Butter Tips and Hints

Here’s a bit about butter. Use or disuse as desired.

  • Refrigerate salted butter for up to 1 month.
  • Refrigerate unsalted butter for up to 2 weeks.
  • If you refrigerate your butter, avoid the butter compartment as it’s too warm. Store in the back of the refrigerator if possible.
  • As butter can absorb flavors from nearby products, it should be wrapped airtight.
  • Salted and unsalted butter can be frozen in freezer-proof wrapping for up to 6 months.
  • Unsalted butter allows for better control of the final flavor of a dish.
  • Unsalted butter is better for greasing pans than salted, as salted butter can make baked goods stick to pans.
  • To cleanly cut cold butter, wrap your knife in cling wrap, or heat a butter knife with hot water and dry off the water.
  • To measure butter trhat does not have a wrapper, partially fill a measuring cup with water, then add butter until it reaches the amount you need. For example, fill a cup with 1/2 cup with water. If you need 1/2 cup of butter, add butter to the water until the water line reaches 1 cup.
  • Soften butter by placing it in a microwave oven for 30 seconds at half power.
  • Another way to soften butter is by slicing or grating butter and letting stand for about 10 minutes.
  • Butter has a narrow melting range, 82.4°F to 96.8°F, so it will melt quickly even at low temperatures. To avoid burning, melt butter on low temperature settings.
  • To prevent scorching when using butter as an oil, replace 1/4 of the butter with olive oil.
  • Scorched and/or burnt butter is unrecoverable. If looking to cook with butter at high heat, it’s best to use clarified butter.
  • Do not use whipped butter for anything other than spread, or oiling pans. Whipped butter is incorporated with air and/or nitrogen which can adversely affect the taste of baked recipes.
  • To cut butter into flour without a pstry cutter or food processor, grate frozen butter into the flour, periodically the flour together to prevent sticking.
  • To make clarified butter,take need about 1 1/4 lbs. of unsalted butter. Melt butter over moderate heat but do not allow to boil, stirring often, but gently. The butter will separate into three distinct layers – foam on top, clarified butter in the middle and milk solids on the bottom. As the butter continues to warm, skim the froth from the surface and toss. When the froth is gone, pour off clear, melted clarified butter into another container, but leave the solids on the butter on the bottom.

As always, feel free to add your own tips and hints in the comments.

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