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How Long Does Homemade Butter Last? Does it Go Bad?

Homemade butter is a delicious addition to any meal.

Whether you enjoy it on toast, baked potatoes, or as a cooking ingredient, there’s nothing quite like the taste of homemade butter.

But how long can you keep it around?

Does homemade butter go bad?

Homemade butter can last up to three weeks in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer when stored properly. Check for any off-odors or mold before using, and always remember to store it in an airtight container to keep it fresh for as long as possible.

In this article, we’ll go over the factors that affect the shelf life of homemade butter and how to store it properly to keep it fresh for as long as possible.

We’ll also provide some useful tips for using leftover homemade butter and how to tell if it’s gone bad.

So, let’s dive in!

What is Homemade Butter?

Homemade butter is a product that is made by churning milk or cream. It’s a simple process that can be done using a blender, food processor, or mixer. All you need is heavy cream, and a few minutes to spare.

There are many types of homemade butter, including salted butter, unsalted butter, and flavored butter. Making your own butter gives you control over the flavor, texture, and ingredients used. You can even add your own herbs, spices, or sweeteners to make it unique.

How Long Does Homemade Butter Last?

The shelf life of homemade butter depends on several factors, including the ingredients used, the storage conditions, and whether it’s been touched by dirty hands or objects.

If you’re using unpasteurized cream to make your homemade butter, it’ll have a shorter shelf life than if you used pasteurized cream. Pasteurization kills off bacteria that can cause spoilage and extend butter’s shelf life.

If you’ve added salt to your butter, it’ll last longer than unsalted butter due to the salt’s preservative properties. So, if you don’t plan on using your butter right away, consider adding salt to keep it fresh for longer.

The amount of air that gets into the butter during the churning process also affects its shelf life. The more air it contains, the faster it will spoil. Try to minimize the amount of air in the butter by using a food processor or mixer instead of a blender.

How to Store Homemade Butter

To get the most out of your homemade butter, proper storage is key. Follow these tips to keep your butter fresh and delicious:

  • Store in an airtight container: This will help prevent the butter from drying out and absorbing odors from other foods in the refrigerator. Be sure to press plastic wrap or parchment paper tightly against the surface of the butter to prevent air from getting in.
  • Refrigerate or freeze immediately: If you’re not planning on using the butter right away, put it in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible to keep it fresh. Don’t leave it out at room temperature for too long, as this can promote the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Use a resealable bag: If you’re storing small portions of butter, consider using a resealable plastic bag. This will make it easier to store and portion out the butter.
  • Label the container: Be sure to label the container with the date the butter was made or frozen, so you can keep track of how long it’s been stored.

How to Tell if Homemade Butter Has Gone Bad

It’s important to check your homemade butter before using it to ensure it hasn’t gone bad. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Off odor: If the butter smells sour, rancid, or unusual in any way, it’s best to discard it. The smell could be an indication that harmful bacteria have started to grow.
  • Mold: If you see any mold on the butter, it’s definitely time to throw it out. Mold can cause food poisoning and other health problems.
  • Appearance: If the butter has started to turn an unusual color or has developed a strange texture, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard it.

Tips for Using Leftover Homemade Butter

If you find yourself with leftover homemade butter, here are some useful tips for using it up:

  • Use it in baked goods: Homemade butter adds a delicious flavor to baked goods like cookies, cakes, and bread.
  • Make flavored butter: Adding herbs, spices, or other flavorings to homemade butter gives it a new twist and makes it great for spreading on toast or corn on the cob.
  • Use it as a cooking ingredient: Homemade butter can be used in place of oil or margarine when cooking. It adds a rich flavor to sautéed vegetables and makes a great base for sauces.
  • Freeze it: If you’re not planning on using the butter right away, freeze it in small portions for later use.


In conclusion, Homemade butter can last up to three weeks in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer when stored properly. Always be sure to check for off-odors, mold, or unusual appearances before using your homemade butter. To keep it fresh for as long as possible, store it in an airtight container and either refrigerate or freeze it immediately.

Provided you follow the tips we’ve outlined, you can still enjoy a mouth-watering taste of homemade butter on your toast or baked potatoes weeks down the line. Happy churning!

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.