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Mar 9, 2006 10:38 AM

Salted Butter

  • j

So I accidentally bought a block of salted butter. I hate eating salted butter on toast and whatnot, and I believe that most recipes call for unsalted butter. Just wondering how I can use up this salted butter? In other words, if a recipe calls for unsalted butter and I use salted, how much less salt do I add to the recipe? Or if you have any recipes that call for salted butter, that's even better. Any ideas?

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  1. p
    Paté chinois

    Send it my way! I looove salted butter ;-) (actually, my trick to eat less butter is to buy only unsalted butter, although, come to think of it, sweet butter sprinkled with sea salt is divine)

    Seriously, it would be great in, say, mashed potatoes. Mix the butter in and wait until everything is combined before adding more salt if you wish...


    10 Replies
    1. re: Paté chinois

      Or in any dish where you're going to be salting it - I would avoid sweets or very butter rich sauces, but anything else is fair game.

      I'm sensitive to the taste of salt so I don't like salted butter by itself either, but there's really not that much in there, certainly not enough to be a problem if you taste as you instead of just throwing in your usual amount of salt. (Which I did the other day when I used an unfamiliar brand of canned tomatoes and didn't check the label - boy did that sauce come out salty!)

      1. re: MikeG

        It's funny that you say there's not that much salt in the butter. I looked at the package and it says there's 40 mg of salt for every 2 tsp of butter - that sounds high to me. Anyway, I was hoping there would be a way for me to use the entire block in one go... I don't want salted butter taking up space in my fridge! ;) The mashed potato idea is a good one, but that's a lot of mashed potatoes for two people to finish. LOL.

        1. re: Juniper

          1/2 tsp salt per stick (8 TBSP) salted butter... according to this website.


          1. re: Foodie2

            Been rather amused by this thread. I've no idea how much butter costs in the US. In UK I am at the moment paying £0.97 for 500g either salted or unsalted butter using what I think most people regard as premium brands (Lurpak -Da - salted, and Pesident - Fr -unsalted).

            The Lurpak package says it contains 1.2% salt, so a kilo of the stuff would have about 12g salt.

            Frankly I would worry about my butter consumption rather than my salt intake at these sorts of levels.

            Even if you had bought industrial quantities I would question the use of trying to wash the salt out. Cost out your time, processor wear, detergent and hot water etc. to clean up.

            If you don't like it it should go in the bin of experience.


          2. re: Juniper

            Time for a dinner party perhaps? :)

            1. re: Juniper

              A teaspoon of finely granulated table salt has about 2400 mg of sodium, so 40 mg of _sodium_ is equivalent to only 1/60th of a teaspoon of salt. 40mg of _salt_ would be that much lower - about 15mg of sodum.

              1. re: MikeG

                You're right, but what I should have said is that according to their nutritional label, there is 40 mg of SODIUM (not salt) per 2 tsp serving. Which is 3% of the RDI of sodium... in one pat of butter. I dunno, I find that salty. And it sure tastes salty!

                Anyway, I'll likely be doing some baking tonight. Thanks for the tips everyone.

                1. re: Juniper

                  I dunno. The RDA is very low - the vast majority of healthy adults of European and Asian descent can easily handle far more salt than that. 2000mg per day is considered a very "low sodium" diet - the sort of diet they put you on if you're at specific risk for acute health problems. I sometimes wonder if anyone on the planet has a diet that conforms to those nutritional requirements - I strongly suspect not.

                  But in anye event, as I said, 40 mg sodium is one-sixtieth of a teaspoon of salt - miniscule by anyone's standards I should think, at least as far as health concerns go. As far as taste goes, only your tastebuds can answer that, of course.

          3. re: Paté chinois
            fai jay (fai jackson)

            My friend and I both say the secret ingredient of food in Europe is salt. Almost all cooks in North America under season food--this includes some of the most renowned. So I say pass the salt and full steam ahead.

          4. Use it to saute veggies. Make caramels with it. Most "old-fashioned" cakes, etc. use regular butter and come out just fine. Here's a recipe for brown-butter mashed potatoes that is fabulous. Enjoy!

            Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
            2 lb. unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes
            1 stick (4 oz.) salted butter
            A few pinches of nutmeg
            A sprinkle or two of salt and pepper

            Cut potatoes into large chunks then steam, boil or microwave them until they’re tender. Drain well.

            Meanwhile, toss the butter into a small saucepot and heat it until it melts over medium heat. It will then begin to steam and foam. Once the water has evaporated the foam will subside and the milk fat solids will begin to brown. Continue watching as it begins foaming a second time. Swirl it gently, watching the color, until it turns golden brown and releases the aroma of toasting nuts. Immediately pour the browned butter into a bowl to stop it from browning further.

            When the potatoes are tender mash in the butter, nutmeg and seasonings. Taste and season a bit more if needed.

            1. We moved to the East Coast of Canada, Nova Scotia, 12 years ago from the Toronto area. I was very surprised to find in the dairy counter salted butter and also extra salted butter. And the people here wonder why there is such a high incidence of major health probems in this part of Canada. I am sure this love of salt would be one of the contributing factors. They just love the stuff.

              4 Replies
              1. re: BJ

                BUT....the extra-salted butter would make killer French Salted Caramels, I'm sure!! (I'm kind of obsessed at the moment....)

                1. re: wyf4lyf

                  Care to share a recipe? I'm also obsessed, but haven't found THE ONE.

                  1. re: nooodles

                    I think I may have posted this link before. I haven't made them....yet. I'm obsessed in my mind at the moment while I'm trying to cut back on sugar and fat consumption. (So all the recipe talk is great sublimation!!)

                    Let me know how these turn out.


                    1. re: wyf4lyf

                      I did try that one! I had a lot of trouble getting that much sugar to melt into that little corn syrup.

                      In retrospect, my sugar may have been part beet. I didn't look before pouring it into a jar, so now I'll never know.

                      What I did was add a little more corn syrup (maybe another 1/4 cup). The resulting caramel was much too soft at room temperature, but is just hard enough right out of the fridge.

              2. Did some googling and found "there's approximately 1/2 tsp salt in a stick (8 TBSP) of butter," which should help things greatly. I use salted butter in my baked goods in a pinch, and just reduce or eliminate the salt accordingly. I haven't noticed a huge difference in things like brownies or even a chocolate pound cake, as long as the salt in recipe/salt in butter evens out. But I'm in the "love salt/salted butter" category.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Foodie2

                  Clearly the 1/2 tsp salt is in a stick of SALTED butter... sorry I misquoted.

                  1. re: Foodie2

                    I use salted butter exclusively. The only time I have EVER noticed something being too salty was a recent batch of cheese crackers/biscuits/coins/whatever from Martha Stewart. I suppose that in that particular recipe, butter was such a high proportion of the ingredients that it made a difference. And of course, if I had been thinking, I would just have reduced the recipe's salt a bit. And even then, they were only marginally saltier than would have been my preference.

                    1. re: Foodie2

                      I make fabulous Normandy butter cookies with salted butter. I find that they don't taste quite as good when I use unsalted - it seems like something's missing - but there's no additional salt in the recipe, just flour, sugar, egg yolks and butter. So I'd guess that you can use your salted butter for baking. Then again, I like salted butter on bread and toast, to cook eggs in, on top of cooked vegetables, in hot cereal and grits... I save the unsalted for more sophisticated recipes, where you need more control over your seasonings.

                    2. This may be a bit drastic (it is much easier than it sounds), but you can "wash" the salt out of the butter. Bring it to room temperature, put it in the food processor, and add cold water to it. Start processing, and the salt will migrate out into the water. I swear it works. Then dump out the salty water and mold in to a log and refrigerate. However, since you have room temperature butter in a food processor you can add garlic and herbs and make a compound butter to top steak or fish. Or orange zest and some sugar. Or lemon zest or........