can I eat this, butter edition
November 30, 2013 7:06 PM   Subscribe

long story short: apartment fire on Monday, frantic move on Tuesday, unorganized to say the least. I had butter in my freezer.Just found the butter in a box in my new kitchen a few minutes ago , thawed. it is still holding its shape. is it still edible?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
yup. I keep butter on the counter, often not in a butter bell, nine months of the year.
posted by kellyblah at 7:08 PM on November 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


Butter doesn't need to be refrigerated; plenty of people leave it out on the counter all the time. If it's not smoke-damaged or something, enjoy.
posted by magicbus at 7:09 PM on November 30, 2013


My butter sits on my counter, unrefrigerated, for days on end - until it is completely consumed. You are good to go.
posted by Sassyfras at 7:10 PM on November 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Totally fine, especially if it's salted.
posted by something something at 7:11 PM on November 30, 2013


what about unsalted?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:11 PM on November 30, 2013


Of course. We don't even refrigerate our butter.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:12 PM on November 30, 2013


Probably fine, but in my experience unsalted butter does tend to go bad more quickly than salted when unrefrigerated. Good news: You can tell by tasting, and just tasting will not make you sick. It won't even taste EW GROSS HELP - it will just taste kind of off.

Really sorry about the fire - hope you and yours are safe and well.
posted by rtha at 7:14 PM on November 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yup! I grew up on Table Butter and this (sans move out drama) sounds like how we used to handle the sticks from cold storage.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:20 PM on November 30, 2013


The butter will be fine - hope you and everyone else are ok!
posted by leslies at 7:22 PM on November 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Butter doesn't need to be refrigerated.
posted by Justinian at 7:52 PM on November 30, 2013


Taste it. If it tastes rancid, toss it. If it still tastes OK, it's OK.
posted by Sara C. at 7:53 PM on November 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Butter is goddamned WONDERFUL in that it will TELL YOU if it's not safe to eat (via "tasting like utter and complete ass"). Fats are great this way... much more above-board than, say, meat (which can look and smell fine and nonetheless food-poison your ass). Smell/taste fine? Eat it, dude!
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:07 PM on November 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Butter is milk striving for immortality.
posted by aniola at 8:10 PM on November 30, 2013 [23 favorites]


Another vote for "I don't refrigerate my butter".
posted by sarahgrace at 8:39 PM on November 30, 2013


Sorry about your apartment!
Eat the butter, it should be fine. You will be able to smell or taste if something is off.
posted by rmless at 9:04 PM on November 30, 2013


Unsalted butter gone bad will also have distinctive blue mold tinge. I think you're good to go.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:09 PM on November 30, 2013


I'm sorry to hear about the fire! I hope you and your family are doing OK.

About the butter, I've eaten plenty of unrefrigerated butter to no ill effect. It should be fine unless it tastes/smells weird.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:15 PM on November 30, 2013


thank you all...end of a long week and I was about to lose it over some stupid butter.



we are all fine, and everyone from our building made it out safe, btw. thanks!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:02 AM on December 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I use unsalted butter and keep it on the counter year 'round. You'll be fine. I once (once!) had it go bad, and all that happened was that it tasted a little cheesy.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:46 AM on December 1, 2013


It's fine, but the easiest way to test is put it back in the fridge and slice off a hunk. The butter should oxidize from the outside in, and you'll see a difference in color (darker) on the oxidized (rancid) layer, and it won't pass the sniff test. Hydrolytic rancidity (which produces the stinky butyric acid) should occur evenly throughout the butter due to internal water content.
posted by benzenedream at 8:57 AM on December 1, 2013


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