ironchef said:Unsalted butter will give you a better overall flavor, especially when finishing off a sauce. Keep in mind that they do not use a high quality salt in salted butter, so the flavor tends to have that bite that regular table salt can sometimes have.
For those who haven't already done so, I highly recommend switching to Kosher salt for your everyday use. The flavor is much more pure than regular table salt, and brings out more flavor in foods.
GB said:If you are baking than it might make a difference. If you are just cooking then they are pretty much interchangeable. Salted butter is usually a lower quality butter. The salt acts as a preservative so the manufacturer can use a lower quality butter and it will last just as long as a higher quality unsalted butter. Other than quality and obviously salt, they are the same thing.
Caine said:FYI, if you take a look at the list of ingredients, and quantities, on a package of butter, then do the calculations, you will realize that one stick (1/4 pound) of butter has approximately 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Do you really think you are going to taste the difference, either in the butter itself or in whatever recipe you use the butter in?