Finally! Science Has Determined Whether Or Not You Should Refrigerate Butter And It All Hinges On One Variable

by 3 years ago


I grew up in a restaurant family where everyone on both sides were involved in every aspect of running a restaurant and therefore had very matter-of-fact opinions on topics like ‘should you refrigerate butter?’ I’m from Florida and you all know that it’s hotter than Hell down here, yet my aunt always told me that butter NEVER needed to be refrigerated.

After reading the findings below and finally learning the truth about whether or not you should refrigerate butter I haven’t yet picked up the phone to call my aunt a bold-faced liar, because she’s a nice woman and I’m not a total asshole. With that said, the next time I’m over at her house and see that butter sitting out on the counter I’ll be sure to call her out for poisoning me and my cousins with bacteria-ridden butter for the past quarter century.

Mmmm, churning butter looks so therapeutic. Doesn’t it?

As I said in the headline, science has finally determined when/if you should refrigerate butter. So here’s your answer, The Huffington Post reports:

The simple answer is yes, most butter survives just fine without refrigeration. But any longer than a week on the countertop — or any warmer than 70 degrees Fahrenheit — could put it in a danger zone.

The FDA cites that most butter keeps just fine at an “ambient temperature.” Experts at The Kitchn and Food52 call this “ambient temperature” anywhere below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If your room rises above that threshold, then throw your butter in the fridge.

Salted butter generally lasts about a week outside the fridge. If you keep it in an airtight container, like a European-style butter crock, it can last up to two weeks.

So there you have it. If you’re house is kept at 70-degrees Fahrenheit or cooler then you do not need to refrigerate your butter. If you keep you thermostat above 70-degrees then you need to toss that butter in the fridge. Furthermore, the best rule of thumb is that butter lasts around a week outside of the fridge, but if you’re iffy about it you can give it a sniff and the stench of butter that has turned will be immediately apparent.

Butter Dish image courtesy of

(h/t The Huffington Post)

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