Dehydrating butter isn’t as simple as popping slices of butter into a dehydrator. Butter is mostly fat, and you can’t dehydrate fat because it doesn’t have water. There is no water in fat for a dehydrator to remove. So, we have to prepare butter a little bit to be effective in the dehydrator and to turn it into butter powder.
It can be a useful technique for those who want to stock up on butter, or for those who prefer to have a longer shelf life for their pantry items. By following these steps, you can dehydrate butter at home and enjoy it for months to come.
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Why Dehydrate Butter?
Butter isn’t exactly at the top of the list of popular foods to dehydrate. Butter has several challenges when it comes to dehydration that you will need to consider and be aware of. But dehydrated butter powder has many uses and benefits:
- Extended Shelf Life: Dehydrated butter can be stored for much longer than fresh butter, making it a useful ingredient to have on hand for long-term storage.
- Easier to Move and Store: Dehydrated butter is lightweight and takes up less space than fresh butter, making it easier to pack and store in a pantry, camping gear, or emergency kit.
- Add Flavor to Dishes: Dehydrated butter can be used to add a rich, buttery flavor to dishes without adding moisture.
- Use as a Seasoning: Dehydrated butter can be crumbled or grated and used as a seasoning or topping for dishes like popcorn, vegetables, or pasta.
- Baking Recipes: Dehydrated butter can be easier to mix into dry ingredients for baking, as it won’t clump or melt like fresh butter can.
Back to the challenges though.
First off, butter doesn’t contain much water, to begin with. It is mostly fat so there is very little moisture to be pulled out. In order to dehydrate butter and have it in a usable texture, like a powder, we can pull out a clever trick and add milk solids.
The first step, of course, is to gather your materials. To dehydrate butter, you’ll need:
- Powdered Milk
- Parchment paper or tray liners
- Airtight storage container or mylar bag with oxygen absorbers.
Depending on your dehydrator brand and model, the times and temperatures may vary. We’ve already researched and tested the best, so refer to our dehydrator review guide for more info.
Preparing Butter for the Dehydrator
You won’t be successful chucking butter sticks into your dehydrator- you need to prep it first.
- Melt 2 lbs butter: Melt two pounds of butter (4 cups or 8 sticks) in a pot.
- Add 2 cups milk powder: Add two cups of milk powder to the melted butter.
- Add 2 cups water: Add two cups of water to the melted butter.
- Thoroughly mix: Blend or stir until it has a whipped texture.
From there you’ll just need to pour the butter mixture into a thin layer on a lined tray.
With the butter already prepped, the rest is a breeze. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to dehydrate butter:
- Gather your supplies: Get your butter mix, dehydrator, and dehydrator trays ready.
- Preheat the dehydrator: Set the temperature to the lowest setting, typically around 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread butter: Pour the butter mix on dehydrator trays in a thin even layer.
- Dehydrate the butter: Place the butter trays in the dehydrator. Allow the butter to dehydrate for 8-12 hours, or until it is completely dry and crumbly.
- Store the dehydrated butter: Once the butter is fully dehydrated, remove it from the dehydrator and allow it to cool. Transfer the butter to an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place.
You can use the butter in powder form or reconstitute it with water.
Storing and Using Powdered Butter
You always want to keep your food storage in a cool dry area out of the way. Broken containers and bags are always a headache to deal with- whether they are in your pantry or in the kitchen, so investing in sturdy shelves can pay off.
Storing dehydrated butter in a cool and dry dedicated pantry will extend its shelf life for well over a year. Of course, you’ll want to check for anything wrong before you reconstitute or use it.
Dehydrated butter can be reconstituted by adding a small amount of water, or it can be used as a dry seasoning on top of cooked dishes. It can also be used in recipes that call for dry ingredients, such as sauces or dressings.
Other Preservation Methods
Dehydrating isn’t the only way to store butter with a longer shelf life.
Here are some other methods for preserving butter:
- Freezing – you can freeze butter to extend the shelf life to 6-8 months. You’ll want to thaw it in the refrigerator before using it since it can melt unevenly.
- Freeze-Drying – less typical, using a powerful freeze dryer for butter isn’t common, but it is possible. It doesn’t reconstitute back into what you may expect traditionally from butter and is more of a lightweight texture.
- Store-Bought– Industrial-dehydrated butter powder is readily available and can save you the time of dehydrating it yourself. One of our top-reviewed food storage companies offers it: Augason Farms Butter Powder #10 Can
Warning: Canning is NOT recommended for butter due to the risk of botulism. Make sure you understand the risks and proper canning practices shared by the National Center for Home Food Preservation and use standard Ball canning recipes if you are just getting started.
The Final Word
Dehydrating is a great way to add to your food supply and ensure that you don’t waste food. It’s a great hobby and skill to learn and can be instantly rewarding. We hope you’ve found our guide on how to dehydrate butter useful- let us know below if you believe we’ve left something out.
Here are some other guides our subscribers have found helpful:
- The Best Dehydrator for Prepping and Food Storage
- The Best Food to Dehydrate for Long Term Survival Storage
- Survival Food List | Pantry Stockpile Plan and Checklist
Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.
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