Butter is a very important part of either cooking or baking. If you are into either of the two or both, you’d know how integral butter is, especially for some dishes. However, there are two kinds of butter which you should take note of first.
Today, we’ll be discussing the major differences between salted and unsalted butter. Moreover, we’ll also feature a simple guide for you to know when it’s best to use either of the two. Tune in for more details!
Butter Facts Every Passionate Cook Should Know
Before we go on further explaining the difference between salted and unsalted butter, it is important to know some quick facts first. Remember, whether you like it or not, you’ll eventually encounter butter, especially in baking.
After all, this is the key component that gives off richness and creaminess to your pastry or dish. So, as a passionate cook or baker, here are some tips to help you understand this ingredient more
Aside from salt content, the temperature of your butter also matters when you're cooking or baking. Too warm and the cake will be too flat or dense. Too cold and you will have chunks of butter in the cake mixture.
Not only is butter good for enhancing flavor, it actually is good for the body as well. Butter contains A, E, D and K. Unlike margarine, butter has no artificial trans-fats. Especially if it’s made with organic cow milk.
Whether or not you feel as if butter melts at a fast rate, it actually has one specific melting point for all kinds of butter. At exactly 37 degrees Celsius or 98.6 Fahrenheit, butter will melt.
If you’re using butter to sauté, it is best to wait for the butter to stop foaming first before adding in the ingredients. Once the butter is completely melted and has stopped foaming, that is the best time to start cooking.
For baking, it is best to use cold and not softened butter. This is because cold butter will create a richer flavor and fluffy texture to the cake and/or other desserts.
How is salted butter different from unsalted butter?
For starters, unsalted butter does not literally mean it has no sodium in it. At the very least, unsalted butter has only 11 grams of sodium. This amount is significantly lower compared to the sodium content of salted butter. In the look, salted and unsalted butter is well printed on label so you know which one to buy
If you’ve been into cooking or baking for quite some time now, you’ll notice that when salted butter is taken out of the fridge, it melts quickly. This is because of the butter’s high water content. As the salted butter is exposed to higher temperature, it starts to liquidize before completely melting.
This is not really the case for unsalted butter. Usually used for baking, you would often see unsalted butter mixed into cakes, frostings, or icings. Not only does unsalted butter help bind the ingredients together smoothly, it also evens out the texture or consistency.
In addition, unsalted butter is much fresher than salted butter due to lower preservatives. Thus, it also has a shorter shelf life span. On the other hand, salted butter can last longer because the salt content acts as a preservative.
However, it is also important to note that when choosing from the array of salted butter brands, their salt content also varies. Check the brand first if you want something with less or more salt.
Salted Butter and Its Uses
Most often than not, salted butter is used in cooking. However, it’s also a great spread which can be eaten right out of the fridge. The reason for this is because its flavor is a lot more enhanced.
Not only does it enhance the flavor of the food, but it also serves as an oil. This is because butter is 80% fat, which explains why it’s flavorsome. You can sauté your onions and garlic in it, or you can melt it for roux, béchamel or cheese sauce.
Basically, this butter is what gives that added richness, saltiness, and depth to your dish. Depending on the amount of salt content, there might even be times when you don’t have to add salt to the recipe anymore!
Again, you can also use salted butter for sandwiches or breads in general. For instance, if you want a flavorful French toast or garlic bread, salted butter can do the trick.
On the contrary, using unsalted butter on breads might not have the same effect because it might end up as a little bland.
Unsalted Butter and Its Uses
If you plan to use the butter for baking, it is best to use unsalted butter. This is because using unsalted butter can give you more flexibility to adjust the sodium content of the recipe. Not all cakes or desserts call for so much salt in it.
Unsalted butter also helps you create desserts that are fluffier and not flat or dense due to its low water content. With the right amount and temperature of unsalted butter, you can bind the ingredients more smoothly, and get a really nice texture.
As for cooking, unsalted butter can be used similarly like salted butter. The difference in using it depends on the nature of your dish. Should your dish be salty in nature, but needs added richness, then using salted butter is a no-go.
Obviously, an already salty dish will get saltier if you add that kind of butter. But by adding unsalted butter, you’ll only add creaminess to the dish, making it a lot safer.
So remember, if the recipe you are following calls for a specific kind of butter, it is best to strictly follow it. Not only will it affect the taste, it can also affect the consistency or texture.
To Sum Things Up
When it comes to passing judgement on which type of butter is better, the answer is none. None of the two kinds of butter are better than the other. This is because both salted and unsalted butter serve for different purposes.
In the end, it also just boils down to taste preference. Personally, I like to use unsalted butter. Then I just add a bit of salt later on to adjust the taste accordingly. This gives you more freedom to adjust the taste without any overpowering flavor.
However, if I’m looking for a quick snack, salted butter and bread is a cheap way to get me started for the day. Tell us what you think below about these two! Also, don’t forget to share this to your friends, good luck!