Making Butter and Homemade Buttermilk

Making butter at home is super easy though it can be a little messy, but don’t let that dissuade you!

When you make your own butter you get to control the ingredients which means you can get a better product.

Try to find cream from grassfed cows.  The cream tastes better which means the butter will taste better.  It will also be a pretty yellow color without the need for additives to get it that way.

If you cannot find grassfed cream, look for the best possible source of cream you can find. See if there are any local dairies in your area.  You can check Local Harvest and Eat Wild to discover local producers.

I purchased whipping cream by the half gallon, so my post today will be based off of that.

You’ll want to get whipping cream to make your butter.  You need the fat in this to create your butter.

What you’ll need:

  • Stand mixer (you can use a hand mixer but it takes a long time to get butter, just a heads up)
  • Wire strainers
  • Large bowl
  • Paper towels or dish clothes that you use for food prep
  • Containers for buttermilk
  • Plastic wrap or containers for butter

I work with 4 Cups of cream at a time.

I place the cream into the stand mixer bowl, attach the whisk attachment. I start at speed 2 for a bit and once it starts to get fluffy and thicken up I increase the speed to 4.  I do not go past 4.

Let this work and work and work.  It takes about 10 minutes, possibly a little less.  The whipped cream will keep getting thicker and thicker.  Eventually it will break down, this is the stage you want to get to.

When the cream breaks, it will look like this.

That right there is your butter sitting in some buttermilk.  This is where the strainers come in handy.

Place one strainer over a large bowl and pour out the buttermilk and let the butter sit in the strainer.

Push down and squeeze the butter through your hands to get out most of the buttermilk.

Then (and this is the messy part), place the butter in another strainer and take to your sink.  Run cold water over the butter and squeeze and knead the butter with your hands.  This works out any leftover milk solids in the butter.  You want to do this until the water you’re squeezing out starts to run clear.  When the liquid coming out of the butter is clear this means the butter is free of milk.  Milk left in the butter won’t affect the taste but it can cause the butter to have a shorter shelf life.

Then with paper towels or dish cloths, dry out the butter.  The goal is to get the butter as dry as possible.

Do the exact same thing for the next four cups of cream that you have waiting.

I portion out the butter into small amounts and put the buttermilk in an air tight container.

I wrap the butter in plastic wrap and store in the freezer until I need it.  Then since it’s already portioned out, I am able to pull out how much I need.

The buttermilk will last you about a week.

I don’t salt my butter but I know some folks do.  I like it fresh and unsalted.  If you are doing any baking, the butter is already at room temp so you would be able to get started right away.

From start to finish this takes me about 45 minutes and that includes the cleanup.  I usually get close to 1 Quart of fresh buttermilk and about 2 Pounds of butter.  Not to shabby!

I totally encourage you to give making butter a try!  Like with everything else, with practice it becomes easier and more streamlined the more you do it.  Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

7 thoughts on “Making Butter and Homemade Buttermilk

  1. I would love to try this! Just curious…. what price do you pay for the half gallon of fresh cream? I wouldn’t have a clue what that should cost. Thanks!

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