Can You Refreeze Butter | Best Tips and Ideas

Can you refreeze butter? Yes, you can freeze and refreeze different kinds of butter without compromising on their quality and flavor.

Better is one of the most popular foods in the world and enhances the flavor of almost every dish. Whether you are using it to make cookies, biscuits, cakes, sandwiches, pastries, vegetables, turkey, kebabs, etc. it instantly makes them taste better. People in Subcontinent even apply melted butter on bread and naans. It is such a versatile food that you can pair it with almost anything you want.

But – what do you do if you have a surplus better or you do not want to use it right away? You can freeze butter, use some of it a few days later and refreeze the remaining. Butter will not go bad if you refreeze it but it will decline in flavor and quality. Sometimes, you may also notice any change in its consistency.

Is it Safe to Refreeze Butter?

Can you refreeze butter without making it unsafe for consumption? You can always refreeze the defrosted butter but you must also take some precautions. First of all, you have to keep track of how long the butter has been in the freezer. Secondly, only refreeze pieces that you have defrosted in the fridge. Other defrosting methods are not ideal for refreezing butter.

For example, defrosting butter in a microwave or the open exposes it to various degrees of heat and contamination. It can result in the rapid growth of bacteria and ultimately spoilage. Furthermore, it becomes unsuitable for another round of freezing.

Another thing to remember while refreezing butter is its type. Some types can refreeze better than others. For example, salted butter lasts longer in the freezer compared to unsalted butter. Similarly, homemade butter has a longer life than store-bought butter.

However, freezing butter for too long can cause it to decompose. It will not only lose its taste but will pick up orders for other frozen items. It will eventually lose all its moisture and develop freezer burns, making it hard and dry.

You must always freeze fresh butter to maintain its quality. Never freeze any butter when it is near its expiry date. Similarly, don’t use it a month after putting it out of the freezer.

How Long Can You Freeze Butter?

Normally, better will expire after four months. However, storing it properly at 0 to 40°F in a freezer can considerably increase its life.

But – how long can you refreeze butter? It depends on various factors including its type, its expiry date, and the quality of packing. For example, salted butter can maintain its freshness and peak quality in a freezer for up to 12 months. Unsalted butter, on the other hand, will maintain its best quality for only 6 months.

Different types of butter have different shelf lives. Spreadable butter will not go bad for up to a year in a freezer. Vegan butter has a significantly shorter life of three months even if you freeze it.

The quality of packing also determines the shelf life of butter. You can freeze its sticks in their original packing. You may wrap them in aluminum foil or place them in an airtight container for extra protection.

The “best by date” is another measure of how long you can store the butter. You can find this date on every food product. “Best by date” does not mean when a product will expire but when its quality will start to decline. Therefore, you can use butter to cook different dishes even if it is past this date but has not expired yet.

Just look out for the signs such as visual mold, decomposition, or bad smell. If the butter has any of these indications, it is better to throw it away.

How to Refreeze Butter?

Mostly, people cover the butter with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer. However, freezing and refreezing methods are different for different types of butter and some of them are as below.

Salted Butter?

Can you refreeze salted butter? The answer is yes, and you can store it for a year because of its high salt content. Chefs use this kind of butter both for spreads and cooking. Keep the butter in its original packing and put it in a freezer bag. Now, place the butter in a freezer. This will enable the butter to maintain its flavor even after months.

But refreezing salted butter frequently will affect its taste. For example, you may experience an enhanced taste of salt if you refreeze it twice.

Unsalted Butter

Unsalted butter has a shorter life than salted butter because it lacks salt or other preservatives. You must always put it in the back of the freezer for it to keep its taste and flavor. Unsalted butter can defrost in the open for an hour. However, you must put it back in the freezer as early as possible.

Vegan Butter

It is better to make smaller pieces of vegan butter and put them in an airtight glass container. It keeps odors from other foods as well as contaminations at bay.

Spreadable Butter

You have to make smaller pieces of spreadable butter just like vegan butter. Unlike vegan butter, however, you have to wrap this type of butter in a clear plastic sheet. Subsequently, put the butter in a ziplock to prevent it from absorbing moisture and developing mold or bacteria. Don’t keep foods with strong odors near the butter. Don’t forget to label its best date as well.

Fresh spreadable or whipped butter is quite light. It becomes a bit heavier when you freeze and then thaw it. It further loses its creaminess and becomes thicker when you refreeze and thaw it again. You can refreeze spreadable butter but it will change its texture overall.

Homemade Butter

Remove all the buttermilk from the homemade button. Buttermilk is produced while churning the butter. Once you remove the better milk, make smaller portions of butter. Pack each portion with wax paper and put them in the freezer. Just like all other kinds of butter, don’t forget to label the portions as well.

Cultured Butter

Cultured butter has a more tangy taste because it contains bacteria culture. You can freeze it for once but never think about refreezing it. The risk of bacterial growth increases after the first defrost because butter already has additional bacteria. But – bacteria proliferate when you refreeze and thaw butter for the second time.

It is better to freeze cultured butter in small batches. This way, you don’t have to thaw all the butter and refreeze that you don’t use after thawing.

How to Defrost Frozen Butter?

It is necessary to defrost frozen butter because most recipes use soft or melted butter. Recipes using frozen butter are few and far between. The best way to defrost butter is to put it on the kitchen counter or in the fridge overnight. It will defrost in about six to seven hours depending on different factors such as temperature.

Similarly, grating the butter will make it thaw considerably quickly. Use a cheese grater to grate the butter. Grated butter defrosts more quickly compared to the rest of the butter.

Another option is to defrost butter in the microwave. Heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds, flip it over and repeat. However, butter may melt in the microwave and therefore, you should use this method as a last resort. Melted butter is seldom used in desserts and backing. You can sprinkle melted butter on vegetables or sauté meat with it.

Can You Refreeze Defrosted Butter?

You can refreeze defrosted butter. However, the butter may lose its taste or flavor depending on its type. Refreezing defrosted butter also expedites the growth of bacteria. The chances of bacterial growth are greater on thawed butter from the freezer compared to fresh butter. They will multiply even faster when you refreeze thawed butter.

How to keep Butter Fresh?

You can do many things to keep frozen butter fresh for a long time. However, it is easier said than done. The following are some tips to keep your butter fresh and tasty.

  • Put the butter immediately in the fridge once you get home from the market. Always place butter on the fridge shelves.
  • Used the unwrapped frozen butter within a few days. Only freeze a small amount of butter if you cannot use all of it within this period.
  • The taste of butter will change to sour if you keep it at room temperature for a long time.
  • Try to keep the butter in its original packing to preserve the taste. The packing prevents exposure to light and air. It also blocks odors from other foods, keeping butter fresh and tasty for a long.
  • Unwrapped butter can last for up to 2 months. Salted butter remains fresh for another month thanks to salt which is an excellent preservative. However, it is better to eat all kinds of butter within 3 – 4 weeks.
  • You should defrost frozen butter for 3 – 4 hours and 6 – 7 hours at room temperature and in the fridge respectively.
  • Only thaw as much butter as you want to use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can frozen butter go bad?

The taste of butter will get sour if you leave it at room temperature for a long time after defrosting it. It is better to freeze butter in smaller pieces. It will enable you to thaw only the amount you want to eat. You don’t have to refreeze all the better if you are not going to use it.

How long can you freeze butter?

You can freeze unsalted and salted butter for up to 6 months and 12 months respectively. However, try to keep it away from foods with heavy orders. The best way to do so is to pack it in an airtight freezer bag or keep it in its original packing. Similarly, don’t let the butter develop freezer burns as well.

How can you tell if frozen butter has gone bad?

It is easier to tell if the butter has gone bad compared to some other foods. Throw it away if it has a sour smell, rancid taste, mold development, or any kind of discoloration. Thawing and refreezing butter provide a conducive environment for harmful bacteria to grow. Discard butter if you see any of these signs.

How many times can you freeze butter?

You can freeze butter as many times as you want. However, bacteria grow quickly if you freeze, thaw, and refreeze butter again and again. Therefore, it is better to freeze butter in smaller portions or pieces so you don’t have to thaw all the butter when you want to eat it.

Can melted butter be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze melted butter. However, the taste and quality of butter decline every time you freeze and defrost better. Similarly, some butters are better at maintaining their quality when frozen than others.

How long can you freeze salted butter?

You can freeze salted butter for up to 12 months. It has a longer life than unsalted butter because salt is an excellent preservative.

Final Thoughts

Can you freeze butter? You can but with some precautions and limitations including the type of butter, its packing quality, and “best to date” or expiry date. If you still have any confusion, you can always follow our tips when it comes to freezing and refreezing your butter.

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