With warm weather here my butter always goes beyond soft and usually turns to liquid just sitting on my counter so, years ago, I started placing my butter in the top of my butter dish, using the bottom for a lid in the summer. Then, in the winter, I use it the normal way.
If you don’t have soft butter or are like me and store it in the freezer, try this: Sometimes I need the butter right away and it is too hard so I use a potato peeler to shave off thin peels. It softens right away.
A couple of years ago my kids got me one of my favorite kitchen “gadgets” which I would be hard pressed to do without now and that’s a butter boat.
Butter boats are cool butter dishes with an inner piece that sits inside a larger dish that has water in it. The butter stays the perfect softness and doesn’t run at all. You don’t have to worry about changing the water every day either. I usually change the water once a week or when I put in a new stick of butter in it.
You can also put hot water in a butter boat and use it to keep things like cheese dips warm.
I love, love, love my butter boat!
photo by: dj-dwayne
Have you ever heard of a butter bell? It keeps butter spreadable yet not runny. Try doing a Google search–
Yes Karen I have heard of one and I have wanted one for years. They are a little hard to find but they had one on QVC awhile ago but was a little more then I wanted to spend. Tawra got some swag bucks and a credit for there so I decided I would treat myself to one and order it – would you believe they don’t carry it any more.
I hadn’t thought about googling it duhhhh. I might see what I can find. To me I think they are great. Thanks for the idea.
They carry the butter bell on Zulilly on line. Not terribly expensive either.
Thank you Ruth for letting us know.
Jill, these two websites carry the butter bells that you are looking for; King Arthur Flour www.kingarthurflour.com and the Prepared Pantry www.preparedpantry.com. Use the “shop” feature on KA and the “search” on the PP site. I have the one from King Arthur but the are in the same price range at both places. Just make sure that you change the water in it weekly during the hot weather and that the water covers/touches the butter. I love mine.
Thanks Nancy I will check those places out. I have a birthday in a few weeks and so I may have to give the kids a big hint of what I want.
How is a butter boat different from a butter bell? I’ve never heard of a butter boat. I’ve seen butter bells but don’t have one. Butter on the counter is too soft and in the refrigerator is too hard. I think one of these would solve the problem, just don’t know which would be best.
They both work on the same principle but the butter bell you have to mess with cutting up the butter and mashing it into the round part. To me trying to do that and pack it in would seem like a little extra work and maybe a little messy where with the butter boat you just drop the stick of butter into it like you would a regular butter dish so it is a easier and does the same thing.
One other thing too why I like the butter boat over the bell is you can use it for other things where you can’t do that with the bell. You can put warm water in the bottom instead of cold and put dips, cream cheese and things like that which you want to keep soft and warm.
I am not a kitchen gadget person but this it one item I would hate to ever be without now. The reviews every where on them are usually 5 star which is unusual for an item so this tells you how great they are.
Thanks so much for the explanation! I will be getting a butter boat from Amazon the next time my Swagbucks accumulate – I just spent what I had saved up. I had never heard of a butter boat until today and now I really want one! Thanks again and have a great day!
I have a butter bell, but I have to admit I don’t care for it very much. As mentioned, you have to mash the butter into the bell portion….and I have difficulty with the butter falling out if I try to use it all up before adding more. I do love that it stays soft, but no fun at all when I take the lid off and half the butter dumps itself right into the water.
Anyone have any ideas how to solve this?
That’s good to know Marla. I haven’t used one myself but could not figure how you would make the butter stay in it that’s why I went with the butter boat so thanks for the info.
Keeping the butter in the bell…Adding to what is already in there seems to be a problem because the butter in the bell is sitting in water, so the new would slide out easily. Temperature is another factor, when you use the last of the butter, wash the bell and bowl very well with soap and hot water. Always start with extreme clean, dry, and room temp bell. I run cool water over the whole thing to cool it off, then dry with a clean towel. Take out the next stick of butter from refrig, take off the wrapper, stick the butter to rest in the bell and put the wrapper on top. When the butter is soft enough to press into the bell, use the wrapper to keep the most of the butter from your hand, give it a good press all the way into the bowl, smooth the top off, and kinda scrape the excess butter into the bell. It seems best when I get as much air bubbles out, smooth the top, press bit on wrapper into the butter. It sounds complicated, but it is just experience, in no time you will not think twice about doing it. I love soft butter, I dislike tossing out food, keeps it fresh, soft, and me happy. This is not a new thing. It worked way before my family had electricity and refrigerator. Bed bath and beyond has a simple one for about ten dollars.
Thanks for the tips Gwen. I have a butter boat which is different from a butter bell in the fact you don’t have to do all the pressing. After you wash the dish when the stick is used (like you would with a regular butter dish) just plop the stick in, add cold water to the base and you are good to go. Hope this helps anyone with a butter boat.
Jill, I don’t know if you are still interested, but I just did a search for “butter boat” at Amazon.com and a few butter bells came up in the search. One of them was just over $8. Very reasonable I think.
I’ve never heard of a butter boat before this. It does look like a great way to keep sauces warm during a meal. Thanks for the suggestion.
With the butter bell, it is a little messier to put the butter in, but not so much that I wouldn’t use one. The concept is that the water seals the butter to keep it from spoiling too quickly. I have one and use it, although I’m currently using a plain butter dish. I think that I may go back to the butter bell. If you have trouble with the butter falling out, it usually works to press it in with a spoon so that it adheres to the side of the bell.
Just my two cents for what it’s worth.
Theresa in TX
Thanks Theresa. Pros and cons from everyone who has one always helps others to decide what would work best for them.
Grizzly Bear Mom
At my mom’s house they just put a pound of butter in a tupperware and leave it in the pantry. They eat it so quickly it doens’t go bad. They normally use all the butter within a week. If you family uses less butter, put less in the tupperware. Best of all, its FREE!
You can also make your own spreadable butter. 2 sticks of butter, 1/2 cup of vegetable (or canola) oil and 1/2 cup of water. Whip softened butter slowly with vegetable oil first, then slowly whip in the water. The combined quantity fits into a margarine size container. My family loves it.
That’s right Denise and for those of you who have Dining on a Dime we have those recipes plus things like honey butter on pages 322 and 323 if you would like to look those up.
That honey butter is so good on quick breads like banana or pumpkin. Yum.
I don’t know the sience behind it but real butter never goes bad in a stoneware butter dish and stays the right consistancy. I have Pfaltzgraff stoneware every day dishes and always have soft fresh butter. I watched a cooking show where they mentioned it and I can attest to it. Because I am sensitive to chenicals I only use real butter and just happened to use stoneware any way.
Just Google butter boat. Several came up at varied prices.
I just took a look at the butter bell vs. butter boat. That butter boat looks like it would work much better for us. Our summer temperatures in the house is in the 80’s during the day, especially in humid weather.
I’m not going to use the swamp collar when it is humid. It just adds more humidity to the air… No air conditioner for the house… We do like Jill, turn the butter dish upside down for summer. Well, pretty soon anyway…. It’s starting to get warm here. Unlike Colorado… We are in the 80’s and 90’s already, but not in the house yet and not all the time.
I think I want a butter boat now! Or figure out how to make one with what we have. Maybe I have some stoneware that will work… I think I do! Just have to figure out the top! And set in a bowl of ice during the day. Maybe we won’t have soupy butter this summer!
Thank you for sharing!
Sheri I prefer the butter boat too to the butter bell because a stick of butter fits in there perfectly. Butter bells were used originally because years ago butter didn’t come in sticks but was often made round that is why the butter bell was shaped that way. You don’t need to use ice. I just put in cold water I keep in the fridge and only change the water about once a week or when I put in a new stick. I don’t use my a/c much so it can get pretty hot in my house and just using the cold water seems to keep it fine. You will need to adjust it of course to what you need.
These also work great if you need to keep something warm too like if you want to keep cream cheese really soft to use for a get together or something or some kind of dip warm you can put warm water in the bottom instead of cold for this.
You have probably found a butter bell by now, but just in case, the Kitchen Connections store in Branson, MO carries them for $10. I bought one just the other day. I’m sure you can find it on their site if you are needing another one. I bought several for gifts.
When I was growing up, we always had butter in a glass dish with a round lid on our table. I have discovered that unsalted butter doesn’t soften like salted butter. (I kept seeing cookie recipes that called for “unsalted”) It’s very difficult to spread! I’ve gone back to “salted”.