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Storing butter outside of fridge

My wife has run into two people this week that store their butter on the counter or in the cupboard to keep the butter soft for spreading. I have read a few articles and the ones that say it is safe to do mention that salted butter is the best choice because of the salt acting like a preservative. They also suggest that you can do this for just a few days before the butter goes rancid but no article gives definitive amounts of time. Is this practice done widely? Thanks.

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    1. There's always a stick of butter in a glass covered butter dish on the counter, the rest is in the butter thingy in the fridge door.
      We use unsalted butter, and never once has it gone rancid on the counter, even in summer.

      3 Replies
        1. re: kitchengardengal

          Me too. Been doing it for over 30 years.

          1. re: kitchengardengal

            Unsalted. We keep our butter dish on the counter. There has never been a problem during our forty years together and we've never thrown butter away.

          2. Yeah, this is completely normal. You could use a butter bell. My great aunt (smallest household I can think of- just 2 people) keeps her butter out and just uses it a stick at a time until its done. I have no idea how long it keeps but I've never heard of it going bad. Maybe we just eat a lot of butter ...

            1. That's what I do. I use salted butter. It only goes in the fridge if we get super hot weather in the summer.

              1. I received a butter keep that I have used for years and I love it. It consists of a butter holder with a lid that sits inside a larger dish of water. As the water evaporates it keeps the butter at a cool temperature, soft and easily spread, but never melted. I don't know the chemistry of how it works, but it does.

                 
                4 Replies
                1. re: ski_gpsy

                  I have two of these, and I've had mold in the water, or on the surface of the butter, after maybe a week. I gave up on the 'butter bell' concept.

                  1. re: jeanmarieok

                    I had the same thing happen, consistently, with my old butter bell--the butter in it always molded after a few days. So, I gave up using it for a while. Then our cat discovered what was inside that covered dish on the counter, and so much for that butter dish! I decided to try a butter bell again--it seemed more cat-proof. I bought a new one...and the butter has never molded again. We'd also moved across town, so I don't know if it's something about my new kitchen, or the new butter bell, or what it was that made the difference. But something did!

                    1. re: MsMaryMc

                      I've never had mold. What's your ambient temperature? Here it's never much over 70 degrees, due to air conditioning.

                  2. re: ski_gpsy

                    I have this butter dish also. Works great and I leave my butter out all the time.