How Long Does Butter Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: One Month

One of the most essential items that are required regarding cooking is butter. And not only for cooking, but it also gets used in other things, like for basting or just simply spreading it on the bread.

No matter what option you choose, everyone loves that bite of the delicious butter. If you are a butter lover, then you need to know how long the butter is going to last. The reason behind that is that once the butter goes bad, the taste is no longer good. Depending upon how you are storing it, the butter will last for different timeframes.

How Long Does Butter Last?

If it is edible, it has a shelf life. Using edibles beyond their shelf life is never a great idea, as it can cause various problems. However, a day or two beyond the expiry date may not be that harmful. The same is the case for butter. From the time it gets prepared and packaged, the clock ticks. You will never find butter being stocked up on shelves at normal room temperature.

We always recommend it to store butter at lower temperatures. Be it a refrigerator or a freezer. However, if you are planning to use up the butter in a couple of days, you can store it at room temperature. If you are thinking of storing it in a refrigerator, then you can easily store it for about 1 month.

The other option is to store it in the freezer; when frozen, you can easily store butter for about 8 to 9 months. However, store it in an airtight container so that it stays fresh throughout.

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There is always a correct way to store edible items. When stored correctly, some items like butter can even come in use beyond their expiry date as per the printer details on the box. Because the expiry date is an estimated date by which the product stays edible. Hence, always store the butter in the best way to avoid spoilage.

Storing ConditionsDuration For Which It Will Stay Fresh
In a refrigeratorOne month from packaging
In a freezerEight to nine months

Why Does Butter Last That Long?

Every edible item will go bad after a lot of hours or maybe a couple of days or more, but it will surely not remain the same as it was on the first day. Butter gets derived from milk and since it is a dairy product, its shelf life is quite limited. Especially when it is being stored at room temperature.

But there are a lot of things that can come into the picture when we think about how long the butter can last. When you talk about the timeframe for which butter can stay out, below are the things that you need to know.

  • The humidity reacts with the butter so that it can only last about a week when kept out since butter has a high milk content.
  • Another reason is that the oils that are present in the butter have higher chances of going rancid when kept out at room temperature.
  • But the shelf life of butter can increase considerably if stored in the refrigerator. In the refrigerator, the temperature is lower, and that helps increase the shelf life of butter.
  • And if we consider the option of storing it in the freezer, then shelf life increases even further. The reason being the colder the temperature, the lesser are the chances that the oils in the butter will go rancid.
  • There are also things that can expedite the spoilage process of the butter, like keeping it open in the refrigerator.
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Conclusion

Everyone loves butter on their breakfast table, but you must make sure you store it properly. It is only then that you will enjoy it to the fullest.

We recommend you refrigerate it since it can last for a month. Plus, if you have it daily, then it is easier to melt and spread. However, if you are buying in bulk or use it seldom, then you can store it in a freezer.

Those who buy butter in a lesser quantity can even store it at room temperature if they like.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4597838/
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10942911003637335