The 7 Finest Butter Dishes of 2024, Examined & Reviewed


I used to be a margarine child. It was the 90s, and my mother and father, like many different adults on the time, have been making an attempt to chop again on saturated fat. Enter the magical tub of hydrogenated oil, a.ok.a., margarine, which was low-fat and at all times able to unfold; you might pluck the container straight from the fridge and it could nonetheless slather properly over a slice of bread. 

It wasn’t till the yellow glow of margarine started to fade within the public eye—and till I met my now-husband, whose household at all times had a stick of salted butter on the desk at dinner—that I found that, nicely, actual butter was truly fairly good. And one of the best butter was the delicate form: a fudgy golden stick able to be slathered on toast. It was the worst once you forgot to take the stick out of the fridge and tried to unfold a strong hunk.

As my affinity for delicate butter grew, I made a decision I wanted a butter dish—it appeared so fairly and it made me really feel like I used to be residing in a cottage in Provençe. Then, I stumbled upon butter bells, an much more romantic method to serve beurre at dinner. However, which is healthier? Is there a “finest” method to serve up that wonderful, fancy, salted European butter at your ceremonial dinner? Will the butter go rancid? I made a decision to get solutions by testing 10 butter containers (each dishes and bells) and consuming a bit little bit of butter day by day for 2 weeks straight (bleh). 

The outcomes have been shocking: Nearly each butter dish and bell I examined have been completely wonderful at their (admittedly fairly easy) job. They stored butter spreadable, made it straightforward to entry, and stored it protected and sound, with just one butter bell container getting a wee little bit of mildew (and that was doubtless my fault for forgetting to alter the water at some point).  In summation, should you’re the relaxed kind and undergo butter rapidly, a butter dish is finest; should you’re the sort to take initiative and get into routines simply, a butter bell might be a superb possibility. 

The Winners, at a Look

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The Finest Basic Butter Dish

Le Creuset Heritage Butter Dish

Le Creuset


If you happen to dream of residing in a cottage in Provençe, that is the butter dish for you; it’s attractive, with Le Creuset’s signature colourful enamel choices. The lid, with a large deal with, was straightforward to take away, and the butter stayed recent all through the 2 weeks.  

The Finest Sensible Butter Dish

Butterie Flip-Top Butter Dish with Matching Spreader

Amazon


This colourful butter dish has two lids that fold over the stick of butter, retaining it protected and sound. It additionally comes with a knife, although it’s duller than your common butter knife. 

One other Nice Sensible Butter Dish

Rubbermaid Standard Butter Dish

Amazon


Whereas not a looker, this butter dish carried out nicely, retaining butter recent for 2 weeks. The lid was additionally straightforward to lock on and pop off. 

French Kitchen Marble Butter Keeper

Crate&Barrel


I beloved the heft of this butter bell; it stayed squarely in place on the counter with nary a spill even when unintentionally jostled. Its lovely marble development was straightforward on the eyes, too. However appears weren’t its solely boon; it additionally stored butter delicate, spreadable, and recent. 

A Nice Finances Butter Bell

Norpro Glazed Stoneware Butter Keeper

Amazon


This $20 butter bell has a timeless look, is straightforward to fill and scoop from, and stored butter recent. 

The Finest Basic Butter Bell

Butter Bell The Original Butter Bell Crock

Amazon


Arguably the OG butter bell, there wasn’t a lot to not like about this providing; butter stayed recent and the lid was straightforward to grip and take away. 

One other Nice Basic Butter Bell

Le Creuset Stoneware Butter Crock

Le Creuset


This butter bell appeared nice and stored butter creamy and easy for weeks. It additionally incorporates a water line on the inside, so you understand the place to fill it to. 

The Checks

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


  • Filling Butter Check: I stuffed every butter dish and bell with one stick (4 ounces, or eight tablespoons) of butter, noting how straightforward it was to take action. 
  • Butter Style Check: I tasted the butter in every container for 2 weeks, noting if there have been any off aromas or flavors, in addition to how straightforward it was to stay a knife in for a slice. I changed water in butter bells each three days, as advisable by most producers. 
  • Cleansing Check: After two weeks, I eliminated the butter and cleaned the dishes and bells. 

What We Discovered

How Lengthy Can Butter Keep Contemporary at Room Temperature? 

Critical Eats / Amanda Suarez


As we defined on this piece about butter bells, there’s numerous conflicting info on the market about how lengthy a stick of butter stays recent at room temperature. Per the USDA, “Butter and margarine are protected at room temperature. Nevertheless, if butter is ignored at room temperature for a number of days, the flavour can flip rancid so it is best to depart out no matter you need to use inside a day or two.”

Nevertheless, throughout my two-week testing interval, I by no means tasted any trace of rancidity (plus, rancid doesn’t equal micro organism, it simply means the fats has oxidized, resulting in a bitter style). 

In keeping with one Korean research, butter saved between 77ºF to 95ºF has a shelf lifetime of 109 days primarily based on “high quality adjustments, together with whole cell depend, coliform counts, Listeria monocytogenes counts, acid worth, moisture content material, pH, acidity and general sensory analysis.” In different phrases, it took 109 days for room-temperature butter to lastly “go unhealthy.”

That mentioned, should you’re storing butter in a butter bell, you’re truly growing the chance of contamination, and extra care (and persistently refreshing the water) is required.   

Butter Bells Have been Good—If You Change Their Water

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


Butter bells use water (which surrounds the bell) as a method to preserve butter delicate and spreadable, however a stagnate pool of water is a breeding floor for micro organism. The perfect apply when utilizing a butter bell entails altering out the water each three days. That mentioned, should you’re like me (learn: absent-minded now and again) and neglect to alter the water, you would possibly find yourself with some ugly, slimy black and inexperienced mildew the place you final took a chip of butter out with a knife—through which case, it’s finest to toss the butter. 

Lidded Dishes Stored Butter Contemporary

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


Previous to testing, I figured that butter dishes that didn’t fully seal, just like the Le Creuset and Butterie, wouldn’t preserve the butter as recent. However, throughout testing, I discovered no distinction between sealed and lidded dishes; each stored room temperature butter recent for 2 weeks, with out mildew or rancid flavors. Positive, should you stored a stick of butter in a dish for months and months, it in all probability would style off and get moldy and gross, however who has the fortitude to do this? That mentioned, if you’d like a butter dish/container to maintain butter recent and freed from flavors within the fridge, a sealed container, just like the Rubbermaid or the LocknLock, is a greater possibility. 

Butter Bells Versus Butter Dishes: Which Was Higher?

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


Throughout my checks, the butter in each dishes and bells remained recent over the 2 week interval (although this would possibly simply be the character of butter itself, and fewer to do with the way it was saved). 

By way of retaining butter delicate, I didn’t discover a lot of a distinction between the 2 kinds of containers; each stored butter spreadable however not tremendous delicate (clearly this could change if it was the canine days of summer time). General, neither was higher than the opposite.

The place the butter bells and dishes did diverge was in ease of use; it sounds dumb, however a butter bell is extra “work” to make use of since you must pack the butter in it and alter the water each few days to stop bacterial development. A dish, then again, simply requires cleansing after you’ve gone by means of the stick of butter. In the long run, it relies on how high-maintenance you need your butter to be. Nevertheless, I believe a butter dish is healthier general, because it’s simpler to make use of and doesn’t require upkeep (aside from cleansing it); plus, it stored butter simply as spreadable as a bell in my checks. 

The Standards: What to Search for in a Butter Dish

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


Most butter dishes and butter bells did the job simply wonderful. That mentioned, those that stood out have been additionally straightforward to scrub, straightforward to make use of, and stored butter delicate and guarded. For butter dishes, this was a easy process, since they’re oftentimes only a lid that covers the stick of butter. For bells, this additionally meant that they have been straightforward to fill with butter. and that it was straightforward to stay a knife within the bell for a scrape.

The Profitable Butter Dishes

The Finest Basic Butter Dish

Le Creuset Heritage Butter Dish

Le Creuset


What we appreciated: That is a chic butter dish that does its job nicely—butter was recent, delicate, and simple to entry. I appreciated the looped lid deal with and small facet handles that made bringing it to the desk for dinner straightforward peasy. 

What we didn’t like: Not a lot! It did get a bit dirtier than the plastic dishes, but it surely was straightforward sufficient to scrub.

Key Specs

  • Supplies: Ceramic
  • Weight: 1 lb, 7.6 oz
  • Capability: 4 ounces (1 stick)
  • Dishwasher-safe: Sure

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


The Finest Sensible Butter Dish

Butterie Flip-Top Butter Dish with Matching Spreader

Amazon


What we appreciated: This easy flip-top butter dish was straightforward to open and shut and stayed comparatively clear all through the two-week testing interval. The butter was recent and spreadable. 

What we didn’t like: It has a classic, Fifties look which may not enchantment to everybody. The plastic butter knife that got here with it was uninteresting, uninteresting, uninteresting.

Key Specs

  • Supplies: Plastic
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Capability: 4 ounces (1 stick)
  • Dishwasher-safe: Sure

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


One other Nice Sensible Butter Dish

Rubbermaid Standard Butter Dish

Amazon


What we appreciated: If you happen to’re searching for a no-frills, sealed butter dish that you could simply put within the fridge or pull out to melt, this can be a nice possibility. Whereas it’s fabricated from plastic and form of appears like a meals storage container, it stored butter protected and sound, and the lid was straightforward to pop on and off. 

What we didn’t like: It is a very sensible dish, as in, it’s not very fairly and appears extra like an upside-down meals storage container than a butter dish. 

Key Specs

  • Supplies: Plastic
  • Weight: 2.8 ounces
  • Capability: 4 ounces (1 stick)
  • Dishwasher-safe: Sure

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


French Kitchen Marble Butter Keeper

Crate&Barrel


What we appreciated: The heft stored this butter bell from shifting round on the counter, and the lid was straightforward to grip and take away. Plus, okay, wonderful, it’s simply actually stylish wanting! The bell was straightforward to pack with butter and a fast swipe with a knife eliminated it readily. 

What we didn’t like: There wasn’t a lot to not like about this butter bell, aside from it’s not dishwasher-safe and it is a bit heavy.

Key Specs

  • Supplies: Marble
  • Weight: 2 lbs, 11.2 oz
  • Capability: 4 ounces (1 stick)
  • Dishwasher-safe: No

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


Norpro Glazed Stoneware Butter Keeper

Amazon


What we appreciated: This easy butter bell was straightforward to fill and use, and the worth (which was $20 on the time of publication) was wallet-friendly. 

What we didn’t like: There was some mildew on the butter on day 13, however I believe it was my fault for forgetting to alter the water (whoops). The lid was additionally barely jiggly. 

Key Specs

  • Supplies: Stoneware
  • Weight: 1 lb, 5.8 oz
  • Capability: 4 ounces (1 stick)
  • Dishwasher-safe: Sure

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


The Finest Basic Butter Bell

Butter Bell The Original Butter Bell Crock

Amazon


What we appreciated: A traditional butter bell, this lived as much as expectations and was straightforward to make use of, fill, and clear. The extensive, spherical knob on prime made it straightforward to know and place on the counter, too. It additionally is available in all kinds of enjoyable colours—royal blue! Golden yellow! Café beige!

What we didn’t like: Not a lot, aside from having to alter the water, however that’s par for the course for butter bells. 

Key Specs

  • Supplies: Ceramic
  • Weight: 1 lb, 9.4 oz
  • Capability: 4 ounces (1 stick)
  • Dishwasher-safe: Sure

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


One other Nice Basic Butter Bell

Le Creuset Stoneware Butter Crock

Le Creuset


What we appreciated: This lovely butter bell, just like the others, was straightforward to fill and use and stored butter delicate and spreadable. Whereas a small element, I appreciated the water fill line marked contained in the jar; it decreased the chance of getting a small gush of water once we put the bell in.

What we didn’t like: Not very a lot, aside from the marginally excessive price ticket (it’s $24 greater than the Norpro butter bell).

Key Specs

  • Supplies: Ceramic
  • Weight: 1 lb, 7.2 oz
  • Capability: 4 ounces (1 stick)
  • Dishwasher-safe: Sure

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly


The Competitors

  • LocknLock Easy Essentials Food Storage lids/Airtight containers: This wasn’t a nasty butter dish, but it surely actually does look extra like an upside-down meals storage container than something. If you happen to’re seeking to preserve a bigger quantity of butter (it might doubtless maintain a 16-ounce block of European butter) tremendous recent and freed from off-flavors when it’s saved within the fridge, this might be a superb possibility. 
  • DOWAN 6.5″ Large Butter Dish: This dish was too deep to comfortably slice a pat of butter. The lid was additionally tough to placed on and take away due to its silicone lining. 
  • Emile Henry Modern Classics Butter Pot: Whereas this was a reasonably little butter pot (that held seven ounces of butter), there was no deal with on the lid, only a raised bump, which made it tough to take away. The inside bell portion was oval-shaped, which was more durable to fill and scoop butter from. 

FAQs

What’s a butter bell, and the way do you employ it?

A butter bell (a.ok.a a butter crock) is a small jar-like container that you just add 1/3 cup of water to earlier than putting the butter-filled, bell-shaped lid inside. In idea, the water surrounding the bell retains butter softer than a stick left on the countertop. 

How lengthy can butter keep on the countertop?

In keeping with the USDA, butter is protected to retailer are room temperature, however they suggest utilizing it inside a number of days. Nevertheless, throughout our checks, we didn’t discover any off-flavors or mildew over the two-week take a look at interval. 

How typically do you must change the water in a butter bell?

Most producers advisable altering the water in a butter bell each three days to stop mildew or bacterial development. 

Why We’re the Consultants

  • Grace Kelly is the affiliate commerce editor at Critical Eats.
  • She has been reviewing gear for 3 years. 
  • Her background contains environmental journalism and journal writing; she was additionally a bartender and prep cook dinner. 
  • For this evaluation, Grace used 10 butter dishes over two weeks, analyzing their ease of use, efficiency, and the way straightforward they have been to scrub.



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