You may be surprised that there are a lot of foods in this world that can be treated the unconventional way. For one thing, a freezer can store things far more than what you imagined it could. Can you freeze butter? Absolutely, you can. While it’s not really a pressing concern, let’s talk about this topic and who knows, it will come in handy sooner or later.
Why freeze butter?
Perhaps you’ve been keeping butter in the fridge for so long that the question, “can you freeze butter” may come as an absurd interrogation. To enlighten you, the primary reason of why we need the need to store butter in a freezer is to prolong its shelf-life. When a flash sale goes up in the grocery store, you rush and take whatever bargain you can get which is a smart move. Now, with an overflow of stock that are nearing expiration date, you wouldn’t want to use it altogether in a one-day feast and lose the purpose of saving money on a sale, right? Luckily, we’ve got the freezer to save us from this. You can buy as many sticks of butter you want and stock them up in the coldest part of your refrigerator and they will last for at least 4 months. Sometimes, unsalted butter can go up to 6 months without getting spoiled while salted ones live up to a year.
In fact, experts encourage us to do this practice if we’re not going to use butter in the immediate future. Butter is mainly comprised of fat and when it’s stored for too long, it breaks down and becomes rancid which is responsible for the bad odor it gives to food. The freezer is dark and cold thus, you’re keeping it fresh for a long time. The advantage as well of keeping butter frozen is that it retains its original flavour much better than when it’s left to sit in the fridge rubbing elbows with other food items. That is, of course, when it’s properly packed.
How to freeze butter?
Freezing butter can go as simple as chucking it inside the coldest part of the fridge. However, of course, you need to take note of the following points:
- Make sure that the container you’re putting it in is freezer safe. Usually, butter comes in packaging that are not built for long-term freezer storage. If you’re intention is to use it within a few days, the carton where it’s originally packed should be enough. But, if you won’t, save those flavors and keep them in much more appropriate storage bags. Wrapping in aluminum paper will do you a great favour. Airtight bags will work incredibly well too.
- If you’ve bought a large-sized one, slice them and pack in separate containers. Why? This is not necessarily for space-saving reasons. This is to save you from the hassle of thawing and re-freezing a whole block of fat. But nevertheless, if you’ll use a huge pound of butter in one go, then just pop the whole thing away in the freezer.
- Don’t forget the labels. There is a purpose of why it’s recommended to keep butter in their original packaging supported by a freezer-safe bag and this is that. If you don’t have it anymore or if you’re cutting and keeping them in separate containers, manually write them instead.
How to thaw butter?
Thawing butter is as simple as how you’ll remove the ice crystals from meat and other products. Put it down in the fridge and defrost it overnight. Alternatively, you may let it sit at room temperature in the kitchen countertop too. Compared with meat and other perishable products, it can withstand hours at this condition without getting rancid. Leaving it out for days out there is of course, another story. Now this comes with a little planning ahead. The only inconvenience freezing butter gives is thawing.
We get that it’s tedious and it’s time-consuming but here’s another hack. Cut them into smaller slices or use a grater to make tidbits of it. The more surface area exposed, the faster it will soften. If your recipe calls for melted butter, you’re lucky because it won’t take much time and effort. The microwave is your go-to place. Heat it very briefly, about 10 seconds for each side. Alternately, take it out of the freezer and throw it straight to the skillet to heat.
It is important to note that if you thaw butter, you can refrigerate it back but the ideal shelf life of it is then diminished to 30 days
How to use frozen butter?
If you’re only accustomed to using chilled butter, you haven’t witnessed what miracles a frozen block of fat will do to your recipe. Some bakers would prefer using frozen butter to a regularly cold solid one because it gives a pleasing effect to pies and pastries. Since you brought it out icy cold, it will only start melting once you pop it in the oven. This creates a steaming effect which helps in developing a flaky crust. Try this hack when making biscuits and scones too to achieve a perfect flakiness.
Is it safe to use frozen butter?
At this point, you may still be wondering whether the freezer is indeed the rightful place for butter, right? We assure you that it is a hundred percent safe and a lot of bakers would likewise agree. Of all things you should be concerned about, it shouldn’t be food safety.
Can you freeze butter and use it without being inferior to one which isn’t? The answer is yes if you store it appropriately in a sealed container. The freezer is home to all things perishable like meat, fish, and other nearly-expiring food items. It’s highly likely butter may absorb unwanted odor of its neighbors. Unless you wrap it so well, butter will still taste good.
The next time you see a large pound of butter up on sale, don’t hesitate to buy it. Think about how much you’ll save and the advantage you’ll get with freezing a butter.