Whether basting a chicken, baking cookies or just slathering a bit on some freshly baked bread, few things in life aren’t improved by a pat of butter. But butter doesn’t have to be just tasty — butter can also be infused with cannabis to serve as the basis for a wide range of edibles.
If you have a stash of kief hanging around and are looking for something new to try, our recipe & technique for making kief-infused butter at home will be right up your alley. We have both a simple and a more advanced kief butter recipe below, so let’s dig right in.
What is Kief Butter?
Kief butter is, appropriately, butter that has been infused with kief — the loose, crystal-like powder collected from the outside of the cannabis bud. The little sparkling bits of resin and trichomes you see on a bud that make it look frosted and glittery? Once broken away from the flower, that’s kief.
Before you go dumping your grinder’s kief collector onto a stick of butter, know this: Kief, in its raw form, will not get you high. Like all cannabis, kief must be “decarboxylated” or “decarbed” before it is ready for consumption — this means weed needs to be exposed to high heat over a period of time before the THC within becomes “activated” (which is actually the
This means that just pouring a spoonful of kief into some melted butter will not get you high, and though there may be some benefits from eating raw
A benefit of
How Do I Decarb Kief?
Decarbing kief can be a bit tricky, given its loose, powdery nature; unlike denser marijuana buds, kief is prone to burn and doesn’t take as long to reach the needed temperature (and swiftly surpass it) than actual ground-up flower. Keep in mind that decarbing kief can smell like cannabis but not as strongly as if it was smoked.
We go over decarbing in detail in our “
Step #1: Preheat your oven at 230°F
Step #2: Spread your kief over a parchment-lined baking tray in a thin, even layer
Step #3: Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally; keep an eye on it, and if it starts to look too brown in color, remove it from the oven immediately
Now that your kief has been decarbed, it’s now ready to be infused.
How to Make Kief Butter
There are two ways you can make kief butter: The Quick Way and The Tastier Way.
Kief Butter, The Quick Way
To make a quick kief-infused cannabutter, you’ll need the following:
- A double boiler
- A coffee filter or cloth sachet (optional)
The kief-to-butter ratio you want to use depends on how strong you want your end infusion to be. Typically for beginners, we recommend using one or two grams of kief for each stick of butter, and for experts, we don’t recommend going any stronger than five to six grams of kief per two sticks of butter (equivalent to one cup of butter).
To get started, place your double boiler set up onto the stovetop with your butter in the top. Let it melt over a gentle heat, and then add your kief and stir. If you’d like, you can place your kief into a small, tied cloth sachet first (the same as the ones used for herb bundles) to prevent the need to strain after your steep is completed.
Steep Low & Slow
From here, let your kief soak into your butter for, really, however long you’d like – Anything from 2 to 4 hours should be enough, though. Note that your kief has not dissolved into the butter; plant matter simply won’t.
If you’d like to filter your kief away from your butter, pour the solution into a container, like a mason jar covered by a coffee filter. Straining isn’t strictly necessary but can improve the overall taste and texture of items you make with your newly infused butter.
After straining, squeeze any remaining butter out of your kief and save it, either to be eaten on its own or run through another (likely weaker) infusion. Next, place your cannabutter into the refrigerator and tada – You are done. You can now use your kief butter in any number of recipes where regular butter is called for: Baking, basting, sauteing – The world is yours.
Kief Butter, The Tastier Way
If you want to get serious about your cannabis-infused butter, there’s no better way than to start from scratch. And by that, we mean making your own butter at home.
Making your own butter is a surprisingly easy, simple recipe that few people ever think to try, even though it requires very little prep time. In truth, making butter (cannabis or no) at home is literally no different from making whipped cream, only with a few more minutes involved. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Cream; quality matters here so try to buy the best you can (We recommend using
- A mixer, either hand or stand; an old school egg beater will also work, and so will a whisk if you’re an arm wrestling champion or something, but for most individuals we recommend an electric device for this process
- Salt (optional)
- A double boiler
- Filtration; either coffee filter or a sachet
To make butter, take your cream and place it into either the bowl of your stand mixer or a wide, relatively flat bowl you can comfortably keep in one place (the more surface area available, the better).
Turn your mixer on and let it work its magic. You’ll first arrive at whipped cream, with stiff peaks forming along the top and around the edges of the bowl. Though tempting to stop here, you’ll need to keep going until the cream begins to separate into defined curds, leaving the white buttermilk liquid behind. Keep mixing until the butter has formed into a mostly solid lump, with plenty of liquid left in the pan.
Kneading Your Butter
Take your butter lump and either discard the buttermilk or reserve it for other uses. First, rinse your butter underneath cold water, then plunge it into a bath of water and ice. From here, we recommend using your hands to knead it like dough underneath the ice water. You’ll notice the water turning cloudy after a while; this is extra buttermilk being pushed out of the butterfat, which will help it keep a longer shelf life.
After doing this for a few minutes, take your butter out of the ice and pat it dry with a paper towel – If you’d like a pinch of salt, feel free to quickly knead it in now, or leave it out if you prefer unsalted butter.
From here, the directions are exactly the same as in the Quick Way method: Double boiler, low heat, steep for 2-4 hours, strain if you want. Congratulations, you now have cannabis butter made from scratch, with a taste that will be hard to beat.
Is this as quick as the Quick Way method? No (hence the difference in names). But do we think it’s worth it? Absolutely. The taste of fresh, homemade butter is incomparable to the stuff bought off of the shelf, and particularly if you plan on using this butter more as a spread than an ingredient, we feel the extra time is worth it for the improvement in taste. Of course, if you’re feeling particularly froggy,
Measuring the Potency of Your Kief Butter
Kief butter is arguably much more potent than cannabutter, because kief can contain up to 99 percent THC, while cannabis is typically contains no more than 30 percent THC. That said, when it comes to measuring the potency of your kief butter, accuracy is important.
Many at-home chefs who make their own kief at home are trying to save a dollar. When it comes to measuring out the potency of your kief butter, it would be expensive and time consuming to take the butter to a lab to get an accurate read on how potent the kief butter is.
However, there is an easier way to measure the potency of your kief butter. The most tried-and-true way to test your butter at home would be using a device like the
What Do I Do With Kief Butter?
Anything you want. Kief butter is good for literally any purposes regular butter would be, and the possibilities are endless. If you’re looking for some more concrete ideas on the topic, make sure to check out our article “
And remember: Any infusion you make with kief can also be made with hash,
How to Make Kief If You Don’t Have Any
There are various ways to collect and
Many consumers who own a three-stage (three part) grinder are already collecting kief on top of the mesh screen of the chamber where the bud is collected. Other times there is an additional chamber below the bud collection chamber where kief could be building up.
Another method is using a dry sifter. A dry sifter is typically used after plant material is broken up and cannabis is placed in an enclosed container, resting on a fine-mesh screen. A multi-stage dry sifter is best for this kief gathering purpose.
Using your hands to collect kief isn’t the most recommended method, as it typically results in a more compressed hash than loose kief. However, if you do go this route, you may want to wear gloves so you can more easily collect the loose kief that’s stuck to your gloves after trimming buds or handling your weed in another fashion.
The same idea as using your hands is applied to getting kief off a cannabis bud using ice and water. Many will find the kief turns into a compressed hash rather than kief, so this method isn’t the best approach to collecting kief.
Butter is delicious, and butter that can get you high is both delicious and delightful. We hope you’ve enjoyed our overview on how kief butter is made. Enjoy!
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