Butter

Is it salted or unsalted butter or it doesn't really matter? I'm not a seasoned cook and it drives me nuts when a recipe does not state this.

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7 Comments

BerryBaby May 7, 2019
Personally, I use salted all the time. I've tried unsalted but find my recipes taste richer it's salted. Growing up cookbooks stated 'butter' we had no choice it was butter and salted. With newer recipes, if it says unsalted butter and add salt, I use salted butter and half the salt measurement. Works well for me. BB🌻
 
Maria I. May 14, 2019
Thank you!
 
BakerRB May 7, 2019
Happygoin's answer is a good one - you can add salt at the end but can't remove it (no matter what tips are floating around about doing that - you can mitigate but not really fix it), but I'll add my 2cents too. I'd say in this recipe it doesn't matter which you use unless you're salt sensitive or averse. A stick/8Tb/4oz of standard American butter will have a pinch to ~1/4 tsp salt, so there won't be much in 2Tb. Generally if "salt to taste" is at the end the recipe, especially if there's no defined amount within the recipe, you can safely use whatever you have on hand. I'll also add that it's only over the last ~20 years that more and more recipes specify "unsalted" butter. It just wasn't commonly stated before then, and I'd say salted butter would have been the American recipe norm. Honestly, it rarely matters much. I know "salt to taste" is annoying when you're starting out - it would be nice to know whether to expect a sprinkle or a teaspoon. Eventually it gets easier. For savory cooking like this broth is a much bigger player than the butter and you're best off buying low/no sodium and adding salt if desired. I'd say low-sodium is the safest bet when starting out. Being too sparing with salt (if not avoiding it) leads to flat tasting food so mid-range is a good way to start and get good results. When you do salt at the end give it a stir and a little time to let it dissolve in before tasting again. And on a semi-related tangent, if you make salad dressing salt will dissolve better if you whisk it into the vinegar before adding oil. Have fun cooking and don't worry too much. Food is a matter of taste so even "the best" recipe isn't perfect for everyone and you'll figure out what's best for you.
 
Maria I. May 14, 2019
Thanks so much for your great input.
 
Happygoin May 6, 2019
You’re welcome. Good luck!
 
Happygoin May 6, 2019
It depends on whether your chicken stock is salted or unsalted. If it’s unsalted, you can use salted butter. If your stock is salted, you may want to use unsalted butter. This, of course, is to avoid an overly salty finished dish.

You can always add salt, but if you use both salted stock and salted butter, your finished dish maybe too salty, and there will be nothing you can do at that point.

 
Maria I. May 6, 2019
Thanks so much!
 
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