Home Dairy Products vs. Store-Bought | Pantry Chat Podcast Short

Welcome to another episode of Pantry Chat Podcast Short! In this brief discussion, we’ll be exploring the topic of home dairy products versus store-bought options. As more and more people are turning to self-sustenance and homesteading, the benefits of homemade dairy goods have become increasingly popular. But are they truly better than their store-bought counterparts? Let’s dive in and find out!


In the age of convenience, most people opt for store-bought dairy products that are readily available and might not look beyond the label. But, have you ever wondered how they compare to their homemade counterparts? In this Pantry Chat Podcast Short, the Homesteading Family’s Josh and Carolyn Thomas and their children discuss the differences in dairy products, the terminology used in homemade dairy products vs store-bought, and how making your own dairy products can give you a deeper appreciation for your food.

Store-bought Dairy Products

When we think of dairy products from the store, they typically include milk, cheese, and butter. Whole milk from the grocery store is generally about 4% milk with a percentage of butterfat added back into it. This is done to create a consistent flavor and texture. However, it is not always transparent where the milk comes from or how it was treated before hitting the shelves.

Homesteading Dairy Products

At the Homesteading Family, Josh and Carolyn Thomas and their children take the DIY approach and produce their own dairy products. According to them, cream line milk from a cow has a lot more cream in it than whole milk from the store. They also explain that buttermilk from the store is a cultured milk and not the leftovers from making butter. Traditionally, cream was allowed to culture before making butter, creating a lightly cultured buttermilk. Therefore, fresh butter leftovers will not taste like store-bought or homemade cultured buttermilk.

Terminology Used in Homemade Dairy Products vs Store-bought

The Homesteading Family also sheds light on the terminology used in homemade dairy products vs store-bought. Raw milk from a cow has not been pasteurized, which means it can carry harmful bacteria if not handled properly. However, raw milk can be turned into cheese or yogurt, which can be pasteurized at lower temperatures to preserve the natural enzymes and taste. Fresh cream from a cow can be used to make butter, while clotted cream is made using a more traditional method that involves slow-cooking the cream. These nuances might not be commonly known when purchasing dairy products from the store.

Free Resources Available

Josh and Carolyn run the Homesteading Family blog, which provides free resources, workshops, and PDF downloads, including tutorials on herbal medicine and homemade bread. They also have a YouTube channel that showcases recipes and provides a glimpse into their daily lives on their self-sustainable homestead in North Idaho.


The Homesteading Family’s Pantry Chat Podcast Short supports the idea that making your own dairy products can be a fun and educational experience, providing a deeper appreciation for the process and the final product. Store-bought dairy products are convenient but may lack the nuances and natural processes that come with homemade dairy products.


  1. Why is raw milk illegal in some states?

Raw milk is illegal in some states due to concerns over the potential for harmful bacteria to be present. Proper handling and pasteurization can help prevent this, but some states have deemed it too risky.
2. How do you make buttermilk using fresh cream?

To make buttermilk using fresh cream, allow the cream to sit at room temperature and naturally culture for several hours or overnight. Once the cream has thickened, put it in a jar and shake it vigorously for several minutes until it separates. Drain the liquid, and you’ll be left with buttermilk.
3. What is clotted cream?

Clotted cream is a dairy product made by slow-cooking fresh cream until a thick layer forms on the surface. The cream is then cooled and the thick layer is removed and served as a spread or topping.
4. Can pasteurized milk be used to make cheese or yogurt?

Yes, pasteurized milk can be used to make cheese or yogurt. However, the pasteurization process may reduce the flavor and natural enzymes in the final product, compared to raw milk.
5. What is the difference between cultured buttermilk and store-bought buttermilk?

Cultured buttermilk is made by allowing cream to culture before making butter. Store-bought buttermilk is a cultured milk that has been added to cultures to create the tangy flavor.

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