Which butter churner is best?
Butter is delicious. There’s no denying that. It is so good that many of us crave it regularly.
Modern life has tainted our palates, though, so we tolerate the flavor of products manufactured with additives that help them stay fresh. Once you experience the rich, creamy taste of homemade butter, you may find it hard to purchase store-bought brands again.
Heavy cream and a butter churner are all it takes to make homemade butter. And the best butter churner is the Kilner Butter Churning Set — it’s durable, easy to operate, and comes with everything you need to make a week’s supply of tantalizing fresh butter in as little as 10 minutes.
What to know before you buy a butter churner
Benefits of churning your own butter
The butter you make is fresher, better tasting, and can be healthier. Homemade butter contains only the ingredients you put in it. There’s no excess salt or any items you do not want to add. You’re in complete control of every aspect of your butter, from how easily it spreads with a butter knife to what flavors you add to tweak the recipe.
How butter is made
To make butter, you only need one ingredient: heavy cream. When you churn it, you break the fragile membranes of the fat droplets found in milk. When these membranes rupture, the fat clumps together, making clusters. The more you churn, the more the fat clumps together and separates from the liquid. Ultimately, you have two substances: butter and buttermilk.
The buttermilk needs to be thoroughly rinsed away after churning. If you over-churn your butter, it becomes pale and soft. This is why many people prefer churning by hand to using an electric mixer.
What to look for in a quality butter churner
There are two methods commonly used in household butter churners.
The first involves shaking a container vigorously to churn the milk. This method can be a little more messy, because when you shake a butter churner, some milk can leak, spilling on the counter and running down the jar. But it is faster — it typically gets the job done in about half the time.
The second method involves cranking a handle that spins a paddle to churn the butter. This method makes less mess on the counter, but cleaning the butter churner may be a little more involved, and it usually takes about twice as long as shaking to turn heavy cream into butter.
It is possible to get large butter churners. However, since homemade butter doesn’t have a long shelf life, it makes more sense for most households to make smaller amounts, so the butter doesn’t get a chance to spoil before you finish a batch. Most people will probably be happy with making about half a cup of butter at a time.
Churning butter is a physical activity. Whatever type of churner you purchase must be well made so it can handle repeated vigorous use.
Some butter churners come with additional features such as a butter dish, butter knives or butter paddles — grooved wooden tools used to remove excess buttermilk and shape fresh butter — to make the purchase more appealing. If you like extras, look for a churner that comes bundled with these items.
How much you can expect to spend on a butter churner
You can purchase a no-frills churner for as low as $15. These will simply be a container that you fill with heavy cream, shake and drain. For a mechanical model that you crank, expect to spend $30-$50.
Butter churner FAQ
How long does homemade butter last?
A. There are a number of factors that affect this. The most important, besides refrigeration, is making sure you get as much of the buttermilk out of the butter as possible. Homemade butter that contains a substantial amount of buttermilk won’t even last a week. Homemade butter that has been properly made, however, may last anywhere from one to three weeks when stored in a refrigerator.
How do I know if my butter is bad?
A. When it is fresh, butter can be irresistible, but once it goes bad, it can give you food poisoning that lasts from hours to weeks. Because of this, it is very important to recognize the signs of bad butter. The most important is uneven coloring. Butter that is brighter or lighter inside has gone bad. Likewise, butter peppered with black spots is moldy. Additionally, if butter smells cheesy or sour, or it tastes bad, it is time to discard.
Why do I need to rinse my butter?
A. Rinsing your butter in cold water after it has been churned is how you remove buttermilk. Churned butter should be rinsed and drained until the liquid that you are draining is clear. If you do not do this, the buttermilk you leave behind will make your butter turn rancid within the week.
What’s the best butter churner to buy?
Top butter churner
What you need to know: This kit comes with everything you need (except the ingredients) to make butter.
What you’ll love: It’s manufactured with dishwasher-safe materials for ease of cleaning. The large glass Mason jar and built-in mechanism let you churn butter in as little as 10 minutes. This set comes with a butter churner, butter paddles, a butter dish and a small booklet of recipes.
What you should consider: If you already have a butter dish, this kit comes with more than you need.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Top butter churner for the money
What you need to know: This churner’s convenient design lets you make butter in under 5 minutes simply by shaking room-temperature heavy cream.
What you’ll love: This highly affordable, easy-to-use option is suitable for someone who wants to try making butter at home. The built-in strainer and built-in butter dish make this a user-friendly, space-saving kitchen tool.
What you should consider: Its process is a little more labor intensive and messy than other models, but it produces excellent results.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This mini churner makes roughly half a cup of butter at a time.
What you’ll love: It has an appealing old-fashioned design that complements a rustic kitchen decor. It is 4 inches in diameter and 7 inches tall, making it easy to store. It holds up to 34 fluid ounces and makes a batch of butter in about 10 minutes.
What you should consider: Care must be taken when using this churner, as it’s less durable than other models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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