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Why All Restaurants Use Unsalted Butter

Why All Restaurants Use Unsalted Butter

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Unsalted butter is the key to restaurant-quality meals


Everything tastes better with unsalted butter.

Butter is a staple in almost every professional kitchen, but whether you’re baking apple pies or stirring up roux for gumbo, unsalted butter is the way to go.

Unnecessary. Why add more salt to your day than you already add while you cook?

Control Your Seasoning. Similar to using low-sodium store-bought stock, using unsalted butter allows you complete control over the seasoning in whatever you’re cooking. If you are seasoning as you cook (if you don’t, I’m wagging my finger at you), you have no need for the extra salt in salted butter.
Salted butter does have a place in the world. It’s perfect for those times you’re cozying up on the couch with a glass (or bottle) of wine and a few slices (or whole loaf) of warm, crusty baguette, salted butter is what you’ll want to spread on it. Alternatively, lightly sprinkle delicious finishing salts like pink Himalayan or flaky fleur de sel over unsalted butter for a flavor boost.

Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal and is a firm believer that butter does truly make everything taste better. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.

Why All Restaurants Use Unsalted Butter - Recipes

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You’re on cooking duty tonight, and you have the perfect recipe to make, but there’s one problem –you only have unsalted butter. The recipe calls for salted butter. Is it time to move on to plan B? Don’t jump ship just yet, because we put together simple step-by-step instructions on how to salt unsalted butter properly.

To answer the question, yes, you can add salt to unsalted butter. But knowing how much salt to add is crucial to your dish. Follow these steps to salt the unsalted butter:

  • Bring the butter to room temperature until the butter is soft.
  • Once soft, transfer the unsalted butter into a mixing bowl.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon of salt for every stick (½ cup) of unsalted butter.
  • Mix the salt thoroughly into the unsalted butter.

If you are worried about the butter being too salty, start by adding a little less than ¼ teaspoon of salt per stick (½ cup) of unsalted butter and do a taste test. Then add more salt as needed.

It’s official dinner is saved! We asked ourselves the same question, can you salt unsalted butter? So that’s why we went the extra mile to bring you more in-depth information on the topic! Keep reading further to learn more about butter and how to use it in the kitchen.

Baking 101: Why We Use Unsalted Butter

Let’s talk about butter! It’s my go-to. It’s my boo. It’s my sweetheart.

I’m not shy about sharing my affection for butter, but you may have noticed in the recipes here that I’m very specific about how I like my butter. Sometimes melted and browned. Sometimes cold and cubed. Sometimes beaten with sugar and egg. Always though… most almost always.. UNSALTED! Yea, I get opinionated about my butter. We should talk about why.

Butter is my go-to fat in the kitchen. Olive oil is nice. Coconut oil is lovely. Butter gets the job done!

Butter is typically made from cow’s milk and consists of mostly butterfats. Low-fat buttes are suspicious, at best. Butter is generally about 80% fat, with the remaining 20% consisting of water and milk solids.

You have a choice when you go to the grocery: salted or unsalted butter. If you’re thinking about slathering your butter on a warm baguette, you’ll want to reach for the salted butter. If you’re baking a cobbler, you’ll most definitely want to reach for the unsalted butter.

Most importantly: unsalted butter ensures that you can control the amount of salt you add to your cakes, cookies and Fig and Almond Breakfast Cake. Different companies add different amounts of salt to their butter. How are we to know how salty our butter is, and how we should adjust the salt in the recipe? It’s too much of a guessing game. Removing the salt from the butter equation puts us in control of salting. Control is very important when it comes to flavor.

When a recipe calls for unsalted butter, that means that the salt levels in the recipe account for no other salt source. If all you have salted butter, try cutting the instructed salt amount in half.

Also, salt is a preservative. Salted butter has a longer shelf life than unsalted butter. That means that unsalted butter is typically fresher.

Salt can mask flavors! We may not be able to taste or smell if our butter is off because clever clever salt can mask funky taste and odors. Tricky.

Does butter really go bad? Heck yes it does! Unsalted butter lasts about 1 month in the refrigerator. Salted butter lasts for just over 3 months in the refrigerator (that’s so long, right?). If you think your butter might be off, give it a good sniff. The nose always knows. Also, slice your butter. Is the inside the same color as the outside… or is the outside a darker casing around the butter? Bad butter is two different colors.

Substituting Unsalted Butter for Salted

Discriminating bakers and chefs typically use unsalted butter in their recipes because it gives them more control over the salt content and flavor of their dishes. However, sometimes a recipe calls for salted butter, but all you have is unsalted butter. So here's a simple rule of thumb to use so you can make the recipe with unsalted butter. Just remember, for every half cup (1 stick or ¼ lb) of salted butter required, you can add ¼ teaspoon of salt to Challenge Unsalted Butter.

Regular butter contains some salt, and most recipes take this into account.

But if you only have unsalted butter when the recipe calls for regular butter, you can add a ¼ teaspoon of salt for every stick or ½ cup of Challenge Unsalted Butter required.

So Which One Should I Buy?

I would advise you to only use unsalted butter. It is healthier, as fat as butter goes because it has no salt. It has the added bonus that you can use it for any kind of baking you want. And if that is something you do often, then you will thank me for it.

Remember as well that you can always add salt, but you cannot easily take it away from salted butter. This fact makes unsalted butter more versatile. In my respect, I never buy salted butter. I do not use a lot of butter, to begin with so having two different kinds just does not make any sense! And I bake so much that I prefer to just store the unsalted kind.

What do you have in your fridge? Do you but salted butter regularly? Tell us in the comments below!

Salted vs. Unsalted Butter for Frosting

Butter is a key ingredient for most types of frosting especially the classic: buttercream (it's right there in the name). Salted and unsalted butter both work for homemade frosting--but there are pros and cons to each.

Salted butter generally tastes better when served plain or used in simple recipes, but it's not always the best choice for frosting. The main disadvantage of making frosting with salted butter is that there's no concrete way to determine how much salt is in the butter. Different companies add different amounts, and per tablespoon, you could be adding as little as 45 milligrams of salt or as much as 115 milligrams of salt to your frosting. Bottom line: if you use salted butter for buttercream or another type of cake frosting, your end product may turn out tasting much saltier than you'd like.

One advantage of salted butter is that it lasts longer than unsalted, since the added salt acts as a preservative. So, if you use butter sparingly, salted may be the best choice. Keep in mind, the shelf life of salted butter can also be a downside, since the salt can actually mask smells/flavors of rancidity.

Most cake recipes call specifically for unsalted butter because this option allows for complete control over how much salt you add to the recipe. If a frosting recipe does not specify what type of butter to use, go with unsalted as the default.

If using the fresh ingredients is important to you, unsalted butter is also preferable because it doesn't have the added preservative of salt and it's typically more fresh. That does mean, however, that the shelf life will not be as long.

In a small survey conducted by "Good Housekeeping" magazine in 2013, most testers preferred the taste of cake and frosting made with unsalted butter and a recipe's prescribed amount of added salt. Testers rated both frosting made with salted butter and no added salt, as well as cake and frosting made with salted butter plus the recipe's added salt lower in comparison to cakes made with unsalted butter. For a list of the healthiest types of salt to use--go here.

If you don't typically buy unsalted butter, you can substitute salted butter in any cake frosting recipe. The sugar in the frosting will help cut the salty taste, but your frosting may still contain slight notes of salt. Both types of butter will create the same thick, creamy texture in a frosting.

Whipped butter, which is sold in containers rather than sticks, undergoes a commercial process which, quite literally, whips in a bunch of air to make it softer. This type of butter is spreadable when cold, so it's a nice butter to have on hand if you eat a lot of toast and don't have a lot of patience.

It's also less caloric. According to Gordon, there are fewer calories per tablespoon (not by weight) in whipper butter due to its airy nature.

"You can make your own whipped butter if you soften butter and put it in a mixer and whip air into it. And you can also flavor it that way with maple syrup, honey or some berries to make a nice brunch spread," Gordon said.

Ghee, a clarified butter that's lactose-free, has skyrocketed in popularity, thanks in large part to higher-fat diet plans, like keto, and lactose-free lifestyles, like paleo. Ghee works as a substitute for regular butter in a lot of recipes. Clarified butter is butter made from grass-fed cows. When it's heated, the milk solids are removed, leaving behind a lactose-free product with a similarly rich, yet slightly nutty flavor.


Food Thanks to the popular keto diet, this unique butter is a booming business

Ghee can be used in the same way you'd use butter, especially for stovetop cooking, or most types of oil. You can warm it in a pan and use it to sauté your favorite vegetables. You can also melt it down and use it for baking to replace the same amount of melted butter or oil. The smoke point of ghee is also higher than butter (about 465 degrees versus 350 degrees for traditional butter), so it works well when making dishes like grilled cheese or French toast, or any other dish where you don't an unwanted smoky flavor in the final product.

When To Use Salted Or Unsalted Butter For Baking, Cooking & Serving

When you purchase butter at the store there are two choices, salted or unsalted butter. Here's easy tips to know when to use each of these two kinds so you know which to buy, or how to use the one you've got on hand.

Holiday baking time is upon us, and with all that kitchen activity comes the consumption of lots of butter. Yum, butter.

You do use actual real butter, don't you, rather than margarine? If not, I would suggest you give the real stuff a try. It tastes so much better than the fake stuff.

But inevitably you'll run across a recipe while baking that calls for "unsalted butter." Here's a quick run down of what they're asking you to use, why, and when you should use the salted or unsalted varieties of this kitchen staple, not just for baking but in day to day cooking and life.

What's The Difference Between Salted & Unsalted Butter?

The difference between these two types of butter is, you guessed it, salt. The unsalted butter does not have salt added, while the salted variety does.

So why do they provide both choices? Salt is a preservative and so technically salted butter lasts longer than the unsalted variety. Historically that made a difference, and although we now have modern refrigeration even during travel to the store, they still make both varieties because people got used to cooking with one or the other depending on what they were using it for.

What To Do When Baking

While the difference between the two types of butter is salt, the exact amount of salt varies. In fact, the amount of salt in salted butter can vary between brands, but also between batches from the same brand, making it difficult to quantify how much salt you're adding to a recipe, along with the butter, when you add salted butter.

Baking, as you know, is a much more precise form of cooking than some others. You can't really just throw in ingredients and it all work out, you've got to measure, and so as you do your baking this holiday season that is why you'll run across recipes that specify unsalted butter -- because they want to be precise.

That is also why you'll see recipes that specify unsalted butter, and then add as a separate ingredient salt. It isn't that salt is bad, or that the recipe doesn't make sense. It is that they want a specific amount of salt, and not more or less than that amount.

So what should you do when you come across a baking recipe that calls for unsalted butter, but you only have salted in your refrigerator? Don't despair. It won't be precise, but add the salted butter and then cut the amount of salt called for in the recipe by half. It will cut the salt enough that you probably won't notice much, if any, taste difference in the recipe.

What To Use When Cooking

When you're doing other types of cooking with butter, beside baking, such as sauteeing vegetables for example, the type of butter you choose is really up to you. Keep in mind that if you add salted butter to your pan you should go a little lighter on your salt seasoning since you added some salt already along with the butter.

Salt in general can heighten flavors in food, which is why many people do prefer to cook with salted butter. All things being equal, the food will taste better cooked in salted butter rather than unsalted butter, if you don't add any additional salt.

What Type Of Butter To Serve On The Dinner Table

If you've ever spread unsalted butter on a piece of bread you might have been a bit disappointed with the taste. Instead of tasting that "buttery" taste you expected and craved, it probably tasted a bit creamy and sweet, but not exactly right. That's because there was no salt in the butter to enhance its taste in the way you expected.

If you're putting butter on the dinner table for people to use for spreading on bread, for example, you want to use salted butter. The salt actually enhances the flavor.

If you've only got unsalted butter on hand you can add a sprinkle of salt onto your bread and it will do the job of the salt you're missing in the butter itself.

What kind of butter do you normally purchase and use? Salted or unsalted? Or do you buy both to keep on hand? Tell me below in the comments.

In addition, if you cook or bake with butter regularly, or eat it with meals, you're going to eventually get some butter stains or splatters on clothing and other items around your home. Here is my butter stain removal guide, on the sister site, Stain Removal 101, to help you remove these messes.

Salted Butter vs Unsalted Butter in Baking

Here’s a common question in the kitchen. What’s the deal with salted and unsalted butter in baking? Does it really make a difference? Or is the recipe just being annoyingly picky? Ugh, baking.

Butter is our best friend in the kitchen, especially when it comes to pie crusts and cookies and cakes and cupcakes and poundcake and oh yeah, every other thing we have ever baked! Butter’s so common in our recipes that we often take this simple ingredient for granted. But the truth is that butter is just as fussy as the next baking ingredient. If your butter is too warm, forget about creaming it and your “fluffy cake” will end up dense, lifeless, and flat. Too cold and you’ll wind up with harsh chunks of butter in your otherwise pristine cake batter. Not only with regards to temperature, butter is a massive question mark when it comes to salt content. And that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss today.

It’s quite ironic that a recipe can call for both unsalted (sweet) butter and salt. Why not just use salted butter? 2 or 3 reasons, actually.

1. The amount of salt in salted butter varies between brands.

You know baking is all about science, but it’s all about control as well. When you use unsalted butter in a recipe, you can control the exact amount of salt in your baked good. When you use salted butter, you have no idea how much salt you’re using because it varies between each brand you see at the store. Chowhound tells us the exact amount of salt in popular brands and some are double the amount of others! It would take quite a lot of salted butter to really produce a huge taste difference in baked goods, but it’s still good to be able to fully control the amount of salt.

2. Unsalted butter is fresher.

Salt is a preservative and therefore, salted butter has a longer shelf life than unsalted butter. We’re talking 3-4 months of shelf time. This doesn’t necessarily mean that salted butter has been on the shelf longer it simply has a longer shelf life. For the freshest butter, reach for the unsalted variety. (Or heck! Make your own!) However, some brands add “natural flavor” to unsalted butter, which extends its shelf life (not quite as long as salt). This is usually lactic acid, which also helps regulate its pH.

How to Substitute Salted Butter and Unsalted Butter

It’s best to use the type of butter called for in a recipe. But here’s a general rule: reduce or add 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 1/2 cup (1/4 lb 115g 1 stick) of butter.

Explained: If you come across a recipe that calls for salted butter and all you have is unsalted butter, use unsalted butter and increase the salt in the recipe by 1/4 teaspoon for every 1/2 cup of butter. So if a recipe calls for 1 cup of salted butter and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, you will use 1 cup of unsalted butter and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. And if you come across a recipe that calls for unsalted butter and all you have is salted butter, simply decrease the salt in the recipe by the same ratio above– 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 1/2 cup of butter. If you’re making a recipe that calls for 1/2 cup of unsalted butter and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, you can use 1/2 cup of salted butter and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Get it?

Salted or Unsalted? When to Use the Right Butter

Chefs, cookbook authors, Instagram baking influencers, even our Test Kitchen Professionals are always espousing the necessity of unsalted butter. It gives you more control over the flavor profile, they say. You don&apost want to add extra salt, they preach. But then why does salted butter even exist, you wonder to yourself in the dairy aisle.

We get it. That&aposs why we&aposre here to break down this butter bifurcation.

It all comes down to what you&aposre cooking. If you&aposre sauteing vegetables, toasting bread, basting pork chops, scrambling eggs, or making a sauce, chances are you can use salted butter and that added sodium will also add some flavor enhancement to whatever you&aposre making. Another fun fact about salted butter: it typically lasts three to four months longer than unsalted butter because the salt acts as a preservative.

But if you&aposre baking, unsalted butter is the best way to go since added salt can alter the chemistry of your recipes, clash with more delicate flavors, or crash into sweetness. But if you only have salted butter on hand, don&apost completely give up. If you&aposre making something like cookies or a piecrust, chances are it won&apost wildly affect the taste, but if you&aposre worried you can always reduce the amount of salt the recipe calls for a little bit to compensate.

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In either case, make sure whatever butter you&aposre using is fresh. Sometimes salt can mask an off taste in butter, but will come out in the finished product.

Watch the video: Απαγορευμένες τροφές;. Η Ορθομοριακή Διατροφή σας προτείνει τα υποκατάστατά τους. (July 2022).


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