If I am making a recipe that calls for butter, how do I decide whether to use salted or unsalted butter? Is there a general rule of thumb to make this decision? (For instance, would cookies normally get salted butter, while vegetables get unsalted? Or is it determined by other ingredients in the recipe?)

asked 14 Oct '09, 16:32

Tim's gravatar image

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As a general rule if i am bakeing i use unsalted butter, If im sauteeing is all ways use salted butter seems to help the taste of the dish.


answered 15 Oct '09, 17:38

drazon's gravatar image

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Most recipes specify, but if it does not then there is not necessarily a rule of thumb, it is more of common sense. If the recipe uses a leavening agent (baking powder, baking soda) and it calls for salt, use unsalted butter. If it does not call for a leavening agent it becomes a matter of taste. I always by unsalted butter. That way i will not over salt a recipe.


answered 14 Oct '09, 16:39

dblbigd's gravatar image

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Usually if you just follow the recipe it will tell you which one. I usually like to use unsalted butter because than I have better control over how much salt I put into my cooking.


answered 14 Oct '09, 20:51

spragoo's gravatar image

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If the recipe doesn't specify, then you can use whatever you choose. If you want low-sodium food, use unsalted. For baked goods, unsalted is also sometimes better. For frying, if you are not on a low-sodium diet, salted butter might give your food more flavor.


answered 14 Oct '09, 22:32

Judoix's gravatar image

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I generally use unsalted butter when a recipe does not specifhy which one to use. Unsalted butter is better for your health. Generally most foods are made with a lot of salt and my family tries to cut down on the salt that we eat. Unsalted butter is better for you and your family.


answered 14 Oct '09, 22:49

Elicia%20Maxwell's gravatar image

Elicia Maxwell
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salt is added in part as a preservative, possibly to turn second rate product to something that keeps longer on the store shelves.

I think there is a higher standard for freshness for the unsalted butter in food industry, so I'd never buy salted variety.


answered 11 Nov '09, 00:03

Evgeny's gravatar image

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I think you should use unsalted butter becuase if you are cooking a recipe you put salt in it & when you add salted butter it can give the dish extra salty taste,it can even make your dish bitter so try using unsalted butter as there is no risk in using unsalted one.


answered 27 Nov '09, 09:56

visa%204's gravatar image

visa 4
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Wrong - buckwheat recipes don't always specify which to use. And some salted butter has as much as a teaspoon of salt per STICK. That means that a recipe calling for two sticks of butter (not specifying unsalted) and a teaspoon of salt could wind up with three times the amount of salt needed. Which of course is way too much and ruins the taste (go ahead ask me how I know this)!


answered 25 Dec '11, 13:27

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edited 10 Feb '12, 17:13

klypos's gravatar image

klypos ♦♦

I don't need to ask, really. But I'm voting for your answer, having adjusted your spelling and formatting, because lots of recipes don't specify about this point.

In Europe, you would not be able to sell salted butter over 0.5% salt, because local taste is accustomed to buying butter up to this level of saltiness.

You only get that over-salted butter in US. In times past, it was a cover for a slightly rancid product. These days, it is just pandering to people who should have their taste buds adjusted.

(10 Feb '12, 17:26) klypos ♦♦

You can follow the recipe, if it needs unsalted butter then do so. In baking, most of the time it requires unsalted butter. For savory cooking, its better to use unsalted butter to control the salt in the dish.


answered 15 Oct '09, 02:57

cityslicker's gravatar image

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You can use unsalted butter in general and if the recipe contains milk, you should use the unsalted butter only.


answered 15 Oct '09, 06:21

adithya's gravatar image

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Asked: 14 Oct '09, 16:32

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Last updated: 10 Feb '12, 17:26

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