Seems like a lot of work. We just keep ours in a regular covered butter dish on the counter. Have never had a problem with rancid butter.
Seems like a lot of work for bad butter.
I can keep mine in a normal butter dish, but only during winter. In the summer I have to keep it in the fridge.
I did the soft butter thing for a month and realized that I ate about three times more than usual. Hard butter is in a way healthier.
This seems like a great way to make a bowl full of watery, oily gunk. Nice idea for those outside of properly warm climates, though.
But how do you measure it without the handy lines on the side of the wrapper? I don’t want to scoop it into a measuring spoon first, then spread it on my bread.
I’ve used a similar one. It worked quite nicely. The one catch, really, was that we’d need to leave the butter out to soften before we put in in the butter crock – which needs to happen before the morning toast rush, not after.
Yeah they aren’t really necessary. Its possible they might extend the shelf life somewhat. But butter, particularly salted butter as Mark is using, kind of has an insane shelf life to begin with. Though all the extra mass from the ceramic can help keep the butter soft but not melted during summer, a regular butter dish made from the same material would do the same.
Our current butter dish is plastic, because we keep breaking the ceramic ones. It’ll probably cause us a problem come summer. Most of my family in Ireland keep their butter in uncovered dishes in a dark cabinet and seem to make it fine through what few hot days they have ever year. Maybe we’ll try that.
I like the aesthetic of this product, even if I don’t eat enough buttered toast to justify owning anything like this.
As a bonus, if the outer pot is left unglazed, evaporative cooling will keep the butter just a bit below room temperature (in case too soft butter is a concern).
Here in Florida we tried one a while, and even though we have the a/c on most of the time, still seemed to get oily (we use the same Kerry’s gold butter pictured btw). But we don’t go through it that fast, so it might go untouched 2 or 3 days. Also, with a butter bell, we had some issues with the butter falling into the water–not sure if it melted or some water got up into between where you cram the butter into the bell.
I think I was at least 35 when I amazedly pointed out to my wife that the sticks of butter in our fridge had measuring lines! Like it was this new, brilliant innovation. She laughed at me. (Yeah, I don’t cook much.)
We’ve got similar climate (ranging from warm and damp in the winter to stupidly hot and humid in the summer) but have the advantages of no air-con and a wriggly-tin roof. 40C+ is pretty usual in the kitchen.
I tried one of these for a few weeks, and it got completely moldy, despite changing the water every few days. Not appealing.
My fiance makes these. She’s sold out currently, but a good example of a similar tool that’s also beautiful (yep, biased).
Barbara Dunshee - A Gallery of Butter Bulbs
Butter has been de-vilified. It’s pretty much off the “unhealthy” list if you eat it in reasonable amounts, in reasonable ways (breaded and deep-fried à la chip truck style being an example of an unreasonable way).
Keeping butter in the fridge is about as useful as keeping milk in the freezer.
Yep, I’ve never had a problem just keeping butter out on the counter (until recently when my cat discovered that butter is delicious, anyway; now I keep it in the pantry) but after trying a butter crock my butter grew mold—the first time I’d ever seen moldy butter in my life. So if anyone wants a free butter crock just let me know, I’ll send it to you for cost of shipping, or you can pick it up in Seattle.
Fats can be rancid long before there is a noticeable odor. There’s no way to know how rancid without running tests that you probably don’t have the equipment for at your house. Leaving something like butter out at room temperature, especially if the room is warmer than 20°C, for more than a couple of hours is really unwise.
Rancid fats, while not immediately dangerous as a food safety issue, are dangerous to consume as they promote cancers and other diseases of aging. I keep all fats refrigerated, rotate (toss the old) regularly, and dose my oils with BHT.
Then, of course, there is the issue of the water in butter. Butter is about 20% water, which, along with the protein in the milk solids in the butter, creates a lovely environment for bacterial growth. (whether or not it’s in a ceramic jar with one end covered in a pool of water (which itself is a great source for more bacteria to enter the butter). More than four hours at room temperature places butter squarely in the danger zone. No restaurant in the world would be allowed to stay open if they left butter out like this.
Would that still be an issue if you’re using the butter to cook with?