Do you happen to have too much butter on hand, and you're worried about it getting moldy after a while? Then you're in the right place. You may already have guessed it, but yeah, freezing butter is one of the common solutions. There's, however, also canning, which is a more novel solution that can keep your butter fresh for about three years and it doesn't even require freezing!
When done properly, freezing your butter can help to keep it fresh for as long as a whole year, while refrigeration will only keep it for about four months.
Tip: Salted butter will last about one year in a freezer, while unsalted will stay fresh-tasting for six months.
Freezing butter is very easy; what is crucial is that you keep it properly packaged. Here are the two key things to keep in mind when freezing butter:
First, make sure that the butter is appropriately packaged before putting it in the freezer. This is to avoid letting it come into contact with moisture, which may lower its quality.
It is best advised that you keep the butter in its original box or container so that you'll have the original package with the sell-by date or best-by date to refer to later.
When you don't have the original packaging, wrap the sticks of butter in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and then place them inside a freezer bag. Alternatively, you can cut the butter into cubes or slices to make using them easier.
The best way to keep your butter away from moisture is in a freezer bag. So, after wrapping your blocks or slices of butter in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or their original packaging, place them in a freezer bag.
To avoid unsavory results like your butter smelling — and tasting! — like onions, make sure to keep them away from onions, and other such odiferous frozen foods as butter can pick up the flavors and odors of the foods that are around it.
But, what do you do when you have too many things in your freezer or don't even have a freezer?
Canned butter can last for years, and that's despite not being frozen. Here's a step-by-step guide to do it:
1. Disinfect wide mouth pint jars
Heat clean wide-mouth pint jars in a 250-degree oven for 20 mins, without rings and lids. Put lids and rings in a pie tin, and place in the oven during the last 5 mins of simmering time.
2. Melt the butter
While you disinfect the jars, melt butter slowly until it comes to a slow boil. Make sure to stir the bottom of the pot using a spatula to keep the butter from scorching.
3. Let it simmer
Now, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins. A good simmer will lessen the amount of shaking that is required.
4. Transfer the butter into the jars
Remove the heated jars from the oven carefully. Then, slowly pour the butter into the jars while stirring the melted butter from the bottom up to the top with a soup ladle, and using a canning funnel.
Note: Leave 3/4″ headspace to make room for the shaking process.
5. Shake the jar
Wipe off the top rim of the jars and keep them tightly secured with the heated lids. The lids will seal as they cool, so make sure to listen for a pop sound when this happens. Wait until the butter has cooled enough to let you handle the jar, and then shake it. Set the jar back on the towel, and after a few minutes, shake again. Repeat until butter retains its consistency throughout the jars.
While the butter is still warm, place the jars in a fridge. While cooling and hardening, shake the melted butter repeatedly after every five minutes until it sets. Let the jars stand in the refrigerator for 1 hour, and voila, you have canned butter!
If appropriately kept in a cool and dark place, canned butter will store for three years or more.