First let me say I realize a lot of people will say that my method of “pressure canning” is unnecessary, but since butter is fat (100%) I choose to follow the advice of a trusted source and pressure can mine. This was my 1st attempt and I am sooooooo satisfied with the results. There are many methods to the madness, but here is the one I choose.
For reference and giving credit where credit is due – I chose to follow KatzCradul (from Youtube) on her process. The video is about a year old, she’s still alive with no ill effects, so I’m good with her advice – not to mention I’ve followed a few other of her video’s as well. The link (if your interested) KatzCradul Butter Canning.
What really sparked my interest in this whole “canning butter” situation was several very severe lighting storms we’ve had lately. Although we have alternate means of cooking, etc…. we have no alternate means of refrigeration. Although we have cooking oil stored, lard, etc…. I cook with butter a lot – for seasoning or to keep things from sticking to whatever I’m cooking in.
But, what if there is no power for refrigeration? This was the reason I started looking for good resources and decided to give it a try myself.
What I did in simple terms:
I got my stash of 1/2 pint jars out. I put it in 1/2 pints for space sake and for probability of use sake.
Next, I got the butter out. When on sale my grocery store brand is $2/lb. I would never pay more than that and 1 lb. of stick butter will can down to 2 1/2 pint jars.
I have 4 lbs. of butter which will make 8 – 1/2 pints of canned butter. I also, upon the referenced video’s advice – used 1/2 salted and 1/2 unsalted butter to give it all a good mix when canned.
All that stuff above is actually the hardest part – the next steps are fairly easy….
1) Place jars in the oven at 170 – 220 degrees for sterilization purposes (if you’re jars have been used before, run them through the dishwasher and inspect for food particles that could be left over. Clear the jars, rinse, and sterilize in the oven.)
2) Unwrap and melt your stick (store bought) butter down in a pot on the stove on low heat. You don’t want it to burn.
Once the butter sticks were completely melted I removed the foam from the top. Note: the melting time only took a few minutes on low heat but could have gone faster if I had cut the sticks into smaller pieces. Also, when removing the foam you only want to barely go under the foam as to not spoon out too much of your butter!
3) Foam is gone and now I put the melted butter in to the jars.
4) Fill jars to bottom rim of the neck leaving head space. Also, always remember the secret to successfully canning is heat! Everything is hot, so wear protective hand covers (oven mitt or something)
While I’m doing this my pressure (steam) canner is warming up and my lids are in a pot of water warming.
5) When filling your jars be sure and “ladle” from the bottom of the pot your melted butter is in. You want a good mix of solids and liquid in your jars – like you see in the picture. We’ll talk more about this in a few seconds.
6) Wipe your rims of the jars with a clean cloth to remove any butter residue from them and position your lids and rings on the jars, hand tighten.
7) Place your jars into the pressure canner and please read your manufacturer instructions on water level, etc. For my canner, I had the water about 3/4 of the way up the jars. Secured the lid and waited for the pressure to build.
8) According to the video I watched, KatzCradul processed her’s for 60 minutes at 10 lbs. So, I followed her lead.
9) The pressure built and I started timing. 60 minutes later…..
This is how they looked when they came out of the pressure canner. As soon as I removed the lid of the canner the jars started popping and within just a couple of minutes all the jars had sealed properly.
I sat them on a towel to cool.
10) About 25 minutes the jars were cool enough to handle and here is where you need to redistribute the solids into the liquid by gently shaking the jars every 15 minutes.
I took these out of the canner around 4:30 p.m. and gently shook every 15 minutes. Roughly 5 hours later, the jars were almost completely cool and the butter had started solidifying in the jar.
And finally solid…..
Being we consume/use a lot of butter, I’m not truly concerned with shelf-life. What I was more concerned with was a power out situation and no back up refrigeration. I feel a little more at ease now!