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Jan 9, 2007 03:29 PM

Leaving Butter Out at Room Temp?

Anyone else out there leave their butter out (in a covered dish) for days or weeks at a time?

I started doing this after talking to a coworker who does it, and it makes perfect sense. Nothing I hate more than trying to spread ROCK hard butter on something.

I know it's a dairy product, but my coworker and I both do this regularly. Are we courting potential disaster?

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  1. always. I also HATE rock hard butter

    1. No.

      I recently found a foil wrapped hunk of President french butter in my pantry closet, in a bag along with some flour. It had been there for more than a month, and was perfectly fine and solid.

      Of course, this was a low-moisture product - american butters mostly have more water in them, and could, I guess be more prone to spoiling at room temp, given exposure to heat and humidity but I think it would take a while and you would know.

      1. I've got to tell you, this hits on a huge pet peeve of mine at restaurants. Don't bring me hard butter. How hard is it to just let the dishes sit out at room temp or quick heat them in an oven?

        7 Replies
        1. re: jpschust

          Unfortunately, in many jurisdictions, health codes do not allow restaurants to keep butter at room temperature. Health codes can be really stupid sometimes. Where I work, one time the health inspector was visiting while some stock wqas simmering on the stove and she told the owner that he had to keep a lid on all pots at all times.

          Anyway, we really don't want to serve you rock hard butter, but if the health inspector is around, we have to.

          1. re: hilltowner

            I always wondered the same thing......Now I know. (Thanks.)

            1. re: hilltowner

              Speaking of stupid health inspectors, a few years ago health inspectors started forbidding makers of fresh mozzerella from leaving their product unrefridgerated...of course you can't refridg fresh mozz, it spoils the texture. So to be sure the mozz that they found was not sold to the public, they poured bleach into the water (or is it whey) it was being held in. Nice! This happened in an italian neighborhood in brooklyn. But hey, they are still getting away with it somehow, thank goodness.

              1. re: prunefeet

                Fiore's in Hoboken (on Adams between 4th and 5th) makes and sells fresh, hand-made, moz. It is heaven. And it doe NOT sit in a refrigerator. It is sold at room temp., and they advise you not to ruin it by refrigerating it.

                And I have been leaving my butter at room temp. all of my life.

              2. re: hilltowner

                I used to work in the pastry shop of a luxury hotel, and we always kept a working quantity of butter (about 30 1-lb. blocks) out at room temperature--this way it was always at a workable consistency when we needed it. (and no, no one ever got sick from our stuff, and the butter never tasted 'off').

                The only time we ever kept all our butter refrigerated was when the health inspectors were on their way!

                1. re: Piglet

                  Piglet, I bake, and we keep out butter (1 lb blocks) submerged in a hotel pan of cool(50F)water. It satisfies the health dept regulations, and yet it is soft enough to cream properly.

                  I leave the butter on the counter/table during the hottest summer in a butter bell.

                  1. re: Piglet

                    The health department let you know when they were coming? Never heard of such a thing.

              3. No, I leave my butter out in a butter boat all the time (without the water receptacle below the actual butter holder in the winter). The ONLY time I put it in the fridge is in the summer, when the butter boat doesn't keep it firm enough.

                1. Use a butter boat in the summer, not in the winter no need to.
                  Keep the butter in the fridge for baking.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    Only butter in my fridge is for baking and cooking purposes. I have never gotten sick from butter.

                    1. re: cookieluvntasha

                      rancid butter will not make you sick, but you will sure regret eating it. a taste that just won't go away.