‘With enough butter, anything is good’ Julia Child.
I agree with Julia’s sentiment. Butter is a kitchen-cupboard essential for me and one which I use virtually every day in my cooking and baking.
In the past, butter has been accused of being a contributing factor to heart disease (source: Healthline).
However, more recently, it is considered a healthy ingredient to add to your recipes. It is full of nutrients and compounds such as butyrate, which has been linked to reducing the chances of developing obesity and diabetes. Butter is high in fat, so it needs to be eaten in moderation, but it is considered healthy in terms of its nutrients and compounds, which are of benefit to the body (Source: Healthline).
If you use butter regularly, too, you will be keen to know how you can ensure you always have a ready supply. Thankfully, you can freeze butter, which means that the inconvenience of running out of butter can be avoided with a little planning and organizing. It also means that if you spot offers on butter at your grocery store; you can still purchase as many blocks as you like, safe in the knowledge that it will not go off or be ruined in any way.
This article explores how you can freeze various butter types and how they can be defrosted safely and without hindrance to any delicious flavors.
Can You Freeze Butter?
Yes, you can freeze butter. If you use butter for cooking and baking every day, it's not uncommon to stock up on this key ingredient. If you're planning to preserve extra butter for subsequent use, simply store it in the freezer.
To maintain the freshness, ensure that the butter is kept in its original carton. Use it within a month, once you have removed it from the freezer, for the freshest taste!
Does Freezing Butter Ruin It?
No, freezing butter won't ruin it. Butter is a substance that can be frozen for a long time. Frozen butter retains its flavors and properties for up to 1 year.
After 12 months, frozen butter will start to lose its freshness and go off, so it is advisable to dispose of the butter, as it may not be safe for consumption.
Can You Freeze Whipped Butter?
Yes, you can freeze whipped butter, but it can end up losing much of its lushness and not be as fluffy and fresh as it was initially. Whipped butter is less dense than regular butter as it contains more air. This makes it smoother and easier to spread. It is not suitable for baking preparations that require pure butter. However, it is ideal for topping recipes such as rolls, pancakes, muffins, and baked potatoes.
Can You Freeze Butter In A Tub?
Yes, you can freeze butter in a tub or its original packaging and defrost it when you're ready to use it. Butter tends to absorb flavors from other pungent foods, such as onion, so you might want to add another layer of plastic wrap or paper towel to guard against this. Alternatively, you may want to store it away from other strong-smelling consumables in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Spreadable Butter?
Yes, spreadable butter may be frozen for use at a later date. Spreadable butter is made with just enough vegetable oil to make it easy to smooth onto your snacks. This butter freezes very well, and the consistency and quality are not significantly impaired. You may choose to stock up on this product in such a way that you maintain a continuous supply!
Can Plant-Based Butter Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze plant-based butter. Plant-based butter, also known as vegan butter, is a non-dairy butter alternative, primarily made by mixing water with any vegetable oil, including avocado, olive, palm kernel, and coconut.
It's a perfect choice of butter to freeze if you want to eat it at a later date. It may last about three months in the freezer. When you are ready to thaw it, move the butter to the refrigerator and wait until it's completely defrosted. You can freeze the plant-based butter in parts or the entire block.
Can You Freeze Salted Butter?
Yes, you can freeze salted butter, but you may choose not to freeze it as the salt concentration can become more intense after freezing. This is due to a result of fluid loss (due to the freezing process), which consequently dissolves the cellular structure. Knowing this and considering the effects of having too much salt in your diet may discourage you from freezing it.
Salted butter contains 2% salt and is a widely known butter used for cooking and spreading. The added salt in any butter helps it stay in the refrigerator for an extended period, meaning you won't need to freeze it if you know you'll be using it within a month at the most.
Can You Freeze Unsalted/Cultured Butter?
Yes, you can freeze unsalted/cultured butter but only once. This is due to the added bacterial culture, which, once thawed, will increase its risk of food poisoning.
The cultured butter has no salt added. Instead, a bacterial culture is applied to the butter before the churning phase.
This bacterial culture gives the butter an antique flavor and a more tangy taste. Ensure the quantity you have is what you can consume, as thawing will initiate bacterial growth again and may lead to food poisoning if not consume within 24 hours of being defrosted.
Can You Freeze Clarified Butter/Ghee?
Yes, you can freeze clarified butter/ghee. Clarified butter/ghee is from South Asia. The butter is heated so that the milk particles are dissolved, settle down to the bottom, and become brown. The butter is allowed to melt until the water has evaporated to leave it with an extended shelf-life.
It's acceptable to freeze and refreeze ghee, but pure ghee, with no additives, will remain stable for 12 months in the refrigerator, so you may not need to freeze it.
It may be relatively easy to freeze butter, but you may still have some unanswered questions. Here is a complete guide to some other problems related to freezing butter that you may have.
What Is The Best Way To Freeze Butter?
The best and most convenient method of freezing butter is to leave it in its original packaging or container. In this way, you will keep the details from the manufacturer (including the expiry date), which you can refer to later. Also, you won't have to worry about labeling the butter again. Until freezing, keep the butter sticks wrapped in plastic bags.
If you do not have the original tub, cover the butter sticks in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them inside the freezer container. Alternatively, since it can be challenging to cut frozen butter, split the bars into portions of 1 - 2 tablespoons, cover them well with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and put them in freezer bags.
Ensure you keep the butter separated from onions or any other odiferous frozen foods, as butter appears to absorb the smell and flavor of foods stored nearby.
How Long Does It Take To Freeze A Stick Of Butter?
The answer is dependent on the quantity you wish to freeze. For instance, if you want to freeze about a pound of butter, it will take approximately 6-7 hours to freeze it completely.
What Happens To Butter When You Freeze It?
When butter is frozen, its flavour and texture can change if frozen incorrectly or for longer than the recommended period.
A well-stored butter may remain frozen and fresh for up to 1 year if frozen before the expiry date.
However, butter can gradually lose its pure butter flavor if preserved for more than 1 year. It can pick up different flavors and smells from the freezer and give it an unpleasant taste. When the butter is taken out of the freezer, it is advisable to consume it within 1 month.
How Do You Defrost/Thaw Frozen Butter?
The best and safest way to defrost frozen butter is to put it in the fridge overnight. It will take about 6-7 hours to thaw, depending on the temperature of your refrigerator. The butter will soften evenly and remain cold, ready for use.
Using The Microwave To Defrost
If you need to instantly defrost your butter, you can place it in the microwave for ten seconds, then turn it over and microwave it for another ten seconds-always at a low temperature. When it begins to melt, carefully remove it from the microwave.
Some recipes require frozen butter to be used, and others require melted butter, so evaluate what condition your butter needs to be in and adapt your defrosting methods accordingly. However, as a general rule, using a microwave for defrosting butter is often discouraged, as it can lead to having both melted butter and hard pieces.
Another useful technique to quickly thaw butter is to grate it while it is still frozen. Remove some of the packets and grate the butter with a cheese grater. The grated butter will be relatively easy to scrape and will defrost quickly. This method can be applied to all types of butter.
Egg Slicer Method
You can also slice the frozen butter on an egg slicer and transfer the slices to a serving plate. The pieces will become soft within a few minutes. They are then easy to pick up and spread on burgers or bread. This method can be applied to all types of butter.
How Long Can Butter Last After Being Frozen?
Salted butter can be stored in the freezer for about a year, while unsalted butter can be stored for up to 6 months. Ensure that the butter is covered in its original packaging, heavy-duty aluminum foil, or in a freezer bag to prevent it from absorbing odors from other foods and reducing the risk of 'freezer burn .' would destroy the butter's quality, in terms of taste and appearance. However, once the butter is allowed to thaw, it should not be kept for more than 6 months.
Can You Freeze Margarine?
Margarine is a vital food ingredient in homes across the world. It is used in baking, cooking, and in the simple preparation of sandwiches. It is a versatile ingredient that can be found conveniently in virtually any supermarket, and what's more, it's very cheap to purchase.
It's always safer to have surplus margarine at home, but can we freeze margarine when it comes to maximizing shelf-life? Yes, margarine can be frozen with excellent success, and it's also effortless to freeze. Margarine contains about 80% vegetable oil, which ensures that it freezes quickly and easily. When margarine is frozen, the expiration date is extended. Therefore, maximizing margarine's shelf-life is easy to do with the help of a freezer.
Why Would You Freeze Margarine?
Freezing margarine helps to prolong its storage life. You might like to purchase in bulk and find that you have 5 margarine tubs at home, or you might have spotted an excellent margarine deal at the local grocery store; freezing it will be your best economical and waste-free option.
Butter is a popular and staple ingredient in most households across the globe. To take advantage of its versatility in cooking and baking, you will be pleased to know that it can be frozen. This will allow you to buy in bulk (saving you time and money) and enable you to preserve it so you can always have an available supply in your kitchen. As discussed, various types of butter can be frozen, including margarine. So, what are you waiting for? Stock up on this food essential and, when necessary, freeze to preserve its shelf-life.