Can You Freeze Butter

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can you freeze butter

Butter is one of the most popular, if not the most popular dairy product that is available in supermarkets. Butter can be used with a number of different foods as a topping, an ingredient or as apart of an overall recipe. Butter can be used at breakfast, lunch, or dinner or even with a late night snack. While it’s not the healthiest food product, if used sparingly with your other foods, it can be a delightful addition to any meal. For example, butter can go really well with muffins, pancakes, bagels, baked potatoes, eggs, etc. If you’re a big butter connoisseur and you can’t get enough of it, perhaps you would be on the lookout for big sales at the local supermarket. When you happen to find the large sale that you’ve been looking for on containers of butter, and you want to save some money and time by buying a few packages of the food product, could you go through with it in good conscience? Would you be able to store your butter for a long time without it going bad? The penultimate question remains, can you freeze butter?

Can You Freeze Butter?

The answer to this question is an easy yes. You can freeze butter in order to prevent it from going sour on you and your guests after a couple of weeks. Freezing the butter will preserve its’ flavor, texture, and consistency for a much longer period of time. However, in order to get the best results from freezing and to make your butter last as long as possible, there are a number of precautions and steps that must be taken in order for your storage to be successful. The last you would want as a consumer is to buy multiple containers of butter with your hard-earned money and then find out that they all have been ruined because you were unable to freeze them properly and follow the directions.

The Freezing Process

Like many other dairy products out there, butter can be frozen for future usage. Freezing the butter is safe and easy with the right precautions taken. It can also be frozen in its original packaging without incurring noticeable changes to its overall taste and texture. However, if you’re not feeling comfortable, here are some other options when it comes to freezing your butter product:

  • If you were not comfortable with freezing the butter in its original container or package, it would be wise to move it by scooping the necessary amount of butter needed into freezer-safe bags or containers.
  • It is also important to wrap the butter with some plastic wrap or aluminum covering before sealing the butter serving.
  • Seal the freezer bags or containers tight and remember to remove any excess air before putting the butter into the freezer.
  • Label each individual bag or container of butter with a permanent marker. Write the date of first freezing in order to keep track of how many weeks or months the food product has been freezing for.

Salted butter can be frozen for up to a total of nine months while unsalted butter can be frozen for six months or so. It also depends on the brand and type of butter but it may be possible for your product to last for up to a year when undergoing freezing. If you freeze the butter longer than that, it wouldn’t spoil right away necessarily but its’ original taste may deteriorate and it won’t be as appetizing to eat. If you want to have butter that lasts longer during freezing, it may be advantageous to choose a salted butter product since salt is a well-known preservative ingredient.

The Thawing Process

After you remove your butter from the freezer, it’s important to place the butter directly afterwards in the refrigerator. From then on, you should let the butter product defrost in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or even up to overnight if that is preferable. The butter should be completely thawed out in the morning and ready to use with your food.

Never try to thaw out your butter in the microwave, as it will cause the product to melt rather quickly. If you would like another option for thawing, try putting the butter in a bag and place it under water that is room temperature for a few minutes. Please don’t refreeze butter that has been frozen and thawed out once already before. It is also important to use the thawed butter within a few days for best taste and overall quality.

Does Butter Go Bad?

Butter is a very useful food product almost used by everyone on a daily or weekly basis. However, if you go on vacation or leave your house for a few weeks, will the butter still be good when you get back? If you leave it in the refrigerator for a week or two, your butter should be fine. However, the question remains, can butter go bad?

The answer is yes; it most certainly can go bad.

Do not be discouraged by this answer, as there are many ways to properly store butter for a few weeks or more in order to prevent the product from going bad and to save you some money in the process.

Why would you want to go to the grocery store every week to buy new butter when the butter you currently have is able to last for multiple weeks? You’ll learn the steps on how to properly store the butter to prevent it from going bad and also find out the true lifespan of butter itself. You can also be informed about how to know when your butter has gone bad and the warning sides of that happening to your food product.

The Shelf Life of Butter and Storing The Product

When it comes to the shelf life of butter, a good guideline to observe is following the date of expiration on the product’s package. However, that date they use tends to be conservative so if you consume the butter a week or two after the expiration date, nothing bad should happen to you physically. As always, use your common sense and discretion when it comes to eating food beyond the expiration date. If your butter is stored properly, your butter should be edible for up to half a year after the date of production. That gives you a lot of leeway to consume your butter and save you some money along with a couple of trips to the grocery store.

However, in order to have your butter last for up to half a year, it must be properly stored or else it will go bad rather quickly. You want to avoid the oxidation process with your butter as much as possible. The oils in the butter will go bad during this oxidation process ruining the product as a whole. To avoid the butter being oxidized, it’s important to keep the butter in a cold, cool, and dark place.

Exposing the butter product to light, warmth, and heat will speed up this oxidation process causing the oils of the butter to smell rancid and the liquids to separate from the cream. For proper storage and preservation, the refrigerator is the most common and best option. The oxidation process will slow down considerably if the butter is placed in the refrigerator. Naturally, the refrigerator is a cold, and dark place so it’s unlikely for the butter to go bad for a few months. Just remember to keep the butter in the refrigerator when it’s not being used in order to preserve the flavor and texture, it’s that easy to do.

The Storing Option

If you would like to preserve and save your butter for longer than a few months and even up to a year, you should consider freezing the butter. Remember to adhere to these following steps if you would like to follow the freezing process:

  • Cut the butter into smaller pieces / portion sizes
  • Distribute each piece of butter or two into a freezer bag or small container.
  • Make sure that your individual bags / freezer containers are sealed airtight with any excess air being let out beforehand.
  • Mark and label the date of each bag or container with the date of first freezing. Use a permanent, black marker for this step.
  • Remove each piece of butter for usage when necessary, as you should have individual servings of the product divided into different freezer bags.

By going with the freezing option for preservation of the butter, you can extend its lifespan for an extra six to eight months. In total, your butter would not go bad for up to an entire year. If you choose to use salted butter instead, it will last a bit longer than regular, unsalted butter because salt is an ideal ingredient to preserving food products.

Is Your Butter Bad?

Butter can definitely go bad if you’re not careful. For example, keeping the butter out on the kitchen counter for a couple of days continuously at room temperature would be a recipe for disaster. The oils and liquids of the butter would separate and turn bad very quickly. When you’re checking on your butter and want to know if it’s good or bad, it’s important to check for the following characteristics: sour smell, sour taste, changes in texture, and color. If you spot any of these noticeable changes in your butter, it’s likely to have gone bad. If you’re not sure, you can sample a small portion of butter for a taste test. You won’t get sick or become unhealthy from trying a little bit of butter even if its’ turned bad.


Butter is a great product to use with your food and is highly flexible in terms of being easy to store. Whether it’s in the refrigerator for a month or a freezer for six months, you can easily save time and money by buying a couple of packages of butter. You can rest easy knowing that by properly storing it for weeks and months, you’ll always use all of the product and never need to worry about any leftovers.

If you really prefer using soft spreadable butter, you can leave it out on the counter but remember to cover it (in a crock or similar container) to keep it safe from the air and light. The butter left out will spoil faster so make sure to eat it in a few days. If your kitchen temperature is above 70 F, it’s best to refrigerate the butter.

Now, you know that your butter can go bad if you’re not careful. However, butter has a long shelf life especially after correct refrigeration and freezing. Use your common sense and your butter will last you a while.

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I am a mother of four children and I love cooking healthy, nourishing meals for them. When I can find a little free time, I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others at Bakeaholicmama.

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