Butter has so many applications in the kitchen. So, running out of this dairy fat is something you want to avoid.
To prevent such inconvenience, you might be thinking of buying extra blocks and freezing them. The question is: can you freeze butter successfully?
A short answer, yes. You can freeze butter without ruining it. With a few tricks, you can significantly lengthen the shelf life and have it ready anytime you need.
Keep reading if you are curious about everything you need to know about freezing butter.
The Best Way To Freeze Butter
So can butter be frozen? Unlike most dairy products, butter is exceptionally freezer friendly. No matter if it is salted or unsalted, you can always freeze it to use at a later stage.
Proper wrapping is crucial before freezing. This dairy fat has a delicate flavor and tends to pick up odors. Another tip, don’t place it close to onions and other foods with strong smells.
You can freeze an entire block or in smaller chunks. The latter is more convenient if you only need a small quantity for your toast or whatever you’re making.
Freezing a Whole Block of Butter
If you plan to use an entire block, you can freeze it right away in its original carton packaging and place it in a freezer bag.
In case the packaging is damaged, you can wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Freezing Spreadable Butter
Spreadable butter often comes in a plastic tub. For this one, don’t freeze it in its original container. The container is not made from freezer-grade material, which may crack in the freezer.
Transfer the butter into a freezer-safe container and seal it tightly. You can also divide it into smaller portions if necessary.
Freezing Butter Chunks
If you only need a spoonful or two every now and then, this method is your way to go.
1. Cut butter into smaller pieces.
2. Keep the paper wrapping and cover each piece with aluminum foil.
3. Pack into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
4. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal it tightly.
5. Label the pack with the freezing date.
How To Defrost and Use Frozen Butter
Once brought to room temperature, you can use previously frozen butter in any recipes calling for this dairy fat.
If you are making recipes calling for softened butter or one at room temperature, you need to thaw it beforehand.
Defrosting a big block takes time, so plan accordingly before your baking session. To thaw frozen butter, simply remove it from the freezer and transfer it into the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Microwave thawing is also possible. But, you need to be extra cautious during the process. Defrost frozen butter with 10 seconds intervals. Be careful not to overheat it if you don’t want to end up with a melted version.
How to Soften up Frozen Butter Quickly
If you forget to thaw it in advance, here is the trick to speed up the thawing.
Grate frozen butter with a cheese or Microplane grater. Place it onto a bowl. Let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes to soften up, and it is ready to use.
Delicious Recipes Calling for Frozen Butter
Frozen butter is as versatile as a fresh batch. In fact, a lot of baked goods recipes call for ice-cold butter. Additionally, some others also allow this frozen fat to be added during cooking.
In both cases, you can use it right away without thawing. To give you some ideas, here are delicious recipes using frozen butter:
- Pie crust
- Pastry dough
- English muffin
Can you refreeze butter safely?
Yes, you can safely refreeze it in case you thaw more than needed. However, repeated freezing may reduce its delicate flavor and smooth texture.
To avoid this inconvenience, try freezing it in smaller quantities. This way, you can thaw an appropriate amount and little chance to end up with unused portions.
How Long Can You Freeze Butter?
According to FoodSafety.gov, butter can be frozen for 6 to 9 months from the date of purchase.
It is possible to keep it longer—up to a year. However, prolonged freezing is prone to freezer burn, not to mention that it tends to pick up odors from its surrounding environment. So, it is best to stick with the recommended storage time.
See more: how long does butter last?
Yes. According to the USDA, you can safely leave butter outside the fridge for 1 to 2 days. Refrigeration is necessary for long term storage and to prevent it from turning rancid quickly.
Yes, you can freeze various types of cheese. Hard cheeses such as Swiss cheese and cheddar are more freezer-friendly than soft and fresh cheeses. Soft cheeses will lose their texture and flavor after thawing.
Butter naturally goes rancid, just like other foods that are high in fat. It is not necessarily bad, but the flavor is certainly unappealing. Common spoilage symptoms are moldy surface, discoloration, and sour smell. If you find any of these signs, discard any remaining product.
Butter is a great candidate for freezing. You can freeze a whole block or cut it into pieces. For spreadable butter, you need to transfer it into a freezer-safe container before freezing.
Use frozen butter within 6 to 12 months for maximum freshness. Now that you know the right way to freeze butter, it’s time to take advantage of a big sale and fill up your freezer!
Up next: best replacement for butter
*image by Syda_Productions/depositphotos