How to Soften Butter Fast




Introduction: How to Soften Butter Fast

About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

In this instructable I'll show you two tricks to get your butter up to room temperature FAST. I am really terrible at remembering to set my butter out ahead of time when baking to get to room temperature. Or I decide I really want cookies at 11 PM and then have no time to let the butter soften on its own or I'll be up all night making cookies.

After many many many failed bakes where I accidentally melted the butter when trying to soften it in the microwave, I now stick to these methods for softening butter super quick!

Step 1: Method One: Chop It Up

This method is a little more fiddly than the second method, and takes a little longer, but this is the way I did it for years!

Take the butter out of the fridge and dice it fairly finely. I use the butter wrapping as a cutting surface. Cut it into tablespoons and then cut each of those into nine pieces, or go even smaller if you'd like.

Then spread it out on a plate or piece of parchment. Let sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature and it will be soft enough to use. I normally do this part first and then measure out the rest of the ingredients. By the time I get back to the butter it's perfect! :)

Step 2: Method Two: Grate It

This is probably what I use my grater for the most. If you've got one of those big box graters hanging out around your kitchen, you're about to become BFFs.

I found this trick a few years ago and it really changed my baking for the better since I lack any sort of patience. :D

Keep the butter in the fridge right up until you want to use it, and then peel away the wrapper from half of it. Use the wrapped part of the butter as a handle and grate it on the largest holes your grater has. Keep unwrapping and grating, it should take no time at all.

You can just set the grater down in the bowl you'll be working in - you'll get lovely butter ribbons that soften in no time!

You really only need a couple minutes of softening time this way since the ribbons are so thin! I almost always do this method so I can get to creaming the butter with sugar almost immediately. :)



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    88 Discussions

    Lots of comments, and I didn't read them all, so this may already have been added... After you have your butter grated or chopped up, spread it out on a tray lined with parchment, freeze and then use it in pie crust. Frozen fat makes good pie crust, and it's so hard to grate a frozen stick of butter.

    The best way I've found to quickly soften but not melt cold or frozen butter is letting it sit in room temperature water. You may need to drain and replace the water a few times, depending on the temperature difference.

    Fluids draw temperature changes much faster than air.

    It works for eggs too.

    I keep one or two sticks of butter at a time in a covered glass butter dish - it sits on the counter, remains at room temp, and is used up before it has time to even think about going bad. I prefer glass for such foods because it is the easiest to clean and retains no residue. I have less patience than your self-reported "none," jessyratfink - I would never have the patience to form tiny cubes or even grate butter! Good on ya!

    In cooking school, we were taught to microwave cold butter at 10%-20% power(depending on your microwave's wattage) for about a minute--it gets it soft without turning it to liquid, but it can melt easily if you leave it too long. Once you can bend a stick of butter without it breaking, it's soft enough to bake with.

    I usually chop it into small pieces but I LOVE the idea of grating come I hadn't thought of that !!!!! Well done!!!

    To soften butter, I put it in a plastic bag and squish it until it's pliable. This does not bring the butter to room temperature, but for a lot of baking, butter that is soft yet chilled actually works better than butter at room temperature.

    I have two things that I do, if I need softened butter: microwave for 20 sec. at temp #3 and the second (if my microwave isn't available) Boil some water in a pot, turn the pot off, then suspend the butter over the steam, for just a little while 'til there is enough to use. Not fancy, but useful. As for butter going rancid, I have the same question that I do with cheese: Since refrigerators weren't invented until the early 1900's and butter and cheese have existed for hundreds of years, how did everyone survive? I'm sure some people got sick, some people still get sick 'now'. But apparently, not enough to make people stop using it, so what did our ancestors do?

    1 reply

    They had different cheese for starters made in completely different ways and they probably ate/used it in time plus their bodies would have built up a tolerance. We dont have this tolerance because we have adapted to using fridges and feezers.

    But you are kind of correct because ive melted butter and put it back in the fridge and even left it out for weeks while using it at room temperature :)

    very simple tips but will be of great help! thank you...

    900 - 1100 watt Microwaves will soften FROZEN butter in 12 seconds. Set frozen wrapped stick on paper plate in middle of rotor plate. 12 seconds on high. Great for emergency pancakes at 3am

    I have an additional trick I use, basically in combination with your method #1: Instead of putting the butter on a plate, put it on a frying pan, preferably a big heavy one at room temperature, or on the bottom of a big stock pot. It acts as a big heat sink, but won't heat the butter past room temperature. Very scientific.

    2 replies

    Aluminum would work fastest with this method - and works for defrosting frozen anything.

    Copper's even better, if you have it. Or, better yet, silver! Thickness also factors in heavily, and what I have that's thick is a heavy cast iron frying pan. Have a slab of silver on hand? Butter it up!