Is Homemade Butter Worth It?

Rising interest in DIY kitchen projects like canning and home fermentation have many people choosing to make instead of buy, in pursuit of both superior flavor and cost savings. On Chowhound, pegasis0066 wonders, how does homemade butter compare to store-bought?

It's a fun and interesting project, especially if you make nutty, flavoful cultured butter, seamunky says, but make no mistake: It's not cost effective. While high-quality, fresh cream can yield excellent butter, cream often costs much more than butter at the market. Indeed, while weezieduzzit would gladly make her own butter, she can buy good grass-fed butter much cheaper than the equivalent cream. But though it's true that the better the cream, the better the butter, Chowhound sedimental thinks making your own is worth it, because any fresh homemade butter beats most of what you can buy at the store.

And it's not very hard to make. You can use a stand mixer, food processor, or blender—or even get some exercise by vigorously shaking cream in a glass jar. Shaking or agitating is more effective than beating since it encourages the fat particles to clump together rather than breaking them up, Ruth Lafler says. This accounts for the design of manual butter churns. The most challenging aspect of making butter is ridding it of all the liquid (that's true buttermilk!), which is necessary to keep it from spoiling quickly, rasputina says.

Want to give it a try? Check out these step-by-step instructions and this simple method for cultured butter.

Discuss: Anyone make their own butter?

Photo by Flickr member Father.Jack under Creative Commons