Churning butter used to be a very labor-intensive task that required hours of manual labor and preparation. Over the years, we designed better butter churners and employed techniques that made churning as easy as possible.
Fast forward to today and you will hardly find anyone who churns their own butter. Industrialism and consumerism have changed how we produce and consume food.
Now there are large automated factories that churn butter and package tons of it within a day with even small and medium-sized milk shops using automated machinery to make butter.
The truth is, butter making is easy and it only requires a few minutes (or an hour for larger batches). If you are the type that prefers to have more control over what they eat then you should definitely look into churning butter yourself.
What are the best butter churners? You can find many types of butter churners in the market; some require manual labor while others are automated. You can go with either, depending on how nostalgic you feel – the result will always be the same: thick, creamy and delicious homemade butter.
To learn more about how to make butter at home and which butter churners to buy, read on below:
Buyer’s Guide For Butter Churners
This guide will feature a few important aspects that you need to look for when choosing a good butter churner for home use.
Each section will discuss a feature that we think is extremely important for the modern, 21st century butter churner. We have tried to compile different types of products that cater to the needs of every type of individual.
Here are a few things that you need to consider:
- Electric vs. manual (wooden) butter churners
- The size of the churner
- The material of the churner
- Any additional accessories
Let’s take a look at each factor.
Electric Butter Churners
As stated above, butter churners can be either manual or motor-powered.
Not everyone wants to spend that much time making butter, especially if they are primarily doing it for health reasons. This is where electric churners come in.
When you make butter at home, you get to decide what ingredients to add and how much to make as per your needs. Many people would rather just add the ingredients to a machine and let it work for them.
In basic terms, manual and electric churners do the same thing. But electric churners can provide a much more consistent and homogeneous butter than manual churners.
Manual churners are dependent on human power and therefore are susceptible to human error as well. They tend to produce less consistent results.
Electric churners will take out the human element from the butter-making process and will provide a consistent product every time.
Manual (Wooden) Butter Churners
We recommend that you go for manual or wooden butter churners if you feel nostalgic or want to experience the art of making butter in its purest form.
Manual butter churners are said to make better tasting butter since it works slowly and you have a lot of control over the entire process.
Also, manual butter churners use leverage via gears, cranks, and handles which makes the churning process less tiresome.
You can go for either traditional wooden-barrel churners, which are harder to find and maybe bought from local farms, or you can go for manual glass and wood churners that you can find online.
In short, go for electric churners if you are only interested in the health benefits of making butter at home.
You may also want to go for manual churners if you like to experience this wonderful art form in all its glory whilst making your own brand of wholesome butter at home.
The size of the churner will be a huge aspect when purchasing a butter churner. Normally, most modern butter churning kits come with a capacity of 1 liter of cream which should make around 350-400 grams of butter.
This should be enough for most modern households but if you are looking for larger churners then we highly recommend that you opt for either an electric churner or a larger manual churner.
We wouldn’t recommend getting a traditional large farm-inspired plunger/churner since those can be very clunky, messy, and will take a lot of time to make butter – unless that is exactly what you want.
If you do require more butter, then we recommend reusing a typical 1-liter sized churner.
These small-scale churners can produce butter within minutes, since there isn’t a lot of cream, to begin with.
300ml of cream in a 1-liter manual butter churner can take 5-8 minutes. You can bring this time down even more if you opt for electric churners or even a KitchenAid (more on this below).
Wooden vs plastic vs glass…
There are a lot of types of churners out there but if you are going to pick one for your home then we recommend getting either a glass-jar churner or a larger wooden churner.
Please bear in mind that full-sized wooden churners are difficult to clean and may accumulate bacteria as well.
This is why it is recommended that home-users purchase a glass-jar churner that they can disinfect after each use.
While wooden churners may produce slightly better tasting butter, it is usually used by professionals who produce butter every day and know the ins and outs of the churning process.
Please avoid cheap plastic churners that are prone to damage and can be very flimsy to work with too. Go for hard plastics if you really want portability and accessibility in your butter churner.
But it’s best to stick to wooden or glass.
Make sure you buy a churner that has all the necessary accessories that you need. This includes paddles that you will use to lift, squeeze and shape the butter.
Other accessories can include spare parts, recipe books, and perhaps a dedicated butter cloth for cleaning the butter mixture as well.
9 Best Butter Churners
Now that you know what to look for in a butter churner, it’s time to look at a few great options.
Here are our picks for the best churners:
|1.||Kilner Small Manual Butter Churner||Great for everyday use|
|2.||Buttermeister Butter Churn||Makes butter in minutes|
|3.||The Tamarack Hand Butter Churn||Glass-and-wood portable butter churner|
|4.||Tescoma Butter Maker Della Casa||Plunger-design churner|
|5.||Homeplace Drill Powered Butter Churn||Wet ingredient mixer/butter churner|
|6.||Paderno World Cuisine Fresh Butter Maker||Hand-crank design|
|7.||Chef'n Buttercup Butter Maker||Top mesh for separating buttermilk and butter|
|8.||The Butter Brewer||Programmable and automated|
|9.||Aeaker Small Manual Butter Churner||Easy to use|
|Bonus||KitchenAid||Make butter with a mixer|
We have picked out the best butter churners in the market right now and these recommendations are in accordance with the buyer’s guide that we have listed above as well.
Keep reading to learn more about the best butter churners out there!
1. Kilner Small Manual Butter Churner
This butter churner is the answer to the average Joe’s need for churning butter at home.
The kit comes with everything that you need to get started with your butter churning journey.
Employing the use of gears and handles, this churner is easy to operate and can make butter within minutes.
The Kilner butter churning kit is made of glass and the paddle is sturdy as well. This jar has a 1-liter capacity but you can also make less butter as needed thanks to the coverage of the paddle inside.
2. Buttermeister Butter Churn (1 Gallon)
If you are looking for an electric butter churner then this machine is going to be great for all your churning needs.
Fitted with a stainless-steel mixer, the Buttermeister Butter Churner can work on any 110V socket and is portable enough to be carried everywhere.
It comes with a tinted glass jar design that is perfect for looking inside the churner as the butter forms. Simply flick the switch and watch the butter churn.
It’s available in a 1-gallon and 2.5-gallon size which makes it great for churning both small and large quantities of butter for everyday use.
3. The Tamarack Hand Butter Churn (1 Gallon)
Go traditional with this amazing jar-shaped churner. It’s fitted with maple wood paddles that work using an intricate system of gears.
This kit makes the churning process easy thanks to its mechanical design – make butter within minutes using this 1-gallon churner.
It’s also easy to clean as the entire paddle system can be taken out with the lid on top. Just soak in warm water, disinfect and you will be good to go for another round of butter churning!
4. Tescoma Butter Maker Della Casa
This butter churner uses a plunger design to agitate the cream.
It’s super portable. It’s made using high-grade food-safe plastic and can be taken along with you in a bag as well.
It’s easy to pack if you move around a lot and easy to store if you have limited space.
It’s lightweight, durable, and easy to clean. The plunger can be taken out and cleaned separately as well.
5. Homeplace Butter Churn (Drill Powered)
If you are looking for an easy way to make butter without exerting a lot of energy then this is the perfect way to make butter.
This wet ingredient mixer comes with a large square-shaped container that will help keep the liquid from sloshing outside.
You will also find a stainless-steel mixer with a rod on top that can be conveniently attached to any drill.
Of course, you will require a drill to make this work but if you are planning to make large quantities of butter, then this is a good (and perhaps even inexpensive) place to start.
6. Paderno World Cuisine Fresh Butter Maker
Equipped with a high-quality hand-crank, this is the type of churner that every household needs. It’s quick, convenient, and easy to use.
Just add in 300-500mL of cream and start churning. Get homemade butter within 5-8 minutes.
Simply open the top of the jar, discard the buttermilk, and process the leftover butter by placing it in a pot with cold water. To clean this machine, simply soak it in warm water and use light dish soap to disinfect it.
7. Chef’n Buttercup Butter Maker
If you are into small serving sizes then this butter maker is going to help you churn fresh butter every morning.
It comes in a simple bottle design with a top lid and a bottom ramekin. Just add cream from the top through the mesh, close the lid and shake for about 4-5 minutes.
Separate the buttermilk by draining it out from the top and adding in cold water to clean the remaining butter.
Simply rinse out the excess liquid and lightly tap the bottle on a counter so that the butter falls to the ramekin. Twist-open the bottom ramekin, add salt, and voila, instant butter.
8. The Butter Brewer
This is more of a mixer than a traditional butter churner but it uses the same concept to agitate the cream to form butter.
This machine comes with lots of options and you can make more than just butter with it too!
The Butter Brewer is for perfectionists who are looking for total control over the butter churning process. The machine is easy to clean and you can also program up to 48-hour mixing cycles.
9. Aeaker Small Manual Butter Churner
Made using a mix of durable glass and steel, the design of this butter churner will allow you to quickly make fresh butter every day.
It’s easily washable and can be stored away without a worry thanks to its compact size.
The crank and handle design on the lid makes it very easy to move the paddle despite the increasing resistance from the mixture. This is truly one of the best ways to enjoy homemade fresh butter every morning.
Bonus Option: KitchenAid
This handy and popular kitchen tool can also be used to churn butter!
Just add in whipped cream and let the mixer run for about 4-5 minutes at medium speed.
The mixer will agitate the cream and turn it to butter in no time – just like a manual or dedicated churner.
Make sure you put on the splash guard so that you don’t make a mess while the machine operates. Simply run cold water in the container as the butter forms to filter it and add salt during the final stage.
How Does Churning Butter Work?
Butter churning is an art that has been practiced for centuries.
So much so that archeologists have even discovered a limestone tablet, that dates back 4500 years, depicting our ancestors churning butter and consuming it as part of their daily diet.
Of course, today it’s much easier than it used to be.
So how do butter churners work? Let’s start with the basics.
What Is Butter?
In very simple terms, butter is a collection of milk fat.
It’s made with whole fat milk that is preferably taken fresh from a grass-fed, healthy cow. The better the milk, the better the butter!
Dairy milk is loaded with fats, minerals, and other ingredients which are necessary for baby calves to consume and grow.
Humans consume milk for the same purpose: to gain nutrition and to grow, but we have discovered a lot of different ways to consume and use milk too. One of the byproducts of milk and cream is butter.
When milk is first extracted from a cow it is full of fat and other nutrients. If the milk is left at room temperature for a while, the fat, or the cream, will separate from the rest of the milk.
The cream will float on top, which can then be scooped up in a separate container. Milk cream is the crown jewel when it comes to food. It can be used to make butter, whipped cream, and much more.
How To Turn Milk Cream Into Butter
If you look at cream at a microscopic level, you will find loads of fat molecules suspended in a liquid. To make butter, you will have to combine all the fat molecules together, thereby separating the liquid from the fat.
There are many ways to do this and each method follows the same technique: agitation. It turns out that when milk is agitated for a while, it starts to clump up fat molecules.
A quick proof-of-concept that you can do at home is to fill a small jar with cream (room temperature) and then tightly seal it with a cap.
If you pick up and shake the jar for about 8-10 minutes you will start to notice a few things; these events will happen in stages listed below:
1. Agitation Stage
This is when the cream will start to clump up the fat molecules together. You won’t notice it immediately but given time, you will start to feel some resistance in the bottle.
This resistance is basically caused as the air is mixed with the liquid, which aerates it and becomes fluff.
2. Whipped Cream Stage
At this stage, you will have basically made whipped cream. Think about it. This is the same thing that would happen if you were to whip egg whites for a while, they will aerate and trap in air molecules within the mixture.
Once whipped cream is formed, you are primed for making butter!
3. Butter Churning Stage
When you shake the whipped cream for a while you will notice it to have more and more resistance.
Eventually, you will stop feeling liquid sloshing inside and will start to feel a hard lump hitting the top and bottom of the container as you shake it.
This is when butter will start to form. At first, the mixture will be a bit powdery but if you continue doing this, you will completely separate the butter from the buttermilk.
4. Strain The Butter
Once the butter has been accumulated, you can then simply drain the buttermilk liquid, move out the butter, and put it in a small container filled with cold water and ice.
Allow it to cool for a few minutes then using two spoons, lift and squeeze the accumulated butter from the cold container and move it to a cheesecloth.
You will then make a ball out of the cheesecloth and run it under clean water. This will clear out all the excess liquid and make the butter taste better. Wash it a few times and mix in a pinch of salt and you will have a very simple version of butter.
Using A Butter Churner
This same concept can be scaled to large butter churners or even larger industrial-grade machinery.
The liquid that is separated from the butter is called buttermilk which can be used to make pancakes, biscuits, and more.
Buttermilk can also be used for savory dishes and marinades as well. There is very little wastage with milk if you know what you’re doing.
Butter Churners Then
If we talk about large butter churners, the type that you might have seen on farms or in old movies, these churners exploit the same technique but at a larger scale.
An average-sized traditional wooden butter churner can make about 3-5kgs of butter at a time.
If you thought shaking the bottle was jading and tiresome then just think how hard it is to churn butter using a wooden churner.
This is why in the old days, the women of the household would come together and churn butter, taking turns so that not one person would get tired.
This traditional process can take about 45 minutes to about 2 hours depending on the quantity of cream and the amount of butter needed.
Butter Churners Now
Luckily, we can now churn butter at a very small scale at home without needing any help. There are now small tabletop machines that can make butter in no time!
If you have been looking to make butter at home then you are at the right place. We have compiled a list of the best manual and electric butter makers that you can use to make flavored or plain butter.
These machines are easy to use and the activity of making DIY butter is extremely rewarding as well. Before we jump into our recommendations, we have made a comprehensive buyer’s guide for the best butter churners in the market.
Please follow the guide above so that you make the right purchase decision as per your needs.
Butter churners come in all sizes. They can be automated using motors or can be made simple using cranks and gears.
Butter churning is an important part of human history and our culture and while you can go and get butter from the store, there is something extremely wholesome about making it at home.
Also, when you make butter at home you get to choose any added ingredients. You can positively impact your diet by not using preservatives or other unnecessary additives that are commonly found in commercial butter brands.
You can also get fancy and infuse your butter with garlic or other intriguing flavors!