Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update on Canned Butter

Reader Andrea emailed me to ask if the butter we canned was of good quality, that is, worth it. Did it taste the same, was it the same texture as regular butter? Here's some observations:

We opened one of the jars of butter. The three of us (husband, brother, self) agree that it tastes fine and the texture is about the same. That is, it is not gritty or gravelly or crusty. The butter stays solid at room temperature, but it is a bit more runny/moist than what we were used to. See, I keep our butter normally in the fridge when it is not in use. When I take it out, the butter is hard until it warms up and softens. The butter in the jar is soft and melty. As I said, it tastes just fine, just like normal butter. I haven't noticed a difference.

Keep in mind that we just canned that butter a week or so ago. I don' t know how the butter will be 1 year, 2 years, 5 years out. Can't tell til we get there. However, the reason we canned the butter in the first place is so we would have butter to hand if our regular supply wasn't available. Lower-quality butter would be acceptable if it was the only butter around, I think.

Normally we get our butter either from the Amish farmers (purchased as "pet food") or I buy some from a store. I love the Amish butter as it is fresh churned from a cow milked that morning, but store butter is OK too. I have never used margarine or oleo or any of the fake butters. For me, I'll take the healthy if a bit fattening butter over whatever margarine is (one molecule away from plastic) any day.

Folks who have been canning butter for years using the method we used say it is fine at 3 years down the road, and fine at 5 years too. I'll take their word for it until I have another opinion to go by. So if you're wondering whether to "can" butter, I'd say go ahead. That way you have some in hand if supplies dry up.


Anonymous said...

do you know the origin of margarine? It was first made as a fattening agent for turkeys, to speed up the fattening/weight of the birds for the holiday season.
The only problem was the turkeys would not eat it. Then they started putting little packets of a red/orange salted dye with it and selling it to people as a substitute for butter. I can remember my father, in the 40's, sitting, mixing 'butter' for the family. I guess the people that made the stuff origionaly for turkeys figured people were not as smart as the turkeys....ya know, I think they were right!

Andrea said...

Thanks for the update! Whenever we make popcorn, there's always some melted butter leftover and it gets so nasty. It separates into water/milk on the bottom, gritty, fat on top...if those were your results I was going to pass. Sounds like I need to make a butter-run to the Amish store and try this!

Much appreciation,

Patricia said...

Charli: I read of an experiment where a guy put some margarine on his windowsill to see what would eat it. Nothing did. Bugs ignored it, even flies, birds wouldn't touch it. The stuff wouldn't even mold after two years in the sunny heat of a windowsill! Sooo, whatever it is, I don't want any of it. Thanks for the turkey story. :)

Andrea: I think you'll be pleased with the canned butter. There is no difference that I can tell so far.

Anonymous said...

Good morning all and glad your back with us through your posts Patricia!

It is my understanding that canned butter is more like ghee than traditional butter. It will remain runnier, however, it has that butter taste and will add flavor to your foods whenever used.

I'm looking forward to doing this myself why I can get my hands on about 10# of butter.

Again, love your blog and always learn something from your posts!

Perhaps you can share some tips on making ristra's. We just purchased a fairly large amount of cayenne peppers yesterday at our local farmers market and would love to get them all 'tied up'. Reading your hubby's blog got us determined to have those wonderful peppers available during the cold months!

MaMaBear in the Mitten

Andrea said...

Alright, I've got the butter and my husband knows what he'll be doing tonight...shaking butter, baby!

I'm intrigued by your description of the texture....we buy 'spreadable' butter to use on toast and homemade bread...if your butter has a similar texture, we won't be paying $4/tub each week for the spreadable stuff!

Anonymous said...

Yes, you go, girl! Love connecting with people who are openminded to canning butter. I really love it -- sucb a great addition to my pantry. http://tiny.cc/6Ycp3

Andrea said...

Love it! We canned about 5 pounds last night and cracked open a scant jar to sample. There's a slight change in the texture, but not bad at all! Totally usable.

Stephanie said...

Missed the "how to". Can you post the recipe again? Thanks!