Running out of butter at an inopportune moment can make cooking a nearly impossible task. For this reason, it is very common to purchase extra packs of butter and freeze them until they are needed. Butter can easily be kept in the freezer for a quarter of a year.
How can you freeze butter?
When it comes to freezing both unsalted and salted butter, it is important to remember that you should always keep it inside its original container until needed. The packaging will help keep the butter fresh until it is used. This packaging can then be placed inside of a freezer bag before being put into your freezer.
Can spreadable butter be frozen?
Although a stick of butter can be easily frozen for quite some time in its original packaging, spreadable butter cannot. Most forms of spreadable butter come in a plastic container that is not considered freezer-grade. Freezer-grade plastics stretch ever so slightly when the liquids inside them expand as they are frozen. Since most spreadable butter does not use freezer-grade plastic, they are prone to cracking in the freezer. You can however freeze spreadable butter if you transfer it to a freezer-grade plastic container first.
How long can butter be frozen?
When butter is properly frozen, it can keep in the freezer for a period of up to four months. Regardless of whether you are dealing with salted or unsalted butter or even spreadable butter, it can be frozen. Keep in mind though, that you still must thaw out and use the butter or spread before the freshness date on the packaging. After the “use-by” date, the butter begins to lose its freshness and can start to absorb various odors from the freezer.
Does butter need to be thawed?
Depending on the need, butter does not need to be completely thawed in order to use it. There are times that a recipe may call for stiffer butter. Other times, you may need to thoroughly mix the butter with other ingredients, which requires that the butter is completely thawed out. If you are planning to use butter from your freezer, then make sure that you set aside enough time to properly thaw out the butter beforehand.
How can you thaw frozen butter?
One of the easiest ways to thaw out butter is to simply transfer it to the refrigerator. If you do not need the butter until dinner time, you can simply remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator where it will thaw out in about six or seven hours. Likewise, if you need it for breakfast then simply place it in the refrigerator before you go to bed.
Can you soften butter by grating it?
For most recipes, you will need softened butter. As a result, you will not be able to simply use the frozen butter as is. With recipes that require softened butter, it is important to make sure that you properly thaw out your butter before you start cooking. However, if you had not planned properly, there is one proven way to speed up that thawing process.
Start by laying out a sheet of wax paper on the counter. Using a box grater, simply grate the frozen butter onto the wax paper. Once you have enough flakes of butter to complete your recipe, you can simply transfer them from the wax paper to your mixing bowl. Since the flakes of butter have more surface area, they tend to melt much faster. As a result, you will only need a few minutes before the butter softens enough for your recipe.
If your recipe calls for melted butter, then you may be able to use a microwave to thaw it out. However, you should not use the microwave for defrosting your butter, as it will not thaw out evenly.
Can you cook with frozen butter?
Along the same lines as using a box grater in order to thaw out butter, you can also grate the butter in order to evenly incorporate it into your recipes. You would be amazed at how easy it is to grate frozen butter over your flour in order to keep your dough cool until it’s placed in the oven. This technique can help improve the flakiness of biscuits and piecrusts.
Is frozen butter used in recipes?
While most recipes call for melted or softened butter, there are some recipes that actually require the use of frozen butter. When butter is added to a recipe while it is still frozen, as it melts it releases steam. This esteem can help to increase the flakiness of the pastry. This is really helpful for those who do not have a pastry blender, yet still want to create that perfect flaky pie crust.