How to Make Buttermilk: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Buttermilk

How to Make Buttermilk – Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes, from pancakes and biscuits to salad dressings and marinades. Despite its name, buttermilk doesn’t actually contain any butter. It is a tangy, acidic dairy product that is made by fermenting milk with lactic acid bacteria. In this post, we will walk you through the simple steps to make your own buttermilk at home.


To make buttermilk at home, you’ll need just two ingredients:

  • Milk: You can use any type of milk you prefer, from whole milk to skim milk. Keep in mind that the higher the fat content of the milk, the thicker and creamier your buttermilk will be.
  • Acid: You’ll need an acid to curdle the milk and create the tangy flavor of buttermilk. You can use lemon juice, vinegar, or even cream of tartar. For best results, we recommend using white vinegar or lemon juice.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Pour the Milk:

Start by pouring the milk into a clean glass or plastic container. Leave some space at the top, as you’ll need room to stir.

Add the Acid:

Next, add the acid to the milk. You’ll need about 1 tablespoon of acid per cup of milk. Stir well to combine.

Let It Sit:

Once you’ve added the acid, let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, the acid will curdle the milk and create the tangy flavor of buttermilk.

Check the Consistency:

After 10 to 15 minutes, check the consistency of the buttermilk. It should be thick and creamy, with a slightly lumpy texture. If it’s too thin, you can add a bit more acid and let it sit for a few more minutes.


Once the buttermilks has reached the desired consistency, cover the container and refrigerate it for at least an hour before using. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the buttermilk to thicken even more.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Use fresh milk for the best results. Older milk may not curdle as well.
  • You can also use cultured buttermilks as a starter instead of an acid. Simply add a small amount of cultured buttermilks to the milk and follow the same steps.
  • If you don’t have enough milk on hand, you can also use yogurt or sour cream as a substitute.
  • For a richer flavor, use whole milk or even half-and-half.
  • It will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Uses for Buttermilk:

Now that you’ve made your own buttermilk at home, it’s time to put it to good use! Here are some of our favorite recipes that use buttermilk:

Buttermilk Pancakes:

Use buttermilks instead of regular milk in your favorite pancake recipe for extra tang and fluffiness.

Buttermilk Biscuits:

Buttermilks biscuits are a classic Southern dish that pairs well with gravy, honey, or jam.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:

Make a creamy and tangy ranch dressing with buttermilks, sour cream, and herbs.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken:

Soak chicken in buttermilks before frying for a tender and flavorful dish.

Buttermilk Waffles:

Use buttermilk in your waffle batter for a crisp exterior and fluffy interior.


Making your own buttermilks at home is an easy and affordable way to add tangy flavor to your favorite dishes. With just two ingredients and a few simple steps, you can have a creamy and versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. Whether you use it in pancakes, biscuits, dressings, or marinades, buttermilk is sure to add a tangy kick to any dish.

In this post, we provided a step-by-step guide to making this at home using just milk and an acid like vinegar or lemon juice. We also shared some tips and tricks for getting the best results, such as using fresh milk, using cultured buttermilks as a starter, and choosing higher fat milk for a richer flavor.

We also suggested some of our favorite recipes that use buttermilks, including pancakes, biscuits, ranch dressing, fried chicken, and waffles. These recipes show just how versatile buttermilks can be and how it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

In conclusion, making buttermilks at home is an easy and cost-effective way to add tangy flavor to your favorite dishes. With just a little bit of effort, you can have a creamy and versatile ingredient that will elevate your cooking to the next level. So, grab some milk and acid and get started on your buttermilk-making journey today!