My husband and I canned 35 pints of butter 1 month before he was laid off from his job. I can’t tell you how glad I was that we did that. Several months into unemployment when we still couldn’t afford to buy butter, we gratefully opened jar after jar and really enjoyed the fruits of our labors.
- Use any butter that is on sale. Lesser quality butter requires more shaking (see #5 below), but the results are the same as with the expensive brands.
- Heat pint jars in a 250-degree oven for 20 minutes, without rings or seals. One pound of butter slightly more than fills one-pint jar, so if you melt 11 pounds of butter, heat 12 pint jars. A roasting pan works well for holding the pint jars while in the oven. Place the lids in a small pot and bring to a boil, leaving the lids in simmering water until needed.
- While the jars are heating, melt butter slowly (med/high heat) until it comes to a slow boil. Thawing the butter and cutting each cube into smaller pieces will speed up the melting process. Using a large flat-bottomed wooden spoon, stir the bottom of the pot often to keep the butter from scorching. You will notice that foam starts to build up in your saucepan. Be careful not to boil over.
- Reduce heat and simmer for at least 5 minutes thus allowing the foam to subside. A good simmer time will lessen the amount of shaking required (see #6 below).
- Stirring the melted butter from the bottom to the top with a soup ladle or small pot with a handle pour the melted butter carefully into heated jars through a canning jar funnel. Leave 3/4″ of headspace in the jar, which allows room for the shaking process.
- Carefully wipe off the top of the jars, then get a hot lid from the simmering water, add the lid and ring and tighten securely. Lids will seal as they cool. Once a few lids “ping,” shake while the jars are still warm, but cool enough to handle easily, because the butter will separate and become foamy on top and white on the bottom. In a few minutes, shake again, and repeat until the butter retains the same consistency throughout the jar.
At this point, while still slightly warm, put the jars into a refrigerator. While cooling and hardening, shake again, and the melted butter will then look like butter and become firm. This final shaking is very important! Check every 5 minutes and give the jars a little shake until they are hardened in the jar! Leave in the refrigerator for an hour.
Canned butter should store for 3 years or longer on a cool, dark shelf. It does last a long time. Canned butter does not “melt” again when opened, so it does not need to be refrigerated upon opening, provided it is used within a reasonable length of time.
A lovely glow seems to emanate from every jar. You will also be glowing with grateful satisfaction while placing this “sunshine in a jar” on your pantry shelves.
Canning Margarine or Butter in an Oven
- Use sterile pint jars. Boil lids and rings. Use about 3.25 sticks of margarine or butter in each pint jar.
- You absolutely cannot use margarine that’s been whipped. It must be margarine or butter that remains solid at room temperature.
- You may melt your margarine or butter ahead of time, in which case fill pint jars approx. 3/4 full of melted product.
- Set jars in a pan in the oven in case your jars ooze a bit, which is perfectly okay if they do.
Fill your clean room temp. jars. Put lids & rings on snugly as you would when canning any product.
Set this into a 225-degree oven for 25 minutes. You should look in and see the margarine moving as though bubbling. If there is no movement leave them about 10-15 minutes. This means the jars have built up enough internal pressure to seal your lids.