Wednesday, September 5, 2012

LEAVE THE BUTTER OUT! (on the counter, of course)

When we switched to using wholesome, healthy butter back in 2005, one of my biggest complaints was how hard it was to spread butter on bread, muffins, and waffles.  Luckily, a friend who had grown up eating butter told me the trick: leave the butter out on the counter!

What a perfect solution!  I always have a stick of butter in the butter dish on the counter.  It is always nice and soft, ready to slather on our morning waffles, muffins, or even sandwich bread. And for those of you wondering: no, the butter doesn't go bad on the counter!  Admittedly, a stick of butter never lasts us more than a week, but I know others who have left it out for over a week with no problem. 

I do not use one of those fancy butter keepers that have water in them, just a plain butter dish.  My butter dish happens to be metal, but glass is fine, too. I like to leave the butter stick in its wrapper, so that I don't have to clean the butter dish very often.  But I know plenty of others who go ahead and place the stick of butter directly on the butter dish.

A couple cautions:
1. If you buy RAW butter, I would not recommend leaving it out on the counter.  If you do, it will develop a much stronger, almost cheesy flavor over time. This is because the live enzymes in the raw butter are still working just as they would in making raw milk clabber on the counter.
2. If it is very hot in your house in the summer months, then your butter might melt and make a big mess.  This won't be a problem unless it gets upwards of 90 degrees in your house.


Mary Voogt said...

I take out my butter dish every morning the first time I open the fridge. Then I put it back in the evening when I'm cleaning up dinner. So it stays chilled over night. But it's always soft in the day when we need it :)

Danielle said...

It took me a while to figure this one out, too. :) Butter only lasts a day or two in our house, too, so definitely no need to refrigerate. We plop the butter right in the dish, but a quick rinse with hot water gets the dish clean in between , with more thorough cleaning only occasionally. Glad to see that you are a butter rebel too!

Sarah Harkins said...

I've always left the butter out too. I never understood what people meant by butter going bad when left out...until, I started getting raw, grassfed butter. Now THAT goes bad- really bad! horrible, fishy tasting bad. but you're right, pasteurized butter doesn't go bad and tastes the same even after a week or so.

Megan said...

Good to know! I've seen the butter dishes and thought that would be really nice when we're buttering up baked goods or breads. And I've also noticed occasionally my raw or low-temp grass fed butter will get a funky smell if I open the container too much or let it sit out for a while - now I know why! I still go back and forth between buying real, raw butter, and buying pasteurized butter from the store. What do you do? It often depends on my grocery budget and what I think I'll need it for.

Anonymous said...

Please share where you purchased your metal butter dish, if you can recall. Less braekage!

Sarah Smith said...

There are metal butter dishes here:

Sarah Smith said...

I usually buy grassfed organic butter. The type I buy (Kalona Supernatural) even uses Celtic sea salt! I don't often buy raw butter, as our dairy farmer only sells unsalted butter, and I love salt in the butter. And of course, the raw butter costs more too.

Anonymous said...

Sarah -
This is not related, but I did not know how to contact you any other way -
I tried to get on to the Weston Price Foundation website and it keeps telling me that the site if full of viruses and malware. Do you know anything about this since you are part of the organization? I would love to send the information to some people who need it:)
Thank you for your blog - I enjoy reading it!

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Stephany,
Yes, there is some problem with the WAPF website right now. I get the same error messages. I know they are working on fixing it, and I'm hoping they get it fixed soon!

Lauren said...

I leave mine out, raw or Kerrygold. The raw stuff I only get in the summer and summer butter is softer anyhow, so I put out half a pat (ours comes in 250g blocks) at a time. Otherwise unwrap, dump, lid, shelf. Sometimes it melts a bit and we have butter in a puddle of butter oil, but that's not terrible. Now and again my husband's upbringing overcomes him and I find the dish in the fridge, but generally he lets me be the crazy kitchen mistress however I see fit! At the rate we go through it any clabbering hasn't been a deal-stopper.

cat said...

Hey Sarah!
Im totally glued to your blog!!
I just read a few months back about how to make your own butter using raw grassfed cream. Super Easy! I havent tried it yet, but Im itching to. I havent figured out how to get a hold of raw cream, but you can also get raw milk and separate it :]
I actually saw it on another healthly blogger thats also tied to Westin A Price. AND her name is sarah too!
Have you tried this method?

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Cat,
Yes, you can make your own butter with raw cream. I tried it once, but our raw dairy farmer sells raw butter for cheaper than I could make it using his cream, so I may as well buy his instead! Still not cheap, though, at $10/pound.

If you're referring to Sarah the Healthy Home Economist, yes I know of her! I follow her excellent blog as well.

cat said...

WOW! That is expensive! The Healthy Home Economist is exactly who I was referring to!Im sorry im a little off topic from where to place your butter dish, but im very curious exploring this buttery topic;
We are friends with people that their job is literally selling butter. They told me once that the best butter you can buy contains just cream and salt, thats it. Anything else is completely unnecessary. What is your opinion pertaining to this and about butter that contains just that and an oil, like, canola or olive? and if you buy butter from the store, what do you persoanlly buy?

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Cat,
Yes, I also agree that the best butter should have only salt and cream as ingredients. The store butters I buy are: Kerrygold (from Ireland) and Kalona Supernatural (from Iowa; this is my preferred butter, it is organic, from grassfed cows, and the salt in it is Celtic sea salt which is the same as I buy for our food). Not cheap, though; $6.50-$7/pound. But I look at our food budget as a preventative measure for our health. I don't buy any butter that has added oils.

BrianShiro said...

Unfortunately, even with air conditioning our house stays a perpetual 85-90 degrees every day. Leaving the butter out isn't an option for us.