New recipes

What's the Difference Between Salted and Unsalted Butter?

What's the Difference Between Salted and Unsalted Butter?


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Knowing how to tell these two types of butter apart can make or break your recipe—or your diet.

Whether you're baking banana-nut muffins or making caramelized onions on the stovetop, butter is an essential ingredient in so many recipes. (It also happens to be absolutely delicious!) However, you've probably noticed more than one type of butter at the grocery store, namely salted and unsalted butter. But does the type of butter you use in recipes actually matter? And is one healthier than the other? Let's take a closer look at the nutrition and best uses for salted and unsalted butter so you can decide which one is right for your needs.

Salted Butter vs Unsalted Butter

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and tasty, healthy recipes.

Salted butter is simply butter that contains added salt. In addition to giving a saltier taste, the salt actually acts as a preservative and prolongs the shelf life of the butter. Salted butter is perfect for spreading over crusty bread or melting over homemade pancakes or waffles.

Unsalted butter contains no added salt. Think of it as butter in its purest form. As a result, unsalted butter has a shorter shelf life than salted butter (and many cooks will also tell you that it has a fresher taste). In terms of flavor, unsalted butter has a more pronounced mellow sweetness than salted butter. It's best used in baking, or in situations where straying from exact ingredient amounts can make or break a recipe.

What is the Healthiest Butter?

To better understand the nutrition differences between salted and unsalted butter, let's take a look at how they stack up. Here is the nutrition information for a standard one tablespoon serving size of unsalted and salted butter:

Unsalted Butter

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Unsaturated Fats:
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Added sugars: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Calcium: 0% DV
  • Potassium: 0% DV

Salted Butter

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Unsaturated Fats:
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Added sugars: 0g
  • Sodium: 90mg
  • Calcium: 0% DV
  • Potassium: 0% DV

Source: USDA

The difference between salted and unsalted butter is simple: about 90 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon. Other than that, these two butters are largely the exact same from a nutrition standpoint.

If you're watching your sodium intake, we reccomend using unsalted butter because it gives you complete control over the amount of salt in your dish. If you want to buy unsalted butter, look for the words "sweet butter" or "unsalted" at the grocery store. The term "sweet cream butter" is used for both salted and unsalted butter, so make sure to read the package label carefully.

Can I Substitute Salted Butter for Unsalted Butter?

In many cases, the answer is yes—you can substitute the same amount of salted butter for unsalted butter in recipes for soups, stews, sauces, and roasted vegetables without too much worry. Just keep in mind that you'll increase the sodium content of the entire dish by about 90mg per tablespoon of salted butter that you use. To prevent oversalting, make sure to taste your food as you cook. But for baked goods, especially breads, which aren't as forgiving, it's best to stick to unsalted butter.


Unsalted Butter Vs. Salted Butter In Baking

Let’s talk a little Baking 101 this week! One of the biggest questions I always get asked is, which butter should I use when baking? Unsalted butter or salted butter? So let’s dive into this question and figure out which is the best to use and why!

So believe it or not I wasn’t a big baker growing up. Baking wasn’t a big thing in my family growing up. My mother and grandmother passed on skills like how to ride a horse not how to make a batch of biscuits.

But like every American kid I baked up some classic chocolate chip cookies from the back of the yellow bag. And of course one of the major ingredients chocolate chip cookies calls for is butter. Mm, butter. And butter is butter right? It’s all the same, isn’t it? I would grab whatever was in the fridge. Salted, unsalted, that tub of Country crock – I mean it says butter on the package so it must all behave the same way. Right? Wrong.

In a tub, in a stick, salted, not salted. Well turns out it’s the not the same! So I wanted to dive into the differences between these two types of butter and how to bake with them both. Ok we’re gonna dive into a little more than that, but you love nerding out on things like which butter is better for baking, right? Me too.


The Difference Between Salted and Unsalted Butter

What’s the difference between salted and unsalted butter? It’s simply – salt!These butters are almost exactly the same, with one key difference: salt. Salted butter simply has additional salt on top of the sweet creamy flavor.

Since butter is used in a wide variety of recipes, it’s important to have a basic grasp of the fundamentals. Learn how to substitute the different types of butter and which kind is generally preferred, depending on the type of recipe you’re tackling.


Homemade Recipes for Salted Butter & Unsalted Butter

How to Make Salted Butter at Home

Ingredients

½ quart heavy whipping cream, ½ tablespoon kosher salt, 1 pint ball jar with lid and ring, 1 clean glass marbles

Preparation

  • Drop a marble in a glass jar. Fill half the jar with cream and close the jar with a lid. Shake it for a while.
  • After removing the marble, whisk the contents in a bowl so that they separate into buttermilk and butter. Strain the buttermilk using a sieve. The butter will look a bit like scrambled eggs.
  • Rinse the butter in cold water so that it doesn’t go rancid. Knead well, dry the butterball, and add salt in the center. Knead until the salt mixes well with butter.

How to Make Unsalted Butter at Home

Ingredients

1 cup, 2 ⅔ teaspoons , ⅞ pinches heavy cream

Preparation

  • Pour the heavy cream in the bowl of your electric mixer, and whip the cream on high speed. Don’t stop whipping it until the fats in it separate from the liquid and stick to the whisk, for at least five minutes.
  • Next, transfer the solid fats (the butter) into a cheesecloth. Squeeze out the remaining liquid, then rinse it under cold water squeeze again.
  • Then remove the butter from the cheesecloth and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it.

What Is Molasses, Exactly?

Before diving into the different types of molasses, let&aposs define the sticky, sweet substance. The process for making molasses goes like this: First, sugar cane or sugar beets are crushed, revealing the sweet juices inside. Those juices are then boiled until sugar crystals form. That thick, brown syrup left behind? That&aposs molasses. 

This process of boiling the juices to extract the sugar crystals may be repeated several times, resulting in different types of molasses. 


What is the Healthiest Butter?

To better understand the nutrition differences between salted and unsalted butter, let&aposs take a look at how they stack up. Here is the nutrition informationਏor a standard one tablespoon serving size of unsalted and salted butter:

Unsalted Butter 

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 12g 
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Unsaturated Fats: 
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Added sugars: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Calcium: 0% DV
  • Potassium: 0% DV 

Salted Butter

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 12g 
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Unsaturated Fats: 
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Added sugars: 0g
  • Sodium: 90mg
  • Calcium: 0% DV
  • Potassium: 0% DV 

The difference between salted and unsalted butter is simple: about 90 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon. Other than that, these two butters are largely the exact same from a nutrition standpoint.

If you&aposre watching your sodium intake, we reccomend using unsalted butter because it gives you complete control over the amount of salt in your਍ish. If you want to buy unsalted butter, look for the words "sweet butter" or "unsalted" at the grocery store. The term "sweet cream butter" is used for both salted and unsalted butter, so make sure to read the package label carefully. 


Salted Butter vs Unsalted Butter

Salted butter is simply butter that contains added salt. In addition to giving a saltier taste, the salt actually acts as a preservative and prolongs the shelf life of the butter. Salted butter is perfect for spreading over crusty bread or melting over homemade pancakes or waffles.

Unsalted butter contains no added salt. Think of it as butter in its purest form. As a result, unsalted butter has a shorter shelf life than salted butter (and many cooks will also tell you that it has a fresher taste). In terms of flavor, unsalted butter has a more pronounced mellow sweetness than salted butter. It's best used in baking, or in situations where straying from exact ingredient amounts can make or break a recipe.


Salted Butter vs Unsalted Butter in Baking

Here’s a common question in the kitchen. What’s the deal with salted and unsalted butter in baking? Does it really make a difference? Or is the recipe just being annoyingly picky? Ugh, baking.

Butter is our best friend in the kitchen, especially when it comes to pie crusts and cookies and cakes and cupcakes and poundcake and oh yeah, every other thing we have ever baked! Butter’s so common in our recipes that we often take this simple ingredient for granted. But the truth is that butter is just as fussy as the next baking ingredient. If your butter is too warm, forget about creaming it and your “fluffy cake” will end up dense, lifeless, and flat. Too cold and you’ll wind up with harsh chunks of butter in your otherwise pristine cake batter. Not only with regards to temperature, butter is a massive question mark when it comes to salt content. And that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss today.

It’s quite ironic that a recipe can call for both unsalted (sweet) butter and salt. Why not just use salted butter? 2 or 3 reasons, actually.

1. The amount of salt in salted butter varies between brands.

You know baking is all about science, but it’s all about control as well. When you use unsalted butter in a recipe, you can control the exact amount of salt in your baked good. When you use salted butter, you have no idea how much salt you’re using because it varies between each brand you see at the store. Chowhound tells us the exact amount of salt in popular brands and some are double the amount of others! It would take quite a lot of salted butter to really produce a huge taste difference in baked goods, but it’s still good to be able to fully control the amount of salt.

2. Unsalted butter is fresher.

Salt is a preservative and therefore, salted butter has a longer shelf life than unsalted butter. We’re talking 3-4 months of shelf time. This doesn’t necessarily mean that salted butter has been on the shelf longer it simply has a longer shelf life. For the freshest butter, reach for the unsalted variety. (Or heck! Make your own!) However, some brands add “natural flavor” to unsalted butter, which extends its shelf life (not quite as long as salt). This is usually lactic acid, which also helps regulate its pH.

How to Substitute Salted Butter and Unsalted Butter

It’s best to use the type of butter called for in a recipe. But here’s a general rule: reduce or add 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 1/2 cup (1/4 lb 115g 1 stick) of butter.

Explained: If you come across a recipe that calls for salted butter and all you have is unsalted butter, use unsalted butter and increase the salt in the recipe by 1/4 teaspoon for every 1/2 cup of butter. So if a recipe calls for 1 cup of salted butter and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, you will use 1 cup of unsalted butter and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. And if you come across a recipe that calls for unsalted butter and all you have is salted butter, simply decrease the salt in the recipe by the same ratio above– 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 1/2 cup of butter. If you’re making a recipe that calls for 1/2 cup of unsalted butter and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, you can use 1/2 cup of salted butter and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Get it?


Cultured Butter

Originally made from cream that had been allowed to sour, modern (a.k.a. commercially made) cultured butter (sometimes labeled "European-style butter") is created by adding live bacterial cultures to pasteurized cream before churning. The cream is then allowed to rest and thicken slightly before churning.

Cultured butter has a higher fat content (82%-86% vs. 80% for uncultured) and a slightly tangy flavor that has hints of hazelnut. The higher fat content makes the butter smoother and gives it a richer taste, making it perfect for spreading on a piece of bread straight from the oven.


What's the Difference Between Butter and Shortening?

Your favorite pie crust recipe might call for butteror shortening, but are they really one in the same? Meaning, can you use butter when you're baking biscuits, cookies, pies and other recipes that call for shortening and vice versa?

Technically, yes. You can use them as a one-to-one swap, according to butter brand Land O'Lakes. But should you? Probably not — if you can avoid it. Swapping one for the other could lead to different flavors, textures or appearances — something you may be able to deal with, but it's best to thoroughly understand each fat first.

Butter adds important fat and flavor to recipes it's used in it contains 80 percent butterfat and about 20 percent water. Shortening, on the other hand, is all fat, no flavor. It's typically made with vegetable oils and used for its ability to help baked goods retain shape while staying soft.

So what really is the difference between butter and shortening? We talked to North Carolina cooking teacher, professional food writer and seasoned recipe developer Sheri Castle to explain the ins and outs of butter and shortening.

Composition Differences

The differences between butter and shortening vary, starting with how they're produced in the first place. Butter comes from an animal, typically cow milk, Castle says. Shortening is more closely related to margarine. It's a form of vegetable oil, often hydrogenated palm and soybean oils, and never comes from an animal. That means shortening technically is vegan.

One of the most obvious differences between butter and shortening is apparent when the fats face heat. "Butter will get soft at room temperature, but it's firm when refrigerated. It has a lower smoke point, and will burn fairly quickly in heat," Castle says. "Shortening is solid at room temperature. Butter melts, but shortening never would."

While butter is yellow, shortening is a soft, powdery white — something Castle says manufacturers used for marketing. "It's snowy, pure and white, which gave the sense of its high quality, safety and purity," she says.

Flavor Is a Key Differentiator

If you opt for shortening instead of butter, expect no added flavor in your recipe. Butter is inherently salty and rich, while shortening is entirely tasteless. That's why people spread butter on their bread, not shortening. It's also why cooks use butter in all sorts of dishes, while shortening is typically used only for baking.

Of course, not all butter is created equally. Salted butter is ideal for spreading on toast or using in pasta. You can use it when you don't need to fully control the amount of salt in a recipe. While it may be less salty, unsalted butter also has a nice taste. It's sweeter, mellower and closer to butter in its purest form. (That said, it does go bad more quickly as salt helps preserve salted butters.)

Textures Also Vary

Shortening is ideal for baked goods that need to hold their shape, such as pie crusts. Since it doesn't melt at room temperature, shortening can keep the final product looking clean and feeling softer for extended periods. "Think of those fabulous cakes at the grocery store they always use shortening [in the frosting] to hold the shape," Castle says. "Butter would get hot and run. That's why a lot of butter creams are actually shortening creams."

Castle says she often uses shortening when teaching new bakers how to make pie crusts as well. "It doesn't melt in the warm kitchen or with warm hands holding it," she says. "Shortening gives strength to the dough." The difference in a pie crust with shortening versus butter is that the former would be less flavorful than a crust made with butter.

Cookies are another great example of butter versus shortening differences. With only shortening, cookies will retain their shape through cooking. They usually end up standing taller and feeling softer. But they also lose that rich, buttery flavor. That's why most cookies call for butter, even if this leaves them a bit flatter (since butter doesn't retain shape as well). Butter also leaves baked goods with a slightly crispier texture.

Use Butter and Shortening Together

Since butter and shortening bring something different to each recipe, it only makes sense to use them in tandem. "Butter gives you the flavor and color, while shortening gives you strength in dough," Castle says. "I made two dozen biscuits recently, and I wanted them to be thicker, so instead of one stick of butter (eight tablespoons), I used six tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of shortening." For cookies, a mix of both could result in rich, buttery flavor with a taller, softer final product.