Rectangular sticks of butter usually come wrapped in a wax paper-esque wrapper that is folded over the stick.

How am I supposed to use the wrapper so that I can easily unwrap the stick, cut off a portion that I want to use, and then re-wrap the stick for preservation?

I inevitably end up tearing the wrapper, which makes poor seals for rewrapping and storage.

  • Families with children inevitably have at least one "butter wrapper tearer" in the household Apr 20, 2022 at 15:16

5 Answers 5


I would suggest one of:

1) Cut the butter with a sharp knife (if cold enough) and throw away paper on portion you use. Then take a small square of aluminum foil to cover the end (or cellophane).

2) Do the above but don't worry about the foil. Butter will keep fine in the fridge uncovered.

3) If you're not keeping your butter in the fridge then I'd suggest just getting a porcelain butter keeper for it and use what you need. I've tried the ones that you put into water and I ended up with a disgusting mold factory.

4) Use a butter keeper in the fridge. I clean mine with hot water and then dry with a towel and put a new stick of butter on it while it's still warm. The bottom of the butter melts slightly and then sticks to the porcelain so it's easier to cut off a piece when cold.

5) I've seen Gordon Ramsay use the aluminum butter wrapper to wrap a piece of veal that he then puts into the oven. Who knew?


A butter wrapper is an inexpensive, durable, and aesthetically acceptable way to transport and display butter. It is not designed to survive repeated manipulations by the consumer. Buy a butter dish.

  • The existence of dropped and torn wrappers at the grocery store would contradict your claim of durability. It amazes me that a pound of butter is sold in a fragile wrapper. There are obviously assumptions made about temperature and the solidity of the animal fat. Apr 20, 2022 at 15:19

I've never had a problem with tearing. What I do is to unwrap slowly in the exact order in which it was wrapped.

  1. Turn the butter to lie on its flat side, full-paper side down. enter image description here
  2. Now there are two flaps of paper on the top. Lift them one after the other. enter image description here
  3. The corners of the flaps have been folded onto the stick to form a shape that looks a bit like an oldfashioned postal envelope flap. Stick your finger between the two layers of paper on the flap and tug very gently. The corners will lift from the butter stick. enter image description here
  4. The flaps with the now-opened corners meet in the middle of the short vertical sides of the sticks. Rotate each of them around the corresponding vertical edge of the butter stick to open them. enter image description here
  5. Now you have to unstick the paper from the short vertical sides of the stick. Don't go onto the stick to pull, instead take one of the free corners and pull it in a direction away from the stick. The paper will lift from the side. Now that you have a full paper edge free of the stick, you can pull on that to unstick it from the short vertical side. enter image description here

  6. The paper is now no longer folded, it just sticks to the long vertical sides. Pull each of the long edges down towards the table.

enter image description here

Success! You now have a stick of butter sitting on a flat, not torn piece of paper. Cut off whatever you need.

This may sound long, but I assure you, it actually happens quite quickly in practice, and works pretty well. I can't remember the last time I tore a wrapper.

To fold it back, I find it somewhat easier to not go as complicated with folding. 1. Fold the paper over the long sides. enter image description here 2. Smooth the paper over the vertical edges towards the short sides. It will tend to fold along the old creases by itself, creating two flaps on the bottom and two on the top. enter image description here 3. Fold the bottom flaps up and the top flaps down to smooth the whole thing. enter image description here

You may get some crumpling when a large portion of the stick is missing.

  • 3
    Yours isn't the 'wax paper' stuff, it's paper & foil, twice as strong ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 28, 2020 at 9:01
  • @Tetsujin know, but I've had the wax paper stuff too, which also works in this way.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 28, 2020 at 12:58
  • 1
    Indeed. tbh, I've never found it an issue. 9 times out of 10 it comes off in one piece. if it doesn't I don't really care, as it's only seconds from going in the bin anyway. butter goes in the butter dish, wrapper goes in the recycle, after a cursory scrape over with a knife to gather up any residue. If I need a big chunk for baking I just cut straight through the wrapper & put the other half back in the fridge as-is. ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 28, 2020 at 13:06

Let it warm up first, or get foil-wrapped, or just cut it right through with a sharp knife & put the remainder in a sealed bag.

… or just be more careful ;)

Basically, as they wrap it, the loose ends get buried very slightly into the butter - so you have to either let it soften a bit, or get a bit surgical trying to free up the edges, or ignore the issue altogether.


My mother grew up during the Great Depression and made use of everything she could - she didn't waste a thing including the remnants of butter on the wrapper it came in. I'm puzzled by your question mainly because we never saw a stick o When you unwrap an opened stick of butter last long enough to "go bad" because it wasn't covered properly. :) My suggestion to you is do like we did - just use the wrapper to cover the unused portion as best you can. Here's the cool thing Mom did: She saved the wrappers from butter and margarine sticks to grease muffin cups, cake pans, cookie sheets, etc. If you don't do a lot of baking be sure to rotate out your old wrappers because the butter or margarine will eventually go rancid.

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