2010 at 05:31 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: The missing stage you mentioned was know as clabber
The stage where the butter forms was called clabbering when we made butter on the farm. Also, the more moisture (buttermilk) you can remove the longer you will be able to store the butter without it becoming rancid. We would place the butter globules in a shallow bowl and rinse it while pressing it to the sides of the bowl. Adding the salt as you do this also draws the liquid from the fat. We had a wooden bowl and wood paddle that facilitated this process. I'm a "senior" and am glad to see that some of the old skills are being re-discovered

On February 01, 2010 at 03:06 PM, Momgenet (guest) said...
Subject: Problems making butter?
I just found this page ! I think it is interesting that people are talking about problems making butter. Or stating that it is difficult to make butter from raw cream. Perhaps engineers think to much? LOL!
I have been making butter for MONTHS with raw cream. Yes, even the first skimming! I have Jersey/Guernsey mixed cows. I let the cream come to room temperature. I either let my kids shake in a jar or use my stand mixer. I have butter in anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on who is doing what. I have never had a batch fail. I've never had to add lemon juice or any other additive. I do KNOW it needs to be at room temp. and you CAN NOT make butter from milk-- soy milk, evaporated milk or ANY KIND of milk. It needs to be high fat containing cream!
I even put different flavoring in the final product, such as fresh herbs or garlic! YUM! Enjoy!

On March 27, 2010 at 07:25 PM, doc (guest) said...
Subject: didn't work
I tried this method and my mixture went from thickening to just yellow liquid in a matter of seconds. There was never any chance to pour off buttermilk and just have butter.

On March 28, 2010 at 05:09 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: didn't work
doc wrote:
I tried this method and my mixture went from thickening to just yellow liquid in a matter of seconds. There was never any chance to pour off buttermilk and just have butter.

Keep beating the yellow liquid. The stuff making the liquid look yellow (fat clusters) should start to clump up and form a solid mass.

On March 28, 2010 at 12:38 PM, doc (guest) said...
Subject: good save

Thanks, that's roughly what I ended up doing, but the mixture didn't change much except that some fat gathered at the top. I assumed that since I was using a blender, the mixing was going too fast to allow the fat to coagulate. So I decided to just let it sit for a while, and in about 90 minutes, I had a much thicker product. At that point, a little agitation with a spoon separated the buttermilk, which I poured off. After rinsing what was left, I had butter!

On March 28, 2010 at 05:17 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: good save
doc wrote:

Thanks, that's roughly what I ended up doing, but the mixture didn't change much except that some fat gathered at the top. I assumed that since I was using a blender, the mixing was going too fast to allow the fat to coagulate. So I decided to just let it sit for a while, and in about 90 minutes, I had a much thicker product. At that point, a little agitation with a spoon separated the buttermilk, which I poured off. After rinsing what was left, I had butter!

Yeah, this doesn't work in a blender. The blender tends to break the fats up and evenly distribute it through the liquid - setting you back just about as fast it it brings the butter together! Stand mixer seems to be best followed by food processor.

On April 12, 2010 at 11:45 AM, papamarc37 (guest) said...
Subject: butter w/mason jar and where 2 get heavy cream
When you're using a jar to make butter, I find it works best to use room temperature cream and only fill the jar 25% full (at the most). It may take more batches, but the butter forms very quickly. Re-use the jar without rinsing for quicker subsequent batches.
Coffe shops and restaurant will often give you expired or about to expire cream free just for asking. I get 3-4 cases of heavy cream from the coffee shop at the ski resort where i live at the end of every season. It easily makes enough butter for the entire year for my family.

On May 06, 2010 at 03:16 PM, Betsmoore (guest) said...
Subject: Making Butter - I have fresh, raw milk from a Farm
I think I will try to use the method, except for the raw milk and a hand mixer. I do not have a standing mixer. Will regular beaters work?

On May 06, 2010 at 03:30 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Making Butter - I have fresh, raw milk from a Farm
Betsmoore wrote:
I think I will try to use the method, except for the raw milk and a hand mixer. I do not have a standing mixer. Will regular beaters work?

Anything that agitates the cream will work. Raw milk probably won't work unless you let it settle and use the cream portion (and then let that sit and use only the cream from that).

On June 15, 2010 at 04:52 PM, Phalini (guest) said...
Subject: culturing cream, then churning butter
Michael, I read all the comments. It took me a while. But I got some courage to try, try again. I have been trying to learn how to make cultured butter. I succeeded once, and failed three times. Can you tell me what I'm doing wrong? First, I skim off the cream from fresh cow's milk. Next, I heat the cream until little bubbles start to form around the edge of the pot, then I turn it off. I allow it to cool till I can hold my finger in it for 25 seconds. Then I stir in some live yogurt culture and set it up to ferment for eight hours. I then cool it to room temperature, pour it in a deep, stainless steel bowl, and beat it with an electric hand-mixer. The first time I did it, I got beautiful butter and yummy buttermilk. The second, third and fourth times, different things happened, but nothing like what I wanted to happen. I need a step-by-step tutorial on how to culture the cream and how to churn it (I don't have a butter-churn, but I do have an East Indian wooden hand-"dasher." I am starting to feel like Thomas Edison with all my experimentation that keeps failing, but I also have his stubborn determination to learn the right way to make a light-bulb.

On June 15, 2010 at 07:29 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: culturing cream, then churning butter
Phalini wrote:
The second, third and fourth times, different things happened, but nothing like what I wanted to happen.

You didn't explain what went wrong... hard to debug without knowing the problem. The only thing I'd suggest at this point is to allow the cream you skimmed off to sit and settle - then skim off the cream that forms there. The first skimming usually doesn't have enough fat to make butter easily. As for the culturing part - I would use a thermometer instead of the bubble/finger technique.

On June 18, 2010 at 07:30 AM, slavic beauty (guest) said...
Subject: making butter
There is special equipment available to make your own cream and butter at home.
It's portable and easy to use.
Cream separators electric and manual , manual cream separator w/ butter churn attachment, butter churns.

Please visit this site for details:

please email me should you have any questions:

On June 18, 2010 at 05:38 PM, Lee (guest) said...
Subject: Raw Milk Sources
Sources for raw milk and cream in your area can be found at

On August 07, 2010 at 07:11 PM, mpaget99 (guest) said...
Subject: making butter
The technical. Buy Heavy Whipping Cream at the market. I buy 4 quarts. Put all into the freezer for use when you need. When you are making butter, pull 1 out, defrost in a bowl of water. Pour into your mixing bowl and let sit until bowl is not cold.
The cream is already seperated at this point.
When you start the directions start at a slow speed, but skip the peaks, you will butter in a matter of minutes.
My total whipping time is less than 10 minutes. It takes longer to clean up than make butter.
Enjoy and don't be afraid of trying something new. It's just a quart of cream!!!

On August 29, 2010 at 03:47 PM, Bladerunner (guest) said...
I've been making my own butter for the last year or so. I use heavy cream in a quart-size Mason jar. I fill the jar about 1/4 of the way and shake till the cream breaks, and the butter is sloshing around in the buttermilk. At that point, I pour everything into a sieve over a bowl and squish the butter around a little bit to get more buttermilk off. Then I take the butter out of the sieve and put it into another bowl, and squish the butter around a bunch more with a big wooden spoon or a spatula over the sieve & bowl. The buttermilk gets saved for baking, and the butter goes into molds of some sort and they go into the freezer till I'm ready to use them.

I've been using small Tupperware containers for everyday molds, and I have a couple of plastic soap/candle molds for when I want the butter to look a bit fancier at the dinner table. I also recently bought some wooden butter molds from the late 1800s or so from an antique store - haven't gotten around to using them just yet.

The butter might not taste significantly better than store-bought, but I like having made it myself. Just like having made my own bread and jam. Even if the final product is similar to what I would've bought, I still have control over what goes into it, how it was made, and the satisfaction of having done it myself. I've learned bunches about physics and chemistry by researching and executing these sorts of projects for myself, which is pretty cool too.

Not too long ago, I tried using my Kitchen-Aid to make butter. I needed a bunch for cooking, and I'd run out of hand-shook butter. Yeah, it made butter in a snap, but after months of shaking it myself by hand, it kinds felt like cheating. I hadn't set any rules for myself, and it's not like anyone else was judging what I was doing, but it was kind of disappointing. In the last week, I've done a ton of baking. I've had to remember to plan ahead and make enough butter for everything I want to bake, and have enough leftover for any other cooking I need to do (like breakfast and dinner!). I'm slowly learning to make more things for myself, and the more I do so, the happier I've become with my cooking - and even my eating.

Your Mileage May Vary.

On January 25, 2011 at 08:25 PM, motherofmany13 (guest) said...
Subject: butter from raw milk
I liked your article on butter making but am having a bit of a problem. Our 15 yr old bought a dairy cow 2 months ago. It gives great milk and we have been using the cream for butter but seems to have a rancid smell. We do the washing out of the buttermilk and try to be careful and clean with it all but cannot seem to get rid of the flavor/smell. Someone said it is kind of a parmesan cheese smell and normal but it sure does not seem to be good tasting. Are we doing something wrong? I cannot seem to find an answer on the web but came across your site and hoped you would have an answer.

On January 26, 2011 at 07:17 AM, Dilbert said...
butter taste/smell can be influenced by the cow's feed/pasture/forage....

On April 24, 2011 at 01:07 PM, PaulB (guest) said...
Subject: Attempts so far!
I have had 2 attempts at butter making using double cream (UK) near it's sell by date! The first attempt seemed to go well but I used too high a speed on my mixer and after 30 minutes had a very glossy fairly thick cream whizzing around the bowl leaving no residue on the sides! I think any buttermilk had been mixed back into the butter. I did not see 'butter globules' appear at any stage, I even left it out overnight and tried again in the morning to no avail and abandoned the plan.
For my second attempt, I left the cream out for a day and a half, gave it a quick whizz with a hand held blender then put it in a jar and shook, never got too much separated buttermilk which may have reabsorbed a bit, anyway proceeded to washing stage and got plenty of milky water back out, put it in a bowl in the fridge. I then tried adding salt to a small sample but found a lot of liquid coming out of the 'butter' is this wet butter simply solved by continuing to knead and pouring off the excess liquid, I did 'dry' the butter with kitchen tissue?
Should I stop shaking as soon as the thick cream appears in the jar, pour of any buttermilk, shake again and keep getting the buttermilk out? Once washed, shouls I gain keep kneading until as much moisture as possible is out? Thanks


On May 24, 2011 at 11:23 AM, tkrusty (guest) said...
Subject: Making butter and cheese
Years ago in the 1970's , when my kids were growing up. Ihad 2 milk cows and milked 2 ties a day. I had so much milk I would refrigerate for a day and skim off the cream. What ever milk was left we drank, made cheese and raised a couple of pigs on the rest.

Making butter was easy, I had a butter churn, but also used a gallon glass jar. Fill the jar about 2/3rd's full and let it warm to room temp. Then in the evening while watching TV we would put the jar on the floor and roll it back and forth with our feet. We had butter in about 10 minutes. Don't try to churn cold cream because it takes too long. we would wash it and salt it, cool it and cut into pieces and wrap in wax paper and freeze. Lasted a long time.

Cheese was another product we made. I had a 5 gallon pot and heated the milk and put in the rennet and ended up with curds and whey. washed the curds and made several kinds of cheese. Fed the whey to the pigs along with the extra milk.

Those pigs loved it. and after they were grown, they make the best pork chops, ham, and bacon.
Those days are gone now. No one knows how to do it anymore.
Thanks for reading my long dissertation.

On September 07, 2011 at 04:41 PM, stratfanrick (guest) said...
Subject: making butter
I made butter from cold whipping cream directly out of the fridge... poured a quart in a large bowl and used my mixer to whip it till it turned to butter and liquid buttermilk. I poured off the buttermilk, washed out the excess as directed, and got delicious butter that tastes almost like store-bought unsalted butter but better. It did take about 20 minutes of mixing, but it was perfect my first try; absolutely foolproof! My wife works at a corporate dairy and we get all the free whipping cream we can use from their lab sampling; doubt I'll buy butter again!

On September 07, 2011 at 09:22 PM, Jim Cooley said...
Twenty minutes! Try chilling the bowl and beaters first. Shouldn't take nearly that long.

I agree, it's tasty stuff.

On November 11, 2011 at 07:28 AM, Gib (guest) said...
Subject: butter making variables
I just found this site and love the concept. I have a cow and not much to do with cream except make butter. I save it up in the freezer and then spend a day making butter every month or so. I use a simple butter churn which is basically a paddle on a motor that fastens to the top of a gallon jar. My question is why does the butter coagulate quickly sometimes and other times it never seems to transition from the soft peaks stage? I assume temperature is a factor but I haven't figured out what is the ideal. I have also heard that other weather conditions can make a difference. Atmospheric pressure? I have never seen the science behind this.

On April 29, 2012 at 06:55 PM, Josefinie (guest) said...
Subject: Thank you for your directions
Just wanted some direction for making butter, perfect step by step directions. Thank you. Can't wait to make it again and add herbs and other ingredients.

On November 01, 2012 at 10:36 PM, (guest) said...
Subject: making butter
The first time I visited this site I read EVERY SINGLE post. I was surprised there was no mention of ghee which is a form of butter with all but the fat removed creating a product that has a longer shelf life used in countries with less refrigeration capability. It might be useful for the people who made butter that had a sour or off taste. This following information was found on Wikipedia after typing "ghee" into Google:

To prepare ghee, butter is melted in a pot over medium heat. The butter begins to melt, forming a white froth on top. It is then simmered stirring occasionally and the froth reduces slowly and the color of the butter changes to pale yellow. Then it is cooked on low heat until it turns golden. The residue settles at the bottom and the ghee, which is now clear, golden,translucent and fragrant, is ready. The ghee is then filtered and it solidifies when completely cool.[1] Ghee has a long shelf-life and needs no refrigeration if kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation. The texture, color and taste of ghee depends on the source of the milk obtained and the duration of boiling.

On November 02, 2012 at 12:21 AM, Dilbert said...
>> I read EVERY SINGLE post.

try "clarified butter" or search on ghee

Dec 16, 2006
Aug 25, 2005

On January 03, 2013 at 07:46 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Can you use gold to make butter? Because in Minecraft gold looks like butter :D .

On August 13, 2013 at 03:57 PM, an anonymous reader said...
In my area we have a supply of fresh milk and cream from a local dairy -- this is not pasturized -- the kind of milk I grew up with as a kid -- I pay 5.00 for a gal of milk and 6.00 for a qt of cream -- many areas in the US allow farmers/dairy to sell products at the farm that are unpastuized or processed. Do a google hunt - you usually have to go to the farm.. we also have a local dairy that sells in the local area slow process pasturized products- both kinds make great butter ... you can also check at local farmers markets, substainability groups, or organic farming groups for milk and other things ...

On June 21, 2015 at 04:14 PM, Barb (guest) said...
Subject: I goofed.
I have tried putting the ultra pasteurized ( only thing that was organic) cream in the blender. No butter. Moved it to the food processor. No butter. Moved it to a mixer. 15 minutes later, no butter.
Now I see that no one else put the salt in before it had separated. Did I ruin it with my Finely powdered Himilayan sea salt?

It had separated a little bit earlier but no ball. Did i ruin it by letting it go back together instead of trying to ball up what if had?
I am frustrated.
And feeling like a butter failure.

On June 21, 2015 at 04:55 PM, Dilbert said...
well, I don't put salt in comma at all - does not seem to be the cause.....

blenders and food processors may simply be too violent.

I use a KA with a whisk. 2 cups in the bowl, start out medium speed to get a froth, then move to high speed. whips up to 'whipped cream' the 'dry' then it breaks into fat globules and buttermilk.

On January 25, 2016 at 06:16 PM, Kerrygally (guest) said...
Subject: Help! I may have over whipped my butter
Hi I think I went past the moment when it became butter and now it's a creamy soft substance. It went past the splattering phase but it didn't seem to solidify the way it has in the past so I let my mixer keep going. It's been over 30 mins now. Is what I have salvageable? And do you think I just over mixed it?

On January 26, 2016 at 08:36 AM, Dilbert said...
I'd guess it's too warm -

when the spattering happens, that's the 'butter milk' that has separated from the cream/now butter

suggest you pop it in the refrigerator and let it cool - it should set up. then squeeze out the butter milk.

On October 19, 2016 at 04:53 AM, Itismeagain (guest) said...
Subject: And back to runny liquid.
Can heavy whipping cream be 'over mixed'? I used a Nutnribullet, and in the process of smacking it around trying to get it to blend, my mix of very soft butter turned back to liquid form. It is not as thick as it was in the beginning, either. Can this be re-mixed to try again? Or should I make treats for the dog w/it? Hate to waste, but if I can do nothing w/it.

On October 20, 2016 at 01:23 PM, Dilbert said...
sounds like you may have melted the butter.

a blender is not imho an appropriate tool to churn butter. that said,,,,

did you get a separation of butter and a watery liquid (aka buttermlk?)
once the butter fat has lumped up and you have a batch of butter chunks and butter milk, it's time to stop with the whipping/churning/whatever.

the heat from the motor may simply have melted the butter. did it go back to something like butter when it cooled?

On December 10, 2017 at 08:50 AM, Mariya (guest) said...
Subject: Making butter
When you overmix the cream, when you skip to pour off the buttermilk, and get a fluffy mass, there is a cure 🙂 I`ve found out what to do in this case – simply melt the mousse completely to be liquid again, then cool it in the refrigirator. It will separate to butter and buttermilk. Pour off the buttermilk and wash out the butter, add salt. Perfect!!

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