How Much Salt to Add to Unsalted Butter? Answer Explained

You’ve just realized that your recipe is calling for salted butter and all you have in the fridge is unsalted butter! Don’t worry, you can fix this.

 Maybe it’s for baking, or maybe you’re just curious about how much salt to add. Either way, we’ve got answers for you. Let’s get into all of the questions surrounding salted butter and whether or not it’s worth making your own instead of buying from the store.

You’ll add a ½ teaspoon of salt for every cup of unsalted butter.

Can I Add Salt to Unsalted Butter?

No need to go find a substitute for salted butter, just add some salt. 

Yes, you can add salt if your recipe calls for salted butter. 

Actually, you should add salt if the recipe asks for salted butter. The rest of the ingredients were adjusted to account for the salt in the butter. The flavor profile will not be the same if you don’t add in that salt to the butter. 

Which Salt Should I Use When Salting Unsalted Butter?

Non-iodized Table salt: This is the kind of salt you probably have in your kitchen. It’s cheap and easy to find, but it has a very strong flavor that can overpower your food if you use too much of it. Fine grained salt works the best as it dissolves better

The grains of salt in kosher salt and sea salt will add a certain crunch to your butter as it won’t incorporate the best. Your best options are table salt (no iodine), Himalayan salt, or fine sea salt. 

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How Much Salt Do You Add to Unsalted Butter?

While how much salt is in your salted butter can vary from brand to brand (there aren’t any hard and fast rules) there are some basic standards.

Here’s a handy chart to figure out how much salt you’re going to want to add:

Required Salted ButterHow Much Salt to Add
2 tablespoons1/16 teaspoon
4 tablespoons⅛ teaspoon
½ cup (1 stick)¼ teaspoon
1 cup½ teaspoon

How to Add Salt to Unsalted Butter

Once you figure out how much salt to add follow these steps:

Step 1

Let the butter you’re going to use soften or melt. Don’t melt it if your recipe doesn’t call for melted butter. Room temperature is usually achieved in 15 to 30 minutes depending on the amount of butter. 

Try cutting it into cubes to help speed up the process. 

Step 2

Mix in the required amount of salt. You’ll need to mix thoroughly to make sure you get an even distribution. Cold butter may end up with an odd consistency as the salt has difficulty absorbing. This isn’t usually an issue in most cases. 

Mash the butter and the salt together with a fork for the best results. 

Step 3

If your recipe calls for melted butter, it’s a much easier process. Melt the butter and stir in the necessary salt. 


Now that you know how to add salt to unsalted butter, it’s time to get cooking! 

Remember that too much salt can ruin the taste of any dish so keep an eye on how much salt is being added throughout the process.

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It’s important to keep the ratios in the recipe. If the recipe doesn’t say what kind of butter, then unsalted is just fine.