The Vintage Kitchen – Canning Butter

1.   You must use salted butter.  11 lbs will fill 12 pint jars. 

2.   Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Place cleaned pint size jars in oven for 20 minutes, without rings or seals.  One pound of butter more than fills one pint jar.

3.    While jars are in oven, melt butter in a pot slowly until it comes to a slow boil.  Stir well, being sure to get bottom of the pot often to keep the butter from scorching. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 5 minutes.  Place the lids in a small pot and bring to a boil, leaving the lids in simmering water until needed.

4.   With sterilized spoon, take white foam off top of clarified butter. Pour melted clarified butter carefully into sterilized jars through a canning jar funnel.  Leave ½ to ¾ ” of head space in the jar, which allows room for the shaking process.

5.   Carefully wipe off the top of the jars.  Then get a hot lid from the simmering water, add the lid and ring, and secure each gently.

6.   Fill canning pot 1/3 full for pint size jars. Turn burner on. Put butter jars into canning pot and secure it shut. Turn the heat to high. After the air vent button pops up and steam starts rolling out loudly, I start timing. Since the jars were sterilized and the butter boiled I only canned for 20 min. If I had not boiled the butter in advance it would take 60 minutes in the canner.

7.   Turn heat off under canning pot. Let cool. It may take a while. Do not ever try to open a canning pot lid until the air vent button has gone down.  After the button goes down, it should be safe to slowly open the lid.  SLOWLY. As soon as it opens, you will start to hear pings. This means they are sealing.

8.   Once in a while you’ll have a jar not seal. You check the seal by pressing the center, it should not give at all. If one gives, use that one for this week’s butter.

9.   While cooling, shake once an hour until it looks uniform. You can put it in the refrigerator to make this process go faster.

10.   I store my butter in a cool place in our cellar.

Let me make it perfectly clear that canning butter has not been proven to be safe by the USDA. You should research canning butter before beginning this adventure.

 After item has been in storage for a while check these things:

1.   Is it still sealed?

2.   Does it have mold on it inside or out?

3.   Does it look odd in any way?

4.   Does it have an off odor

5.   If it is not sealed or any of the above occur, throw it away

If all looks perfect, but you still want assurance, boil your canned butter for 30 min’s.

People have been canning for many years.  It wasn’t until this past century that people started to lose their heritage of preserving food.

People have been canning successfully since the 1800’s.

For safety’s sake, please read what the USDA has to say on the subject of canning butter at home. Much of this is because they haven’t run tests on these processes themselves and therefore cannot vouch for their safety. Please read HERE and decide for yourself before proceeding to can butter at home.

Sharon’s Canned Butter

Use sterilzed jars, make sure they aren’t chipped on the rim


  • Joy said:

    Well...I have to almost make it look fun! :-) Not being a "kitchen girl" at all, I can't imagine myself ever doing this, but that doesn't diminish the delight I had in watching you do it...making it look effortless :-)

    My mind has gone to Psalm 119:37, "Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word." I know God allows me time in the "pressure cooker" sometimes too, to preserve and "sterilize", removing "bacteria", knowing just how long I need for His refining. Just as you desire "pure" butter, I pray my life will be purified through the process. I know one thing...I'm "sealed" forever and will not be thrown away.

    Hugs and love,

  • Thank you Joy! Wow I love your biblical insight and depth! That was good!

  • Corinne said:

    I'm more than a little puzzled. What would be the advantage of canning butter?

    You're using commercial butter, not butter you churned and therefore have an excess. I've always been able to get it when I need it at the store with terrific sales around the holidays. Butter, unlike fruits and vegetables, does not have a peak season.

    I can fruits each summer, but on canning butter I am entirely flummoxed. Also, dry heating of jars has never been recommended. Is there a reason you wouldn't use boiling water to sterilize the jars?

    • Hi Corinne,

      At Thanksgiving and Christmas I can use up to 10 pds a week, depending on what I am baking and cooking. I always appreciate the extra butter on hand. The National Center for Home Perserving says, "Jars do not need to be sterilized before canning if they will be filled with food and processed in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes or more or if they will be processed in a pressure canner. Jars that will be processed in a boiling water bath canner for less than 10 minutes, once filled, need to be sterilized first by boiling them in hot water for 10 minutes before they're filled." Since I used a canner and processed them for 20 min's I didnt need to boil the jars based on this info, but I feel better about heating the jars to 275 degrees and it helps keep them hot so the boiling butter doesn't shock the jar. The oven is easy.

      I don't know many people who can butter. I am just in love with butter and can't live without it. I try and only go to the grocery store once a week, at holidays my refrigerator is packed--So this is why I can it.

      Thanks for asking Corinne.


    • Christina said:

      If you ever have an emergency situation where you don't have power for weeks (no fridge or freezer) you will be happy to have canned food and canned butter! People never plan for prolonged emergencies and when something happens, something MAJOR...they run to their friends and neighbors who have the skill and foresight to plan ahead. Don't be that the one who preps!

  • Linda said:

    Oh, I love this idea. I don't know why I've never thought of it. I make butter while my cow is milking, but it takes up a lot of freezer space. I am going to try it this year. Thanks!

    • Yay! I'm glad you got inspired! I wish we lived close and I could buy butter from you. We milk goats and it's stinking hard to get goat butter. Thanks for stopping by to see me, come again! Blessings, Sharon

      • Anonymous said:

        Sharon, pardon me barging in on your conversation but may I ask, why is it difficult to get butter from your goat milk? I'm hoping my nanny is pregnant, but have never had exp with that. She is Nigerian.

        • Ailie B said:

          not much fat in goats milk....if you have a herd it would be simpler...not saying it can't be done.....just difficult.....if you are doing it for fun or to learn ....great....goats milk does not separate like cows milk

          • Anonymous said:

            Actually there is a plenty fat content in goats milk but it is naturally homogenized meaning the cream doesn't separate from the milk. That is one reason goats milk is more digest able than cows milk. You can get goat cream with a cream separator.
            After a couple days in the fridge there will be a bit of goat cream that rises to the top.

  • Anonymous said:

    Can you add other ingredients, such as fresh arlic or make a scampi sauce with garlic, white wine & lemon juice? Thank you.
    Katie Parker

    • I haven't added any to mine yet! Ill try and let you know!

  • Kristan said:

    Another great reason for canning butter is that even in power outages, you have butter. You can keep and store excess without having to refrigerate or freeze it all. When the power is out, and many people experienced that this past year with storm weather, you do not have to worry about your butter going bad. Just an idea :)

    • Rosemary Handerson said:

      Excellent idea. Now that I am retired and living with my kids, they insisted, I plan on canning again. I look forward to learning your technics. Do you recommend any certain pressure canner?

      • Sara said:

        Rosemary, we just got a 21-qt All-American pressure canner and it's amazing! Worth the extra $$.

    • Rosemary Handerson said:

      Excellent idea. Now that I am retired and living with my kids, they insisted, I plan on canning again. I look forward to learning your technics. Do you recommend any certain pressure canner? Rosemary

  • Missy said:

    I love it! One question though. How long can you store it? I have a cold storage in my basement so no problem keeping it in a cool place :)

  • Cathy Geary said:

    Goat's milk is different, it has a generally lower butterfat content, it does not separate off as easily and in my experience, butter made form it tends to retain that "goat" taste, My family did not like it at all. I make very good whole milk yogurt from my goat milk.

  • DebW said:

    The USDA site has nothing on pressure canning. I'm guessing that pressure canning would be the way to go, rather than just putting the butter in hot jars. Also, even though you are starting with dry, hot jars, why not use liquid sterilized jars? At most there would be a tiny bit of water in it. I bought butter on sale and have it in the freezer at the moment. I'd appreciate any extra comments, tips or suggestions. THANKS!

  • Debra Cottam said:

    Enjoyed reading about canning butter, I too love butter and hate to run out. I especially liked the comment from Joy with the scripture references. I will try this butter bottling and see how I do. Thank You!

  • Tamara Howard said:

    You're just too cool! I just came by your blog by accident and so happy I did. Can't wait to check it out. I love clarified butter/ghee ! I'm totally doing this- thank you for this post!

    • What do you think the storage life of this butter would be? I am excited to try it. Canned butter is expensive.

  • Deborah said:

    Thank you for posting this article about canning butter. my husband and I have both recently retired and are getting a stockpile of food in storage to prepare for emergencies. I have been wondering about canning butter, so this article is very timely. thank you for the scripture to go along with it!

  • Gayle N said:

    Why does it have to be salted butter only?

  • Linda S said:

    Just love this post - a new and interesting idea. I can a lot of different things from our garden but have never even considered butter - and I love it too. Am I correct that you don't use a regular water bath but instead use a pressure canner? Mine is stored somewhere in the basement as I normally use just a regular water bath canner for various veggie canning. I buy butter 12lbs at a time when it goes on sale and stick it in my freezer - but you're right if the power goes out - you're stuck!

  • Roseann said:

    Hi, Do have to remove the butter fat, that settles on the bottom of the clarified butter, before pouring the clarified butter into the jars? If this method is used the end results has another name which I cant remember it has a long shelf life.

  • Kris Watson said:

    I have been canning butter for a few years now, and grew very tired of shaking the jars every hour to combine the water with the fat. I did some research and decided to get rid of the water altogether. I put all my butter cubes in a large heavy pot and melt it completely, then put it in the refrigerator overnight so the fat solidifies, leaving he water in the bottom of the pan. When the fat has set up, I make a small hole along the interior edge of he pan and drain the water out of it, then remelt the fat and can it the same way you do, except for the shaking. So far, it is much better without the water, and you will be surprised to see just how much water the manufacturers add.

  • Linda S said:

    Sadly there is no way to safely can butter. I know it's everywhere online and that grandparents did it. Unfortunately there are many bacteria today that were not around way back then. To be safe and protect familys it's not a good idea to can butter. Read more here:

  • Dawn said:

    I just found your blog when I Googled how to can butter. I have a question about the lids. Since they are kept in a pot of water until needed, do they get wiped with a cloth before putting them on the jar? Or do they go on wet (though that doesn't sound right)? This may be a silly question but I never see this on some canning recipes and want to do it correctly. Thank you!

    PS, I love your site and will be a regular now!

  • Amanda said:

    Okay.. I followed all your instructions & had much success!! Cans all sealed & the butter looks beautiful, except that when I pulled the jars out of my canner there were small brown particles floating inside that hadn't been there before. Just wondering if I've made a mistake along the way or if this is normal. Thanks!!

    • I've not had that happen!I'm not sure what that would be. Let me know if you figure it out!

  • Debbie Beal said:

    I'm trying to figure out what happened during my process of canning butter. I canned some half unsalted and salted butter, it turned out great. I thought I'd make a batch of salted and unsalted. I made everything by the same directions as before but my butter never solidified. It's all blended well and lids are sealed good. I put them in the fridge and they're great but when I took them out and on the shelves they became liquidity again( like squeeze bottle butter).Can't figure it out. I've used one that I put back in the fridge and the taste is great. Will they be ok to keep on the shelve and then throw in the fridge if I want them firm? I'd really appreciate some feed back. Thank you!!!