There are tons of sites on the basics of making butter, so I won’t bore you by repeating them here, unless I get requests, in which case I shall, however, this post isn’t so much the ‘how to’ as it is the “What they didn’t mention”..
Most butter blogs that tell you how to hand churn the butter seem to leave out some stuff
If you are in a pinch and don’t own a churn, you can put your milk /cream into a mason jar, seal it up and shake the hell out of it, as hard as you can..if you have kids let them take turns shaking it like crazy
All butter is made of is particles of milk fat which are squashed together during the churning process, so basically you are giving the milk liposuction..only not really..but seriously, you are taking fresh milk or cream and squishing/centrifuging the fat particles together. Most butter will have a yellowish tinge naturally, it may taste kind of bland to those used to pre-fab butter, that is because it lacks the salt usually added to butter for flavor..to fix this, just salt to taste once you’ve washed the butter, using a spoon to mix the salt in evenly. A little salt goes a long way.
If you are using a churn and the handle starts to get gross, don’t panic, take a clean towel and wrap around your churn handle near the hole, basically as you pull the stick up it is bringing butter goo up with it, the towel wipes the butter goo off and also helps stop and splashing up if you are using alot of liquid.
If your churn has a crack/chip..don’t use it..those areas can be a breeding ground for bacteria and yucky crap..nobody wants food poisoning, seriously. If you must use the churn, make sure you disinfect that area and wash it like you are a crazy neat-freak with severe butter churn cleanliness issues..before and after use, but remember, just like bamboo chopsticks, the open porous surface of a crack or chip will harbor even the tiniest bit of goop and turn it into a food poisoning nightmare..which is why unless you are cleaning your churn/used bamboo chopsticks with some kind of amazing bacteria cleaning crap I’ve never even heard of, it’s prolly not a good idea to use it. Make sure the surface f your masher and lid are plenty clean too, especially if they are wood, scrub the hell out of them. Remember that wood swells when wet, so plan ahead and give your wooden parts a good bath well before use, otherwise you may find your lid won’t fit right or your masher doesn’t slide as well as it ought to.
You can make butter in the blender, and if you just want butter, that is great, but churning butter in an actual churn is an experience you should try at least once so that you appreciate what it used to take to put butter on the table pre- electricity.
If you are buying a churn make sure the sides around the mouth on the inside of the jar are sloped, make sure there are no ledges or pieces on the inside of your churn jar that will harbor the butter once it’s done. You want to be able to scoop it straight out, no big deal, not fight with a ledge on the inside of the jar trying to get your butter/buttermilk/wash water out of it..it’s a pain in the butt, trust me.
Are you a butter churning whiz? Got some tips?..Please post e’m below