Is It Safe To Leave Butter Out
There are two types of people in the world: the people who refrigerate their butter and the people who leave it out on the counter. But since butter is a dairy ingredient, doesn’t it have to stay cool so it doesn’t go bad? Are people who leave theirs on the counter just eating bad butter? We have the answers!
Butter is the backbone of the culinary and pastry world. Unless you’re vegan or vegetarian-you’re probably using butter with a lot of the meals you cook if not almost every single one of them. And what about the escapades that don’t involve cooking? Nothing beats a big slather of it on a piece of toast or a biscuit right out of the oven but as anyone knows, rock hard butter makes it extremely difficult for these kinds of doings. So you’re other options are to heat it up in the microwave which can become messy or, what we came here to talk about, leaving it out. Through a little bit of research this is what we came up with.
It all comes down to science. Butter is basically solidified fat. The churning process essentially works out the water in the cream which leaves you will all the beautiful fat globules that stick together and form this solid food product. Since water promotes a lovely little place for bacteria to grow the fact that butter has a very small amount of it is a good start. Fat is also a place where bacteria doesn’t like to make its home and has been linked to antibacterial properties so another point for non-refrigerated butter. Next up, most if not all butter sold in your local supermarket has been pasteurized which essentially means the milk has been heated to a point where bacteria die and can never come back. Now, we’re heating up.
For the slam dunk in this debate, we have the fact that butter also contains lots of good cultures and salt which make it an acidic environment which, in turn, makes it a terrible environment for harmful bacteria to grow. With all the factors put together—there is a very small chance any harm can come from eating butter that’s been left out.
But that’s not quite the end of it. When we say you can leave your butter out we don’t mean out in the open for all the elements to get its hands on it. Light and air play a big role in helping turn butter bad and if you’ve ever smelled butter that’s gone rancid it’s not exactly one that is easily forgotten. So, you have some options. Your best bet is to pick up a ceramic butter dish that takes care of both those factors. It cuts out light and minimizes the air that gets into it. We do not recommend doing the plastic ones as it is porous and can actually increase your chances of it going bad. If you have a glass one that isn’t completely clear that’s a good option too as long as it has some tint to it and isn’t completely clear.
So, to conclude, leaving butter out isn’t completely insane as long as you take the right steps to keep it from going bad. So, go and enjoy a good smear on your next bagel, corn on the cob, muffin or whatever else your heart desires!