Butter is a staple in many homes and restaurants around the world.
It’s an ingredient that we use on our bread, toast, sauces like garlic butter, lemon butter and biscuits, and in many other ways.
But how long will it stay good for?
And what happens when it goes bad?
We know that there are some things that go bad faster than others.
For example, eggs lose their freshness more quickly than milk, and cheese doesn’t keep as well as yogurt.
But what about butter?
How long does it last?
And what can you do if it starts to smell funny?
We have all these answers below.
How can you tell if butter has gone bad?
The first thing to note is that butter isn’t the same as margarine.
Margarine is made with vegetable oil instead of dairy fat, so it won’t have the same properties.
In fact, it may not taste like butter at all!
You can also tell whether butter has gone bad if it has turned yellow.
This is because the milk solids in butter break down into fatty acids and free radicals.
The free radicals combine with oxygen and produce a brown color.
If the butter is still white after this process, then it hasn’t gone bad yet.
But if it turns yellow, then it’s probably no longer edible.
What are the signs that butter has gone bad?
Butter that has gone bad typically looks different to the one that hasn’t.
Here are some common signs that your butter might be bad:
Butter that has separated
Butter that has lost its shape
Butter that has a fishy smell
Butter that has gone rancid
Butter that has a strong odor
Butter that has a metallic taste
How long does butter last before it goes bad?
There’s no set rule for how long butter lasts before it goes bad.
Some people say that it only takes two weeks, while others claim that it can last up to six months.
However, the average lifespan of butter is around three months, which is based on the recommendation of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).
What is the shelf life of butter?
Shelf life is measured in terms of “best if used by” dates.
These date labels indicate when the product was packaged, but they don’t indicate when the product itself will start to go bad.
So, to find out how long butter will last, you need to calculate the difference between the best if used by date and the expiry date.
For example, here’s a butter that’s been packaged in a plastic container and has an expiry date of July 2021.
That means it’s good until July 2021.
But if you look closely, you’ll see that the package has a “best if used by” date of June 2023.
So the butter will definitely go bad by the end of June 2022.
To figure out how much time has passed since the product was packaged, just add the difference between these two dates, which equals nine months.
How should you store butter to prevent it from going bad?
Butter is very sensitive to light and heat, so it needs to be kept in a cool place.
Ideally, it should be refrigerated.
But even though butter keeps well in the fridge, it’s important to rotate the containers every few days so that the butter inside doesn’t get stale.
Butter that’s been exposed to air will go rancid.
So make sure that the packaging is tightly sealed and that any holes are closed with tape or foil.
What temperature should butter be stored at?
Butter should be kept at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) or lower.
At higher temperatures, the fats in the butter will begin to degrade, causing the butter to become rancid.
The best way to check that the butter is still good is to take a small amount out of the refrigerator and let it sit for a bit.
If it feels soft and spreadable, then it’s fine.
If it’s hard, then it’s probably too old.
How can you tell if butter has been contaminated?
Butter can sometimes be contaminated with bacteria.
Bacteria can cause food poisoning, so it’s important to clean your utensils thoroughly before using them to prepare food.
When you use the same knife to cut butter and meat, it’s possible for bacteria to transfer from one to the other.
And if you’re cutting raw vegetables with a knife, you’ll want to wash your hands afterwards.
What are the risks of eating bad butter?
In general, eating butter is safe.
It’s full of nutrients and healthy fats that will help boost your immune system.
There are a few exceptions, though.
Butter that’s been exposed to heat or light can spoil, and it can contain bacteria that could cause food poisoning.
So always choose butter that’s been stored properly and avoid eating any that’s already spoiled.
What should you do if you suspect the butter is bad?
Once you realize that your butter has gone bad, you should throw it away immediately.
Even if it’s still soft and spreadable, it’s better to discard it than to risk getting sick from it.
Is it safe to eat butter that has been left out of the fridge?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to eat butter that’s been left out of the fridge.
As long as it’s covered, it should be fine.
But if you leave it in direct sunlight for too long, it could turn rancid.
So be careful to cover it with a lid whenever you aren’t using it.
Is it safe to eat butter that has been frozen?
It depends on the type of butter.
If the butter is solid, frozen butter can thaw out easily.
But if it’s liquid or semi-solid, it’s better to thaw it completely before using it.
Thawed butter can separate into layers, which makes it difficult to measure.
Also, it may stick to the sides of the pot, making it impossible to remove.
Is it safe to eat butter that has been cooked?
It’s safe to eat butter that’s been cooked.
In fact, it’s often added to recipes to improve the flavor.
But if the butter is melted, then it’s best to pour it back into the container.
It’s not ideal to reheat something that’s gone bad, because it will continue to deteriorate.
Garlic Butter Steak Bites Recipe
- 2 large bowls
- 1 oven
- 1 saucepan
- 1 knife
- 1 cutting board
- 1 spoon
- 1/3 pound beef steaks
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes crushed
- 1 teaspoon thyme dried
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika smoked
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon mustard dry
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 cup parsley finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chives finely chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- Step 1: Preparing the Steak Bites
- To begin, place your steaks in a large bowl and add the crushed red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard.
- Mix well to coat both sides of each steak evenly.
- Let sit for 10 minutes before moving on to step 2.
- In another large bowl, mix together the butter, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Stir until everything is combined, making sure the garlic is completely coated in the mixture.
- Add the steaks to the marinade and flip them over to coat both sides with the mixture.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Don’t forget to turn the steaks halfway through so that they’re evenly coated.
- Step 2: Cooking the Steak Bites
- Once the steaks have finished marinating, it’s time to put them in the oven.
- Set the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the steaks for 12 to 15 minutes per side.
- When done, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool down.
- Step 3: Creating the Garlic Butter Sauce
- While the steaks are cooling down, prepare the garlic butter sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Once melted, add the garlic and stir constantly for one minute.
- Next, add the rosemary, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard.
- Stir until combined.
- Next, add the lemon juice and stir again until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Add the cayenne pepper, parsley, and chives and stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.
- Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a bowl to cool down.
- Step 4: Assembling the Steak Bites
- After the steaks have cooled down, it’s time to assemble the garlic butter steak bites.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each steak into four equal pieces.
- Then, using a spoon, scoop out the center of each piece to create a cavity.
- On a cutting board, spread the cooled garlic butter sauce across the bottom of a large cast iron skillet.
- Make sure to cover the entire surface area of the skillet.
- Place the steaks into the skillet and fill the cavities with the parsley, chives, and grated parmesan cheese.
- Once the ingredients are placed, carefully pour the remaining sauce over the top and cook the garlic butter steak bites in the oven for five minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm.