Maybe you’ve bought several tubs of butter on offer, or perhaps you’ve fished an old tub out of your refrigerator.
Either way, you’re probably here with some questions:
Is butter prone to spoilage? Can I detect if butter is bad? Butter lasts for how long?
We’ll answer all this, and then some, below.
These are the people who require quick responses. here’s the lowdown. Butter definitely does go bad, and you’re best off following the best-before date on the packaging.
If you’re unsure, look for changes in appearance, smell, and taste – in that order – to check if your butter has gone bad.
Oh No…Has My Butter Gone Bad?
First up, let’s check if your butter has gone bad. If your butter has passed its best-by date, this is particularly important. These are the things you should be looking for:
- Mold. This is the most obvious sign that butter is bad. However, butter is hard and contains little oxygen, so if there’s just a little mold, feel free to cut it off. Any more than a few specks of mold, and you’re much better off chucking your butter!
- Color: Bright yellow This indicates that your butter may have gone rancid.
- It has a strong smell. Rancidification can also be characterized by a bitter or sour smell.
- Taste. If you haven’t spotted anything else wrong with your butter, feel free to give it a little taste. Having a bit of bad butter won’t harm you, but don’t keep eating it if it doesn’t taste good!
You’ll notice that a lot of the signs you’re looking out for relate to rancidity. Foods can be rancid When the oil in it reacts to oxygen in the atmosphere. Eating rancid food isn’t bad for you, but it isn’t pleasant either!
How to Store Butter
Here’s the good news: It is easy to store butter.
Make sure that your butter has been sealed in an airtight container. If it’s unopened, you’re already good to go.
If you’ve already opened your butter, you can leave it in its original packaging or tub, or double wrap it in a larger airtight container for an extended shelf life.
It is important to Your butter should be kept in the fridge Because your butter is more likely to go rancid in cold or dark conditions, You should not store your item in the refrigerator door. This is where temperature fluctuations are most likely to occur.
How to Freeze Butter
Before we get on to how to store butter, here’s one last point: Butter can be frozen. Below are the steps
- Slice your butter into bite-size pieces.
- Use baking paper to line a baking sheet. Cover the baking tray with butter pieces.
- “Flash freeze” the butter. Put it in the freezer for two hours.
- Now that your butter is frozen, it won’t all stick together, making portioning butter easier for thawing. All the butter pieces should be transferred to an airtight container.
What length of time you can expect your butter to last
The best way to determine how long butter will last is by looking at the date printed on the packaging or tub. That’s because butter is manufactured with a variety of ingredients in numerous different ways.
Butter’s shelf life will therefore vary greatly from one manufacturer to the next. Generally, however, the butter should last for at least two years. your butter’s best-by date to be approximately 1-3 months after the date of purchase.
Provided you’ve stored your butter well (scroll up if you missed that), then Butter can be used within 1-2 weeks of the expiration date. However, you should always check the product for rancid or signs of deterioration before using it.
You can keep butter at room temperature and use it for spreading. 3 to 5 days, so only get out the amount you’re planning to use over the next couple of days.
Here’s another bit of good news: when it comes to butter, you don’t need to worry about whether it’s open or not. Storage periods and instructions don’t change much either way.
Butter should stay fresher for longer. You might consider salted butter because salt acts as preservative.
Lastly, butter you’ve frozen will last for 6-8 months, provided you’ve followed our instructions.
Here’s a round-up of butter
Now you’ve got all the info you need to store your butter appropriately. Plus, you know how long your butter will last – or at least you know how to find out! These are the important points, in case they were not obvious:
- To check if butter can still be consumed, the main things you’re looking out for are mold and signs of rancidity (that means a sour smell or taste and bright yellow color).
- Check the label of your butter to find the exact date you need to use it.
- Provided you’ve stored your butter well – in the refrigerator – it will likely be good to eat for up to 2 weeks after the best-before date.
- Butter can be frozen to extend its shelf life by 6-8 months