Learn About Butter

Author: Chef Toby

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What is butter?

Butter is the by-product of cream that has been whipped and churned. It can range from a very light pale yellow color to a brighter yellow color in its solid form. Butter contains about 80% fat and melts completely when heated. 

A Stick Of Butter In Its Wrapper - Kids Are Great Cooks
A stick of butter in its foil packaging.

What are the different types of butter?

Salted Butter 

This type of butter contains salt as a way to help preserve it. This type of butter is great to use in savory dishes.

Unsalted Butter 

Unsalted butter is butter that has no salt in it. This butter is great to use in baking and other recipes where you want to control the amount of salt. 

Clarified Butter

This type of butter, also known as ghee, is butter that has the milk solids removed. This leaves behind only the butterfat, making the product dairy-free. This type of butter has a higher smoke point and is useful in high-heat cooking like searing or sautéing.

What does butter taste like?

Butter has a very rich, creamy taste and texture and has a subtle hint of sweetness.

Softened Butter Spread On Bread  - Kids Are Great Cooks
Butter is delicious when enjoyed on a piece of bread.

What are some ways to use butter?

Butter is used in a variety of ways and is found in many different cuisines across the globe. The most simple way to enjoy butter is by spreading it on a piece of bread or toast. Butter is also used for cooking or sauteeing just about anything, like eggs, french toast, or burgers. You can also use butter to add richness to foods like corn, baked potatoes, and steamed broccoli. In baking, butter is used to grease pans so that food doesn’t stick. It also adds flavor, fat, and richness to cookies, cakes, and cinnamon rolls. Softened butter can also be combined with herbs and spices to make compound butter, which adds flavor to freshly cooked meats. 

Butter Or Oil Heating Up In A Pan
Butter can be melted on a skillet or pan in order to give food a richer flavor and to prevent the food from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Where can you buy butter?

You can buy butter at all grocery stores – it is usually located near the cheese and other dairy products. Salted and unsalted butter can be purchased in both sticks, tubs, and sprays. Ghee is solid at room temperature and is commonly comes in glass jars or plastic containers. 

How do you store butter?

Store your butter in the refrigerator, in its original wrapping or container for up to 3 months. You can store ghee at room temperature for up to 9 months, and in the refrigerator for up to a year. You can also store butter in the freezer for up to one year. 

Did you know?

One-third of the world’s cattle milk production is used for making butter. 

Fun Fact about butter

When butter is made, the cream separates into butter and buttermilk.

Our Recipes Using Butter 

Homemade scones recipe and video cooking lesson.

How To Make Scones Kids Cooking

Homemade scones with orange zest

Oatmeal Cookies with Raisins Video Cooking Lesson 

How To Make Oatmeal Cookies Kids Cooking Lesson

Oatmeal raisin cookies

How To Make French Toast Recipe Video

French Toast Cooking Lesson

Scrambled Eggs With Tortilla Video Recipe Lesson

Scrambled Eggs With Tortilla Kids Cooking Video

Scrambled Eggs With Tortilla Cooking Lesson

Other Recipes Using Butter

Pound Cake 

This cake is rich, decadent, and pairs perfectly with berries and cream. To make it, start but combining softened butter and sugar with a stand mixer or hand beater. Then, add eggs, vanilla extract, salt. Add flour into this mixture slowly until completely incorporated. Add the batter into a greased bundt pan or baking pan and bake at 350 degrees. 

Butter Chicken 

Butter chicken is a popular Indian dish that is rich, creamy, and goes perfectly on a bed of rice. To make it, start by marinating chicken thighs in a combination of yogurt, minced garlic, minced ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and salt for at least 3 hours. Once the chicken is marinated, heat butter in a large skillet and cook the chicken until brown. Add in tomato sauce, cream, salt, and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked. 

Compound Butter 

This compound butter is easy to make and adds favor to anything from steak, to salmon, and bread. To make it, start but combining softened butter with parsley, thyme, chives, and garlic – all finely minced. Season with salt and pepper. Create a log shape with the butter on clear plastic wrap, cover the surface of the butter, and roll it into a log. Refrigerate the compound butter for 1 hour before using. 

Cheesy Garlic Bread

To make cheesy garlic bread, start by making a compound butter using unsalted butter, parmesan cheese, pepper, parsley, and grated garlic. Cut a long baguette in half lengthwise, and spread the butter mixture over on the bread. Top the bread with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, and then under the broiler for 1 minute.


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