Can You Freeze Butter to Make It Last Longer?

Updated: Feb. 27, 2024

Butter keeps well in the fridge, but can you freeze butter? The short answer is yes—and you might want to make a habit of it.

It seems odd to put butter anywhere other than the refrigerator. I know some people keep butter on the counter, but refrigerators have a storage space designed specifically for butter!

The only exception in my house: If I stock up on butter during a sale, I store those sticks in the freezer.

Can you freeze butter?

Yes! Butter is one of many foods that freeze well. You can freeze all types of butter, from fancy European butter to hand-rolled Amish butter.

How to Freeze Butter

It’s simple: Freeze sticks of butter directly in their packaging. Add a second layer of aluminum foil or an airtight plastic bag for extra protection.

Butter will taste best if frozen when it’s fresh, but you can also pop butter in the freezer as it approaches its expiration date to give it extra storage life.

How long can you freeze butter?

That depends on whether you bought salted or unsalted butter. Salted butter will keep in the freezer for up to 12 months. Unsalted butter will keep up to six months.

Does freezing butter ruin it?

Sliced fresh butter curls in white containerartisteer/Getty Images

Nope. Butter freezes without losing flavor or texture. In fact, since butter can go bad after a few months in the fridge, it may make sense to store it in the freezer if you don’t normally go through it quickly. I often stock up on my go-to brand of butter when it’s on sale and keep extra packages in the freezer, especially before holiday baking.

Butter defrosted in the refrigerator can be used just like fresh butter: spread on toast, baked into cookies and even in flaky pastry recipes.

Can you freeze butter alternatives?

Most solid-form butter alternatives freeze well, including margarine, shortening, coconut oil and many vegan butter alternatives. Softer or liquid alternatives, such as oils or spreads sold in tubs, usually do not freeze well.

How to Thaw Butter

Remove butter from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator. Once thawed, use the butter just as you would fresh butter. Bear in mind that butter should not be refrozen, so plan to use it up within a couple of months, or sooner if it was on the verge of expiring when you froze it.

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