You know what they say, everything is better with butter. These bars are a versatile ingredient used in cooking and baking, especially if you want to add a little oomph of flavor in your dish. Spread it plainly on hot pan de sal or use it as a finishing touch for an extra kick in your meat dishes. Whatever your preferred use, we can all agree this is a staple in our fridge.
Nowadays, there is a multitude of butter options in the market, so it can get quite confusing. We've put together a buying guide, fact-checked and reviewed by registered nutritionist-dietitian Samantha Morales, to help you find the best butter for your needs. But before all of that, allow us to give you a list of the best butter brands!
Samantha began her career in clinical nutrition and weight management at a tertiary hospital in Manila, Philippines. Her practice allowed her to give nutrition counseling and plan modified diets for patients with medical conditions. Presently, she does private practice to focus on true holistic wellness - an approach that believes in aligning one's mind, body, and spiritual well-being.
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Here are some key points to consider:
When picking out butter, check the ingredients list. We already know that real butter uses only butterfat, which comes from milk or cream as its ingredients. If it uses hydrogenated vegetable or plant oils, then it is a margarine or butter compound, which uses 50% butterfat and 50% vegetable oil.
The color should also tell you if it is butter or margarine. Butter has a natural pale yellow or sometimes off-white color, depending on the variety. Sometimes grass-fed can lean more yellowish. Margarine is usually a rather vibrant yellow color. This is because plant oils are colorless, so it makes use of food coloring to mimic butter.
Another easy distinction is that butter is often wrapped in foil packages while margarine is on paper. This makes it easier to spot, especially if butter, butter compounds, and margarine are all lumped together in the dairy section. This can also come in handy if the product does not specify what it is made out of and you cannot see its ingredients list.
When choosing butter, you also have to take into account what you are going to use it for. This may not seem like it matters much, but some varieties are better suited for specific purposes than others. Are you putting it as an ingredient? Are you using it as just a spread for bread?
Like what its name says, unsalted butter or sometimes called sweet butter, does not have added salt during its production process. This makes it fresher, but it also makes it easier to spoil. The presence of salt acts as a preservative, so it will have a shorter shelf life. At most, it will last you about a month in your fridge.
In terms of versatility, unsalted undoubtedly takes the cake. This will take you through most cooking recipes, from baking to sautéing, with no problem. This is because the salt content in salted butter varies across different brands, so it will definitely impact your food’s taste.
Having unsalted butter gives you free reign to season your dish to your heart’s content without having to worry about the salt level. Most recipes call for unsalted butter as well.
Salted butter adds salt to the production process. The salt acts as a preservative and extends the butter’s shelf life. However, the amount of salt content varies between brands with about ¼ teaspoon per 1 stick of butter that is why this butter is not advisable for baking.
The good thing is that the salt also enhances the butter’s flavor. This makes it a great spread for breads and muffins, and other cooked dishes. It is handy if you want to easily achieve a malinamnam taste in your food items.
Clarified butter is the process of removing water and milk solids by boiling them off. This leaves you with a clear amber-colored liquid called butterfat. It is also the reason why it has less lactose content than regular butter, which makes it an excellent butter substitute for those with lactose intolerance.
This makes it have a more stable shelf life than regular butter. It also gives it a higher smoke point, making it ideal for searing meat and vegetables as well as a finishing butter. Ghee, which is widely used in Indian cuisine, is a notable type of clarified butter.
Organic butter comes from cows, which are raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. To qualify for organic, cows must graze on feed without pesticides or fertilizers.
Grass-fed butter makes use of cows that feed on grass instead of corn or soy-based feeds. This results in a higher nutrient profile and a richer taste. Grass-fed butter could also be organic. If you prefer your butter to have that distinct and strong butter taste, you could go for grass-fed ones.
If you're feeling adventurous, then we suggest you give flavored butter a try. These are also known as butter compounds, and they involve ingredients added to butter, such as garlic, herbs, and spices.
You might come across a savory herb or garlic flavored butter and use it to coat roast chicken or beef. Perhaps you prefer a sweeter one such as maple or honey for delectable toasted bread or muffins.
We can all agree that butter made in Europe is considered one of the best. This is further verified by the AOP (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) or the product of origin label, which guarantees that the production of the butter passed strict standards, from the production of milk down to the manufacturing of butter. AOP also acknowledges the destination origin of the butter.
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Échiré is dubbed the queen of butter for its quality and taste, and it is not hard to see why. It has been granted Appellation d'Origine Protégée or AOP, giving it the same protected designation as Champagne. In fact, the brand had even won the French Excellence Award in 2015.
Each butter is handmade with its milk coming from grass-fed cows in 66 farms within a 50km circumference. It is also minimally handled to maintain its quality. And it contains more butterfat than normal, which makes for a creamier taste. At the same time, it is described to have a silky texture that isn't greasy.
Distinguished restaurants and bakeries use this butter, which has been noted to be the secret for flaky pastries. This is a slightly salted variant, but it has a slightly sweet and tangy taste that you can use as-is for cooking, baking, and even for table use. It's everything you're looking for in butter and more!
If you’re looking for good quality butter, look to the French as they take their butter-making craft seriously. Isigny is a commune in the Normandy region of France, and they are famous for their production of butter, creams, and cheeses. They are noted for their Apellation d’Origine Contrôlée or AOC status.
This is a certification that the product is of good quality. Isigny proudly sticks to tradition and does not add or take away anything from the cream, which is matured for 16-18 hours. The butter is naturally rich in Iodine, vitamin A, and beta carotenoids, which gives it a golden buttercup shade.
Upon opening the packet, you will be hit by its subtle yet sweet fragrance, almost like smelling cream or milk itself. The butter has a soft and silky texture that coats your mouth wonderfully. It doesn’t feel greasy too. It is great for cooking and for everyday use if you want to make your dishes a little more indulgent.
Lurpak is a Danish brand of butter that cultures its cream to in order to produce butter. It doesn’t add anything to the butter either. This results in a fresh and aromatic scent with the right creaminess. The butter may have a slight tang because of lactic cultures that were added to ferment the cream.
It is noted to have a velvety taste that is balanced perfectly. It can lean towards nuttiness, so it is great whether you want to use it on toast or pan de sal in the morning. If you prefer your butter not too sweet, then we recommend this one. The creamy butter is offset by a slight yogurt taste so you’re not too umay.
Pinkie’s is a homegrown company that has its own farm where all of its material comes from. They have a single origin approach when it comes to their products, which is sourced from grass-fed cows. The company offers a wide array of dairy products ranging from fresh milk to butter.
Their products are guaranteed to have no chemicals and no hormones, just natural goodness. This particular variety is seasoned with Maldon's sea salt. It is a type of salt that's crunchy and doesn't taste overly salty, only a bit briny. It is perfect for bringing out the butter's linamnam as it only enhances its flavor.
Real butter can get expensive, and its prices are enough to make you wince. If you’re craving real butter without the added burden, Queensland is a solid option both for taste and price point. It is an economical purchase, especially if you are going to be using it for most of your kitchen needs.
Sometimes buying in bulk can save you better than by repeatedly buying tingi. A lot of people have Queensland as one of their go-to butter as it is not too expensive yet tasty enough. Its flavor is versatile for cooking and baking as well as for smearing on top of your pan de sal. Its fragrance is also an added point too.
No doubt the butter that everyone knows and loves. Anchor is probably a childhood favorite and a staple in your ref. It is also a versatile butter to work with whether you are using it as a spread or for cooking. Its creamy taste is enough to bring back childhood memories.
Anchor uses pasture-fed cows, and it contains no additives and preservatives. This is great if you’re mindful of the foods you are consuming. Aside from using it on pancakes, you could use it as a topping to freshly cooked rice or lightly brown Vienna sausages for a different twist for breakfast.
Here is a mild-tasting butter if you prefer yours not to have an overpowering taste. It tastes milder compared to most butters with just the right hint of creaminess. This way, you’re not hit as hard with its gaminess. It is perfect for adding to baked goods or spread onto muffins and pastries.
Its mildness makes it ideal for making it into your own flavored butter. It serves as a great base to whip up your own flavors. You could add garlic to make your own garlic butter. You could combine rosemary, thyme, and chives to make a spread to add a twist to roast pork or beef, or chicken.
The holidays mean lots of cooking whether it is for Noche Buena or for yummy giveaway treats. If you are going to be using lots of butter, you need one that can easily squeeze into your budget without sacrificing the taste. Magnolia Gold has a natural buttery flavor that is perfect for adding into baked goods.
It also exudes a fragrant aroma to add to your dishes. This is great especially if you want to add a finishing touch to your food. It is also ideal if you want to achieve a lovely golden color to your dishes. You could spread it all over bread to make your grilled cheese more sumptuous.
Ghee is everything you love about butter without the delicate condition. For one thing it has a higher smoke point, so you could definitely use it to sear beef and make your tapsilogs a little more delectable. You could also use it as a substitute for olive oil and sauté your dishes to make it malinamnam.
It has a slightly nutty aroma and creamy taste, so it will definitely up the oomph factor in your dishes from your fried egg to plain breads. The good thing about ghee is that it has an extremely stable shelf life it requires no refrigeration. Love coffee? You could add a dollop to make bulletproof coffee.
Pan de Manila is a convenient option if you’re craving for hot pan de sal, jams and spreads as well as coffee. They have a lot of branches scattered over the metro, which makes them very accessible. Their garlic butter is a fan favorite alongside their equally delicious herb cream cheese.
It is the perfect partner to go with their big as your palm pan de sal. The butter will instantly melt upon contact with their freshly baked, hot bread and you can really smell the fragrant garlic. This makes for a scrumptious meal at any time of the day whether it is breakfast or merienda.
Not sure what to gifts to give for the holidays? It doesn't have to be that expensive. You could always try making baked goods. It will cost you less than having to purchase them. It also adds a more personal touch, which will be appreciated by the recipient!
Author: J. Cuizon
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
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