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How long can you keep butter at room temperature?

I recently had a conversation with a woman that told me that you can keep butter out indefinitely, until it is all finished, to keep it soft. I do a lot of cooking and had never heard this before. Has anyone else heard this? Is this true? The whole conversation started when I said I prefer the taste of butter, plus I like the fact that it’s more natural than margarine, but I hate the way it spreads. Thanks for your help. Be blessed!

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3 Responses to “How long can you keep butter at room temperature?”

  1. MicD said :

    u can keep it for a day or two, maybe. anything longer may entail it to become rancid, if your kitchen is hot & humid. BUT if ur kitchn is cold / cool, u may keep it out longer!

  2. rules_lawyer said :

    Challenge Dairy says, “We recommend that butter be refrigerated at 32º – 38ºF. Bring out only enough butter that you plan to use for each meal. After use, any remaining butter should be returned to the refrigerator immediately, making sure it is covered or re-wrapped, to insure freshness and flavor. … Butter can be frozen very successfully for about 4 months at 20°- 30°F. Longer freezing may affect the flavor and texture. … In order for it to become more spreadable, we recommend that prior to use, it be removed from the refrigerator and left at room temperature for ½ to 1 hour or until it reaches the desired consistency.” states that “Although it is tempting to store it in a container in a cabinet at room temperature so that it is easy to spread, it will become rancid quickly due to the presence of milk solids that can spoil.”

    However, the Sudbury (Connecticut) health department says that there are no health effects from keeping butter at room temperature, “because food-poisoning bacteria do not usually grow in [it].” And says “can safely be stored above 4°C for a few days.”

    Therefore, I’d conclude that the butter will be OK from a health standpoint if you keep it in the cupboard, but will taste better if you keep it refrigerated.

  3. tacosarethebest said :

    My grandmother does that….she leaves it out on the counter in the kitchen all the time! I always wondered about that, too. But I’ve eaten it and never gotten sick, so it must be okay….


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