Friday Foodblogging: Homemade Butter and Power Tools

I take a special delight in figuring out ways to use tools and technologies that their creators probably didn’t intend. A few weeks ago, I was visiting a local restaurant that touted its homemade butter and remembered that butter, fundamentally, is a pretty simple thing to make. It’s essentially a precipitate; you agitate heavy cream until the fat globules adhere to each other and fall out of solution.

Normally, you’d do such churning in a butter churn or a mixer, but I decided to see whether I could do the same with a power drill. Why? Because I can. So I ordered these mixer heads off Amazon for $6, stuck one in my Ryobi power drill, and tried making butter.

Friday Foodblogging: Homemade Butter and Power Tools




The cordless power drill doesn’t have the RPMs to churn butter quickly. It works, but all in all it took close to 45 minutes – which came perilously close to depleting the battery.

In contrast, it takes a high-speed blender about 3 minutes to do the same thing.

Now, if all you have is a power drill, then you make butter with a power drill. It’s one of those “necessity is the mother of invention” techniques that you put in the back of your cookbook.

Friday Foodblogging: Homemade Butter and Power Tools

For reference, this technique goes through three stages. First, the heavy cream becomes whipped cream. Then the whipped cream begins to solidify into a very dense mass. Finally, the fat globules fall out of solution and you end up with butter in a watery liquid, buttermilk.


  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Patience


  • Put cream in a tall container.
  • Add salt if you want salted butter.
  • Beat with power drill for 30-45 minutes or until butter is fully precipitated.
  • Lament your situation and buy a proper high-speed blender.
  • Remove butter from liquid with a spatula and store in a separate container.
    • If you’re making this for resale/commercial use, some folks recommend washing the butter in ice cold water to remove the remaining buttermilk. Supposedly it will cause it to spoil and have much less shelf life. I don’t foresee this butter surviving a week before being used, so I’m not terribly worried about it.
  • Reserve buttermilk for something like bread making or pancakes.

Note that this buttermilk, though authentic, tastes nothing like commercial, store-bought buttermilk, which is often infused with lactic acid to give it a sour, tangy taste. This real buttermilk is good for baking.

FTC Disclosure: links in this content are affiliate links to Amazon for my company, Trust Insights. Any purchase you make indirectly benefits me financially.

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