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How to Freeze Butter

Can you freeze butter? Absolutely! In this post, I walk you through how to freeze butter and how to defrost it. Plus, I answer other FAQs about freezing butter. 

sliced butter on a cutting board

Why Bother Freezing Butter? 

Butter is a staple ingredient in my house. I use it in pie crusts, baked goods, chowders, and more. 

When I see butter on sale at the grocery store, I stock up and freeze most of it for later. This way, I always have butter on hand and am never caught without it mid-recipe prep. There’s nothing worse than having to go the store last-minute while cooking! 

If you’re planning your holiday baking in advance, it’s high time you learn how to freeze butter. Trust me, it will come in handy during the holiday season! 

Can You Freeze Butter? 

Most definitely! I freeze butter all the time. Salted or unsalted, it doesn’t matter what type of butter you freeze so long as it’s before the butter’s “Good By” date. 

Can You Freeze Spreadable Butter Products? 

Yes, spreadable butters and butter products can also be frozen. However, if you want to use them as a spread in the future — rather than melt them for a dough or stir into a soup — you’ll have to thaw them before using them. 

Is it Safe to Freeze Butter? 

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to freeze butter so long as you freeze it before its expiration date. 

Note that you should never freeze butter that’s sat on your counter for longer than two days, nor should you freeze rancid butter. 

butter on a cutting board with knife

How to Freeze Butter

Freezing butter is very easy and requires minimal prep work. You can freeze butter in its original packaging, individual sticks of butter, or in smaller pieces.  

1. Freezing Butter in Its Original Packaging 

If you know you’ll be freezing butter in bulk, it’s easiest to freeze in its original packaging. 

Simply wrap the box of butter in a couple layers of plastic wrap, seal inside a freezer bag or freezer container, label, and freeze. 

2. Freezing Sticks of Butter

Can you freeze sticks of butter? Yep! Seal the sticks of butter in a freezer bag or freezer container, label, and freeze. Do not place the sticks of butter directly in the freezer, as they’ll develop freezer burn more easily this way. 

3. Freezing Butter Without Its Packaging 

If you’ve partially used up a stick of butter or simply want to freeze smaller quantities of butter, you can easily do so. 

Slice the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces, gently line the pieces up together, and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the plastic wrapped pieces of butter into a freezer bag or freezer container and freeze.  

How Long Can You Freeze Butter? 

How long does butter last in the freezer? Frozen unsalted butter will last up to six months in the freezer, whereas frozen salted butter will last up to one year. 

Because the butter has been frozen, it’s safe to use in the future even after it surpasses its “good by” date. 

Once frozen, butter won’t spoil, per se. However, it may develop freezer burn or absorb smells within the freezer over time. If this happens, I recommend tossing the butter. If the texture or flavor of the butter has been compromised in the freezer, you don’t want to use it! 

Does Freezing Butter Affect Its Texture? 

If stored improperly or for a long period of time, frozen butter may change texture. The main culprit for textural changes in frozen butter is freezer burn. 

To prevent frozen butter from developing freezer burn, I recommend wrapping it in plastic wrap or foil before sealing it inside a freezer bag or freezer container. 

How to Defrost Butter 

There are a few ways to defrost frozen butter. Here’s how to soften frozen butter four ways: 

  • In the fridge: Place the frozen butter in the fridge overnight to defrost. 
  • On the countertop: Let the frozen butter sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours to defrost. 
  • In the microwave: Heat the frozen butter at 50% power for 10-second increments, just until thawed. 
  • In small pieces: Grate the butter using the largest holes on a box grater OR carefully cut into small pieces. Place the grated or cubed frozen butter on a plate and let sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thawed. 

Can Frozen Butter Be Used Without Defrosting It? 

Possibly! If a recipe calls for melted butter, then you don’t need to defrost frozen butter beforehand. Simply melt it and use as directed. 

Similarly, pie crust, biscuit, and scone recipes typically call for cold butter that needs to be cut into the flour. Rather than defrost the frozen butter, you can grate it using the largest holes on a box grater and stir it into the flour mixture. No need to cut the butter into the flour this way! 

How to Bring Butter to Room Temperature 

After defrosting the butter, you may need to bring it to room temperature. You’ll likely need to do this if you’re making cakes, cupcakes, frostings, or cookies. 

I have an entire guide to bringing butter to room temperature that includes eight different ways to soften butter. Check out that post for detailed instructions! 

Tips for Freezing Butter 

  • Label the freezer containers: No matter how you freeze the butter, be sure to label it with the date, contents, and the amount of butter you froze. 
  • Wrap in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn: Whether freezing a box of butter or individual sticks, you’ll want to wrap the butter in plastic wrap and then seal it inside a freezer bag to prevent it from developing freezer burn. 
  • Toss butter with freezer burn: If frozen butter develops freezer burn, it’s best to just throw it away. The texture of the butter will have changed, and it will affect whatever baked good or savory dish you’re making. 

Recipes Using Butter

Now that you know how to freeze, defrost, and soften butter, you can start cooking with it. There are so many great recipes using butter, but I’ve restrained myself and have picked only my favorites to share with you. 

More Freezing Tutorials: 

Freezing basil minimizes food waste and ensures you always have some on hand for soups, stews, sauces, and more! This post explains how to freeze basil 4 ways, plus you’ll get access to 10+ basil recipes.

Freezing spinach is really simple, and handy if you would like to have extra vegetables stored in your freezer. Come learn all about the 4 different ways I like to freeze spinach and several ideas for what to make with frozen spinach!

Cookie dough freezes extremely well and is the perfect sweet treat to keep stashed in your freezer to instantly satisfy those sweet tooth cravings. Here’s how to freeze cookie dough and bake it later. 

Freezing muffins is a great idea if you need quick breakfasts or snacks throughout the week and want to prep them in advance. This post explains how to freeze muffins, as well as provides thawing instructions and 15 easy muffin recipes.

Freezing cheese extends its shelf life and is easy to thaw for future recipes. This guide explains how to freeze cheese, how long frozen cheese lasts in the freezer, and which cheeses can actually be frozen.

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How to Freeze Butter

How to Freeze Butter

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Can you freeze butter? Absolutely! In this post, I walk you through how to freeze butter and how to defrost it. Plus, I answer other FAQs about freezing butter. 

Ingredients

  • 1 stick Butter

Instructions

Other items you may need: plastic Wrap, freezer bag or container.

Freezing Butter in Its Original Packaging 

Simply wrap the box of butter in a couple layers of plastic wrap, seal inside a freezer bag or freezer container, label, and freeze. 

Freezing Sticks of Butter

Seal the sticks of butter in a freezer bag or freezer container, label, and freeze.

Do not place the sticks of butter directly in the freezer, as they’ll develop freezer burn more easily this way. 

Freezing Butter Without Its Packaging 

If you’ve partially used up a stick of butter or simply want to freeze smaller quantities of butter, you can easily do so. 

Slice the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces, gently line the pieces up together, and wrap in plastic wrap.

Place the plastic wrapped pieces of butter into a freezer bag or freezer container and freeze.  

Notes

How to Defrost Butter 

There are a few ways to defrost frozen butter. Here’s how to soften frozen butter four ways: 

  • In the fridge: Place the frozen butter in the fridge overnight to defrost. 
  • On the countertop: Let the frozen butter sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours to defrost. 
  • In the microwave: Heat the frozen butter at 50% power for 10-second increments, just until thawed. 
  • In small pieces: Grate the butter using the largest holes on a box grater OR carefully cut into small pieces. Place the grated or cubed frozen butter on a plate and let sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thawed. 

Tips for Freezing Butter 

  • Label the freezer containers: No matter how you freeze the butter, be sure to label it with the date, contents, and the amount of butter you froze. 
  • Wrap in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn: Whether freezing a box of butter or individual sticks, you’ll want to wrap the butter in plastic wrap and then seal it inside a freezer bag to prevent it from developing freezer burn. 
  • Toss butter with freezer burn: If frozen butter develops freezer burn, it’s best to just throw it away. The texture of the butter will have changed, and it will affect whatever baked good or savory dish you’re making. 

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 101Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 30mgSodium 91mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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