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What Is Canned Butter?

By Robert Ferguson
Updated May 16, 2024
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Canned butter is real butter that is sealed in a can or Mason jar. Its history dates back to the late 1800s. The non-perishable nature of this product allows it to be stored and consumed in situations where regular butter could not be.

This product was first developed during the Alaskan gold rush when perishable foods were unheard of due to the fact that it took a long time to deliver supplies to this remote region. Since the Alaskan gold miners were willing to pay exorbitant prices for perishable goods like butter, producers discovered a way to preserve it.

In 1912, the United States Navy began to explore ways to preserve butter for long periods of time. After many trials, producers were finally able to create a high-quality butter that met their standards. In 1914, the Navy promptly ordered millions of pounds from suppliers in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Today, canned butter has many uses. The butter is a main staple in survivalists' disaster preparations. Many recipes include this product, such as canned butter chicken and apple butter. The product can also be used in any recipe that calls for regular butter.

Canned butter offers a number of benefits that regular butter does not. The product does not have to be refrigerated even after the can has been opened. Canned butter has a shelf life of three years or more if stored in a dark, cool place. It is also extremely portable and a favorite among camping enthusiasts and survivalists. Countries that produce canned butter for export are New Zealand, Holland and Australia, just to name a few.

It is possible to can regular butter at home in such a way that it will have the same shelf life as purchased canned butter. The process involves typical canning procedures using Mason jars. High quality butter is melted and poured into the Mason jars, sealed and stored in a cool, dark and dry place. An advantage to canning butter at home is that the butter can be purchased when it is on sale, canned and used throughout the year.

Some people believe that it is important to maintain an adequate supply of non-perishable goods in the event of an emergency, food shortage or natural disaster. A few products that should be considered for disaster preparations are plenty of fresh water, dried beans and rice. Other products to consider are canned goods such as canned meats, vegetables and of course plenty of canned butter for cooking.

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Discussion Comments
By Raynbow — On Dec 24, 2014

@rundocuri- My mother makes canned butter because she likes to bake. She is like you because canning butter when she finds it on sale saves her money. It is also handy for her to always have butter around the house.

I have eaten her canned butter many times, and I don't think the flavor is much different than fresh butter. If I had to choose though, I do think that fresh butter is a bit more flavorful when served on foods like toast, cooked vegetables, and baked potatoes.

I also eat many of the foods that my mother makes using her canned butter, and it tastes fine. When canned butter is used as an ingredient in foods like cakes or cookies, there is no difference between its flavor and that of fresh butter, in my opinion.

By Rundocuri — On Dec 23, 2014

Does anyone have experience canning regular butter? I'm would like to start buying it when it is on sale, and canning it for later use. However, I'm wondering if the butter keeps its flavor after being canned.

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