When it comes to how you should store your butter, people fall into one of two camps: those who swear by keeping it safely in the fridge, and those who prefer to leave it on the countertop. Depending on your family’s tradition, you probably swing in one direction or the other, not unlike your preference on how you cook your steak and how you store your fruit. But should you refrigerate your butter? The answer is: only if you want to. That said, there are a couple of hard-and-fast rules you should abide by when storing your spread.

Put Unsalted Butter in the Fridge

Because of its sodium content, salted butter will keep at room temperature for a lot longer than unsalted varieties. If you like your butter sans salt, place it in the fridge.

Keep it below 70

If you do decide to leave your butter on the counter, maintain a room temp below 70 degrees. If you’re one of those types who doesn’t like to blast the A/C during the summertime, it’s smart to move your butter into the fridge.

Use a Butter Dish

If you’re storing your butter at room temperature, always, always, ALWAYS keep your butter contained within a butter dish, preferably an airtight container, to prevent exposure to bacteria.

The Two-Week Rule

If you have the right conditions met (your butter is salted and your air temperature is moderately cool), go ahead and keep your butter in a butter dish on your counter. But don’t delay in using it up. In these conditions, butter will keep for roughly two weeks.

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