How To SAFELY Can Butter and Ghee

Did you know you can can butter? Yes, you CAN! This recipe is making homemade Ghee, which is shelf stable, but has all the delicious flavor of butter. 

Why can butter when it freezes so beautifully? Well, there are about a bajillion reasons, but I’ll share with you some of the ones that are most important to me.

  • Power outtages won’t effect the quality
  • soft butter is always at hand, and you don’t have to deal with the cold hard butter on bread
  • canning butter has a longer shelf life
  • taking it camping is much easier, as you don’t have to worry about storing it in a cooler

You get the idea, right? I spent countless hours watching youtube videos, and researching methods.

I found that there are as many different ways to can butter as there are people doing it. I didn’t agree with all the methods, such as letting the jars self can, or even water bath.

canning butter horizontal

Is it safe to can butter?

Butter is a dairy product, and very low acid. All low acid foods should be pressure canned for safety against things like botulism. You will have to decide for yourself what is best for your family, however.

When you heat the butter and remove the water from it, you are essentially making “ghee”. Ghee is a clarified butter that is perfectly shelf stable. That is what I am canning here.

To make your canned butter, or homemade ghee you will need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pint jar for every 1 3/4 sticks of ghee you are making
  • Heavy-bottomed skillet for simmering butter
  • new lids
  • pot holders
  • cookie sheet

Want to start with your own homemade butter? Check out the recipe here. 

To make your homemade canned butter:

  1. Unwrap your butter sticks, but leave on the papers until you are ready.
  2. Sanitize jars in boiling water for a minimum of 20 minutes to start. This ensures that any food leftover or foreign objects are boiled off.
  3. Turn your oven on to 250 to heat.
  4. Place butter sticks in a large pot.
  5. Melt butter on low heat.
  6. Take your jars out of the boiling water, and line on a cookie sheet.
  7. Place in the preheated oven while you are finishing working with the butter. This will keep the jars nice and hot, and ensure there is no water left inside them. (hot water+hot oil=nasty mess)
  8. Your butter will begin to foam as it’s boiling. You will skim the white foam off the top and save in a bowl. You can use this as regular butter, on toast, or over popcorn. It’ll harden again as it cools, and can be spread quite easily.
  9. The finished product in your pot will be your homemade ghee.
  10. Once your ghee has been all skimmed of the white foam, continue to boil for 5 minutes. Set the timer, as it’s longer than you think while you are standing there, stirring. You will want to continually stir the boiling butter so it doesn’t burn.
  11. Fill your jars with the hot butter, leaving about an inch of headspace. This is the first “ring” on the jar’s head.
  12. Wipe the jar rim to remove residue, and place the hot lids on.
  13. Place the jars in the pressure canner with 2 inches of water (your canner may vary, follow mfr’s instructions, please!)
  14. Bring up to 10 lbs. pressure, and can for 60 minutes. Once done, let the canner cool on its own. DO NOT OPEN BEFORE COOL!!!
  15. Your jars will still be full of boiling butter, and you will need to “shake” the butter every 15 minutes as it’s cooling to mix the liquid back with any solids.
  16. When completely cool, wipe the jars off to remove any excess oil, and store in a cool, dry place.
sterilizing canning jars
melting the butter
jars on cookie sheeet
skimming the foam
filling jars with bucket
jars in canner
hot butter out of canner

This will last for about 5 years. It will be shelf stable, but if you are concerned, you can store your ghee in the refrigerator. 

Have you ever made home ghee or canned butter before? Will you try this recipe? Be sure to pin this for later, too!

how to can butter pin

46 thoughts on “How To SAFELY Can Butter and Ghee”

  1. This is very cool! But I wonder if you could do it with Homemade Butter? I make my own butter because I know what is going in it. What do you think?

    1. Hmmmmm…I honestly have never seen that done with homemade butter…usually it takes too long to make and/or too expensive to make to can it. BUT, I surely don’t see why you couldn’t can homemade butter. Just make sure you get all the foam off, and pressure can it 😉

      1. I made ghee but never pressure cooked it. I sterilized the jars. It’s been 3 months but can I pressure cook them now to be safe?

    2. I know a woman who makes her own butter, from her own cow’s milk. When she runs out of freezer room, she cans it very successfully. I believe her method is the same as posted here.

    3. Yes, all my butter is made from raw dairy milk. Its not time consuming if organized. I use a kitchen aid mixer with whip then the rinsed butter goes right into an pot for ghee making. Maybe 30 mins with clean up the melt and can.

    1. I have to admit, the other instructions made ME a bit nervous too…but if they are okay with it, that’s good for them, right? 🙂

      1. RoseRed Homestead has done a good video on this

        She continues to get all the solids out of the ghee so there is no need to redistribute them after processing. Because surely that goes against the canning rules about not touching a cooling jar for fear of disturbing the seal!

  2. That is fascinating. I’m a canning newbie and I had no idea you could can butter. Thanks for sharing!

      1. Sandy (aka Grannie)

        I am concerned that shaking the jars will unseat the lids? Could you please explain how you shake your jars, Thanks, Sandy (aka Grannie)

    1. I think it might make about 18 half pints…. if each takes about 1 3/4 sticks of butter as Heather mentioned and you are using 32 sticks (8#)

  3. Thanks for all the great canning info. I am new to canning and am learning a ton from your posts! I have bought butter by the case and froze it. However,after one good power outage and I am now learning to can.

  4. Could you give an update on how your canned butter is behaving? Did you can enough that you’re still opening jars from your first canning? Has the butter gone rancid or changed flavor? I’m trying to decide if I want to can butter for myself.

    1. Heather HippyHomesteader

      We have gone through several batches, usually using them up within 6-8 months. (that seems to be the sale cycle around here) Our butter doesn’t seem to change flavor, and I don’t feel it’s ever gone rancid. If you try it, I would suggest highly that you use it up as quick as possible to begin with to test for yourself texture and flavor.

      1. Melisa Whitener

        Texture and flavor definitely does change. It becomes gritty with a nutty flavor. I’d only use it in cooking, but not for desserts. It won’t be smooth and creamy for toast either. I canned some over a year ago and getting ready to do more, but as ghee. If it’s ghee it should have been strained to remove the milk fat. That’s one of the purposes of making ghee.

  5. Polly Barse Fleming

    Why do I have to skim off the white top of the boiling butter? Is this water cooking out of the butter that would make the butter rancid?

    1. I wouldn’t personally add it until you are ready to use it. Otherwise, the flavor gets too concentrated.

  6. I’m new to canning. Is the pressure of 10 psi a constant? I’m 400 feet above sea level for reference. Thanks!

  7. What you’re canning is still butter (NOT ghee).
    Ghee is clarified butter with the butter solids REMOVED.
    As one can easily tell from your photos, you still have butter solids on the bottoms of your jars (and some floating on the top).

    1. Yes, I make Ghee and this isn’t it. I wonder also why sterilize jars going through pressure canning? Of course they should be thoroughly washed but probably not necessary to double sterilize.

      Also don’t think it would be optimal to heat jars in a dry oven. Any moisture left in the jars will be turned into steam as the pressure and temperature rises in the canner. A hot jar coming into contact with any water might break so I would not do it this way but to each their own.

      1. Never, ever, put hot liquid into a room temperature jar. Keeping the jars in the oven at a low temperature will not only dry the jars but keep them from cracking when the liquid is put in. These cracks may not show much at the time, but will weaken them during processing. Also, as with processing hot liquids, heat your canning water to about 170 deg F (don’t know the C) before placing the jars in the canner.

      2. The reason for heating the jars in the oven is 1) you absolutely want the jars to be sterilized before putting your food product in and 2) you want the dry method rather than boiling them because boiled water can still contain bacteria which could possibly cause spoilage. Better safe than sorry.

  8. Will the butter stay liquid in the jars once it’s canned? I canned it, thinking is would become solid and it didn’t.

    1. My store bought ghee before opening would be solid or liquid depending if the air temperature was cooler or warmer. Haven’t canned my own yet

  9. In the fine art of Indian ghee making, the foam is not ladled off. Instead its allowed to sink to the bottom to roast. Timed carefully the roasted solids create a wonderful Carmel taste. One needs to strain the ghee hot. Probably reward before adding tho the jars.
    No shaking drying cooling if strained.

    1. What you now have is called browned butter. There are recipes that specifically call for it. Brown butter is absolutely wonderful and any dessert that has pecans. I love to use browned butter in my mock Thanksgiving green bean casserole recipe that also has caramelized onions.

    2. Yes, i agree with your comments. I have made ghee before and any solids sink to bottom and are scooped or strained out before you pour into jar. Ghee is yellow and clear but when cool it will be solid.

  10. I realize this is an old post and you may not see this but my question is, if I want to make ghee instead of butter would I pressure can it the same as butter? I know how to make the ghee just not sure if it needs to be pressure canned the same? Thanks for your time.

  11. Ummmm….I notice you mentioned shaking the jars to help the solids mix back in. This would be canned butter, yes, but definitely NOT canned ghee, although you could make ghee & then can it. There is a big difference. I actually intend to do this – can some ghee – next week.

    Ghee has all of the milk solids removed. This greatly extends shelf life – even if kept at room temperature & not canned – and makes the flavour more nutty when cooked with. It also has a much higher smoke point than regular butter which still has the milk solids in it.

    In order to make ghee, warm your butter in the oven in a glass pot or baking dish at around 250 degrees for an hour & a half. You’ll see the solids sink to the bottom of the pan. Skin off ONLY the clear part of the butter, being very careful to not get any of the solids in there. Then can the clear part of the butter in individual jars.

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