It seems to be really important for quite a few End Timers that they have a nice supply of butter when shit goes down. This leads me to believe that End Timers aren’t all that into God as they profess and instead , they belong to the Cult of Paula Deen.  Whether they will have something to put the butter ON is irrelevant. They will have their butter and they’ve have lots of it. If nothing else, they can make Butter Flavored Lip Balm with it. Despite that  lovely glow that seems to emanate from every jar  though, the buttery flavor isn’t quite the same after it’s been canned. Maybe that has something to do with…oh,I don’t know… that extra dash of bacteria and botulism ?

Sunshine in a jar! Let’s make Butter Popsicles with it!

I’m baffled in the first place why this seems so important to spend time and energy to “can”. And when I say “can”, I mean it’s not canned at all. It’s melted, poured into a jar and sealed tight. It’s canned-not.

Here is what the National Center for Home Food Preservation says about canned butter:

Should I use directions for canning butter at home that I see on the Internet?
Indeed, there are some directions for ‘canning’ butter in circulation on the Internet. Most of what we have seen are not really canning, as they do not have Boiling Water or Pressure Canning processes applied to the filled jar. Jars are preheated, the butter is melted down and poured into the jars, and the lids are put on the jars. Some directions say to put the jars in the refrigerator as they re-harden, but to keep shaking them at regular intervals to keep the separating butter better mixed as it hardens. This is merely storing butter in canning jars, not ‘canning’. True home canning is when the food is heated enough to destroy or sufficiently acid enough to prevent growth of all spores of Clostridium botulinum (that causes botulism) and other pathogens during room temperature storage on the shelf.Additionally, when you consider the economics of the process (energy costs involved with heating, cost of jars and lids, etc.), even if the butter is bought on sale, it may not be economically viable to prepare butter to store for years in this manner. Good quality butter is readily available at all times, if butter is needed for fresh use. If the concern is about emergency food supplies, there are dry forms of butter that can be purchased and stored, oils that can be used in an emergency, or commercially canned butter in tins (although we have only seen this for sale from other countries). Melted and re-hardened butter may not function the same as original butter in many types of baking anyway.There are a few issues with the common directions circulating on the Internet at this time (Spring 2006):

  1. Physical safety and food quality: In the provided directions, the jars are preheated in an oven (dry-heat), which is not recommended for canning jars. Manufacturers of canning jars do not recommend baking or oven canning in the jars. It is very risky with regard to causing jar breakage. There is no guarantee that the jars heated in this dry manner are sufficiently heated to sterilize them, as we do not have data on sterilizing jar surfaces by this dry-heating method.
  2. The butter is not really being ‘canned’; it is simply being melted and put in canning jars, and covered with lids. Due to some heat present from the hot melted butters and preheated jars, some degree of vacuum is pulled on the lids to develop a seal. It rarely is as strong a vacuum as you obtain in jars sealed through heat processing. The practice in these ‘canned’ butter directions is referred to as ‘open-kettle’ canning in our terminology, which is really no canning at all, since the jar (with product in it) is not being heat processed before storage.
  3. Although mostly fat, butter is a low-acid food. Meat, vegetables, butter, cream, etc. are low-acid products that will support the outgrowth of C. botulinum and toxin formation in a sealed jar at room temperature. Low-acid products have to be pressure-canned by tested processes to be kept in a sealed jar at room temperature. It is not clear what the botulism risk is from such a high-fat product, but to store a low-acid moist food in a sealed jar at room temperature requires processing to destroy spores. A normal salted butter has about 16-17% water, some salt, protein, vitamins and minerals. Some butter-like spreads have varying amounts of water in them. We have no kind of database in the home canning/food processing arena to know what the microbiological concerns would be in a butter stored at room temperature in a sealed jar. In the absence of that, given that it is low-acid and that fats can protect spores from heat if they are in the product during a canning process, we cannot recommend storing butter produced by these methods under vacuum sealed conditions at room temperature.
  4. Some other directions do call for ‘canning’ the filled jars of butter in a dry oven. This also is not ‘canning’. There is not sufficient, research-based documentation to support that ‘canning’ any food in a dry oven as described on this web page or any page that proposes oven canning is even sufficient heating to destroy bacteria of concern, let alone enough to produce a proper seal with today’s home canning lids.In conclusion, with no testing having been conducted to validate these methods, we would NOT recommend or endorse them as a safe home-canning process, let alone for storing butter at room temperature for an extended period. We do know that the methods given for preheating empty jars, or even filled jars, in a dry oven are not recommended by the jar manufacturers or by us for any food. Aside from the physical safety and quality issues, and the fact that it is not canning at all, if there happened to be spores of certain bacteria in there, these procedures will not destroy those spores for safe room temperature storage.

I love how professional those nchfp people are. They never once said, “Good lord, what the hell is wrong with you? Jesus H Christ, you’re a dumbass.”

I’ve read the reasoning behind canning butter. They’re storing it for the future when butter may not be readily available (because aliens will abduct all our cows and rob us of our ability to make our beloved butter). Or “if the electricity goes off, you’ll always have butter!”.  Right. Because during power outages, that’s what I’m thinking about. Besides, butter can be left out in most climates for 15 days. Cooler climates 30. True story.

Instead of stockpiling butter, why not PEANUT butter?! Unopened , a jar of peanut butter will last at least a decade. Some say decades. It’s a fantastic source of  protein, which may not be easily found in a survival situation (especially if aliens abduct our cows,you know). It’s a healthy fat ,fiber and potassium source. It’s better for you than butter.Another good thing is that if peanut butter tastes “off”, it won’t make you sick. It just tatses bad, whereas “canned” butter could actually taste really bad AND kill you.

Or better yet ,Sun-Butter, which people are not commonly allergic to in the same numbers as peanut butter.

Sun Butter would also be a more viable source that peanut butter in post-apocalyptic times (assuming we can grow things in this scenario). Sunflowers are much easier to grow and in more climates than peanuts .

Plus, they’re so pretttty! Peanuts aren’t this pretty. That does it. Now I want to live on a sunflower farm.

Oh,oh! PLUS, wading through a field of mammoth sunflowers would be a pain in the ass. Would-be intruders might not even bother trying to invade your homestead. Natural defense boundary!

(Let’s just pretend these hypothetical intruders aren’t patient,machete-wielding intruders,mmm’kay?)

This has been a butter intervention.
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Comments
  1. […] Let’s get to the Bug Out Shelter!” and none of us will be around to put all those  jars of canned butter and hoarded cans of soup to real use. Oh, Higgs-Boson, how you make me evaluate the true meaning of […]

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