How Long Can You Store Butter In The Fridge?

Spread it on a piece of bread, dunk lobster claws in it, or even make a sculpture with it — the uses for butter are endless. A vital ingredient since the days of yore, butter may no longer be hand churned at home, but that doesn't mean we've lost a taste for the rich dairy dish. In fact, the worldwide butter industry is currently valued at over $43 billion and is expected to increase by almost 5% annually (via Statista). With all that butter, it's time to learn how to store it best.

A semi-solid dairy product, the BBC explains that butter (along with buttermilk) is the product of churning whole cream or milk. Eaten as is or transformed by baking, melting, or frying, this ingredient is super versatile. With a soft mouthfeel and sweet decadence, it can add flavor and silkiness to any sweet or savory dish.

Since butter has a high fat (80%) and low water content (20%), Healthline reports that it isn't likely to harbor bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses, which is especially true of salted butter as salt helps with preservation. That said, butter won't keep indefinitely. Due to its super-rich fat content, butter is particularly at risk of going rancid, but will its shelf life improve if we store it in the fridge?

Refrigerated butter can keep for two months

Though butter is one of the most resilient dairy products, one thing that it isn't immune to is spoilage. When exposed to oxygen (but also heat or light), Bon Appétit reports that the fat in the butter becomes oxidized and turns a bit sour, which is why you should always store it in an airtight container, Ziploc bag, or water-sealed butter dish.

While room temperature butter can keep for up to one month on the counter, that figure actually increases when you keep it in a cooler location, such as the fridge. According to FoodSafety, refrigerated butter can last between one and two months, whereas frozen blocks of butter might even be safe to eat for nine months from the time it was purchased.

If you've been swayed on the idea of keeping your butter refrigerated, Cook's Illustrated advises against putting the sticks in your fridge's door compartment and instead placing them in the back corner where it will stay the coolest and freshest.