Home-Made Buttermilk


Home-Made Buttermilk

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Have you ever needed only a little bit for a recipe? Well, home-made buttermilk is the solution.

Buttermilk is not something I always keep on hand and I often forget to buy it when grocery shopping. I have a mental block because I hate to waste things and always suffer heartburn when I have to throw out the leftover, spoiled buttermilk.

Locally, commercial buttermilk comes in one size and a half gallon is too much to waste. Since I rarely need more than a cup and my most recent experiment making tobacco cookies uses only a tablespoon, the best solution is to make it myself. You can use vinegar or lemon juice with whole milk and I always have both on hand.

Use this simple kitchen hack to save money and frustration when all you want to do is cook!

Three Buttermilks

Natural buttermilk is the leftover liquid from churning butter that sets until bacteria and heat combine to ferment and create the tangy milk. In developed countries, commercially made cultured buttermilk has replaced it by introducing the same bacteria into fresh milk.

We are making the third option, acidified buttermilk with the addition of acid in the form of lemon juice or vinegar. The acid, when combined with skim, 2% or whole milk quickly creates the same tangy flavor.

Uses and Storage

Buttermilk adds flavor and its acid content helps baked goods rise and remain moist and flaky. Biscuits, breads, pie crusts and cakes come to mind, but I also use it in breading for fried oysters and chicken fried steak. Marinating meats in buttermilk will tenderize them and help retain moisture while cooking. I always make what I need, but home-made buttermilk can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.

  • Author: TJ
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


  • 1 TBL fresh squeezed lemon juice OR white vinegar (5% acid minimum)
  • 1 skant cup of whole milk (1 cup minus 1 tablespoon)




  1. Squeeze 1  tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into a measuring cup
  2. Add milk until you fill the cup
  3. Stir briefly and let stand at room temp for 10-15 minutes
  4. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to two weeks

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