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Old 11-28-2012, 09:42 PM   #1
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Canning Butter

Just wondering if any of you have ever "canned" butter for cupboard storage?

I just ran across an article about it and I'm just not sure if this is a good idea or not.

Here's the link to what I'm talking about.

Teresa Tronier Photography: Butter in Your Food Storage
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:30 PM   #2
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Sounds like an awful lot of work. I just freeze mine.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:55 PM   #3
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Yeah .. it does sound like a lot of work. And I do freeze mine also.

However, having been through 1 storm a few years ago that cut our power off for 10 days I know how awful it is to lose all in the freezer .. we even had a deep chest freezer and lost everything.

My thinking was another way to keep things and in my searches this butter thing came up.

I also thought about others - like my sis - who don't have an extra freezer.

I just have concerns and am hoping that someone here has first hand knowledge about this process and the result.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:14 AM   #4
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USDA has no approved method for canning butter. If your freezer went off for 10 days, your butter would be fine--I routinely leave butter on the counter (in a covered container) for longer than 10 days. Keep it as cool as you can, and don't worry about it.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
USDA has no approved method for canning butter. If your freezer went off for 10 days, your butter would be fine--I routinely leave butter on the counter (in a covered container) for longer than 10 days. Keep it as cool as you can, and don't worry about it.
+1

Butter is preserved milk, so it doesn't need further preservation.

Some people go overboard with these things. One of my neighbors threw out all her jams, jellies and pickles when we lost power after a storm. Totally unnecessary.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:36 PM   #6
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Here's a quote from the American Prepper's Network, which should be easy to understand.

"Butter:Butter is a dairy product. It should not be canned unless it is properly ‘clarified’ first, when you ‘clarify’ butter you remove the dairy fats, making it more healthy and shelf stable – this is also called ghee. I get big pouty attitudes when I talk about this one – but folks, it really isn’t safe, UNLESS, you produce your own milk from your own cows or goats and then make your own butter controlling the process from start to finish and know without a doubt that your milk is clean and has not been contaminated. Milk and butter are low acid foods, this means they can support the outgrowth of C. botulinum and toxin formation in a sealed jar at room temperature. Fats in milk (the dairy fats) can protect botulism spores and toxins from heat if they are in a product during the canning process. SO, if you buy butter from the store and there was one person at the dairy where that butter was once milk, that was not following cleanliness procedures, you could get sick from canning your butter without clarifying it first. Botulism spores (commonly found in dirt) are not killed by the pasteurization process of milk and if ingested they could pass through a healthy adult without causing any harm (or the resulting product recall). However, if you take that same dairy product with the spores and put in a jar where you seal off from oxygen for an extended period of time at room temperature…..it can grow undisturbed into one of the many strains of Clostridium botulinum, and produce an extremely lethal neurotoxin until you open it up and eat it. "

Source: WHY Can’t I *Can* that? - American Preppers Network
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:45 PM   #7
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I think the pouty faces are because botulism is such a very rare disease. When we look at 70 cases in a year from home canning causes and a 4% mortality (less than 3 deaths), it is going to be very unusual to know anyone or know anyone who knows anyone who has suffered it. And it's revealing that home-canned asparagus is the primary offender. Grown at the dirt level and frequently blanched in the ground AND a nice scaly skin to catch particles, it's a natural for a bacillus most common in soil.

Commercial canners only appear as much as they do because, while they don't mess up often, the mess up in quantity when they do.

When you consider that, even though the number of people doing home canning is drastically down from a century ago, there is still considerable activity AND there are clearly plenty of people inproperly relying on hot water bath canning in potentialy botulism situations, it's just rare for the spores to be present and become active enough to produce enough toxin to affect a consumer.

Butter would seem to be a less likely candidate, considering its source and normal production history. From that and the total lack results searching for any mention of an actual canned butter case, I'm guessing there's never been one.

Canned butter is a different case from other fats and oils. It contains significant water, and water is required for activation of spores. So it's possible, where it's not possible in something like lard or plain oils. And it means that any process that extracts water from butter makes it even les likely. So ghee and similar concoctions that are almost all fat are no problem at all.

It's one of those areas where an official agency of one with liability exposure must advise against butter canned as described, but I would wager that the chances of botulism from canned butter is less than the chance that a pressure canned vegetable was made with proper method but with some inadvertent error. I don't think we worry much about the latter. Especially if we reflect on all the centuries during which butter was stored in tubs without benefit of refrigeration, noting, of course, that it was rather heavily salted.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:57 PM   #8
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Well tons of interesting input.

I won't be doing this after reading all you have had to say .. thanks to everyone for all you contributed !
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
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....Especially if we reflect on all the centuries during which butter was stored in tubs without benefit of refrigeration, noting, of course, that it was rather heavily salted.
You might want to study the issue of botulism poisoning a little more. Butter can be and has been stored quite well without refrigeration. There is no danger of botulism toxin in that. Once a food is placed in a 'vacuum', however, the rules change.

Food poisoning is often misdiagnosed as the Flu since the symptoms are the same to a doctor, unless something indicates the cause is bad food, such as multiple people suddenly getting ill at the same time, etc. Many people have food poisoning without realizing that was why they were sick and their own immune system was strong enough to deal with it.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:54 AM   #10
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Well, homemade ghee has a shelf life, at room temperature of a year or more.
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