How can I reuse or recycle flavoured butter?

butter-01We’ve had a message from Anita on the Suggestions page:

Help! How do you recycle flavored butter that doesn’t taste good? We get heaps of it on prepackaged fish, but we don’t use it, now we have a lot of it. I read that you can’t compost it, which was my first inclination…

Yes, I’d avoid composting it in case the smell attracts undesirable vermin to the heap. (If you’ve got a completely sealed composter, it’s less of a problem.) I did wonder if it could be used to attract more desirable wild creatures to the garden – such as being used in making some sort of bird feeder – but from what I’ve read, wild birds are best fed vegetable oils rather than animal ones, and butter is, of course, going to be too runny to make into fat balls anyway. Someone please correct me if that’s wrong.

One reduce idea would be to avoid buying it in the first place – but depending where/when you shop, I realise that’s not always an option.

Like nearly all oily things, butter can be used as a lubricant but I’d probably avoid using to, say, oil squeaky door hinges around the home, because it’ll go off. The oiliness can apparently be used to ease glue off skin and tree sap off skin & cars though.

Other ideas I’ve see mentioned for butter include using it as a hand/foot rub or as an emergency shaving cream – although I suspect it would depend on what the butter was flavoured with (at a guess, chilli butter and shaving would. not. mix!)

Any other suggestions?

(Photo by superfloss)

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6 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle flavoured butter?”

  1. Clare says:

    Here’s some info about what to feed birds:

    It says no to milk, but cheese is fine; and animal fats are better than vegetable fats. Nothing specific about butter, flavoured or otherwise.

  2. louisa says:

    Thanks Clare – good to have it clarified.

    I know lard and suet are very popular when making fat balls but then read some articles by people saying that fat from seeds is better. People are pretty consistent in advising against margarine though.

  3. Lizzy says:

    I know that margarine can be used in soap making, so if it has a herb that is ‘nice’ in soap, like rosemary or something – it could be worth a try. Given the oilyness – would they be any good for melting down and soaking stuff in for firelighters?

  4. Jenn says:

    fuel for candles

  5. Andrzej says:

    Butter isn’t really useful for anything other than food, it it will decompose. there are two ways i figure you can store/use it.
    Butter freezes well. Put it in an old plastic tub and freeze it for emergencies. If the flavour isn’t too overwhelming, use it for things like roux for thickening sauces and gravies, for baking savoury breads, or for frying. You should season these things to hide the flavour more.
    Secondly, you could turn it into ghee. Half fill a pot with butter and melt it over medium-high heat. Do not stir. Scoop out any flavouring matter you see (bits of garlic, parsley, etc.) Let all the water boil off, until the bubbling stops. All the while, scrape the foam off the top and toss it out. Remove from the heat, and scrape off any remaining foam. Carefully pour the ghee into a heat-safe jar. You will notice a bit of sticky-looking milk protein at the bottom. Don’t get any of this in the jar. Rather toss the excess ghee. you now have clarified butter fat, which should have very little flavour remaining.If it still has an unpleasant flavour, try masking it with stronger seasonings.
    Properly made ghee keeps for month in the fridge. Use it for frying, and in indian food.

  6. Alice says:

    Hey, just cook something else in it!

    if it’s already flavoured, fry some onions in it as a base for a pasta sauce, a curry, a stew – anything really. Yum!

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