Butter is a flavor-enhancing kitchen staple we usually have on hand. It’s what transforms a plain bagel into a breakfast delight, and it’s how we get our kids to eat asparagus (and broccoli and peas and spinach). The last time it went on sale, you stocked up. Now those unsalted sticks are nearing their expiration date, and you can’t possibly use them up in time, no matter how many biscuits you try to churn out of your kitchen this weekend.
The solution? Freeze it and it’ll keep for an entire year. Find out how to do it best below—and don’t worry, it couldn’t be easier.
If the butter is still packaged
Butter that is still in its sealed, original packaging can be popped into the freezer as is. The film on the inside of a round container or the wax paper covering the bars inside a cardboard box is enough to protect the butter from developing freezer burn—even if you plan to leave it in there for up to 12 months.
If you’re freezing opened butter
Butter that’s been partially used will need a moment of your time before it’s relegated to the freezer. For sticks, hold on to the waxed paper it was originally wrapped in, but reach for a piece of plastic wrap first. Roll the stick in the clear wrap, then cover it in the waxed paper and stick the whole thing in a plastic freezer bag. Partially used tubs can also be stored in a freezer bag, but place a layer of plastic wrap on top of the butter before putting its cover back on to help it stay fresher longer.
Thawing your frozen butter
When working with a recipe that calls for frozen butter, you’re in luck. You’ve already mastered this step!nBut if you need to thaw the butter, unwrap it, place it on a microwave-safe plate and nuke it for ten seconds at a time, flipping it over between rounds. If you have more time, you can also place it in its wrapping on top of the oven while it preheats or just let it thaw in the fridge overnight and wake up to thawed, buttery goodness.