Does Butter Go Bad If You Don’t Refrigerate It?


Butter is a favorite widespread and baking ingredient.

Yet when we store it in a refrigerator, it becomes hard, so we need to alleviate or warp it before use.

For this reason, some people store butter on a opposite rather than in a fridge.

But does butter go bad if we leave it out? This essay explores either it indeed needs to be refrigerated or not.

It Has a High Fat Content

Butter is a dairy product, definition it is done from a divert of mammals — customarily cows.

It is done by churning divert or cream until it separates into buttermilk, that is mostly liquid, and butterfat, that is mostly solid.

Butter is singular among dairy products given of a really high fat content. While whole milk contains usually over 3% fat and complicated cream contains scarcely 40% fat, butter contains some-more than 80% fat. The remaining 20% is mostly H2O (1, 2, 3, 4).

Unlike other dairy products, it doesn’t enclose many carbs or many protein (3, 5).

This high fat calm is what creates butter so thick and spreadable. However, when it is kept in a fridge, it becomes tough and formidable to spread.

This leads some people to store butter during room temperature, that keeps it during a ideal coherence for cooking and spreading.

Summary: Butter has a high fat calm of over 80%, that creates it thick and spreadable. The rest is mostly water.

It Doesn’t Spoil as Quickly as Other Dairy

Because butter has a high fat content and comparatively low H2O content, it is reduction expected to support bacterial expansion than other forms of dairy products.

This is generally loyal if a butter is salted, that lowers a water calm serve and creates a sourroundings inhospitable to bacteria.

Salted Varieties Resist Bacterial Growth

According to a United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while many forms of germ would be means to tarry on unsalted butter, there is usually one form of germ that can tarry a conditions of pickled butter (4).

In one investigate to establish a shelf life of butter, scientists combined several forms of germ to a butter to see how good they would grow.

After 3 weeks, a bacterial calm was significantly reduce than a volume added, demonstrating that butter doesn’t support many bacterial expansion (6, 7).

Therefore, regular, pickled butter has a low risk of bacterial contamination, even when kept during room temperature.

In fact, butter is indeed constructed with a expectancy that consumers will not keep it in a fridge (4).

However, unsalted and churned kinds are a opposite story.

But Don’t Let Your Butter Go Rancid

Although butter has a low risk of bacterial growth, a high fat calm means it is exposed to going rancid. When a fat spoils, we can tell it should no longer be eaten given it will smell and might be discolored.

Fats go rancid, or spoil, by a routine called oxidation, that alters their molecular structure and produces potentially damaging compounds. It also formula in off flavors in any dishes done with a acerbic fats (8, 9).

Heat, light and bearing to oxygen can all speed adult this routine (8, 9).

Yet it has been demonstrated that it might take anywhere between several weeks to over a year for burning to negatively impact butter, depending on how it is constructed and stored (6).

Summary: Butter’s combination discourages bacterial growth, even during room temperature. But bearing to light, feverishness and oxygen can means rancidity.

It Stays Fresh Longer in a Fridge

Unsalted, churned or raw, unpasteurized butter is best kept in a fridge to minimize a chances of bacterial expansion (4).

Salted butter does not need to be stored in a fridge given a risk of bacterial expansion is so low.

Studies have shown that butter has a shelf life of many months, even when stored during room feverishness (6, 10).

However, it will stay uninformed longer if it is kept in a refrigerator. Refrigeration slows down a routine of oxidation, that will eventually means butter to go rancid.

For this reason, it is generally endorsed not to leave butter out for some-more than a integrate of days or weeks in sequence to keep it during a freshest.

Additionally, if a feverishness of your residence is warmer than 70–77°F (21–25°C), it is a good thought to keep it in a refrigerator.

If we cite to keep your butter on a counter, though don’t design to use a whole package soon, keep a tiny volume on a opposite and a rest in a fridge.

You can store incomparable amounts of butter in your freezer, that will keep it uninformed for adult to one year (10, 11).

Summary: Salted butter can be left out for several days to a integrate of weeks before it goes bad. However, refrigeration keeps it uninformed for longer.

Tips for Storing Butter on a Counter

While certain forms of butter should be kept in a fridge, it is excellent to keep regular, pickled butter on a counter.

Here are a few tips we can follow to make certain your butter stays uninformed when stored during room temperature:

  • Only keep a tiny volume out on a counter. Store a rest in a fridge or freezer for destiny use.
  • Protect it from light by regulating an ambiguous enclosure or a sealed cabinet.
  • Store it in an indisputable container.
  • Keep it divided from approach sunlight, a stove or other sources of heat.
  • Store butter out of a fridge usually if a room feverishness stays next 70–77°F (21–25°C).

There are copiousness of butter dishes privately designed to accommodate many of these needs, though an ambiguous cosmetic storage enclosure also works well.

Summary: Keep butter uninformed during room feverishness by regulating it quickly, storing it in an indisputable enclosure and safeguarding it from light and feverishness sources.

The Bottom Line

Keeping butter in a fridge maximizes freshness, while withdrawal it on a opposite keeps it soothing and spreadable for evident use.

It’s excellent to keep regular, pickled butter out of a fridge, as prolonged as it’s secluded from heat, light and air.

But anything we won’t use in a few days or weeks will stay fresher longer if we store it in a fridge or freezer.

On a other hand, salted, churned or tender butter should be kept in a refrigerator.