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Ok so dh would use butter more often if it was soft enough to spread...I have even bought whipped butter but it was hard to spread too. How do I get soft butter? Can you leave butter out to soften?
 

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I do leave the current butter stick in use out of the refrigerator. In the summer, we use a butter bell to keep it cool and fresh on the counter. In the winter, I use a butter dish, it is a little easier than the bell since I don't have to change the water or soften the butter first.

Editing to add that I've toyed with the idea of whipping flax seed oil into butter to make it more spreadable and provide a source of omegas, but I haven't tried it. If you do, let us know how it turns out. I think it should work since I know I've read recipes for butter spreads using other oils like sunflower. Which is of course another idea for you!
 

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You know, I was raised to keep butter strictly refrigerated and assumed that it would spoil quickly if left out.

Shortly after I moved up to Pennsylvania for college, a friend who'd grown up nearby invited me home for the weekend. I was astonished to see that his family kept a stick of butter in a covered glass dish in the cabinet! It was not spoiled at all!

Now I store extra butter (bought on sale) in the freezer, one box in the fridge, and one stick in a dish (cut in half, it fits in a one-cup Pyrex bowl with plastic lid) on the counter. It is spreadable all year, very soft and mushy in summer. When we get down to a tablespoon or so in the dish, we get another stick out of the fridge; once in a while we start a clean dish and put the old one to be washed, maybe every six weeks or so.

There was ONE time we came home from a weeklong vacation to find that the butter smelled funny, but we weren't sure how long it had been unrefrigerated before we left, possibly several weeks since we couldn't recall using any butter in the days before leaving. Now we put the butter in the fridge before we go away.

To summarize: Butter does not spoil so easily as other dairy products. Softening it at room temp is just fine.
 

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If you have a butter bell, it will stay soft and not rancid for at least a month, and doesn't go gooey in the summer. It's basically a butter dish that sits upside down in a cup of water, so there's no air to turn the butter.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Porphy
Ok so dh would use butter more often if it was soft enough to spread...I have even bought whipped butter but it was hard to spread too. How do I get soft butter? Can you leave butter out to soften?
Ummm, we refrigerate our butter. I toast my bread, slice pieces of butter off and pile the pieces of toast on top of eachother to make the butter melt. Once melted it spreads easily. If we are going to have rolls or fresh bread with dinner, I will take the butter out of the fridge perhaps 15-30 minutes before we sit down to warm up a little, but right after dinner, in the fridge it goes again.

We use unsalted butter.

I've been to many peoples' houses who left the butter in the cupboard and I thought it was pretty GROSS (perhaps it wasn't salted??). I'm surprised that other claim it's not bad. It definitely tastes different and it looks ucky. But perhaps that's just me.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by maxmama
If you have a butter bell, it will stay soft and not rancid for at least a month, and doesn't go gooey in the summer. It's basically a butter dish that sits upside down in a cup of water, so there's no air to turn the butter.
We love ours, but if the indoor temp hits about 90F it falls out of the bell. This doesn't happen here often and I know to stick it in the fridge.
 

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Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees
We love ours, but if the indoor temp hits about 90F it falls out of the bell. This doesn't happen here often and I know to stick it in the fridge.
Yeah, what's up with the PNW heat screwing up my butter?! We're in Seattle and in the same butter-fallin' boat.
 

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You can definitely leave butter out. The whole point of butter, especially the salted stuff, is that it lasts much longer than other dairy products.
 

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get a french butter dish. It will keep your butter soft enough to spread, without being too soft. Just dont forget to change the water every 2-3 days, especially if you use unsalted butter.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Shaina
you can easily store salted butter on the counter it wont go bad
This is what we do.
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We also do the extra from sale goes in freezer, 1lb in fridge, 1 stick on counter. At first I thought it was a little weird as nobody left butter out when I was growing up but now I'm so used to it I'm lost without it soft. I'm thankfull it can be left out as I don't like to micro things and if I needed it in a hurry that is what I'd have to do.
 

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We don't go through butter very fast, so I have a tendency to keep it in the fridge (melt in on hot toast or whatnot). However, when we're going through a more buttery phase, I'll take out 1/4 to 1/2 stick at a time and place in a pyrex dish on the countertop. No problems, even in the summer. It doesn't have to be a full stick at a time.
 

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I leave my butter out all the time, it never occured to me NOT to do that. And I mean unsalted butter. It does not go bad
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Originally Posted by huggerwocky
I leave my butter out all the time, it never occured to me NOT to do that. And I mean unsalted butter. It does not go bad
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That's what we did when I was growing up. I think this is fine for people who eat a fair bit of butter, but we go through it so slowly it gets rancid. The butter bell did the trick for us.
 

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it was weird for me to see my grammy leaving her butter out when i was growing up, we used mostly margarine, or the country crock type spreads....

now i use butter, and i either leave it out or put it in the butter bell, depending on how lazy im feeling, lol
 
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