Confused To Use Salted Or Unsalted Butter? Here’s To Know

Almost everyone has had the experience of reaching for a stick of unsalted butter while cooking or baking only to discover your recipe calls for salted butter, but you only have unsalted butter. Or perhaps the recipe calls for unsalted butter and you have salted. This may cause you to worry that you don't have the appropriate butter for the dish you're preparing and may cause you to question whether there is actually much of a difference between the two. Can you use unsalted butter in place of salted butter, or does your recipe specifically call for salted butter? 

Even though the two varieties of butter can sometimes be used interchangeably, it's still a good idea to understand the distinctions and how they may affect your recipe. When you know how to use salted versus unsalted butter, you won't have to be concerned the next time you run out of butter. 

Among salted and unsalted butter, salt is the primary distinction. Unsalted butter is not salted; salted butter has salt added to it. Salted butter can have varying amounts of salt added, and some brands may taste saltier than others. You don't need to quantify the salt you use because salted butter is frequently used in recipes, especially those where the salt level might enhance the flavour. Of course, you can use unsalted butter when cooking if you're using other herbs and spices; the flavour will come from the other components. 

However, baking recipes frequently call for precise proportions, thus unsalted butter is advised. This enables you to accurately track the salt content and only add what is necessary. Additionally, baking recipes tend to be sweeter than cooking recipes, therefore it's preferable to use less salt in them. However, this does not imply that salted butter cannot be used in baking. You could just omit the salt from the recipe and let the salty flavour come from the butter instead. 

Although the two salts can be used for other purposes outside cooking, picking one over the other may alter the flavour character of your food. Salted butter works well on saltine crackers for a somewhat salty snack and is a terrific way to bring out the fuller, richer flavours in bread. You can flavour popcorn or roasted veggies with salted butter instead of additional salt by melting it, and you can add herbs and garlic to the salt to give it additional flavours. 

Because you want your frosting to have a sweet flavour, salted butter shouldn't be used in place of the essential ingredient of unsalted butter in buttercream frosting. Clarified butter, which is created by melting unsalted butter and separating the milk from the fat, is frequently made with unsalted butter. Salted butter shouldn't be used with clarified butter because it won't separate as easily. Both butter varieties are nutritionally equivalent in terms of calories and fat content, although salted butter has a higher sodium content.