Butter Churn Time

Thinking about churning your own butter at home? We know you are! Here’s a look into how they made their butter in the 19th and early 20th centuries

Supplies: (1) cow for milking, (1) pail, (1) setting dish, (1) cream skimmer, (1) butter churn (any style)

Step 1


Get Your Milk

Milk your cow into a pail, then transfer into a shallow setting dish. Let sit to allow the cream to separate and rise to the top. This may take about a half a day.

Step 2


Skim the Cream

Skim the cream from the surface of the milk using a cream skimmer. You’ll want to keep the cream in a cool place, such as a nice 19th century icebox (as pictured below) or an underground cellar, for it may take several days of repeating step 1 to render enough cream to make the next few steps worth the work.

Step 3


Pick Your Churn

Once you have a good amount of cream, pour it into your desired style of butter churn (pictured below is a ‘barrel’ style)

Step 4


The Hard Part

Churn and churn until your arms burn! About half an hour.

Then your butter is ready! Enjoy! Everything is better with a little bit of butter. You could store some in an ice box (pictured above) if you happened to have one.

**This is a general description of the process of 19th cent. style butter-making for entertainment purposes only. We encourage further research if attempting to make butter yourself.**

Come see this and many other artifacts from Boerne’s past here at the Kuhlman-King historical complex. We are open every second Saturday or contact us to set up a private tour.

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