If you enjoy baking, you know how quickly butter runs out. That’s why I like to stock up on this cooking essential whenever I see it go on sale.
But since butter only lasts for 4 months in the fridge, I like to freeze it instead, to preserve its lifespan for much longer.
Yup, you read that right! Butter keeps well in the freezer, as long as you store it properly. What’s even better is that freezing butter won’t affect its taste or texture at all. The only issue, if you can even call it that, is that it takes a while to soften.
The key, of course, is that you store the butter while it’s at its freshest. Don’t expect excellent quality if you’re working with butter that’s past its best-by date!
So, how long does butter last in the freezer? Unsalted butter will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer, while salted butter will last for up to a year.
You can still keep your butter for longer than that, but its quality will deteriorate. It will absorb the odors and flavors of other items in the freezer, and will be more prone to freezer burn.
Oh, and here’s a tip: once you’ve taken your butter out from the freezer, you have a month to use it. Don’t refreeze it, it won’t keep well anymore.
Now, the big question is: how do you freeze butter?
It’s super simple. There’s no special way to do this other than putting the butter in its original packaging in the freezer. You don’t even need to worry about adding labels because all the information you need is already right there on the box.
But if you want to add another layer of protection, you can also store the butter in a freezer-safe bag. That way there’s less chance of it acquiring the odors and taste of foods nearby. Oh, and don’t store it next to strong-smelling items such as onions and garlic.
If the butter is no longer in its original container, just wrap the butter in aluminum foil, pop it in a freezer-safe bag, and freeze.
I also recommend slicing butter into 1-2 tablespoon sticks beforehand, as butter is more difficult to cut once frozen.
How to Thaw Frozen Butter
There are several ways you can go about this, and it depends on how much time you have.
- If you have at least 6 hours before you need to use it, you can place the frozen butter in the fridge to thaw.
- If you’re in a little bit of a hurry, grate the frozen butter using a box grater and it will defrost at room temperature in minutes.
- The fastest method is thawing the butter in the microwave. Be careful about it, though, because microwaving it for too long will melt it. If you’re using the butter for baking, you can’t use melted butter if the recipe calls for softened! Set the mode to defrost or low, and start with 10 seconds and keep adding time if necessary.
How to Use Frozen Butter
Sometimes, you don’t even need to thaw frozen butter to use it. For instance, frozen butter works great with baked goods!
Cold butter forms steam as it cooks in the oven, which will help your dough rise beautifully. So just add the frozen butter as-is into your flour mix and it will yield perfectly flaky pies and stunning biscuits.
Also, if you’re using butter to make scrambled eggs or stir fry, there’s no need to defrost it either. Just add it to the pan frozen and the heat will melt it in seconds.