Did you know the average American consumes 5.8 pounds of butter every year? Eating butter is not unhealthy. What is unhealthy is taking butter that contains bad ingredients like excess sugar.
If you can ditch store-bought butter and make yours at home, you’d be sure of the ingredients and enjoy the health benefits of butter.
When I first thought of switching to homemade butter, I did not really know the numerous perks I would be enjoying. It was just a mild consideration. But when I actually went through with it and got the best butter churner for my needs, I began to realize what I had been missing with store-bought butter.
For instance, I can now vary the flavor as I like. Moreover, the by-product (buttermilk) comes in handy for pancakes and other recipes. And, the small and compact Kliner churn that I use helps me work out and strengthen my hand.
If it is time for you to start making butter at home, the guide below should help you find the right churn.
Let’s dive in.
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There are so many ways to eat butter. You can take it with bread, sautéed veggies, mushrooms, nuts, and so on. Or you could just take it with tea or coffee.
Making your own butter at home is very convenient, as you get to take the flavor you want and make sure what you’re taking is all-natural. Well, if you’re searching for the best butter churner, the following considerations should help you find a quality unit.
You will be able to make a certain amount of butter depending on the size of the churner you choose. Therefore, size matters. But mostly, you’ll find that people don’t actually look at the dimensions. Rather, what they look at is the capacity.
There are two questions to ask with regard to capacity – how much cream can you put in there, and how much butter can you obtain.
Mostly, you can get only up to a third of the volume of the cream you churn as butter.
For instance, a churner with a capacity of 30 ounces can only give up to around 10 ounces as butter.
If you live alone or your family doesn’t consume much butter, a small-size churner with a capacity of even just 10 oz might be enough for your needs. But if your household consumes lots of butter, you might need a larger unit like the 3-gallon Martinez Pottery Stoneware Hand-Turned Butter Churner which is in the review above.
Capacity is crucial for one other reason – space. Go for a size/capacity that your kitchen space can support.
Whenever you’re looking for a butter processor, construction is one of the most vital considerations to have in mind. You want a machine that is sturdily made so it can hold up to rough use.
There are two main parts of the device you ought to focus on – the paddle and the container. The paddle is what does all the work of beating the cream into butter, so it should be strong and durable.
Paddles that are made of stainless steel are the toughest and most durable. However, they’re heavy and not very practical for larger units.
If, for instance, you’re using a crock-style churner, you don’t want that dash to be made of metal. Wood is more appropriate in that case, but it should be high-quality and well-sanded.
As for the container, it can be made of steel, glass, wood, ceramic, or natural stone.
Steel is obviously the strongest, but once again, it is heavy. Glass is quite appropriate for the small-sized units as it provides a clear view of the butter churning process. However, it is fragile and needs extra care.
Polished wood, ceramic, and natural stone are best suited for the large antique-style crocks.
Electric vs Manual
There are two types of churners based on power – manual units, which you operate by hand, and electric models, which are run using electricity.
If you asked me, operating a manual churner is so much fun. When you’re idle, spinning the gears by hand to make butter can help you pass time. Pounding cream in a crock with a long dash is even more fun on a lazy Sunday evening.
But what if you don’t always have time? Or you don’t have elbow grease to spare? In such cases, an electric model comes in handy. You just press a few buttons and wait as the unit does all the work on its own.
By ergonomics, I am referring to features that make the tool easy to use.
The Kilner Small Manual Butter Churner (first in the review above), for instance, has a gripping surface separate from the handle. When operating the handle with one hand, you use the other to hold the grip at the top and secure the whole unit so it doesn’t move during use.
Features such as that make operation a breeze.
When operating a closed unit, it'd be extremely convenient to know when the churning process is complete or rather when the butter is ready. Some units come with a clear container to give you an unrestricted view inside. This ergonomic feature too makes a lot of sense.
What is a butter churn?
A butter churn is a tool that mechanically transforms cream into butter. A plunger is used operated by hand or using electric power to agitate the cream, separating the solid fats from the buttermilk. The fats accumulate in one place to form the butter.
How do you make butter with a churn?
Step I – Clean the tool. A mixture of equal amounts of warm water and vinegar should do.
Step II – Lubricate the spinner gears if present. This step is only necessary if your churn has gears. Be sure to use food-grade lube such as coconut oil.
Step III – Pour your cream into the container. You can use milk, but it should be unpasteurized. Note, the more the cream level in the milk, the better and faster the results will be. Let the cream/milk sit in the container for at least an hour before you begin churning. Also, be sure not to fill the container, as a full container will cause fluffing.
Step IV – Start churning. You will probably turn a spinner wheel or spin a plunger or pound a stick up and down. The process depends entirely on the type of churn you’re using. Continue churning until the butter is formed.
Occasionally, you'll need to drain the buttermilk. How long the process takes depends on the type of churn you use as well as the nature of the cream. Mostly, the process takes anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour.
Step V – Remove and clean the butter. Once the butter is formed, remove it from the container and wash it. Ensure you use ice-cold water, as room-temp or warm water may melt the butter. After that, go ahead and use the product and store the excess in the refrigerator.
How long should I churn butter?
The duration varies from situation to situation. Various factors affect the time it takes. For instance, cream will churn faster than milk. Again, the higher the level of cream in the milk, the faster the churning process. But generally, it takes between 10 minutes and 1 hour to churn butter.
Can I use milk to make butter?
If you’re talking about the canned pasteurized milk from the store, it is next to impossible to use it to make butter by churning. But if it is raw unpasteurized milk with the cream still in it, you can make butter from it. The higher the cream content, the quicker it will be to churn the milk into butter.
Homemade products are usually healthier and cheaper than store-bought products. When it comes to butter, the statement couldn’t be any truer.
If you feel it is time for you to produce your own butter, all you need is some cream and the best butter churner for your needs. In the review, I made certain there are models with varying features to cater to different people's needs.
You can choose an electric unit like the SlavicBeauty Butter Churn, which comes with an LCD screen and easy-to-use buttons or you can choose a manual model like the Kilner Small Manual Butter Churner.
For those who want the optimal ease of use, an electric model will be the perfect choice. But if you want to engage your hands and pass time, a manual unit is the right choice.
Looking for a model that reminds you of the old days, perhaps? How about the antique-style Martinez Pottery Stoneware Hand-Turned Butter Churner? All these models are up there in the review.
I hope this guide has been helpful.