Adding a butter keeper to your collection of kitchen gadgets is worth it—we promise.

By Kelly Vaughan
January 14, 2019

Even if you’re currently trying to Marie Kondo your life, we promise that owning a butter keeper will bring you joy. With the right butter keeper, you'll never struggle to soften your butter again. There’s a reason why room temperature butter is so beloved—those little diner packets of butter make for spreadable, meltable butter on a short stack of chocolate chip pancakes. Plus, when I decide to make cookies, it is an urgent, life-or-death matter that simply cannot wait an hour for cold butter to soften. Having room temperature butter on hand is key for easy, breezy baking.

I’ve been on a bit of a butter kick recently and decided to search for an accessory for my beloved European butter. Lo and behold, I came across a French butter keeper, which maintains perfect room temperature butter 24/7, 365 days a year. In addition to baking cookies, having a ready supply of room temperature butter is great for spreading on toast, smearing on steak for that professional glossy finish, or for those impromptu dinner parties you resolved to host this year.

French butter keepers aren’t your grandma’s vintage Pyrex butter dishes (though we love those too). They’re a handy, chic piece of pottery that date back to the 1800s. Butter keepers have two parts: the hollow base holds cold water, which helps to keep the butter fresh. The other part is an inverted cup/lid which is where the butter goes. To use your butter keeper, start by cubing one stick of butter into small pieces and, with clean hands, press the butter into the smaller crock. Fill the base with about one inch of very cold water. Place the butter-filled cup upside down in the water-filled base. The water will help to create an airtight seal, which prevents bad bacteria from growing while allowing the butter to maintain that magical smooth consistency. Just be sure to change the water every two to three days to prevent spoilage.

Most butter keepers hold ½ cup or 8 oz. of butter. We love a classic marble butter keeper for $25 or this bestselling porcelain style for $50. For an inexpensive version, look no further than this $13 French butter keeper designed by our favorite farmhouse gal, Joanna Gaines.