Looking after your butter
Keeping your butter in tip-top condition will ensure it lasts and you can enjoy the delicious, fresh taste for longer.
Keeping butter in a tub provides the best protection from UV light, air, and moisture loss, to keep your butter fresher.
Parchment is good for short-term storage, so it’s fine if you replenish your butter quite frequently.
You can freeze butter for as long as the best-before date on the pack. Salted butter can last for 8-10 months in the freezer.
Sometimes butter can defrost with a thin outer layer where the butter looks darker, known as primrosing. This is due to moisture loss, not oxidisation (when the butter is exposed to air and causes it to go rancid), so it’s nothing to worry about.
If you need to, you can refreeze butter but, to maintain the best taste, it’s better to avoid it.
When butter's gone bad
When butter becomes rancid an enzyme called lipase has broken it down into glycerol and fatty acid. At this point it has gone off and is past using.
It’s quite easy to tell if your butter is rancid. First, look for discolorations on the surface. Then check for sourness. If it has a sour smell or taste it means that it’s spoiled and should not be used.
If you notice a thin outer layer on your butter that looks darker, it’s nothing to worry about. This is ‘primrosing’, not oxidisation , and your butter is still good as gold. Primrosing occurs due to moisture loss, which often happens in modern fridges with a moisture control function.
Store your butter correctly
Butter is best kept airtight, out of the light, and at a cool temperature, ideally below 9 ℃. If you store it the right way, butter will maintain its quality and last longer.
To keep it nice and fresh, cut it into smaller portions, enough to get you through a week.
Butter can be tainted by strong flavours close by, so don’t store it alongside foods such as fish. To minimise the chance of flavour transfer, you can pop it into an airtight container.
If your butter has gone slightly rancid (check the taste and smell), if it’s only slightly soured, it may still be okay for baking.
You can prevent primrosing (darkening of the outer edge of the butter) by storing your butter correctly.
It’s best to keep your butter in the fridge, especially in the summer. If you prefer it at room temperature, only take the amount you need for the next day.