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Post# 927136   3/16/2017 at 02:06 (463 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I was reading though one of the other threads and noticed many like the old heated butter compartment in vintage fridges.  I've seen comments over the years about how folks miss this option.  I guess I have to ask why?


I never refrigerate my butter I use daily, I have a butter dish on the counter and it stays there.  I keep the rest of my butter in the fridge.  I buy it when it's on sale, 10-12 lbs. and it keeps fine for months, never freeze it btw.  I keep the house cool in the winter so the butter is often too hard on the counter - that might be the only reason for a heated butter keeper in my situation.  I've thought about designing a small butter warmer you plug into a USB port to keep the butter spreadable in the winter months, but I just pop in in the micro for a few seconds.


What is the attraction of the vintage heated butter compartments?

Post# 927137 , Reply# 1   3/16/2017 at 02:27 (463 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
Easy to explain the attraction

Two words: torn toast!


Post# 927138 , Reply# 2   3/16/2017 at 02:37 (463 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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The attraction is that one can never have too many neat features that haven't been used on new appliances for decades!

Post# 927154 , Reply# 3   3/16/2017 at 08:08 (463 days old) by washman (Butler, PA)        

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Post# 927158 , Reply# 4   3/16/2017 at 09:04 (463 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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It's part love of gadgets and part 'I want the butter to spread easily' in my case...  I also remember my father's dismay when he moved back to Montreal and his brand-new 2010 refrigerator didn't have one - hmmm, I guess that's where I got it from!  LOL 

Post# 927162 , Reply# 5   3/16/2017 at 09:39 (463 days old) by customline (pennsylvania)        
Believe me.............

Once you have one, you don't want to go back.

Post# 927164 , Reply# 6   3/16/2017 at 09:43 (463 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Don't people just leave butter out?  Been doing that for ever, as has my entire extended family.  Several have butter dishes that sit in a water bath to keep it cool in the warmer months.

Post# 927166 , Reply# 7   3/16/2017 at 10:06 (463 days old) by customline (pennsylvania)        

Keeping it on the counter exposes the butter to varying temperatures. If it's kept in the controlled butter dish inside the refrigerator, the temp is more constant. It's really just a preference.

Post# 927169 , Reply# 8   3/16/2017 at 10:17 (463 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

If it's not salted it needs refrigeration. Not so many Americans churn their own butter anymore, so with salted butter nobody cares and would rather put the door space to better use. I stuff cheese in the butter compartment. The unsalted butter I keep in the freezer and thaw it as I need it for baking. The salted stuff is on the dairy counter.

Post# 927173 , Reply# 9   3/16/2017 at 11:16 (463 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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I'm a victim of torn toast, myself... My NEW, IMPROVED Whirlpool, does not have that neatest, greatest feature, since the ice maker!

Gyrafoam: I had no idea your kitchen had a separate meat & dairy preparation area in it...

And I love the...-- --(Parkaaayyyy!) tag, too...



-- Dave

  View Full Size

This post was last edited 03/16/2017 at 17:17
Post# 927178 , Reply# 10   3/16/2017 at 11:58 (463 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

I use a butter keeper like the one in the link.

The only difference is that they usually tell you to change the water every 2-3 days, but I find that if I use salted water instead the butter keeps for at least a full week, which is how long the butter inside lasts in our home. Then I run it thru the dishwasher and refill it.

I find that if I just leave the butter in a regular butter dish on the counter the oxygen makes it taste stale very quickly. YMMV.

   -- Paulo.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO earthling177's LINK

Post# 927182 , Reply# 11   3/16/2017 at 12:45 (463 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I keep a day or two's worth of butter out on the counter covered, the remainder in the fridge.. If it's on sale and I buy extra I'll freeze those. My gosh everything doesn't need to be in the fridge all the time.. you can leave a few eggs out for a couple of days in a dish no harm done. I never put peanut butter in the fridge , and mustard never needs refrigerating. 

Post# 927185 , Reply# 12   3/16/2017 at 13:27 (463 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I've always kept a butter dish out on the counter in a covered pyrex butter dish, and my Mom always did too. There has never been a problem of any illness doing this. I can't stand hard butter! And I agree with Petek above, peanut butter, mustard, ketchup don't need to be refrigerated. Now mayonnaise, thats a diferrent story, but I have heard of some people keeping it unrefrigerated, that is a hell to the no for me!

Post# 927214 , Reply# 13   3/16/2017 at 15:43 (463 days old) by Davey7 (Chicago)        

Do... people actually refrigerate peanut butter?

Post# 927217 , Reply# 14   3/16/2017 at 15:46 (463 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Some do, in South America -- but that's a much warmer place than here, and when you leave it out at temperatures over 90F consistently, it can get rancid.

Post# 927228 , Reply# 15   3/16/2017 at 16:49 (463 days old) by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

It must be nice to be in a cool enough climate to leave butter out. In the sub tropics here you end up with a pool of oil with a rancid lump of solids in the middle.

With the demise of the butter keeper, we just use Butter blends for eating and pure butter for cooking. I grew up with a mum who insisted on margarine so the concept of trying to spread hard butter is beyond me. Michael can do it, but I just end up with bread full of holes.

Our last fridge from the mid 90's still had a butter keeper in the door, but its been gone almost 10 years now.

Post# 927239 , Reply# 16   3/16/2017 at 17:32 (463 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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If you have to keep your butter in the fridge because of a hot climate, you can soften it for spreading by putting in the Microwave at 10% power for 1 min. for a cube (stick), check it after the first min. if you want it softer, rotate the cube and give it another 30 secs., or so. I do this all the time to soften butter for baking, works like a charm and lets me be able bake at a moments notice.

This post was last edited 03/16/2017 at 17:51
Post# 927251 , Reply# 17   3/16/2017 at 18:47 (463 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Eddie, when I use the microwave to soften butter, the thing I notice if I let it go too long is that a soft spot develops in the center of the stick/cube while the ends and sides retain their shape.  What's puzzling is that the microwave cooking method is known for leaving the edges more done than the center of whatever it is that you're cooking.  I wonder why the opposite is true with a stick of butter.

Post# 927262 , Reply# 18   3/16/2017 at 19:02 (463 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Ralph, what power are you using? I've had that same thing as you describe happen too when I used any higher power than 10%. I also keep a real close eye on it if I go beyond 1 min. But I know what you mean about the soft center. I think the reason it works for me at 10% power is that there is a long time between each zap, for lack of a better term. This gives the cube/stick of butter a chance to absorb the heat before the next zap. Microwaves heat from the inside out. Highly untechnical, I know, but it makes sense to me, LOL.

Post# 927267 , Reply# 19   3/16/2017 at 19:16 (463 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Eddie, I'll remember your 10% rule next time.  I have a Panasonic "inverter" microwave which supposedly reduces the intensity of the zapping rather than pulsing it on and off, so I'll see how it does.  It's rated at 1300W so it might take less than a minute.

Post# 927322 , Reply# 20   3/16/2017 at 21:11 (463 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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I always keep butter in a covered dish as well as I hate trying to spread hard butter on toast or fresh bread. I don't use a lot of butter any more so sometimes it may be several days before it gets used up and I've never had a problem. I also do not put ketchup, mustard or peanut butter in the fridge.


Post# 927906 , Reply# 21   3/20/2017 at 10:03 (459 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I just keep a bowl of spreadable Blue Bonnet or squeeze Parkay around for that purpose.

Post# 927914 , Reply# 22   3/20/2017 at 10:36 (459 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
I Gotta Get a Country Crock CROCK!!!!

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I love butter/margarine tubs! The best thing about 'em is putting mashed potatoes in 'em to help clean 'em out when they're done!



-- Dave

Post# 927917 , Reply# 23   3/20/2017 at 10:53 (459 days old) by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        

To soften butter for spreading or cooking you can grate solid butter on a grater and this will produce a nice texture for spreading and / or measuring.

Post# 927954 , Reply# 24   3/20/2017 at 18:26 (459 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I rarely use butter, as it's something I'm not supposed to eat much of. I rarely use it all before it's past the "use by" date. Unless I'm baking something, I buy the Land O' Lakes butter with canola oil in a small tub. It always stays refrigerated.

Post# 928122 , Reply# 25   3/21/2017 at 19:42 (458 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
My parents kept butter out on the counter

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And it never spoiled.

We keep it in the refrigerator and it's a major pain in the butt.

Unfortunately, the dawg is a genuine Mrs. Butterworth and there's just no way to stop her - she'll drag a chair over to a countertop and climb up to get the butter (and this is the four legged person who won't eat her kibbles and bits if the bowl is 1cm away from its usual place).


American butter is good for cooking, but real Irish butter is for eating fresh. 

Post# 928146 , Reply# 26   3/21/2017 at 21:04 (458 days old) by Xraytech (S.W. Pennsylvania, near Pittsb)        

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I also leave a stick of salted butter on the counter at all times. Sometimes it takes me 2-3 weeks to get through a stick.
I buy the European butter. The excess butter I keep in the freezer and take a stick out as I finish one

Post# 928177 , Reply# 27   3/22/2017 at 02:07 (457 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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What's the difference between American and Irish or perhaps European butter? Irish butter is not available in the NL, but when I'm in Germany I buy Kerrygold Irische Markenbutter. Overhere in the NL I buy butter made from milk from grass fed cows.

Post# 928224 , Reply# 28   3/22/2017 at 09:01 (457 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
We make our own butter sometimes...

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it's not that hard, and worth the effort! But most of the time we keep Cabot sticks in the butter keeper, always in the fridge for freshness. Spreading? Not an issue as we put it on in 1/8" pats and completely cover the whole bread/toast with it. Never use margarine except for baking. Cholesterol stays around 160-ish, unless you have that metabolic issue butter and fat is not harmful. We can buy Kerrygold at Wegman's but prefer Cabot from Vermont. AFAIC butter is the 5th food group!

Post# 928312 , Reply# 29   3/22/2017 at 17:36 (457 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I was told by the cardiologist after a heart attack in '10 that I should limit how much butter, cheese, bacon, etc. that I eat. I can't take the medication for cholesterol, so have to watch saturated fats, especially those from animals. I like all those things, but rarely eat them due to this.

Post# 928387 , Reply# 30   3/22/2017 at 23:31 (456 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Cholesterol can be a problem, wise to keep an eye on it.  My brother and I have the opposite problem, low cholesterol.  Mine is 115, his is 78, low can be problematic too.

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