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How to Can Butter

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When you think of canning, chances are your mind immediately goes to fruits and vegetables. But did you know that you can also can butter? Yes, it's true! Canning butter is a great way to preserve it for later use. In this blog post, we'll teach you how to do it.

How to Can Butter

Can Butter Be Safely Canned

If you've gotten into any discussion over canning, you probably ended up talking about food safety at some point. Facebook groups dedicated to canning can get into very technical discussions on this issue! There's the “we've always done it this way” group with their own methods, usually passed down through generations. Comparatively, there are those canning experts that go by the book on all food safety issues. For the purposes of this post, we will stick with the official food safety guidelines.

The safety issues we are talking about are to preserve food for years (yes, years!) without the worry of contamination with mold, bacteria, and dangerous pathogens like botulism. Botulism is a dangerous bacteria that can contaminate and multiply in canned goods. It can get into even partially sealed jars. This is why proper sealing and preserving are so important.

Butter can be safely canned using mason jars, seals and properly fitting lids. The preferred method is pressure canning, since water bath canning will not prevent low-acid foods from aging and possibly growing bacteria at room temperature over time. We have included the steps here to the process of preparing jars. Big disclaimer, however: As you can please research to ensure you are completing the canning process safely. Check your jars for a good seal when you go to use them.

Anytime we do a canning post , we always get a long list of debate comments. All I can say is do what you feel is best for your family. If you don't like something or don't want to participate in something just scroll on by. You can also read our disclaimer below.

How Long will Canned Butter Last

If properly canned, your butter should be safe and preserved for up to 5 years! That's a great option compared to freezing, which is good for around 12 months. It's also an option if you have limited freezer space or just don't have a dedicated freezer for food storage.

Mason jars run around $10 per set, and for this canning recipe we use the smallest size. They are known as jelly jars, jam jars, or 8 oz jars. Ensure that if you are re-using lids from a previous canning session, all of the wax rings are intact. These are the colorful edges of the flat lid. If there are any bumps, bends, or holes, toss that lid and find a new one.

How Do You Can Butter without a Pressure Cooker

Here are the basic canning steps to canning butter, if you haven't yet prepared and filled Mason jars. It's actually a fun process, but it's way more fun with a friend– and easier, too. Find a mom friend or someone you need to catch up with. Canning is an easy project to do while you enjoy fellowship and a cup of coffee. Here are the steps we did:

Prep Jars:

You will need 8 ounce jelly jars for this process. Make sure your cans are clean, having run them through the dishwasher or just hand washed.

Pint Canning jars

Line the jars up on a large, sturdy baking sheet. We actually used a very large 10×15 cake pan, for that extra tall edge. Ensure that the jars are not touching and all are evenly spaced. If you have trouble with heavy objects, work in two batches! Handling a pan of hot jars out of the oven is not a job for anyone with difficulty lifting or for kids, etc. Don't forget to use your pot holders to pull out the jars from the oven.

Heated Pint Canning jars

I always suggest lining the pan with a silicone liner if one will fit. Heating up glass on any surface can risk breakage, so if you have a wire rack or liner, use that also.

Note: we did not, and did not have any issues.

Heating Up Lids:

The other essential part to processing jars is heating up your jar lids. The wax rings (orange part) of these lids need to be softened enough to “melt” onto the glass jar tops. Heating them on the stove is the easiest method we've ever found.

Boiling Canning Lids

While your jar lids are heating up, the jars themselves should be ready to remove from the oven. Here is where two people working together is helpful: one of us was in charge of watching jars, while the other can prep the butter! No matter what you are canning, if you have a second person to prep the actual fruit, veggies, or food going into the cans, the process goes so much more smoothly.

Baking Canning Jars

Prepping Butter for Canning:

We chose to can butter for several reasons. The first is that with food pricing increases, we are stocking up more than we used to. Finding a great deal on things we use all the time– like butter– means we try to stock up and purchase more at the lowest price available. Prices vary a lot around the country, so we won't list what we try to purchase butter for, but if you are curious on what a “good price” for butter is, please leave us a comment on Facebook or at the end of this blog post!

Heating sticks of butter - how to can Butter

Melting the butter is essential to processing for canning since the glass jars are hot. A general rule for canning is that whatever food you have going into the jars needs to be hot, just like the jars. Cold ingredients added to hot jars will break the glass.

Melted butter - how to can Butter

You can always start with room temp butter sticks and melt them on the stove for a faster process. If you have very cold butter, another hack is to put them in the microwave in their original paper packaging, in a microwave safe bowl. Melt until the paper can be removed without peeling. For canning, the butter needs to be completely melted an in a liquid state before adding to the jars.

Fill canning jars - how to can Butter

Work Fast:

This is again where a team of two or more people are ideal! Pour your hot butter (using a canning funnel) into each jar, leaving 1″ of head space. If you are not familiar with canning, when the recipe calls for head space it's just the measurement from the top edge of the jar to where the top of the contents of the jar are filled. As the air is vacuumed out of the jar as it seals, the contents of the jar will rise closer to the lid. So it's important to have space there for it to expand!

Be sure to work steadily so you can fill all jars before they cool off to room temperature. You don't have to rush, but quick, steady filling is a good way to work.

Seal each lid with the ring, and then be sure to let them cool on a thick towel on the counter. You should here a loud and clear “pop!” as each jar seals. You can check your seals after 15-20 minutes. When you push down on the top of the jar there should be zero give. It should be a firm seal and not bend or pop.

Canning Disclaimer

Concepts, ideas and opinions expressed on this website are intended for educational use only. The author does not provide nor replace medical advice (of any kind). When canning always use the proper safety precautions. The author claims no responsibility for damage, liability or loss caused (or alleged to be caused) directly or indirectly as a result of the application, use and/or interpretation of the material provided on our website.

As always, do what you feel is best for your family and always do your own research.

How to Can Butter
Yield: 12 jars 8 oz each

How to Can Butter

How to Can Butter

This How to can butter DIY is a great way to preserve butter when you find it at a stock up price. No refrigeration needed!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 4lbs of butter will fill 19 pint jars or 10 32-ounce jars.


Bake the Jars in the oven for 20 mins at 250 degrees F. Use a large cake pan or sheet pan with sides, to prevent jars from sliding off the edge.

Melt your butter in a large pot on medium heat. (bring butter to a light simmer not a boil).
In a separate smaller pot, boil jar lids (do not boil rings).
Using a kitchen funnel, pour butter into hot jars, leaving 1 inch space from top. You can leave the jars in the cake pan for this part of the process.
Pull out lids with tongs from boiling water, place on jars and screw lids on.
As each jar is filled with butter and sealed, move off the hot pan and onto a thick towel on the counter top. Do not disturb once the jars are filled and closed. Repeat until you have filled with all remaining hot melted butter.
Let jars cool and shake every 15 minutes until solid.
Tip: Once jars are completely cool, place them in fridge to make the solidification process faster. Just remember to shake every 10- 15 mins.
If using a canner: After your butter is canned, you can optionally process in a pressure canner according to the canner directions.


Canned butter does not need to be kept in fridge and has a shelf life of up to 5 years.

We bought the stick butter at Sam's Club, but look for good deals and markdowns on butter for stocking up.

Do not use a water bath method. If using a canner, pressure canning is recommended.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 685Total Fat 77gSaturated Fat 49gTrans Fat 3gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 205mgSodium 614mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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    1. Hi Melissa, yes, if you’ve canned the butter correctly you should hear a pop after as each jar seals. Wait 15-20 minutes and if the lid is still nice and flat it can be stored on the shelf when cooled. 🙂

  1. I did my first butter canning tonight. After I filled the jars I noticed a little scorching on the bottom of the pan in a small area. I went ahead and sealed the jars and pressure canned them because I didn’t notice and brown bits in the butter when pouring. After I took them out of the canner I noticed in three of the jars there were “brown bits” that floated to the top. Not much though. Do you think the butter will be ok to eat?

    1. Hi Mary, if the brown bits are just scorched butter pieces it should be fine to eat although it may change the taste a bit as it may cause the butter to taste a little burned. If you think the bits are actually part of the pan then I would discard those jars.

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