Should Butter Products Be Always Refrigerated?
Many people assume that butter products must always be refrigerated, but there are others who say that butter can be kept outside the fridge, as long as it is covered in a crock or dish. Below are some facts regarding this issue.
Why Many Are Concerned With Leaving Their Butter Outside The Fridge
Butter is a dairy product, and most dairy products, whether they are yogurt, cream or milk, must be placed in the fridge rather than the freezer, and the instructions on the label confirm it. If they are left in room temperature, they will quickly begin to spoil.
However, although butter is derived from cream, there is a difference. The main ingredient in butter is the fat, which in many cases will comprise eighty percent of its content. When this high fat is mixed with reduced water content it results in an environment which is harder for bacteria to thrive in. It is also commonly believed that butter which is left out for too long can become rancid. This is true, but it takes days for this process to occur, and its smell and visual appearance will make it clear that it is no longer any good.
Butter Can Be Left Out For a While
While the labels of most brands of butter will recommend storing them in a fridge, neither the USDA or FDA has taken a firm stance on the issue, which is different from how they approach other dairy products. In fact, they’ve stated that when covered, butter can actually be placed in room temperature for up to thirty six hours. The reason is because of butter’s reduced water content, which allows it to better resist bacterial contamination.
Tips For Those Planning To Leave Their Butter In Room Temperature
For extended storage, it is best to place butter in a fridge. However, it is possible to leave it in room temperature for a time, as long as it is covered. Butter will spoil faster when it is exposed to light and air, so placing it in a container that is sealed and air tight is extremely important. It is also essential to maintain your butter at a temperature which is steady, that way it can maintain its shape.
It is also essential to pay attention to the climate in which you live. Cooler temperate zones are more favorable to storing at room temperature. However, if you live in a desert, subtropical or tropical climate, where temperatures routinely exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the wisest course of action is to place the butter in the fridge. It should also be noted that salted butter will perform better than unsalted butter when left in room temperature, since salt does a great job at inhibiting bacterial growth.
Another reason why many people prefer keeping butter in room temperature is because it has a texture which is soft and easier to spread. When using butter that has been sitting in the fridge for a while, it will have a harder consistency, which makes it more difficult to use in some dishes.