reply to post by MyMindIsMyOwn
This is a subject I have done quite a bit of research on. In fact, I am planning to can some butter this season.
The debate about canning butter is, in my opinion, not factually based. The USDA site, which does not recommend canning butter, also clearly states
that they have done no testing whatsoever, on the process.
Butter has been canned in tins by commercial companies for a very long time. It is currently available for sale by several companies. In my
research, I have found that there are alot of people, especially those interested in having an adequate store of food, who have been canning butter
for years in glass jars with sealed lids.
The process is very simple, but as in all food preservation, you must be sure to sterilize your jars beforehand and don't contaminate your foodstuff
as you jar it.
The basics are: Sterilize your jars and lids, my preference would be to boil the jars, steep the lids as you would for any canning. Some people just
put them into a warm oven. I would opt for the hot water sterilization, followed by the warm oven to dry the water from the jars. Each pint jar will
hold just less than a pound of butter. I would use only pints or 1/2 pints for this. A quart of butter probably wouldn't be used quickly enough in
a non refrigeration scenario. Melt your butter on low heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. You want it to boil, this will prep the butter
for canning and kill any bacteria. Use a kettle larger than the amount of butter being melted, because it will foam up.
My research shows that the majority of the canners prefer salted butter. They think the salt helps preserve the butter, but, I believe that the
canning process and air tight seal should work with non salted butter, and am going to try that this year.
When your butter is thoroughly melted, jar it leaving 3/4 inch space at the top. The people I researched vary from this point. Some put the lids and
seals on and set the jars upside down for a period of about 10 minutes. Some put them in the warm oven for a period of 10 minutes. Some just set
them down for the same time. I plan to put mine in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes then set them out. As they cool, the jars must be shaken to
keep the butter from separating. The shaking must be done until the butter has cooled enough to set in the jar. As they cool, the lids will seal.
Be sure and check the lids for proper sealing. Any that are not sealed must be refrigerated to prevent spoilage.
I, believe that by properly heating the butter, and sterilizing the jars the possibility of growth of bacteria is eliminated. I would not take any
shortcuts, but I think the process as listed above is appropriate.