We're going to do our own handmade butter, using just cold, heavy cream. It's done with no heavy equipment at all, just good old-fashioned arm power. It's the original elbow grease!

Chef John
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Pour cream into the jar and screw on the lid. Shake jar until butter forms a soft lump, 15 to 20 minutes. Continue to shake until buttermilk separates out of the lump and the jar contains a solid lump of butter and liquid buttermilk.

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  • Pour contents of the jar into a fine mesh strainer and strain out the buttermilk, leaving the solid butter. Remove the lump of butter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until needed.

Cook's Note:

You can do this in a food processor much faster, but I wanted to go old-school.

Nutrition Facts

137 calories; 14.7 g total fat; 54 mg cholesterol; 15 mg sodium. 1.1 g carbohydrates; 0.8 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (28)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/07/2013
Hello Chef John, I tried this the first time with a pre-school class. The kids loved doing this activity. Here is a hint to make it much easier. Throw a clean marble in the jar. When you have a lot of anxious kids ready to shake the jar it goes by pretty fast. When it turned to butter, they used plastic butter knives to spread their own on warmed homemade banana bread. They really enjoyed learning about dairy products and how to make their own butter, almost more than learning to make ice cream in a coffee can. Read More
(135)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
01/13/2017
it didnt work Read More
(1)
34 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
09/07/2013
Hello Chef John, I tried this the first time with a pre-school class. The kids loved doing this activity. Here is a hint to make it much easier. Throw a clean marble in the jar. When you have a lot of anxious kids ready to shake the jar it goes by pretty fast. When it turned to butter, they used plastic butter knives to spread their own on warmed homemade banana bread. They really enjoyed learning about dairy products and how to make their own butter, almost more than learning to make ice cream in a coffee can. Read More
(135)
Rating: 5 stars
09/07/2013
Hello Chef John, I tried this the first time with a pre-school class. The kids loved doing this activity. Here is a hint to make it much easier. Throw a clean marble in the jar. When you have a lot of anxious kids ready to shake the jar it goes by pretty fast. When it turned to butter, they used plastic butter knives to spread their own on warmed homemade banana bread. They really enjoyed learning about dairy products and how to make their own butter, almost more than learning to make ice cream in a coffee can. Read More
(135)
Rating: 4 stars
02/19/2017
This is a good recipe. I've been making butter this way on and off for over 40 years. It is very easy. I would add the following tips though to this recipe to make it extra easy- 1. Make sure your milk or heavy cream is room tempeture. The butter will break (separate faster if you do this) 2. Use a plastic jar and lid instead of glass. I have a magic bullet so I use those, before that any food-safe plastic jar was fine. The plastic will allow the heat of your hand to help "break" the butter. 2a. Shake vigorously until you hear a audible pop-this is the butter separating from the milk. Think " ice cold martini" when you shake. you want the majority of the milk out in the first shake up. You can't bruise it so don't be gentle, shake it hard and fast.... 3. Put a cheese cloth over the top of the jar and pour off the liquid. Do not handle the butter in the cheese cloth. The cheese cloth can make the butter heat to liquid and you will lose some if you try to press the remaining liquid out. 4. Place your butter in a room tempeture dish and use a butter knife to whip the butter rapidly. This will remove the remaining liquid and place air in the butter giving it a lighter, creamier flavor and texture. 5. Place in a butter keep and refrigerate immediately. This will keep it from developing strange flavors. Read More
(54)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/09/2016
I made butter. I'm pretty sure this is how man felt when he discovered fire. Read More
(27)
Rating: 5 stars
05/17/2018
My son and I have been wanting to make our own butter for a while now. Thank you. Also, I found the answer you asked for, about the cold water... Now you need to "rinse" the butter. It is important to remove as much buttermilk as possible to keep the butter from going rancid. Put the butter back in your mixing bowl and cover with clean, cold water. With the back of your wide spoon, begin pressing the butter into the side of the bowl. The water will get cloudy as the buttermilk is "cleaned" out of the butter. Pour the water off and add more cold water. Repeat this process 4-5 times or until the water stays clear. Done! Read More
(21)
Rating: 5 stars
09/15/2013
I must be the only adult in the world who never did this as a kid so in an effort to recapture my youth, I tried this. What fun.. and soooo delicious! Read More
(20)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2014
When I was a kid, which is 70 yrs ago, my grandma used to sit us on the floor and give us each a quart mason jar to shake til we made butter. We (5 of us) thought this was great fun. Read More
(19)
Rating: 4 stars
09/15/2013
If you desire to make a larger amount, be sure to work some cold water through your butter to prevent an "off" flavor during storage. As you are making a small amount with this recipe, I am sure it will be used quickly rather than stored. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
09/08/2013
I did this myself over 50 years ago when I was in kindergarden! I still remember it! Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
01/29/2014
I had never heard of this before and I was so proud of myself for making homemade butter! lol It tastes good I would add a bit of salt next time. Thank you Chef John you're right it was fun!! Read More
(6)
Rating: 1 stars
01/13/2017
it didnt work Read More
(1)