How to Thaw Frozen Butter

You’ve got a freezer full of butter (or clarified butter) after an amazing sale. You pull some out to use for breakfast, but it’s frozen solid. Rather than throw your hands up and look for something else, here are some ideas.

There are multiple ways to thaw frozen butter if you find yourself in a jam. You can microwave it, make a double boiler, cut it into small pieces, grate it, or use an empty glass. In addition, you can use your refrigerator, countertop, or water.

Some of these solutions for thawing frozen butter are somewhat riskier than others. It’s important not to melt your butter, just thaw it. Let’s start with the most perilous.

Ways to Thaw Frozen Butter

Microwave It

Putting your frozen butter in the microwave is both the easiest and quickest way to thaw it. However, it’s also the easiest way to melt your butter, not thaw it.

If you are in a time crunch and chose this risky method follow the instructions below:

  • Place butter on a microwavable bowl 
  • Cut your butter in half 
  • Microwave your butter for ten seconds 
  • Turn butter one quarter 
  • Continue turning butter every ten seconds
  • Remove from microwave as soon as the butter is soft

It is very easy for your butter to go from perfectly soft, to a butter puddle in a matter of seconds. Keep a close watch on it.

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Make a Double Boiler

Making a double boiler for your butter is similar to microwaving it. There is still a risk of melting but a double boiler works more slowly.

However, it is an easy method. So if you have a little extra time, but not much, try the double boiler method below:

  • Put two cups of water into a saucepan
  • Bring to a boil
  • Remove from heat
  • Place a glass bowl over the water
  • Put the butter inside the bowl and allow the steam from the pot to thaw the butter

Again, similar to the microwave method, you need to keep an eye on your butter. It’s easy to go from thawed, to softened, to melted.

Cut it into Small Pieces

A slightly less risky option to thaw your frozen butter is to cut it into smaller pieces. Try to cut the butter into the smallest possible pieces.

Cutting frozen butter can be tricky. A good idea is to keep some hot water nearby to dip your knife into. 

Once your butter is cut into small pieces, it has more surface area. This will help it heat up to room temperature faster. 

Grate It

One of the best ways to thaw frozen butter is to grate it with a microplane. A microplane is just a fancy way of saying cheese grater. 

This works the same way as cutting it into smaller pieces but is much easier. By grating the butter, you get even more surface area than you do by cutting it. 

Unlike cutting the butter, once the butter is grated you can use it immediately in your dishes.

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Use an Empty Glass Bowl

Using an empty glass bowl to thaw your butter is even easier than putting it in the microwave. However, it is also much slower.

For this method, put your frozen butter on a plate or countertop. Then fill a glass bowl with hot water, let it sit for a minute, and dump it out.

Take the hot bowl and place it upside down over the frozen butter. This works more slowly than the other methods. However, you don’t need to worry about ending up with melted butter. 

If you find your butter isn’t as soft as you want it to be, you can always reheat your bowl and start again.

Submerge in Water

This doesn’t sound very appealing, but it’s a legitimate way to quickly thaw your frozen butter. Make sure your butter is in a tightly sealed plastic bag and submerge in cool or lukewarm water. 

After about 30 minutes, you’ll have thawed butter!

Defrosting Butter Times

If you have frozen butter, but are not pressed for time, here are the defrost times. You can choose either in the refrigerator or on the counter at room temperature.

In the Refrigerator

If you had the foresight to remember you needed butter the day before, you can put it into the fridge overnight. Butter takes about 6-7 hours to thaw in the refrigerator. Let it rest in the refrigerator while you’re resting in bed.

When you wake up in the morning the butter will have thawed but will still be hard. Make sure to take it out of the refrigerator a few minutes before using.

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On the Counter

If you want to thaw your butter on the counter it will take about 3-4 hours. One of the benefits is that, unlike thawing in the refrigerator, it will be soft when ready.

When you’re making a late breakfast or early lunch, thawing frozen butter on the counter works great.

To Sum Up

Frozen butter can ruin your day, but don’t let it. There are many methods for thawing frozen butter. 

Whether you have less than a minute or an entire night, there is a method out there for you!