How to Churn Butter (Video)

Here at GRIT Magazine we love simple, homemade recipes that use farm-fresh ingredients like buttermilk. Buttermilk adds a rich tang and soft texture to baked favorites like pancakes and biscuits, but it can also be utilized for its acidity and versatility in a wide variety of homemade recipes. Whether you are churning your own butter or preparing grab-and-go breakfasts for the long week ahead, GRIT’s own Kellsey Trimble will walk you through every simple step.

Making cultured butter in a hand crank butter churn requires about 4 pints of heavy cultured cream. It takes about 30-45 minutes. There are three stages to watch for while cranking: the whipped stage, the stiff whipped stage and the final stage.

The whipped stage typically occurs within the first few minutes of cranking. The stiff whipped stage occurs right before the butter begins to separate from the buttermilk.

The final stage takes place after the butter and buttermilk have begun to separate. You will begin to see large lumps, and once you’ve seen these lumps, you should continue cranking for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Once the butter and buttermilk have fully separated inside of the hand crank, separate them further by pouring them into a colander lined with cheese cloth. Put the butter back into the churn and save the buttermilk for later recipes.

Once the butter is back in your churn, pour ice water into the churn that is equivalent to the amount of buttermilk you’ve poured out. This will wash any residual buttermilk off of the butter and prevent it from spoiling. If you choose to do so, you can preserve your butter further by adding salt.

 More Buttermilk Recipes:

Buttermilk Drop Biscuit Recipe
Overnight Oatmeal in a Jar Recipe


Here at GRIT Magazine, we are passionate about rural American know-how and helping people learn more about the crops and animals they care for. Check out Videos from GRIT to see more from our editors.

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