The 10 Best Butter Keepers
This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in May of 2016. There's nothing quite like the taste of creamy butter on warm toast or fresh-baked bread. But there's nothing worse than having a cold pat refuse to spread, tearing a soft roll in the process. Fortunately, a good keeper can ensure that your sticks are always ready to use, so you can enjoy a delicious treat every time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 10, 2020:
Once you've whipped up enough batches of toast, pancakes, and homemade waffles, you'll see just how instrumental a keeper is for having spreadable butter on call for cooking, baking, and finishing dishes. While some worry that leaving butter out at room temperature can make you sick, it is quite safe given you keep it shielded from light and air and use it before it can go bad. Because butter is around 80% fat and is also pasteurized, it takes quite some time to go rancid when stored in optimal conditions.
We wanted to include a variety of models for every need, including crocks, boats, and simple dishes. Crocks, like the Le Creuset Stoneware Crock and Butter Bell Crock are modeled after an old French method of keeping butter from turning by using water to make an airtight seal. Some boat designs, like the Trudeau Porcelain, also use this technology. These types of units require the user to change the water every 2-3 days, though, so if you'd rather not bother, go with something simple like the Svebake Boat or Oxo Good Grips Dish.
Large families or those who love European butter like Kerrygold (which comes in a thicker rectangle than standard American sticks) will benefit from a generously-sized dish like the Arc International Luminarc, while the Now Designs is ideal for a one-person home or for people who don't consume a ton of butter quickly.
Joining the ranks today is the Butterie Dish, which although it is made from plastic, is a great alternative to glass and porcelain if you have little ones running around. It's economically priced and has a very convenient flip-top lid. We also added the handmade Global Crafts Encantada, an attractive piece that is of extremely high quality and will last for many years.
Farmhouse Pottery Silo Ideal for minimalist and farmhouse kitchens, the Silo butter keeper is crafted from durable American stoneware and wheel-thrown in Vermont. It features subtle ribbing over the body, a delicate logo engraved across the top, and a naked bottom panel free of glaze to add to its rustic look. It is oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe. farmhousepottery.com
Mauviel 1830 M'tradition Handcrafted to exacting standards in France and guaranteed for life, the M'tradition works well with contemporary decor. This elegant piece consists of a highly polished domed copper top with a small knob for easy lifting and a rounded white porcelain base. Its compact footprint and dimensions make it a solid choice for crowded countertops. mauvielusa.com
Why You Need A Butter Keeper
It also happens to make your kitchen look a bit more gourmet since you tend to find butter keepers in five-star restaurants.
Unless you're a master planner, you likely forget to soften your butter ahead of time, before you're ready to spread it on your food. If you're like the rest of us, you probably only remember that cold, hard chunk of butter in your fridge once your bread slices have already come out of the toaster. Then, you have three choices: 1) Wait for the butter to naturally soften, but by that point, your toast will be cold, 2) Heat your butter in the microwave or in a saucepan, but this usually results in it melting entirely, or 3) Just spread that cold, tough butter onto your toast, thereby breaking your perfectly browned bread entirely. None of these are desirable options.
If you're someone who keeps your butter out of the fridge and on a countertop at all times, you may think you've solved this issue, but you're likely just welcoming a stomach ache. When you leave butter on your countertop, dust and bacteria particles in the environment can land on it, and contaminate it. Plus, putting soft butter into the fridge, letting it re-harden, and taking it out to let it re-soften later, tends to alter its texture and flavor. Ideally, your butter should remain the same consistency at all times to maintain optimal flavor.
After reviewing your butter storage options besides the butter keeper, it becomes quite clear why this little tool is necessary. A butter keeper will help your butter remain at a spreadable texture at all times. When you keep your butter in a keeper, you don't need to refrigerate it or worry about it melting on your countertops. Anytime you want to spread this creamy product onto some toast, it will be perfectly ready. It also happens to make your kitchen look a bit more gourmet since you tend to find butter keepers in five-star restaurants.
Unique Uses For Soft Butter
Perfectly-softened butter obviously makes for a delicious piece of toast or stack of pancakes, but there are a few uses for this yummy food you may not know about. The oily nature of butter can actually help you remove sticky residue like glue from your hands after an arts and crafts project or leftover wax after a session with your wax kit. Rub some softened butter over the affected area before cleaning it with soap and water. You'll find that the sticky stuff comes off much easier. If your kids got a little too playful and decided to decorate your hair with chewing gum, you can use soft butter to remove the colorful glob.
It can stand in for WD-40 when you need to quiet a squeaky door hinge, or add a nice shine to your cast iron or other metal products if you're out of cleaner.
If you have a hard time swallowing large pills (not in the metaphorical sense), butter can help. Grease up your capsules with some soft butter and you'll find that they slide down your throat with ease. Soft butter can help you around the house, too. It can stand in for WD-40 when you need to quiet a squeaky door hinge, or add a nice shine to your cast iron or other metal products if you're out of cleaner.
Soft butter has a few unexpected uses in the kitchen, too. You can use soft butter to keep hard cheese fresh. Each time you cut into a chunk of hard cheese, rub some soft butter on the recently cut area before wrapping it in parchment or wax paper and putting it back in the fridge. This should stop the food from growing mold, and developing dangerous bacteria like listeria monocytogenes. Butter comes in handy on spaghetti night, too. To prevent your water from boiling over, you can simply add a chunk of butter to it.
What To Look For In A Butter Keeper
When picking out your butter keeper, first think about a few practical design features. Some models can hold up to two sticks of butter. If your household goes through butter quickly (which it likely does, based on most American's eating habits), you might need one capable of storing multiple sticks. If butter is that important to your family, you should probably also find a transparent butter keeper, so you can always know with a quick glance when you need to refill it.
You can opt for a painted porcelain model or a more formal-looking crystal keeper.
You can choose models that feature a flat tray on the bottom, and a bell-like lid that goes on top, or those with a deeper tray, that is more like a small tub, and a flatter lid. If you opt for the former, rubber feet on the bottom will keep the base from sliding when you cut the butter, and stoppers on the ends of the tray will keep the entire butter stick from flying off when you slice it. Regardless of the design you choose, make sure it has an airtight seal because that's an important part of how the butter keeper keeps your butter at the perfect consistency. Those looking to do less in the kitchen might want a model that is safe to put in the dishwasher.
If you're trying to entice your family to eat a little more butter because you heard it has health benefits like lowering diabetes risk, put this creamy item in a bright, attractive butter keeper. You can opt for a painted porcelain model or a more formal-looking crystal keeper. There are also some rustic-looking designs with a wooden lid and porcelain body for that farm-chic aesthetic. Maybe your family will even think you churned this butter yourself.