Have you ever wanted to spread some butter on toast, only to get annoyed with its hard consistency? Sure, butter kept in the fridge lasts long, but what’s the use when you can’t properly spread it on your crackers? We’re going to help you find the best butter keeper: a container that keeps your butter fresh and easily spreadable.
What Is a Butter Keeper?
A butter keeper is a special container designed to maintain the freshness of butter for as long as possible, without having to store it in the fridge. Because it was first made in Vallauris, France, it is also known as a “French butter keeper”.
A French butter keeper is composed of two parts. It has a bell-shaped top and a cup-shaped bottom that is filled with a little amount of cold water to shield the butter’s surface from oxygen and light. While they are not maintenance-free, many people who try a butter keeper wonder how they survived without one.
Pros and Cons to Butter Keepers
There are several advantages to owning a butter keeper:
- There are multiple designs to choose from.
- Keeps butter soft and ready to spread at all times.
- They look cute on the table/kitchen counter.
- They are easy to clean manually.
- Most are dishwasher safe.
- They can be durable, made of natural stone.
Some of the drawbacks of butter keepers include:
- Crocks require frequent water replacement.
- Butter can melt and fall in water on hot summer days.
- Ceramic and porcelain can still break if you drop them.
How to Properly Store Butter
If you want to store your butter on the counter instead of inside the fridge, let me tell you how to use a butter keeper.
Leave your butter at room temperature until it is easily spreadable. Then, using the bottom of a spoon, take the soft butter and fill the bell, pressing it firmly into it.
Fill the bottom of the crock halfway with cold water. Make sure it’s enough to reach the surface of the butter when inverted and placed into the container. The amount need will vary according to the size of the keeper but is often between ¼ to ⅓ cup of water.
Certain butter keepers have small holes drilled into the bell’s sides to allow trapped air to escape. If you like to use unsalted butter, you can add a little salt to the water to extend the life of the butter. You should replace the water every 2 or 3 days and clean the container between butter refills.
Butter vs. Margarine: Tips for Storing
Quick tips on how to store butter and margarine:
- Refrigerate them at 40°F or below on the middle or upper shelf.
- You can freeze butter for six to nine months.
- You can freeze margarine for six to eight months.
- Butter will be good to consume for one to two months unopened and refrigerated. It should be consumed within two weeks after opening.
- Margarine has a shelf life of three to four months when unopened. It should be consumed in a maximum of two months after opening.
- When butter and margarine develop a sour odor and taste, mold, or discoloration, they have gone rancid.
- After the projected expiration date, if they do not exhibit any signs of spoilage, they are safe to consume.
What You Should Look for in a Butter Keeper
Although the majority of butter keepers are made of ceramic, they can also be made of glass or marble. Although butter keepers with a glass cup are less subtle, they also make it simple to monitor the water level, ensuring that you never forget to change it.
While marble is good at retaining heat, which makes it an excellent butter crock, it can be difficult to clean because of its weight. Handmade clay and stone butter keepers offer beautiful gifts but frequently require hand washing.
While a butter keeper is necessary, because it will be shown on your counter, you’ll want to ensure that it is not an eyesore. Choose a style that complements your environment. Additionally, handmade butter keepers and sets make excellent gifts.
Most butter keepers hold one stick of butter (about half a cup). There are several large-capacity options if you are a frequent butter user. However, you should consider counter space before purchasing a large version.
Single-serving sizes are available, which would be wonderful for breakfast in bed or for serving guests individual butter portions at a dinner party.
Ease of Cleaning
After using the stored butter, butter keepers should be thoroughly cleaned. This contributes to the inhibition of the growth of germs and mold. You can wash butter keepers by hand or in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher-safe.
Numerous butter keepers made of glass, plastic, or porcelain are dishwasher-safe, which simplifies cleaning. Certain handmade clay butter keepers, on the other hand, may require handwashing with warm, soapy water.
Butter keepers with wooden or bamboo lids may require the lid to be removed before putting them in the dishwasher. Hand- wash and quickly dry the lids to avoid soaking and warping.
1. Editor’s Choice: Norpro Glazed Stoneware Butter Keeper
One of the simplest and most elegant butter keepers is this one by Norpro. It can hold about one stick of butter and is designed to prevent air from seeping into the container. It promises to keep your butter fresh for up to 30 days without the need for refrigeration.
It is constructed using attractive glazed stoneware and is available in a plain white version with a couple of blue stripes. You use it pretty much like every other item of its kind. Just pour about half an inch of water in the basin, fill the other half with butter, and turn it upside down.
The water needs to cover the top layer of butter. Make sure to change the water once every two or three days.
- Quality glazed stoneware.
- Keeps butter fresh for 30 days.
- Fits one stick of butter.
- Water needs changing every 2-3 days.
2. Runner Up: Radicaln Store Butter Dish
Say goodbye to all solid and cold butter. This butter keeper keeps butter spreadable, fresh, and flavorful for an extended period without the need for refrigeration.
This is a butter keeper that includes the crock and a lid. You fill it with butter just as you do with every other similar crock. The manufacturer recommends cleaning it using a soft cloth and water to avoid scratches.
- 4 color options.
- Beautiful marble design.
- Easy to clean.
- Surface is scratchable.
3. Customer’s Choice: DOWAN Butter Dish
For a butter keeper with a more traditional appearance, you can count on DOWAN. It’s made using premium AB porcelain, meaning it doesn’t contain BPA. It also helps retain the natural odor or butter, while staying fresh and tasty.
It features a silicone seal that keeps the contents of the keeper fresh, making sure your butter is always easy to spread and has a prolonged shelf life. The porcelain construction prevents the butter from sticking to it.
Put the container in the fridge if you want it to stay cold. The airtight lid will not allow the butter to mix with the taste or odor of other foods.
- 6 color options.
- Airtight silicone seal.
- Easy to clean.
- Complaints about short seal lifespan.
4. Best Color Options: PriorityChef French Butter Crock
A Priority Chef French butter dish preserves the freshness and flavor of butter. It allows you to indulge in its wholesome goodness daily and feel better for it. Available in eight beautiful colors, this ceramic pot even has the word “butter” engraved on it, making it even more adorable.
It works like every other similar container. You fill the bottom container with cold water up to the mark. Put soft butter in the crock and fill it all the way. Place the butter container upside down in the bottom part.
- 8 color options.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Durable construction.
- Butter tends to fall into the water.
5. Best Practical: The Original Butter Bell Crock
The Original Butter Bell Crock by L. Tremain is a practical and attractive option for keeping and serving butter. It preserves butter soft, delectable, and spreadable for about a month without you having to put it in the fridge.
This butter crock is made of a high-grade ceramic mixture called New Bone China and is modeled by the classic French design. The crock is available in a variety of hues and may be used to coordinate with current dinnerware or stand-alone to give a pop of color to the table.
- Durable construction.
- 6 color options.
- Airtight seal.
- Poor instructions.
6. Best Durable: SWEEJAR Porcelain Butter Crock Keeper
Similar to the previous option, this butter crock is another piece worth mentioning. What’s even more interesting is how the product page describes a manufacturing process similar to that of The Original Butter Bell Crock.
What you can expect is a ceramic butter crock with two components. The bottom container is marked so you always know how much water to add.
The top part is designed to hold about one stick of butter. When all the ingredients are in place, turn the bottom container upside down and place it into the water pot.
- 8 color options.
- Watermarking on the container.
- Good porcelain construction.
- Needs a water change every other day.
7. Best Budget: OXO Good Grips Butter Dish
The dish allows for both longer, thinner sticks and shorter, stouter sticks, with measurement indications for both. It’s a dish designed for easy butter slices. It’s also considered easy to clean because it’s dishwasher safe.
I love how it has measurement markers so you’ll always know how much butter to cut. This can be very useful for recipes where you have to get the butter amount just right.
- Markings for easy measurement.
- Butter doesn’t slide off tray.
- Plastic construction.
8. Best All-In-One: AISBUGUR Large Butter Dish
The reason why I love this butter dish is that it includes a slot for a butter knife and the knife is included as well. That means that whenever you feel like spreading butter on toast, you won’t have to reach for another knife.
This container measure 6.3 x 3.5 x 2.7 inches, so it should comfortably fit butter sticks of different sizes. The silicone lid provides an airtight seal to maintain the freshness of your butter for longer. It’s made from ceramic, and you can choose between five different colors.
- Includes a butter knife.
- Silicone lid.
- 5 color options.
- The knife is pretty small.
The Bottom Line
Butter keepers have different designs and can be used in different ways. Crocks have a bottom container that you need to fill with water, while other models are simply boxes with an airtight lid. Make sure you understand the advantages and lamination of each when looking to find the best butter keeper.
Photo credit: Dariia Belkina/Shutterstock