How long does butter last in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, ‘How long does butter last in the fridge?’ and will discuss how to properly store butter?

How long does butter last in the fridge?

Butter may be kept in the refrigerator for up to three months, according to the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. You may keep butter in the freezer for up to nine months for future use.

Is it Possible for Butter to Become bad?

There’s a good chance that butter will not get rancid, but it’s still possible for it to go bad. Butter is a dairy product, but because of its high-fat content and low water content, it may keep for a long time. For bacterial growth to thrive, these two conditions must exist.

Salted butter has a longer shelf life than unsalted because it reduces the water content even more. The pasteurization of the cream used to make butter further reduces the danger.

What is the shelf life of butter?

A best-by date is a valuable tool, but don’t see it as a final cut-off point when it comes to butter. A stick or tub of butter may last you a long time if it is kept properly.

For unopened butter: it may be kept in the refrigerator for about a month beyond the best-by date. When refrigerated, it may last for up to two weeks longer than the marked expiration date.

It’s okay to consume unsalted butter that’s been frozen for more than six months beyond the stated expiration date since it retains its best properties in the freezer. Depending on the temperature, it will only last a few days or perhaps a week if left out on your counter.

Salted butter: As long as it hasn’t been opened, salted butter may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months after the printed date. 

Around a month if left open. It can be stored in the freezer for up to a year and still be safe to eat after that period. When properly kept, salted butter may last up to three weeks at room temperature.

Homemade butter: Butter prepared at home has a variable shelf life, depending on how it was created and the quality of the components. Typically, handmade butter may be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or frozen for up to nine months.

How to tell if butter has gone bad?

Butter isn’t a misleading food, which is a good thing. Anyone who has gotten a smell of rotten butter knows not to consume the stuff. Watch out for these additional warning symptoms to see whether your butter has gone rancid. Butter should be thrown away as soon as it becomes sour.

Butter that has gone rancid will become paler in color, so keep an eye out for that. If you are doubtful, cut a tiny slice; if the interior is lighter than the exterior, it indicates that your butter has begun to oxidize and become rancid. Throw away any further discoloration or growth if you see it.

If your sight can’t tell you that your butter is spoiled, your nose will! Having even a little amount of rancidity in your butter produces an awful odor, which might be cheesy or simply quite foul.

What happens if you consume expired butter?

Your butter is OK if it still smells, tastes, and looks good. The texture and color of butter that is still excellent may alter after it has been used for a long period. Butter may become less creamy if it has been frozen for a lengthy period.

Even if you accidentally eat rotten butter, you’re unlikely to get ill – unless you’ve ignored the stomach-turning stench and swallowed excessive quantities, which might induce an upset stomach. 

How to properly store butter?

Heat, air, and sunshine are the major risks to the freshness of your butter. To oxidase and get rancid, butter must be exposed to the air.

Challenge and Land O Lakes, as well as the USDA, urge that butter be refrigerated. Although it has a longer shelf life and better taste, refrigerated butter is harder to spread. As the temperature rises over 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the butter begins to melt. Butter might take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to soften to the point where it can be used.

Butter storage on the counter

Butter is often kept at room temperature to make it more readily available when needed. Make sure that your butter is covered if you decide to keep it out of the fridge. It will swiftly explode if exposed to the elements.

Butter does not react well to light. A butter dish is all you need to keep your butter safe from the dangers of exposure to the elements. Covering the butter helps prevent the spread of odors and tastes from other meals. Using garlic-infused butter to sauté mushrooms may be enjoyable, but it’ll be a shock to your pancakes.

Consider purchasing a European-style butter crock if you’re worried about the safety of butter on your counter. Keeping it in a crock is the best method to ensure that your daily supply of butter is flavorful and easy to spread.

Just a little water is all that’s needed to keep your butter cold, dark, and ready to use whenever you need it. How long can you keep butter out? Butter may be stored on the counter at room temperature for up to two weeks if the temperature in your home is not constantly over 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

To prevent wasting food, just take the amount of food from the refrigerator or freezer that you want to utilize within that time frame.

Butter storage in Fridge

For maximum shelf life, keep your butter in the refrigerator at 40F or below. Even if it’s well wrapped, it still has to be protected against contamination. What happens to butter in the fridge? 

Even after a few months in the fridge, your butter may still be unsafe to eat. Butter is best stored near the back of the top shelf. Refrigerator door temperature variations will affect the life of the product even in the case of a specially designated compartment.

Butter storage in freezer

Bulk butter may be securely kept in the freezer for long periods as long as the container or bag is well wrapped and properly sealed. When it comes to butter, how long can you keep it frozen? But we suggest utilizing it within nine to twelve months for the greatest quality.

Other FAQs about Butter that you may be interested in.

What Can You Substitute For Butter?

Substitute butter for vegetable oil in cake mix

Substitute butter for margarine in cookies


In this brief guide, we answered the query, ‘How long does butter last in the fridge?’ and discussed how to properly store butter?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.