Can You Freeze Butter?

Learn how to freeze butter so you never run out again

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Next time butter is on sale at the grocery store, stock up, because butter is a convenient and useful ingredient to have on hand whether you’re trying out baking recipes or cooking up green veggies. The short answer: Yes, you can freeze butter!

How do you freeze butter?

The easiest way to freeze butter is to keep it in its original packaging right after you buy it. Wrap the box in plastic wrap or pop it into a freezer-safe bag or container if you don’t plan on using it for a while.

If you don’t have the original packaging or are just freezing 1 or 2 sticks, it’s important to wrap or stash the butter in a plastic bag or container before freezing to protect it from freezer burn and other items in the freezer. Butter easily takes on the odors of whatever you store it next to, so an extra layer is vital.

How long can you freeze butter?

If stored properly, unsalted butter will stay fresh for 4–6 months, while salted butter can last up to a year. Just be sure you freeze the butter before the “use by” date on the packaging.

How do you thaw frozen butter?

To thaw, leave frozen butter in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for 3–4 hours. Need a faster solution? Here are some speedy ideas:

  • Grate the frozen butter on the large holes of a box grater and allow to sit at room temperature until thawed.
  • If you’re cooking, set the butter next to the oven as it preheats. The heat of the oven will help thaw the butter.
  • Microwave the butter in 10-second increments until it becomes ever-so-slightly soft. It’s better to err on the side of caution here, as butter goes from soft to soupy in the microwave very quickly.

    Does frozen butter have to be thawed to use it?

    It depends! The best part about freezing butter (other than the fact that it ensures shortbread cookies are never far away) is that sometimes, frozen butter is actually preferable in a recipe. In pie crust and biscuits, cold butter helps to create that irresistible flaky texture as it steams in the oven.

    To use frozen butter in pie dough, grate it on the large holes of a box grater and toss with the flour (instead of cutting it in with a pastry cutter or your hands).

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