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Old 10-12-2008, 02:32 PM   #1
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Butter - salted or unsalted

When recipes call for unsalted butter am I making a big mistake by using salted instead of unsalted?

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Old 10-12-2008, 02:46 PM   #2
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No. I don't think so, other do.

Many older recipes, such as your mom's or grandmother's, were written with regular salted butter in mind. The amount of salt is not major. If you are concerned, cut back on any salt called for in the recipe.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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what are you making?

in baking when it calls for unslated you should use unslated becuase it contains more fat since its not replaced by salt like with salted butter.

I have never had a problem when baking with it being too salty i just cut back on the salt being added in the recipe.
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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I agree with Andy M. Salt was added to butter as a preservative back in the days when refrigeration (both in transport and on the store shelves, as well as at home) was not what it is today.

You'll have to look at the nutrition info on the butter you use to figure out "exactly" what your butter has, but generally - 1 lb of butter only has 1-1.5 teaspoons of table salt.

Now, as far as the salt content making any significant impact on the amount of the total fat in the butter ... I doubt that is as much of a factor as the water content - which by law can not exceed 18% - 20% (I forgot which) but some higher quality butters are as low as 10%-12% water.

I used to do this juggling act keeping salted and unsalted for different uses ... I don't any more. I have not found that there is any difference in things I make at home - except that unsalted butter is really bland on toast, biscuits or cornbread.
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:15 PM   #5
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The TV chefs say to use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt in your recipe. That's what I do. Just passing along some info
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:51 PM   #6
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thanks everyone. I was mostly worried about the salt content of the butter adversely affecting the baked goods. so now I'll just cut back on the salt in the recipe.

thanks again,
Rich
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:54 PM   #7
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Never ever been happy with results when I use unsalted butter.... even if there's salt in the recipe.
If I use salted where it calls for unsalted.... I generally leave the added salt in a recipe the same.
Of course I think my tastebuds are half dead sometimes......
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:09 PM   #8
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I prefer salted butter have never noticed a big difference.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:27 PM   #9
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Glad to know that I'm not messing things up. Never paid that much attention until I noticed that a lot of the cooking shows refer to it specifically.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:29 PM   #10
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If you have been using salted in recipes that call for unsalted and have not noticed a difference then you are not messing anything up. If it works for you (whatever it is) then you are doing it right.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:34 PM   #11
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I keep both around and find the tastes quite different. Unsalted is sweet butter.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410 View Post
I keep both around and find the tastes quite different. Unsalted is sweet butter.
Most butter sold in the US is sweet butter, both salted and unsalted. It's made from sweet cream or sweet cream and salt. Sweet in this context means not fermented.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:30 PM   #13
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I think it is mostly a matter of taste in this case. I don't much like salt, so I will use unsalted butter. If I have to use salted butter, I will cut down on the amount I use. But that is just my personal taste. The wife, she will use salted butter and also add in the amount of salt it calls for. Heck, sometimes I think she adds just a little extra for good measure, LOL.
I just have never been a big fan of salt, but I can't remember my omitting it or cutting down on the amount used ever ruining a recipe.
And Andy is right, most butter here is sweet butter. European butter is very different, we had that discussion in a prior thread but I can't find the link right now.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:17 AM   #14
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Being on a budget I can't justify having two different types of butter in my fridge. I use only salted because I also like butter on my toast and that needs salted butter in my taste bud's opinion.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Callisto in NC View Post
Being on a budget I can't justify having two different types of butter in my fridge. I use only salted because I also like butter on my toast and that needs salted butter in my taste bud's opinion.

Ditto!
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:59 AM   #16
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In my experience, I concur with the TV chefs. Each has its time and place. I tend to used unsalted more because I want control of how much salt is used. DW is not a big fan of a lot of salt, and I have a few recipes that if I make it with salted butter it is too salty for her, but unsalted is fine. And no, there is no additional salt added in the recipe.

I'm not a baker, but in the rare instance I do I use unsalted. Otherwise with general cooking, once I've tried both I stick (pun not intended) with what tastes better. If cooking for others, I go with their preference.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOpig View Post
When recipes call for unsalted butter am I making a big mistake by using salted instead of unsalted?
Imho yes, because you cannot be sure how much salt is in the salted butter, and so may have trouble adjusting the salt requirement for the recipe.

I always call for UNsalted butter in the recipes I write, and to use salted butter would result in a dish that's too salty." Important since so many folks are watching their salt intake these days.

The only time I ever use salted butter is if I am serving bread and butter at table. Then I want a really top-quality salted butter. Yum.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:49 AM   #18
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I should clarify. If I had unlimited buckets of cash for my food budget, I'd definitely buy both but I can't justify it at this point in my finances.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:24 PM   #19
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i use both salted and unsalted butter from smith creamery (louisiana).

they sell it fresh at the farmer's market on saturday mornings downtown in the art district in new orleans.

their butter is super duper good.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:31 PM   #20
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You could always buy unsalted butter, then take two sticks and put them away, then take the other two sticks, melt em down, add some salt, then let them solidify back up. Then for the price of one you would have both...
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