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I have a lot of butter & margarine and looking for ways to keep it for longer time.

Will freezing them change melting point, flavor, or anything that could be undesirable when cooking?

Update: We are now freezing our butter and margarine. It is a perfect solution!

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4 Answers 4

up vote 29 down vote accepted

Butter and margarine freeze perfectly. I generally stock up during sales and thaw it as needed. You just have to make sure it's wrapped tightly in the foil, to prevent oxidation. It'll keep at least 6 months, probably more if you don't have a self-defrosting freezer.

Thawing butter does take quite a while, however. I usually give a package a few days to thaw fully. If you need butter in a hurry, you can always put it in a Ziploc bag and fast thaw it a bowl under running running water. Or, just soften it in the microwave.

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Totally agree. We buy it from Costco and freeze all but one box. Can't detect a difference after it's thawed. –  Sobachatina Aug 22 '12 at 18:13
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I just put the boxes in the freezer as is, and then pull one cube out at a time. It works just fine. –  thursdaysgeek Aug 22 '12 at 19:23
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And frozen butter is actually a real advantage when making pastry doughs in a food processor, too. :) –  Jennifer S Aug 22 '12 at 19:58
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But can be thawed quickly in cool water (submerge it). Or cut up and put on a good, thick, aluminum cookie sheet. –  derobert Aug 22 '12 at 20:15
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Also if you have a lot of butter, consider making some flavoured butters, which are tasty and super-useful. –  ElendilTheTall Aug 22 '12 at 21:14

There is some real science on this. See http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/15684/PDF

When frozen to −20°C butter can last 1 year with no real change in quality

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There is one point that is important here though. If the butter stick is wrapped in wax paper the freezer life isn't quite as good as in bulk butter. The storage quality of butter sticks will be less throughout the entire year in the freezer thank bulk butter. –  Justin Nathanael Waters Aug 25 '12 at 8:13

We've frozen Margarine all my life. My Mother would buy margarine on sale and freeze it for our big family. We just pulled it out of the freezer as needed.

We always, and still do, freeze it in the box it comes in with no extra wrapping needed and it is just as good 2 years down the road as it is when you bring it home from the grocery store. Now, different brands may not be as good or freeze as good either. I don't remember what we used growing up, but now, we ONLY buy Blue Bonnet Margarine (original/regular, and never the lite).

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If you ask any of the margarine manufacturers, they'll tell you NOT to freeze margarine because of the high water content. Upon thawing, the oil and water will likely separate. It'll look bad and not taste as it should.

Butter, on the other hand, can be frozen, because of the high fat content.

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Both butter and margarine have about the same fat content(around 80%). –  Jay Jan 3 '13 at 5:57
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I've never tried freezing margarine, so don't know about the separation, but I'm guessing there's something else in play other than fat content. I guess someone could try freezing those blended sticks (I think it's 40%/60% butter to margarine; can't remember the brand), and see if whatever's stablizing the butter will help the margarine. –  Joe Jan 3 '13 at 14:34
    
Butter is much higher in saturated fat, anywhere from 3 to 6 times higher. You can buy lower fat/healthier margarines, but butter is butter. –  user15036 Jan 16 '13 at 5:28
    
Regardless of what the manufacturers say it is a proven practice to freeze margarine and butter. There is documentation provided here to back up the claims. –  Justin Nathanael Waters Jul 12 '13 at 20:46

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