Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Keeping Butter for an Extended Period


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,531 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:26 PM

I want to get a specific butter that's only produced a few months out of the year, and now's the end of the production for six or seven months.  If I buy it now, how long can it stay in the freezer without compromising the taste or texture?  What's the best way to wrap it?

 

I thought that I'd leave the butter in the original wrapper, put it into a Zip bag with as much air expelled as possible, and the put that into a lidded storage container in the freezer.  Any other ideas?


.... Shel


#2 Robenco15

Robenco15
  • participating member
  • 232 posts

Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:34 PM

Sorry no help here, but are you talking about the Diane St. Clair butter?



#3 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,531 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:48 PM

Sorry no help here, but are you talking about the Diane St. Clair butter?

 

No, not this time.


.... Shel


#4 Porthos

Porthos
  • participating member
  • 1,122 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:53 PM

We keep butter in the original wrapper and box for 2 months easily, sometimes a bit longer. My best guess would be around 6 months with the extra steps you outlined.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Unrelenting Carnivore
"If every pork chop was perfect, we wouldn't have hot dogs." (source unknown)
Customer to clerk in a clothing store, "Do you have these in a size for people who actually eat?"


#5 DiggingDogFarm

DiggingDogFarm
  • participating member
  • 887 posts
  • Location:Finger Lakes Region of New York State

Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:54 PM

Zip bags are permeable and not great for long term storage.
If you can vacuum pack it to exclude as much air as possible in a serious bag it'll keep well for many months.
Is there a deli or butcher and the like near you who can seal it properly?


~Martin
 
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!
 


#6 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,309 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:07 PM

6 months but you should wrap the original package first in foil and then in zip lock bags.  If you vacuum seal it, you can keep it for a year. 

 

I make my own table butter but for cooking I buy when it is on special at Costco and vacuum seal it, especially the unsalted, which will not keep as long as the salted if you don't vac seal it.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#7 Bill Klapp

Bill Klapp
  • participating member
  • 836 posts
  • Location:Neive (CN), Italia

Posted 11 December 2013 - 12:31 AM

If it is a good, high-fat butter, one year in the freezer, NOT the refrigerator. If it is a wax-paper wrapper, I would ditch it and re-wrap the butter in foil. If it comes wrapped in foil, just pop it in the freezer as-is, no plastic bags, etc. There should be absolutely no loss in quality. I learned this from a friend who imports the finest butters from Brittany and Normandy, and the producers recommend freezing and guarantee (verbally, anyway) a year past the printed expiration date. Very different from Land O' Lakes in wax paper, which does suffer off-flavors when frozen in its original packaging. Final point: this applies to 250- and 500-gram bars or larger bulk butter, rather than quarters...
  • judiu likes this
Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

#8 ChrisZ

ChrisZ
  • participating member
  • 417 posts
  • Location:Sydney

Posted 11 December 2013 - 04:13 AM

It's a shame you're not in Ireland, you could always bury it in a peat bog!  Apparently good for a few thousand years...

(and another link because I like the headline)


  • Darienne likes this

#9 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,453 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 11 December 2013 - 06:49 AM

What Klapp said.  I often buy butter when it's on special and have never had any problems with it  6 - 9 months past its expiry date.


  • judiu likes this
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#10 cakewalk

cakewalk
  • participating member
  • 1,571 posts

Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:23 AM

 

Sorry no help here, but are you talking about the Diane St. Clair butter?

 

No, not this time.

 

Just curious about which brand of butter you're talking about. Is there a reason you're keeping it a secret?



#11 rotuts

rotuts
  • participating member
  • 5,449 posts
  • Location:Boston MA

Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:48 AM

i buy butter on sale, put 6 sticks in one of the larger vaccum bags i have   and seal and freeze.  good almost forever

 

I cut the bag right at the seal, take out one stick at a time and reseal that same bag thats now has one less stick in it so plenty of room for a good seal.

 

3.5 MIL bags.

thinner bags or not having a vacuum sealer wont work very well for long periods.


  • judiu and andiesenji like this

#12 Bill Klapp

Bill Klapp
  • participating member
  • 836 posts
  • Location:Neive (CN), Italia

Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:50 AM

What Klapp said.  I often buy butter when it's on special and have never had any problems with it  6 - 9 months past its expiry date.

Mitch, a small point:  I understand that some people get spooked by expiration dates, and may even get a little queasy when they take a bar out of the freezer and see that the butter is 6 months out of date.  I do not pretend to understand the chemistry, but freezing butter seems to be as close to suspended animation as a food product can get.  And butter is one of those products for which most everybody can detect off-aromas, off-flavors and rancidity...


  • judiu and andiesenji like this
Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

#13 Bill Klapp

Bill Klapp
  • participating member
  • 836 posts
  • Location:Neive (CN), Italia

Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:52 AM

 

 

Sorry no help here, but are you talking about the Diane St. Clair butter?

 

No, not this time.

 

Just curious about which brand of butter you're talking about. Is there a reason you're keeping it a secret?

 

Don't make us call in Jack Bauer to get the name of this butter...

 

:biggrin:


  • judiu likes this
Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

#14 Jaymes

Jaymes
  • participating member
  • 7,339 posts
  • Location:Houston, Texas

Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:06 AM

Another vote for wrapping the butter tightly in foil (I use several layers) and then into the freezer.  I live by myself and don't use much butter, but I certainly like having it on hand.  I regularly treat myself to premium butters, including Amish butters that I bring home from road trips through Amish country.

 

No detectable loss of quality even after many months in the freezer.


  • judiu, andiesenji and annabelle like this

#15 annabelle

annabelle
  • participating member
  • 1,956 posts
  • Location:Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, Oklahoma

Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:59 AM

I freeze butter all the time.  We do large quarterly shops at Sam's Club and I'll buy 16 pounds or more depending on cost and pop it in the freezer.

 

Jaymes, you made me long for the Amish butter I used to buy in Dutch Country.  So, so tasty on fresh bread.


  • judiu and andiesenji like this

#16 Shel_B

Shel_B
  • participating member
  • 2,531 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area

Posted 11 December 2013 - 09:40 AM

 

Just curious about which brand of butter you're talking about. Is there a reason you're keeping it a secret?

 

 

 

 

 

Don't make us call in Jack Bauer to get the name of this butter...

 

 

Keeping it a secret!  Gotta <LOL> on that. No "brand" of butter, really.  It's made by a small, artisanal producer located some miles north of here who makes small amounts for sale at selected farmers markets.  When she gets down here, I like to buy a few of her products, but since I'm not using butter very much these days, I have a need to store it.

 

Who's Jack Bauer?  The name rings a bell but I can't place it.


Edited by Shel_B, 11 December 2013 - 09:41 AM.

  • judiu likes this

.... Shel


#17 Bill Klapp

Bill Klapp
  • participating member
  • 836 posts
  • Location:Neive (CN), Italia

Posted 11 December 2013 - 10:40 AM

The hero of the long-running TV series about counter-terrorism, "24", known for his ability to extract information from villains by using extreme measures.

Since you did not divulge the name of this mysterious artisanal butter, I am calling him right now! After all, Shel, this is but a chunk of animal fat we are talking about here, not tickets to a Springsteen concert...

Edited by Bill Klapp, 11 December 2013 - 10:45 AM.

  • judiu likes this
Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

#18 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,309 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:04 AM

 

What Klapp said.  I often buy butter when it's on special and have never had any problems with it  6 - 9 months past its expiry date.

Mitch, a small point:  I understand that some people get spooked by expiration dates, and may even get a little queasy when they take a bar out of the freezer and see that the butter is 6 months out of date.  I do not pretend to understand the chemistry, but freezing butter seems to be as close to suspended animation as a food product can get.  And butter is one of those products for which most everybody can detect off-aromas, off-flavors and rancidity...

 

I don't worry at all about expiration or "use-by" dates.  I go by my sense of smell (highly developed) and my taste (apparently undiminished by age (74)  and currently am using a carton of heavy cream with a date in September.  Still sweet, a bit thicker, but absolutely no adverse change in flavor or appearance.  I do have one fridge that is kept colder than the regular one and in which I store dairy.  One caveat. Don't store dairy in the door of your fridge - put it near the back and on a lower shelf.  It will keep much longer.


  • judiu and annabelle like this
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#19 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,309 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:22 AM

The local drive thru dairy had a special yesterday on heavy cream (Alta-Dena)  1.69 per QUART  so I bought a dozen and those are going into the freezer as I use the heavy cream to make butter.

Yield is slightly more than a pound per quart  so it is cheaper than the cheapest butter store brand locally.  And there are no additives (except salt).

 

You don't need a churn or anything fancy to make butter - a stand mixer makes it "breaks" then the paddle) easier but you can do it with a hand mixer too but it is a bit harder to do the "rinsing" to get it as "clean" as possible.

 

I now use the Thermomix but before I got it used  my Kitchenaid (the whisk till  and when I used to make big batches used an electric churn. 

 

I have also "negotiated" with local supermarkets to buy heavy cream at a significant discount on the day it "expires"  when I notice that just before a holiday (like Thanksgiving) they have a huge supply laid on.  I make a note of the expiry date and go to the market in the afternoon and discuss it with the dairy manager - most recent purchase got it for half price 15 quarts.  Have used several to make unsalted butter for baking.

 

This may seem like a lot of work but until you taste it, you will never know what you are missing.  You can also "culture" the cream to get a result that is close to the flavor of Isigny butter which has been rated (by some) Best in the world.


  • judiu, annabelle and rotuts like this
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#20 rotuts

rotuts
  • participating member
  • 5,449 posts
  • Location:Boston MA

Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:28 AM

I use to make home 'cultured' butter a long time ago, and it really is special, even with 'commercial' cream.

 

way before my vaccum sealer, rats !

 

and never thought to 'negotiate' for 1/2 off !

 

:biggrin:


  • judiu and andiesenji like this

#21 annabelle

annabelle
  • participating member
  • 1,956 posts
  • Location:Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, Oklahoma

Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:40 AM

Making butter has always been on my "to do" list.  Andie, I love your tutorial (I believe it's on your blog) about making butter and your collection of butter molds and paddles.  I miss all the great flea markets in Dutch Country for these kinds of items.

 

I do make crème fraiche quite often to use in cooking and as a tangy topping on sweet fruit desserts.  I like that it can be brought to a higher temp than heavy cream without breaking a sauce.  I have also purchased past sell-by date heavy cream for this purpose. 



#22 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,309 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 11 December 2013 - 01:44 PM

I use to make home 'cultured' butter a long time ago, and it really is special, even with 'commercial' cream.

 

way before my vaccum sealer, rats !

 

and never thought to 'negotiate' for 1/2 off !

 

:biggrin:

The thing to do is get acquainted with the dairy manager at your store ahead of time.  I began by arriving at the store around noon on a Tuesday, after asking and being told that was after the regular dairy deliveries. (stock was always quite low on Mondays.   I would find a product that was not in the case and ask for help and buy that product after the dairy worker, usually the manager on those busy stocking days, found it for me in the back.  So the next time he knew I was a regular customer.  They would rather sell the stuff rather than crate it up to return to the distributor - looks better for the division even if sold at a discount.  I have bought cottage cheese "for the dogs" "expired" buttermilk (which keeps for weeks anyway, in the fridge), and cheese, also "for the dogs" which I freeze as any of the "hard" or even semi-hard cheeses do just fine frozen. 

 

Once they know you are a steady customer, you usually don't have to ask for a discount, they will even put the stuff in your basket until you say "enough" and then write a note to give to the checker.  When it's half price they just scan every other carton so you get two for one.


  • judiu likes this
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#23 Jaymes

Jaymes
  • participating member
  • 7,339 posts
  • Location:Houston, Texas

Posted 11 December 2013 - 02:59 PM

I freeze butter all the time.  We do large quarterly shops at Sam's Club and I'll buy 16 pounds or more depending on cost and pop it in the freezer.

 

Jaymes, you made me long for the Amish butter I used to buy in Dutch Country.  So, so tasty on fresh bread.

 

No need to "long for the Amish butter [you] used to buy in Dutch Country."  Your profile says you're at Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, OK.  So, you ARE in "Dutch Country."  Eastern Oklahoma, Southwestern Missouri are full of Dutch Amish.

 

A mere 30-40 miles down the highway from you, just a little south of Pryor, and you're in Chouteau.

 

And this absolutely wonderful store:

 

 http://amishcheesehouse.com/

 

Look under the "products" list and you'll find "country butter." 

 

It comes in a big roll.  Just the sort of roll that works so well in your old-fashioned butter bell.

 

And, of course, you can buy several rolls and take them home and wrap them in foil and put them in the freezer and keep them to have on hand for a very long time!


Edited by Jaymes, 11 December 2013 - 03:07 PM.

  • andiesenji and annabelle like this

#24 annabelle

annabelle
  • participating member
  • 1,956 posts
  • Location:Grand Lake o' the Cherokees, Oklahoma

Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:08 PM

Thanks!  We had an Amish market for a few years, but then some toughs roughed up the wife and daughter and scared the little boy half to dead by tying him to a chair and blindfolding him during a robbery.  The family sold the store and it still sits empty now, although their lawn furniture business is brisk in the spring and summer.


  • judiu likes this