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Should Garlic Spread Be Refrigerated?

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Herb butter, also known as compound butter, is butter mixed with different herbs and ingredients that add savory and sweet flavors. The use of herb butter is a simple and delicious way to elevate your cooking. Garlic butter spread is a type of herb butter found in many spice cabinets. Garlic butter complements a variety of slices of bread to make garlic bread; it’s simple to make and adds flavor to meats and veggies.

Can Garlic Butter Go Bad?

Regardless of garlic’s flavor potency, it is still a low-acid vegetable. If the right conditions are met, garlic, like all low-acid vegetables, will develop the Clostridium Botulinum. These conditions include flawed preparation and preservation methods used to store fresh garlic and garlic butter.

Moisture, lack of oxygen, room temperature, and low acidity are all conducive to the development of Clostridium Botulinum. The development of this bacterium results in the production of a potent toxin that leads to botulism. If the toxic food is not treated, it may lead to ill health and even sickness within a few days.

Does Refrigeration Help?

If refrigerated, garlic butter can be stored for up to fifteen days in an airtight container. In a freezer, garlic butter has a shelf life of six months. Refrigerating butter is the most reliable way to keep food safe and prevent the development of bacteria.

Similar to garlic oil, garlic butter should be refrigerated because it is likely to develop botulism and various bacteria. Therefore, when making garlic butter, extreme caution is required. It would be best if you did not store garlic butter at room temperature for long periods because it provides the perfect conditions for the development of Clostridium botulinum. These conditions are lack of oxygen, warm temperatures, and low acidity.

Commercially produced garlic butter must adhere to strict guidelines and contain phosphoric or citric acid to boost acidity. Unfortunately, acidifying garlic at home is not easy. The process of acidifying fresh garlic using vinegar is time-consuming and labor-intensive. A garlic clove immersed in vinegar can take anywhere from three days to three weeks to be fully acidified, making refrigeration one of the best preservative methods.

Advantages of Freezing Garlic Butter 

Freezing garlic butter is easy. It is advantageous to have extra butter available or if you have made excess and you want to prevent it from going bad. Research has shown that you can freeze kinds of butter with a minimum of 80% fat content for longer periods. The quality of the butter will not be affected by the freezing, but the texture slightly changes. Frozen butter can be used in the same way that you use fresh butter.

Unlike other types of butter, garlic butter should be refrigerated because the cold minimizes the risk of bacterial growth. The cold also minimizes oxidation which causes the butter to become rancid.

How to Freeze Garlic Butter?

However, when freezing butter, the packaging significantly impacts its quality and shelf life. Using wax paper to wrap butter can reduce its quality and flavor when frozen or refrigerated.

Also, exposure to air and light can make the butter go rancid after some time. Light passing through the wrapper may cause it to taste off.

When freezing garlic butter it is important to:

  • Freeze when fresh- to ensure the best quality, freeze your garlic butter while it’s still fresh to minimize contamination and keep the flavors fresh.
  • Slice the butter before freezing- if you use small portions at a time, slice the butter to avoid contamination when taking it out of the fridge.
  • Use airtight containers- unlike wax papers, airtight containers improve the shelf life and maintain the quality of butter.

Uses of Garlic Butter

Garlic butter is mainly used on garlic bread, especially on Italian toast and french loaf bread. However, this aromatic and savory herb butter can be utilized in different recipes. For example, garlic butter can be used as a spread to add flavor to sauces and can also be melted on chicken, fish, steaks, and vegetables to add more depth to their flavors. Because this butter is widely used, it is important to make the compound butter with high-quality butter. You can also use margarine, but the flavor profile will be different.

While garlic butter can be bought, it is simple to make. Rather than purchasing the butter in supermarkets, make your high-quality butter at home. The most common uses of garlic butter are;

To Make A Delicious Baked Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is one of the easy recipes to make. The most efficient way to prepare garlic bread is to make the garlic butter in advance. Once you have toasted your bread in the oven, spread your garlic butter over the slices. Garlic bread should be eaten while still warm from the oven. Garlic bread should be stored at room temp rather than in a fridge. Refrigeration is not recommended because the bread can dry out and become crusty and stale. Freezing the bread is the best option if you want to preserve it for long.

Before placing the bread in the freezer, slice it and set it aside to cool to room temperature. Cooling helps prevent the entrapment of excess condensation. Next, squeeze out the excess air before placing the garlic bread in airtight bags. Freezing the garlic bread enables you to store it for up to three days.

Other uses include:

  • Adding garlic butter to steamed fish to baste, sauce, and flavor it
  • It is used to sauté shrimp
  • Used when cooking and roasting chicken for a rich flavor and to make a sauce to complement the dish
  • It is ideal for stir-frying vegetables that cook quickly, like spinach and cabbages.
  • It is used to bake potatoes to make them more savory and creamy with a garlic-rich flavor.

Apart from the examples mentioned above, you can find many other uses of garlic butter. As we all know, butter makes everything good!

Endnote

Refrigerating garlic butter is very important because it increases its shelf life and minimizes the risk of the development of bacteria that make the botulinum toxin and mold. This bacteria makes botulism spores whose effects are prohibited by refrigeration preventing the development of botulinum toxin, which could kill people.

Moreover, garlic butter has many uses, as discussed above. Apart from cooking, it can also be served to complement any dish. Garlic butter is delicious and can be enjoyed by your whole family in food, sauces, and paste.

However, it is important to store it well to avoid contamination to keep you and your family safe.

Sources:

https://web.uri.edu/foodsafety/files/uc_davis_garlic.pdf

https://eatingexpired.com/how-long-does-garlic-butter-last-in-the-fridge/

https://www.today.com/food/do-you-really-need-refrigerate-butter-t110371