Hard butter when you want to spread it on hot piping toast or pancakes, or even when you want to slather it on top of a roast chicken is one of life's little annoyances. It's SO wonderful to work with soft butter in the kitchen and butter keepers or butter bells make it easy. This stunning one up top is Melissa Clark's own and solid marble. A French invention when refrigeration didn't exist, head below for my top picks as well as an explanation of the simple science behind it.
The French Butter Dish
Originally a French invention before refrigeration allowed for the keeping of butter too long, the "keeper" preserves butter by keeping it airtight: "A French butter dish is a container used to maintain the freshness and spreadable consistency of butter without refrigeration. This late 19th century French-designed pottery crock has two parts: a base that holds water, and a cup to hold the packed butter which also serves as a lid. The cup containing butter is placed into the base, where water creates an airtight seal that keeps the air (and thus oxygen) away from the butter so that refrigeration is not needed, and the butter can be used in its soft form. This method will keep butter for around a month provided it is kept at temperatures below 80 °F (27 °C) and the water is changed regularly." More via Wikipedia
Top Butter Keepers
- BIA Cordon Bleu Butter Keeper - $19.97
My home favorite due to it's slender, curving bottom half, this one is from Cordon Bleu and made of porcelain. This is my own picture. :)
For those with a more crunchy, organic aesthetic, this is a beautiful, handmade butter keeper by Lee Daniels.
- Emile Henry Butter Pot - $26.99
A totally different interpretation of the "bell" concept, this one by Emile Henry is more closed but takes a whole stick of butter as well. Many colos here. "Made in Marcigny France since 1850, Emile Henry's Ceradon is an exclusive process to produce strong and durable ceramic bakeware and tableware for everyday use."
I hadn't seen any with great designs before I saw this one. From Ceramika Artystyczna, this is for those who are sick of white in their kitchen and want some handmade pattern and color.
For those modernists out there, this seems to keep a lot more butter than the ceramic versions AND allows you to see the state of your water, which should be changed often.
Re-edited from a post originally published 2.10.15-NT