Homemade butter is a great addition to any kitchen, and it’s surprisingly easy to make.
You can use it in recipes or spread it on bread.
If you’re wondering how long homemade butter lasts, the answer will depend on how it was stored.
We’re here with some advice on how to keep your homemade butter fresh for as long as possible.
What is Homemade Butter?
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk.
Traditionally, butter is made from cow’s milk; however, it can also be made from the milk of other mammals, including sheep and goats.
Butter is used as a spread, an ingredient in cooking and baking, making pastries (such as the croissant), or frying.
Butter has been produced on farms for centuries; butter made from cows’ milk was favored over other animal fats because of its natural richness and flavor.
In recent years, vegetable oils have become popular replacements to make margarine with less saturated fat than butter.
There are many recipes for making butter at home.
The traditional, old-fashioned way to make it involves shaking cream in a jar or churning heavy cream until the fat rises and forms butterfat clumps that can then be removed.
This method is still common among Amish people but has become rare elsewhere.
How to Make Butter at Home?
Butter is made from either cream, which has a fat content of at least 30%, or churning milk until it goes sour.
This process separates butterfat from the other elements in milk – such as water and lactose.
The low-temperature fermentation during this time may produce lactic acid bacteria that impart distinctive flavors to the finished product.
Haven’t you always wanted to make your butter? It’s surprisingly easy.
All you need is cream, a jar, and some patience for shaking it up until the fat separates from the rest of the mix-ins (like water and lactose).
The process can take anywhere between 30 seconds to two hours, depending on how much agitation occurs during said shaking.
The result will be butter with more flavor because there are no stabilizers or preservatives used in its production.
You can add salt if desired, but this isn’t necessary as most people enjoy salted butter anyways.
Finally, store your butter in the fridge to extend its shelf-life.
How to Store Homemade Butter?
The best way to store homemade butter is in a covered dish or jar, preferably made from glass and a tight-fitting lid.
It’s important not to store the butter at room temperature, as this will cause it to spoil quicker.
The optimal temperature to store butter is between 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
This will ensure the butter lasts as long as possible.
It’s also important to ensure that the container is properly sealed so no moisture or other contaminants can enter and spoil it.
Some people like to store their homemade butter in the freezer, which does extend its lifetime but will cause it to be more difficult when you want to use it if frozen solid.
How Long Does Homemade Butter Last?
The process for making butter is simple:
- Churn milk until it separates into cream and buttermilk.
- Separate the cream from the buttermilk, then let your butter settle for a few minutes. You’ll see that some of the fat will come to the top and form a yellowish layer on top.
- Skim off this foam with a slotted spoon, or pour in more cold water to speed up the process. The resulting liquid below should be clear without any white curds floating about–this is now good quality “sweet” butter.
The shelf life of homemade butter depends primarily on how thoroughly you extract its constituent parts (cream + whey), as well as how cleanly you produce it.
Doing so properly will yield a product that will last from two to three weeks in the refrigerator, but not much longer than this.
This is because butter works: it’s primarily composed of milk fat, which oxidizes and goes rancid fairly quickly.
It also contains some water-soluble proteins, which can spoil over time (this may be why homemade butter tastes so good).
So, for the best shelf life, store your butter below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
This should keep it fresh for about two weeks.
It’s best to use them as soon as possible.
Additionally, if your butter is too warm or exposed to air for an extended period, it may develop a sour flavor.
So make sure your fridge stays cool.
How to Tell if Homemade Butter is Bad?
If you are making butter at home, it is always a good idea to test the quality of the butter.
Testing homemade butter ensures that any bacteria or other contaminants have been killed and will not harm your family when consumed.
This article outlines how to tell if homemade butter has gone bad.
- Look for discoloration on top of the butter. If you notice any green portions, this could signify that the butter is bad and has been contaminated by mold or other substances.
- Smell your homemade butter to determine if it smells rancid. Butter should have no smell when fresh because it contains high levels of water, which will wash away most scents quickly.
- Rancid butter can also come from spoilage caused by improper storage in an environment with too much heat or light exposure; these conditions encourage bacteria growth and are likely reasons why yours may not smell good right now.
- Check out how firm the texture is on top of your homemade butter and underneath its surface layer to see if there are any cracks, bubbles or holes present-these indicate that the butter is no longer fresh.
If you have any of these signs, it is best to throw away the butter immediately.
Homemade butter is delicious and can last in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks if made fresh.
If you’ve already whipped it, then be sure to keep your homemade butter tightly wrapped or sealed until use.
In addition, always make sure that you are storing any unused portions of raw dairy products in a cool place above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or 4 Celsius).
Doing so will ensure that they stay safe from harmful bacteria growth, which could cause food-borne illnesses such as listeria or salmonella.
Finally, when cooking with these stored ingredients, cook them thoroughly before eating.