Home Cooking

Should You Leave the Butter Out?

March 26 2012 - 11:19 AM

Shutterstock_46939705One nice thing about cooking conversations is the huge percentage of technique conversations that are really more about habit than skill. One good example is leaving the butter out or refrigerating it. I grew up with butter in the fridge… right next to the margarine! Of course it doesn't take away from my mother's cooking and baking acumen. It simply was the way they did things. Granted butter has a strict time and place in a Kosher kitchen so that likely had something to do with it.

This past week my wife declared that the butter is to be left out. Now bear in mind, our morning food conversations usually are me admonishing her for mis-using the grapefruit knife and trying to avoid her reciprocal reproaches for me having too many knives, cutting boards, small electrics, etc. So the butter has stayed out all week, just as it does in her parent's home.

There really wasn't any question that I had to ask around are read up on room-temp butter. Here's the skinny…

1 • You'll use more butter. It's easier to spread on bread and toast, pancakes, corn and more. Not the healthiest way to eat but tasty.

2 • It won't go bad. You can taste bad butter. If you don't go through a stick in 2 weeks, why are you even reading this?

3 • It helps you understand that when something goes bad- you will know. You'll see, smell and taste it. So many people toss out "expired" food when most of the time it's a sell-by date, not a goes-bad date. If it passes the sniff, sight, taste test then it's most likely just fine. Of course when in doubt (based on your senses, not the label), throw it out.

4 • If you really hate hard butter and you've got yours in the fridge, you're missing the (butter) boat… it's really a choice.

I try to avoid butter and melt butter in sautes mostly so harder butter lets me spread it around a hot pan. In any case, it's preference and something nice to fuss about over breakfast.

–Josh Brusin

Butter image via Shutterstock