Butter holds a special place in your kitchen arsenal. It works its magic by imparting flakiness to your pie crusts, can be transformed into a rich, nutty brown butter when toasted, and no slice of toast is quite complete without a generous smear of it.
What’s more, butter is one of the most dependable ingredients in your culinary arsenal. It can reside in your refrigerator for months without losing its charm. When stored correctly, it can even grace your kitchen counter at room temperature for about a week. But here’s a question that might have crossed your mind: Can you safely stow away butter in the freezer?
The answer is a resounding yes, and it’s a practice you should consider adopting. Stockpiling frozen butter is a culinary secret worth uncovering. Still not convinced? Let’s delve into why freezing butter is a smart move for any home cook.
1. It Extends Its Shelf Life
Butter, owing to its high fat content, boasts a longer shelf life compared to most other foods. While steaks and leftovers quickly fall prey to freezer burn, butter can endure in the freezer for up to a year.
However, ensure your butter hasn’t crossed its expiration date before relegating it to the freezer. The optimal approach to keep your butter tasting fresh is to preserve it in its original packaging. At the very least, refrain from removing the individual sticks from their original wrappings, but ideally, store them in the sealed box they came in.
2. It’s a Money-Saver
In an era where food prices seem to be skyrocketing (have you noticed those egg prices?), cost-cutting strategies at the supermarket are more critical than ever. One of the most effective ways to trim your grocery bills is by purchasing ingredients in bulk.
While buying fresh items like produce or seafood in bulk may not be the most practical choice, butter is a prime candidate. For instance, at a place like Costco, you can snag 16 sticks of butter for less than $13. While it may entail a higher upfront expense, it translates to substantial savings, with each stick costing more than 20% less than other grocery store brands.
3. It Simplifies Baking
By stockpiling butter in your freezer, you can substantially reduce your weekly shopping expenditures.
When it comes to baking pastries, there’s a golden rule: the butter must be cold. On a technical note, cold butter in the oven melts and releases steam, creating those coveted air pockets that result in flaky and tender pie crusts and croissants.
And what’s even better than cold butter? Frozen butter! In fact, renowned chef and self-proclaimed “biscuit whisperer” Carla Hall swears by grating frozen butter directly into her biscuit dough. This ingenious technique keeps your butter perfectly chilled and imparts the ideal texture to your baked goods.