Freezing butter is something we don’t often think about, but it’s actually a great idea. Butter freezes really well, and it’s really the perfect way to prolong the shelf life of butter by at least 3 months. Follow our tips below and you’ll always be able to enjoy fresh butter – from your freezer.
How to Freeze Butter?
Freezing butter is quite easy. If you want to freeze a whole pack of butter, one option is to just put it in the freezer. This is really all you need if you plan to use the butter relatively soon. However, if you want to keep your butter in the freezer for longer periods of time, you might want to consider adding extra protection.
What you want to do is basically get rid of any air that might come in contact with the butter. This can lead to freezer burn and weird flavours seeping into the butter. To prevent this from happening, you can put the butter in a freezer bag. When closing the freezer, first close it most of the way, but leave a small opening. Then, squeeze all of the air out of the bag and close it completely. That way, you’ll get most of the air out. Label the bag and put it in the freezer. If you have a vacuum sealer, you could use that too to completely seal the butter. However, this is by no means necessary because butter generally keeps really well in the freezer.
How Long Does Butter Last in the Fridge?
Frozen butter can keep up to a year, but the exact shelf life is difficult to estimate. However, butter will stay good in the freezer for at least three months. After that, you might be risking reduced quality of thawed butter. It all depends on the conditions and on the quality of the butter itself. If you forgot a stick of butter in your freezer for too long, it’s still safe to use it. However, we recommend using it for recipes that call for melted butter, since the melting process might even out the flavour and texture of the butter.
How to Defrost Butter?
Butter is very easy to freeze and it’s also quite easy to defrost. There are many methods you can use and the right choice will mostly depend on how you plan to use the butter after thawing. Depending on your plans, there is also the option of not defrosting the butter at all. If you are cooking something on butter in a pan, for example, you can simply throw frozen butter in there and let it defrost right in the pan.
Still, this is not always ideal, so here are some tried-and-true methods for defrosting butter:
Grate Frozen Butter
Grating frozen butter is one underappreciated trick everyone should know. When you freeze butter (see also Can You Freeze Peanut Butter) to preserve it’s shelf life, you don’t always know how much you’ll need later. Cutting a frozen block of butter is quite difficult, but grating it actually isn’t. Due to the high fat content, frozen butter is actually very easy to grate.This means you can simply grate as much butter as you need, and put the rest back in the freezer (just make sure to wrap it up well). As a plus, grating butter thaws quite quickly. It will usually reach room temperature within 10 minutes max.
Overnight in the Fridge
Thawing the butter in the fridge overnight is the safest method. The only downside is that you need to remember to take the butter out of the freezer in advance. Once the butter has spent 6-12 hours in the fridge, it will be ready to use.
Cold Water Bath
The cold water bath method can help you thaw butter more quickly. You’ll need a large bowl filled with cold water. If your butter is not in a freezer bag, you’ll want to transfer it into one and close it well – you don’t want the water actually coming into contact with the butter. Then simply place the freezer bag in the water bowl. This method works surprisingly quickly. The outer section of the butter will be thawed within minutes.
When thawing butter in the microwave, you don’t want to get it too hot. Always use the defrosting setting, and don’t leave the butter in too long. Start with 30 seconds and continue in small increments if needed until you reach the consistency you want.
The stove method is best when you need melted butter. When warming the butter on the stove, it would be difficult to thaw it without melting it. But, if you actually need melted butter, there is no problem. Simply put the frozen butter in a saucepan and start reheating at low heat. Stir frequently until melted.