Butter can typically stay at room temperature for a short period of time, usually up to a few days, if it's covered or stored properly. However, the specific duration may vary depending on factors such as the ambient temperature and humidity levels.
Butter is a dairy product with a high fat content, which makes it more susceptible to spoilage and rancidity when exposed to air and light. When butter is kept at room temperature, it softens and becomes easier to spread, but it also increases the risk of bacterial growth.
To extend the shelf life of butter at room temperature, it's important to store it properly. Here are some guidelines to follow:
Use a butter dish or a covered butter keeper: Place the butter in a covered container specifically designed for storing butter at room temperature. These containers help protect the butter from light, air, and odors.
Keep it away from heat sources: Ensure that the butter dish or container is not placed near direct sunlight, stoves, or any other sources of heat. Elevated temperatures can cause the butter to melt and spoil more quickly.
Maintain good hygiene: Always use clean utensils or knives to take out the desired amount of butter. Avoid introducing any foreign substances or contaminants into the container.
Monitor for signs of spoilage: Regularly check the butter for any changes in color, texture, or smell. If you notice any unusual or off-putting characteristics, such as a rancid or sour smell, discoloration, or mold growth, it's best to discard the butter.
Remember that if you live in a warm climate or if the room temperature exceeds 70°F (21°C) consistently, it's generally advisable to store butter in the refrigerator to maintain its quality and prevent spoilage. In the refrigerator, butter can typically last for several weeks or even months, depending on the brand and quality.
If you're unsure about the safety or freshness of your butter, it's best to err on the side of caution and refrigerate it.