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Salted or Unsalted Butter

Growing up I recall we only had one choice for butter and that was salted. All my old cookbooks only state 'butter' to be used in recipes. Can I substitute unsalted and add more salt to the recipe?

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

asked about 1 year ago
8 answers 472 views
F92231df 227e 4486 9cc8 279621ca1481  harvest party
added about 1 year ago

Yes you can. The amount of additional salt to add would be miniscule.

D0abaf68 a3aa 4105 a15a 732c3fd0d9ee  186158
added about 1 year ago

That's often what I do! I'd say that most recipes now assume unsalted (and list a quantity of salt in the ingredient list). If it does list salt, you probably don't need to add more; if it doesn't, add to taste. (I just add a fat pinch.)

79ca7fa3 11e3 4829 beae d200649eab49  walken the walk

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 1 year ago

And using unsalted butter gives you more control over the total salt content as well as flavor of whatever you are making.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added about 1 year ago

I always use sweet butter, no matter what the recipe specifies. Look for a sweet, cultured butter, which has an excellent flavor. Don't add more salt--it shouldn't make any difference in the recipe.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added about 1 year ago

I wouldn't worry about it, the recipe was most likely over salted to begin with. It used to have a bit less moisture than salted, but I don't think that's true anymore. Up until 15-20 years ago it was mostly a specialty item, and was generally kept frozen. I don't know if they changed it or just found that refrigeration was adequate, but it's quite common now; it's pretty much the default baking butter now.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 1 year ago

salt is usually used as a preservative in butter so i only buy unsalted. i store the excess in the freezer until ready to use. i don't use a lot of salt in my cooking and like to control the amount, especially if i use something like pickles or olives or some such ingredient in cooking which would make the salt in butter redundant. i find that when we buy it by mistake, even a buttered piece of bread is strangely too salty. and really, i'm not anti salt.

4a133dad 72d1 43e3 84bb a8b5e6921f22  jesse avatar
added about 1 year ago

Absolutely. I would go with the unsalted and not add more salt right away if salt can be added later. I always test for salt before plating. Only time I use salted butter is to accompany bread.

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amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 year ago

For me, unsalted butter has been the norm for decades - even as a kid, baseline butter was unsalted. Nowadays, I sometimes get really good salted butter for bread, but beyond that I generally assume unsalted for cooking, as Caroline said.

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