How to Make Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen, adding tang to everything from salad dressing to home-baked bread to fried chicken. Making your own is as easy as combining just two ingredients, then letting nature take its course. You'll need a small amount of store-bought cultured buttermilk (make sure it's cultured), milk and a lidded container.


Pour about 1/2 cup of the cultured buttermilk into the bottom of the container. Make sure the container is large enough to accommodate the amount of dairy you're working with.

Pour in 1 quart of milk. Whole milk is ideal, but 1 percent is perfectly fine. Stir to combine the milk and buttermilk thoroughly..


Place the lid on your container. (A standard Mason jar will do, or use any non-reactive container with a lid.) Leave it out on the counter at ambient room temperature.

After 12 to 24 hours, the mixture will thicken. The longer you leave it out, the thicker and tangier the buttermilk will be. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, it may also take longer. Once the buttermilk has reached the texture and flavor you desire, store it in the refrigerator for up to a month..

Use your buttermilk as you would store-bought buttermilk, like in a homemade buttermilk ranch dressing. When you are down about half a cup, you may repeat the process by adding your homemade buttermilk to fresh milk.

Next Up

How to Make Yogurt

Turn a tablespoon of your favorite yogurt into a whole quart of yogurt with this simple yogurt how-to from Food Network.

Be Smart About Salt

We've all heard that too much sodium can be harmful to our health, but what does that actually mean?

Use Butter Better

Is butter bad for us, or does it just have an image problem?

How to Make Iced Tea

Learn how to make homemade iced tea with this simple how-to from Food Network.

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

... is actually more than one way. The perfect method depends on the circumstance. Here's how to get perfect bacon every time, no matter what.

The Secret to Really Good Banana Bread

Preheat your oven and pull out your favorite banana bread recipe, because this trick means never having to wait for bananas to ripen on the counter again.

Butter Basics

Learn how to navigate all the butters in your supermarket dairy aisle, then find out which applications require the different varieties.

French Glossary

Navigate French menus and cookbooks with confidence and ease.

Will Boxed Pudding Set With Almond Milk?

We put boxed pudding mixes to the dairy-free test.

Alton Brown's Guide to Eggs

Alton Brown shows Food Network Magazine how to scramble, poach and more.
More from:

Cooking School

Latest Stories