How to Freeze Butter

Close up of unwrapped stick of butter
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Question: Can You Freeze Butter?

Is it possible to stock up on butter when it's on sale and then freeze it to keep it longer? Sometimes I buy butter in larger quantities than I can use in a few weeks. I don't want it to go bad in the refrigerator before I use it up.


Yes, you can freeze butter with great results. As long as the butter you're freezing is fresh, it should keep for a year or more.

Butter has a shelf life of around four months in the refrigerator, so this will buy you a considerable amount of time.

After a year, your frozen butter will still be safe to use (assuming it's remained frozen the entire time), but you may start to notice signs of freezer burn. 

If you plan to store your butter in the freezer for an extended period of time (or really even for a short time), be sure to keep it away from onions and other odiferous frozen foods. Butter has a tendency to pick up the flavors and odors of the foods that are around it. You don't want your baked goods tasting like onions!

How to Freeze Butter

Freezing butter is a cinch. Just pop it in the freezer in its original box or container. That way you'll have the package with the sell by date or best by date to refer to later, and you won't have to bother with labeling anything.

The original packaging should be adequate to protect against freezer burn, but it may be worth sliding your butter into a freezer bag, if you think it'll be in there for a while.

This will also offer some added protection from smelly foods. 

How to Use Frozen Butter

When you're ready to use your frozen butter, just thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Thaw it a pound or a stick at a time, whatever quantity works best for you.  If you need your butter right away, you can thaw it in the microwave by heating it for 10 seconds, flipping it to another side, and then heating it for another 10 seconds.

Continue doing this, watching it closely, until the butter is soft, but not melted. Depending on the recipe, you may be able to use your butter while it's still frozen. If your recipe calls for melted butter, just take it straight from the freezer to the pan or microwave to melt it. Easy!

When to Stock Up on Butter

If you see butter on sale for $2 or less a pound, go ahead and stock up. Those prices don't come around often. In fact, you'll usually only see butter prices drop that low around the holidays.

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