The joy of soft, spreadable butter

I wrote a post some time ago about whether butter should be refrigerated, triggered by my annoyance that butter taken from the fridge was so hard to spread. I linked to an article that said that butter keeps for weeks outside the fridge, something that surprised me.

Many people commented that they too kept butter outside for weeks with no ill effects and commented on the desirability of doing so and suggested various ways to set about it. On your recommendations, I got a Butter Bell in which I can keep up to one stick (1/4-lb) of butter outside and now I enjoy the pleasure of having soft, spreadable butter at any time, a true delight. When it finishes, I take out another stick from the fridge.

Thanks to all of you for the suggestions.


  1. Sean (I am not an imposter) says

    I’ve thrown butter away assuming it went bad after leaving it out by accident. Ty for the info. I have adapted to hard butter by now preferring it over the warm spreadable state. You get more butter and thus more flavor with a thick cold slice of butter on a muffin rather than a thinner spread.

  2. says

    @TGAP Dad – a butter bell is a cup within a cup, with the bottom cup being filled with salt water (kills bacteria and fungi etc) so the cup holding the butter is air-locked and not exposed to flies, tauren, mice, or whatever. I used to have butter in a plastic tray like the rubbermaid, years ago, and an enterprising mouse went right through it. Who doesn’t love butter?


    @Sean #1 You get more butter and thus more flavor with a thick cold slice of butter

    I don’t get that; there’s nothing to keep you from putting a thick slab of smooshy butter on; same amount of flavor. Or you can spread it out more. Options! Options! I used to sometimes microwave my toast a bit to melt the butter, but that also drives some of the moisture out of the toast and/or the butter.

  3. leni says

    Soft butter really is the best. I grew up on margarine. Cold, disgusting, margarine from an ugly brown tub. I can’t even describe to you the moment I discovered real butter. Well, I can, but I won’t. It will go down as one of my favorite life moments ever, for sure.

    I would only recommend a second bell so you can still have warm butter when your other bell needs washing . No pressure then, you just plop the new butter in the clean bell and voila, eternally fresh and soft butter 🙂

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