Author Topic: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?  (Read 11437 times)

Groovin Old Hippie

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Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« on: November 23, 2015, 05:55:06 PM »
We want to switch from margarine to butter but don't like how hard the butter is when stored in the fridge. I've heard about using a butter bell so you can keep the butter out on the counter. If you've ever used one, please share your experience. Thank you.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 06:00:21 PM »
We've given them as gifts, but don't have one, since we don't really spread butter (don't really eat bread), just cook with it. But from the feedback I've gotten, it's the bees knees. You have to use it correctly though, and make sure you don't get water in with your butter when you put it in at first.

And for pity sake don't try to use it with an intact half stick set in the bell the way my mother did. It has to be smooshed down into the bell. Otherwise you end up with a half stick of butter sitting in water. Lol!

Tldr; great if you use butter on toast a lot and want it spreading temperature. Waste of counter space (IMO) if you just cook with it.

Cressida

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 06:13:47 PM »
Posting to follow. I'd like to know how long the butter stays fresh.

Villanelle

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2015, 06:22:32 PM »
I've used one.  I also routinely just leave my butter out in a butter dish, and have never had a problem with it.  My mom always did it this way, and it's not something I ever really thought about until I'd been doing it forever and someone commented that ZOMG! I've left my butter out.  Because we are only 2 people, I sometimes put only half a stick out at a time.  Never once had it spoil, and neither mom nor I keep our homes especially climate controlled.  In fact, there's no such thing as too hot for mom, and even in Las Vegas she frequently leaves her butter out, even when the house is well in to the 80s. 

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2015, 07:12:16 PM »
We had one but never remembered to change the water every 3 days as instructed, and the water kept getting moldy. I gave the butter bell to my mom and she changes the water every 3 days and hasn't had any mold problems.

Telecaster

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2015, 07:14:26 PM »
We use one all the time.  It doesn't work as well in the summer because the butter will get a bit rancid if you don't use it often enough (we don't use a lot of butter).  But it works fine in the winter. 

Freedom2016

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2015, 07:54:26 PM »
We use a regular butter dish. It's never gone bad on us.

M2 pilot

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2015, 07:56:10 PM »
I was given one as a gift a few years ago.  It's a neat gadget and works well but we eat so much butter in this household that there's absolutely no need for it.

Ktfeehan

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2015, 08:01:03 PM »
Salted butter does not go bad at room temp.  unsalted butter will go bad rather quickly.

Josiecat

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2015, 08:10:01 PM »
I put mine in a butter holder and leave it out.  I use a whole stick a week.

imustachemystash

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2015, 09:18:23 PM »
I bought one a while ago and it did not work because the butter would keep falling out of the top and land in the water.  It was a big mess.  Now I just leave the butter out and it's fine.

Doubleh

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 12:35:18 AM »
Can't see any reason why a regular butter dish isn't just a better solution. Butter still stays soft and ready to spread but no need to smoosh it into the dish, just lay a stick in there. No water to worry about changing either.

Only time I have had a problem with a dish is when it gets too warm and even then the butter never went rancid just melted and spilled over the edge onto the counter. Reading about bells it seems these would be no use in this scenario as the butter would just melt out of the holder

Tyn

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2015, 03:16:47 AM »
I switched from margarine to butter a few months ago and just keep mine in an old margarine pot.  It's got cold enough in my kitchen that it's not spreadable anymore, but during the summer I was able to keep unsalted butter out for 2-3 weeks and it still tasted fine.

The butter bell seems like a lot of hassle for not much benefit compared to a normal butter dish.

horsepoor

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2015, 06:15:02 AM »
We had one but never remembered to change the water every 3 days as instructed, and the water kept getting moldy. I gave the butter bell to my mom and she changes the water every 3 days and hasn't had any mold problems.

I couldn't be arsed to change the water either.  Now I make ghee and keep it in  a pint jar next to the stove an have never had mold.

pbkmaine

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2015, 08:10:05 AM »
I don't know what problem this solves. When we want spreadable butter, I take a stick of butter out of the fridge or freezer and place it in a glass butter dish a few hours before I need it. If I need it quickly, I microwave it on defrost for a few seconds at a time. For me, this works better than having to change water every few days.


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GuitarStv

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2015, 08:40:14 AM »
It has been mentioned on this thread already, but bears repeating.  Salted butter will keep for more than a week when left out on the counter.

CupcakeGuru

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2015, 08:42:18 AM »
There is no need to waste your money on a butter bell. I used to leave unsalted butter on the counter in a butter dish. I live in the South and never had a problem with it getting rancid. Well, my butter dish broke and all I had was a glass sugar bowl. I have been using that ever since.

Ceridwen

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2015, 09:42:20 AM »
Another "just a regular butter dish" vote here.  We generally use semi-salted and I put out half a stick at a time.  If we're going away for a few days (and I remember to do this), I put it in the fridge and then take it back out.  Never had it go bad on us.

robartsd

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2015, 09:50:42 AM »
I just keep butter in the fridge and shave off very thin slices when the butter is to hard to spread. I don't usually spread butter on untoasted bread, so the thin slice of butter melts/softens very easily. The only time I worry about bringing butter closer to room temperature is when I want softened butter for baking - then I have to remember to take some out several hours to a day in advance.

ketchup

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2015, 10:30:02 AM »
I'm not sure what you're using the soft butter for, but we've never had an issue just leaving it out for a few hours to soften.  Sometimes if we have baked potatoes with dinner we'll forget to put it away until the next morning and it's never been a problem.  Since others have mentioned it, we're using salted butter too.

Good on you for making the switch.  Margarine makes me feel like death, and butter is lovely all around.  Spring for Kerrygold once in a while if you can find it; great stuff.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2015, 03:43:42 PM »
Yet another butter dish person. Before we had a proper butter dish (I like it for the small footprint and lighter weight) we used a small plate and covered with a small bowl.

Never an issue with rancidity but we're always using either cultured or salted butter (unsalted butter doesn't have much flavor) and I don't think I've ever had a stick last more than a week uneaten since we switched to real butter a couple years back. In summer I will put in fridge overnight when I remember to avoid it getting too soft or outright melting.

MacGyverIt

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2015, 02:47:09 AM »
+1 I leave the butter dish out except in summer when it's too warm in my home so the butter gets melty. I'd grown up with my folks keeping the butter dish in the fridge and one day visiting a friend's house, I noticed she kept her butter dish out and I asked her about it. She said when she spent time in France as a college student and with her husband's French family she noticed the butter remained on the table at all times and she followed suit.

I think the cooler temperatures in most of Europe allows for butter to remain on the table top and the American large fridge sizes have led to the popular misconception that butter must remain refrigerated at all times.

inertia

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2015, 06:18:07 AM »
Another year-round butter dish on the counter user.  I was skeptical when my brother told me that it could be left out, which he learned while in culinary school, but I've been doing it for years now and have never had any problems at all.  Soft, salted butter is so delicious.

stripey

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2015, 08:59:08 AM »
I got one as a gift, and use it. Mine is pretty large and will hold about 250g at once.

It gets hot here in summer, so having the water actually helps moderate the temperature and helps the butter to remain solid (i.e. not melt) during everything except the height of summer. I know it helps, because I've intentionally kept butter in a dish in the kitchen and in the butter bell, and compared softness. The butter in the bell tends to melt less often (but still will do if it ends up more than about 35*C in the house for more than a day).

I can't just leave the butter out of the fridge for a few hours before baking, because there's typically nobody about the house a few hours before I bake or cook! So unless I want to zap the butter in the microwave for 10 seconds so then I can cream butter and sugar in a recipe, I have to seek out other alternatives like the butter bell. Old fridges used to have much warmer butter compartments for keeping butter soft.


catccc

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2015, 12:18:20 PM »
didn't like ours.  Used it as instructed and ended up with mold.

MoonShadow

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2015, 12:24:28 PM »
We want to switch from margarine to butter but don't like how hard the butter is when stored in the fridge. I've heard about using a butter bell so you can keep the butter out on the counter. If you've ever used one, please share your experience. Thank you.

I call mine a butter crock, but yes, I've had several.  They work great, but you must change the water every three days religiously.  If you fail, mold will make it through the water and start to grow on the surface of the butter.   But if you can keep up with it, a stick of butter can do fine in the crock, sitting on a counter, for a month or more.  I tested it, because if I had not, no stick of butter would have survived longer than a week in my house anyway.

Trifele

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2015, 05:02:15 AM »
Year round, glass butter dish with a lid, on the counter.  No problems whatsoever.  We use salted butter and have never had it go bad.  If we are leaving for a week on vacation we stick it in the fridge. 

Moustachienne

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2015, 04:44:25 PM »
We started using spreadable butter, which is butter mixed with canola oil and  kept in the fridge.  Gay Lea brand in Canada, Land O'Lakes in the US, I think.  Fabulous, no more butter going off in the cupboard for the odd time we want it on toast or sandwiches and we can just use the amount we want when we want to spread it.  Tastes like pure butter.

Still use unsalted butter for baking, etc., and just soften it on counter or in microwave as needed.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2015, 06:02:03 AM »
We have a porcelain butter dish with a lid (15 on eBay!) and leave it on the counter. We have had issues with butter melting in it twice, when we left it right by the window in direct sunlight in high summer. Now we tuck it behind the coffee machine in summer to shade it. There are only two of us but we put out a whole stick of unsalted butter at a time and it never goes rancid. We eat a small amount each daily and use some in cooking daily, but if we're out a lot it can sit there for a week and be fine. It goes dark yellow on the outside but tastes fine and is still the same on the inside.

My parents keep their butter in the fridge and it drives me crazy! You can't spread the damn stuff!

MsPeacock

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2015, 10:48:49 AM »
I just use a regular butter dish w/a cover on the counter. Butter stays soft. I've never had a problem w/ it going bad. I only need the cover so that the cats don't have themselves a little butter feast. The stick probably lasts a couple weeks and seems to be fine at room temp.

mspym

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2015, 02:40:55 AM »
We started using spreadable butter, which is butter mixed with canola oil and  kept in the fridge.  Gay Lea brand in Canada, Land O'Lakes in the US, I think.  Fabulous, no more butter going off in the cupboard for the odd time we want it on toast or sandwiches and we can just use the amount we want when we want to spread it.  Tastes like pure butter.

Still use unsalted butter for baking, etc., and just soften it on counter or in microwave as needed.

It's also ridiculously easy to make -> 250g unsalted butter, 1/2C light-tasting oil (I use sunflower), and a couple of pinches good salt. Whizz with handheld blender and store in a container in the fridge. Works for our household because we don't eat much butter and this is *way* cheaper than buying Spreadable Butter TM

Moustachienne

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2015, 09:14:41 AM »
Great idea to make your own, mspym!  We don't use much so store bought lasts us a long time but next time we run out, I'll do the dyi.  Thx.  :)

maco

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2015, 02:46:54 PM »
I don't have a butter bell. I have a plate (and I commissioned a butter dish from the potter who made the plate, so the plate can go back to being...a plate). I keep my (salted!) butter out on the counter, and it does just fine.

From what I understand, beliefs about where to keep butter are regional in the US. In dairy country (the midwest), they keep it on the counter. Salt is a preservative, after all!

I am not, however, in or from the midwest. I just happened to learn this from midwesterner friends, and I've applied it
at my home in technically-the-South (hey, Mason-Dixon line is way over points there) for the last year just fine.

How long can it stay on the counter? Well, it's pretty rare for me to not use up a stick of butter within 2 weeks, so I can't really give an upper limit. The only time I've had an issue with leaving butter out was when "out" meant in a hot tent while camping. It melted.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 02:53:32 PM by maco »

MoonShadow

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2015, 03:39:42 PM »
It can melt inside the butter crock, also. Then it falls out of the bell and into the water. PITA

James

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Re: Anyone have experience using a butter bell?
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2015, 05:19:13 PM »
We use a butter bell, works great. For those who mentioned the water going bad, just add salt, keeps the water fresh for a long time.


You really don't need it, we just have one so we use it. It keeps the cats out of the butter, but that wasn't a serious problem anyway. It keeps the surface of the butter nice and "fresh", if a stick is left out on a plate after a while the unused sides start to look a bit dark and less appetizing. Not a real problem, just nice to always have fresh looking butter, and at times the butter got so old looking after a week or so we threw it, it can go much longer in the bell and it looks fresh.


Anyway, yes we use one and like it, no it's not needed but I do like the utility of it. We have a hand made bell that looks very nice out on the counter, I really like that aspect as well. Not a big deal either way. Maybe slightly more work to pack it in, add water and salt, etc. But really not enough work either way to worry about.