Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eating humble pie - Canning butter

I have to admit to a bit of a problem with my canned butter.  Although I have been canning it for a number of years, I have never kept it over the summer on a hot shelf.  This year, I had quite a lot of canned butter, and I wasn't going through it as quickly as I have in the past.  A few days ago, I opened a jar and sniffed and the butter was STRONG!  I was so surprised!  I have never had that happen before, but I can only imagine that it had to do with the temperature that I have been storing the butter at.  Generally, I can and use the butter in the winter - the storage temperature is very cool.  This year I canned in the winter but didn't use the butter.  It does not seem to be storing well over the summer.

In the future, I won't be storing canned butter over the summer, unless I have a root cellar, or somewhere equally cool in which to store it!

I hope my oversight hasn't caused a problem for any of you.  Please forgive flawed testing methods.


Enola Gay


  1. Save the Canning JarsAugust 18, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    Ahhhhhhh, that was nice to give us an update on what did not work well with canned butter. You are a good teacher as you want your "students' to succeed with their own projects. Thanks!

  2. Much of what I've learned has been through trial and error. Thanks for the update on the canned butter.

    If I ever got fabulously wealthy (yeah, right), I'd have a house built with a full basement with a secondary pantry AND a built-in root cellar. Then I'd have all the storage space for prepping I could ever use. And I'd use it! LOL

    NoCal Gal

  3. What a nice post! Thank you for mentioning this as I was considering canning some butter based on your previous posts. I am so glad you posted this update!

    (I'm with NoCal Gal as well, dreaming about the huge pantry and root cellar!)

  4. You can the butter with the solids, right?
    Try some without the solids, also known as clarified butter or ghee.
    You will be familiar with it, when you're heating the butter for canning it will seperate into 2 distinct layers. You want the clear top layer, leave out the creamy solids. Obviously you won't need to shake the jars.
    The butter will keep much better and you can use it for frying because the solids cause butter to burn easily. I'm not sure how it goes with baking cakes and things, haven't tried it.

  5. I added a comment to a post further up the page about scrounging.

    Another scounge item: A small apartment 'fridge. I am pretty sure that it is not the most efficient one on the planet, but we run it about 45 degrees - to warm for most items, but perfect for a "root cellar" equivalent. We keep potatoes in it. They don't "like" the 37 degrees of the main 'fridge. We also have a medium sized zero degree chest freezer. This means that the freezer compartment on the main 'fridge is not driven as hard.

    We have four different temperatures at our disposal: 0, 20, 37 and 45 It seems to be working nicely.

    If you see a little unit out in front of the neighbors, consider trying it out. If it works you have lessened the load on the dump and improved your flexibility!


  6. Thanks for your update, Enola. I am curious to know how your canned bacon has faired if you are keeping them in the same place. I have a jar of bacon in our garage which gets very warm in the summer, but most of my canned goods are in our house. I also water bathed my butter for 5 or 10 min. I don't remember if you did or not, but maybe that makes a difference.

  7. Saw this recently on