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Oct 4, 2006 11:40 AM

salted butter better to leave out

some friends of mine swear that you can only leave salted butter and not unsalted butter out in a butter dish on the counter. apparently it doesn't go rancid as quickly because the salt preserves it.

I prefer unsalted butter, but would make the switch if this were true, since i like to leave my butter out.

what are people's thoughts/opinons? any food scientists out there?

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  1. It doesn't make much of a difference. The temperatures at which it is left out make more of a difference. Butter softens at around 20C (68F), and suffers texture-wise a few degrees above that. If you keep your kitchen cooler, there should be no problem. Butter (sweet and salted) has been kept at cool room temperatures for centuries.

    1. I like to keep my butter out too, but I've noticed that when it's left out for prolonged periods, the flavor changes.

      1. I keep both out and have noticed no difference.

        1. I always leave a small chunk of unsalted butter out in a covered dish for everyday use. The rest stays in the fridge. The room temp stuff gets really soft in the summer but doesn't go bad before it gets used up.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Nyleve

            I just bought a butter bell to see how that will do.

            1. re: hummingbird

              I've always wanted to try one of those.

              1. re: Nyleve

                We've had one for a few years - it's nice but even it doesn't work infallibly in hot weather. However, in warm-ish weather it does keep butter fresh longer than a plain butter dish.

          2. Before refrigeration, butter was made from cultured milk and then salted, both of which helped preserve it.

            Spoilage shouldn't be an issue if you eat it regularly and leave only a quarter-pound at a time at room temperature.