Can You Freeze Spreadable Butter?

Butter is part of our lives, but don’t you just hate it when it’s hard? Spread it on your toast with tantalizing expectations; all you get is ripped toast. But, science spreadable butter came onto the scene back in 1997. Butter has spread across the globe without needing to microwave or heat a knife to make it spread. But will spreadable butter freeze?

Did you know in certain countries, spreadable butter is just known as spreadable? This is because, in addition to dairy butter, the product contains rape seed oil/ canola oil, which is the agent that makes the butter spreadable. But, spreadable is definitely not margarine.

If you use spreadable butter for sandwiches or cooking, it is a convenient product to have in your kitchen. This article will find out if spreadable butter can be frozen and how far it can be cooled before it loses its spreadable properties. We answer many frequently asked questions, providing factual information to improve your culinary knowledge.

Let’s slip into this one gently.

Does spreadable butter expire?

Yes, the butter will expire in the fridge. It is a perishable product that lasts about four months if it’s not opened and two weeks after opening.

Butter is frequently used, even daily. However, occasionally we are guilty of leaving the butter in the refrigerator and forgetting about it. Indeed, that should be alright if we talk a few weeks.

When deciding how long the spreadable butter will last, An excellent place to start is with the dates on the packages. The butter can often be consumed up to a week beyond that date, but you’d need to preserve it properly if you wanted to consume it past that point.

Spreadable butter at or below 40℉ must be stored correctly. The butter’s oils will turn rancid if you leave it at room temperature for an extended period.

For long-term storage, butter can be kept in the freezer for six to nine months. It should remain fresh in the refrigerator for a month after the printed date if it is still unopened and two weeks after the printed date if it has been opened.

After every usage, place the butter in a sealed container and place it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. Because the temperature changes anytime the fridge is opened, use an inside shelf instead of one on the door.

It’s easy to transfer bacteria to butter, though, using the same utensils for scraping the butter, like a butter knife covered with crumbs and sitting out for too long.

Does spreadable butter have to be covered?

It should always be covered if you keep your spreadable butter in its original container or in a butter dish. While using the butter for cooking, take what is needed and return the butter to the fridge. If you have butter on the table during breakfast or lunch, cover it while it’s not being used.

In the fridge place the butter in the coolest part of the fridge to avoid temperature fluctuations that will shorten the shelf life of the butter.

Keep the spreadable butter covered in the fridge. It’s delicate enough to take on intense aromas from things like raw garlic and sliced onions.

The original packaging or stored in an airtight container would be the best solution for storing butter that has been opened.

Can you put warm butter in the fridge?

Warm butter would be melted butter that is maybe needed for a recipe like ghee for an Indian curry or as part of a baking recipe like cookies.

Can you put warm spreadable butter in the fridge?

It is not advisable.

You should always avoid placing hot food or warm food in the fridge. It’s bad housekeeping. Placing warm spreadable butter in the fridge could cause a bigger problem than you might have imagined.

Your fridge temperature will be 40℉ -18℃ or a little lower. Placing warm spreadable butter in the fridge will elevate its temperature while it radiates heat.

Your fridge may not be as efficient as you might have thought at removing heat. Most fridges take hours to come to 40℉ after being switched on after cleaning.

So, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that food sitting at a temperature of 40-140℉ is in the food danger zone. It’s not just your spreadable butter. It is the contents of the entire fridge.

Above 40℉-18℃ bacterial growth on perishable foods will accelerate exponentially. It should be discarded if the food remains at an elevated temperature above 40℉-18℃ for just two hours.

Seems harsh? According to the USDA, after two hours in the food danger zone, perishable foods contain enough bacteria to cause food poisoning.

Furthermore, the spreadable butter should be covered in the fridge so there will be no condensation!

How long can warm-cooked spreadable butter sit out?

Two hours. It’s not long, and the time flies when sitting around chatting with friends and drinking an aperitif. Still, the truth is spreadable butter will become contaminated with bacteria and, after just two hours, could make you sick if eaten. 

Remember the food danger zone? According to the USDA, spreadable kinds of butter are highly perishable. Sitting out for two hours, the spreadable butter should be discarded.

The bacteria growth on the food has multiplied rapidly, making the food unfit for consumption.

Does unopened spreadable butter go bad?

Yes. Spreadable butter is highly perishable, and even if stirred in the fridge unopened, it will not last for long after the expiration date. This will be a maximum of four months, depending on the brand and the quality of the ingredients in the spreadable butter.

Spreadable butter sitting in the fridge that is unopened will eventually turn rancid as the fats in the butter age; spreadable butter contains an amount of rape seed oil with a longer shelf life, so it can be considered that the dairy fats are the least stable.

How long does spreadable butter last in the fridge?

It depends. You will need to check the expiration date when it’s purchased. Don’t make the assumption that the butter hasn’t been sitting in the retailer’s chiller for some time.

If you have a maximum expiration date, you can expect the spreadable butter to last for four months in a fridge at 40℉. It’s not an exact science, and the temperature of your fridge will fluctuate and can change the shelf life of the butter.

When the butter is open, it usually lasts for two weeks after it has been exposed to the atmosphere.

However, butter that may have been contaminated through double use of utensils could last less time if the bacteria take hold.

Does frozen spreadable butter go bad?

According to USDA scientists, food stored in the freezer at 0℉ or below should have an indefinite shelf life, but fats can still turn rancid even when frozen.

There is good news. Spreadable butter can last for 12 months in the freezer. The mix of dairy fats and rape seed oil makes the product uniquely suitable for long-term freezing.

When freezing spreadable butter, you will need to remove it from its original packaging. It behaves similarly to a liquid when being frozen and expands. 

The expansion of the butter could cause the packaging to rupture, leaving you with a mess that will be a pain to clean up.

Freezing spreadable butter

  • Scoop the spreadable butter from the container. At this point, divide the butter into easy-to-manage portion sizes.
  • Scoop the spreadable butter into cling film in the palm of your hand. Chilled butter will be better. Quickly form a ball and warp the butter completely. The shape is a side issue, so don’t worry about that.
  • Once the spreadable butter is wrapped, you will need to move quickly, and the butter is getting softer. Place the spreadable butter into a freezer bag. The Ziploc style works well.
  • Remove as much air from the bag before sealing. This will help to prevent freezer burn.
  • Mark the freezer bag with the contents, the freezing date, and the potential expiry date, which will be one year from freezing.
  • Place the bag in the freezer.

The butter’s quality will always be better the sooner it is used. If you decide to leave it for a year, it may be a slightly different product with texture changes and a diminished flavor profile.

How to thaw spreadable butter?

In the fridge. The thawing time will depend on how big the ball of butter you are defrosting, but if you can place the butter in the fridge overnight, it should be perfect for your breakfast the following morning.

If you are cooking with butter, it’s okay to break a piece off and cook with it frozen. It will thaw quickly when heat is applied.

Final thoughts

Spreadable butter is versatile and convenient in the kitchen and around the dining table. It has an average shelf life of two weeks after opening and four months if unopened.

However, storing spreadable butter in the freezer extends its shelf life enormously.

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