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Old 04-09-2007, 10:19 AM   #1
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Salted butter vs Unsalted ?

What's the difference, besides the obvious one?
Is one better for buttering bread, melting and dipping (as in clams, crab legs...), cooking with in a pan, baking, different smoke point??? Can one add salt to unsalted butter once it's melted and you have the same thing as salted butter?

The reason I'm asking is because I thought they were having a sale on salted butter, what I call regular butter, but it was on unsalted, so I bought a couple bricks anyway.

Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:22 AM   #2
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I use salted butter for everything, just like it better.
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:26 AM   #3
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I use unsalted butter when I do use it. When I took cooking classes they told us to always use unsalted butter.

I got this from the foodnetwork.com

Q: What's the deal with salted and unsalted butter?

A: Butter comes two ways: salted and unsalted. Salt is added to butter for flavor and as a preservative so it will have a longer shelf life. Salt, however, can sometimes overpower the sweet flavor of the butter and can also mask odors. Additionally, the amount of salt added to salted butter varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it's hard to know how much extra salt you're adding to a recipe. Using unsalted butter allows the chef to control the amount of salt in a recipe.


If you have no choice but to use salted butter in a recipe, the rule of thumb is to omit about 1/4 teaspoon salt per 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter.
Unsalted butter has a short shelf life because it contains no preservatives. If you buy unsalted butter and do not use it right away, it is best to freeze it. If properly wrapped so it won't pick up any odors, butter can be frozen for around six months. Just remember to defrost the butter overnight in the refrigerator before using it
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:37 AM   #4
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I use unsalted most of the time for cooking and baking. But occasionally I enjoy smearing salted butter on my toast. I tried using unsalted for this purpose and sprinkle salt on top, but it is rather difficult to get just the right saltiness this way.
However I read somewhere that often butter with inferior quality is salted to disguise the flavour/texture.
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:20 AM   #5
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99% of the time I use unsalted, but I do keep a cube of salted butter in the freezer for guests who like to butter their breads. But I would never cook/bake with it.
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:20 AM   #6
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I'm one who believes that for the majority of applications, there is absolutely no difference. Our parents and their parents created some great meals and baked goods using only salted butter.

As far as needing to preserve the butter, I don't think butter is around long enough for it to go bad, salted or not.

99.99% of recipes that call for butter also call for salt. No one cooks without tasting so youget to make the final adjustment for salt in any dish before it's served.

I use both but mostly salted, saving the unsalted for baking and clarifying.
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb L.
I use salted butter for everything, just like it better.
Lol, Barb. I use unsalted butter for everything, just like it better.
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:34 AM   #8
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I like the unsalted...try dipping lobster into melted unsalted butter...very different. I like it better on baked goods etc. (and frankly my parents grew up with unsalted butter as they churned their own)
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410
... (and frankly my parents grew up with unsalted butter as they churned their own)
Now that's fresh butter. Must have been delicious!
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:46 AM   #10
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If I'm baking a lot I by butter quite a few, say half dozen packs, at a time and freeze them....I go for salted because of keeping qualities and then just don't add a pinch of salt to my cakes/whatever...

Fresh, good quality unsalted butter is a delight, but I don't tend to buy it if its destined for the freezer or going to sit in the fridge for any length of time.....
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