15 Bizarre But Brilliant Tricks for Softening Butter


Defrosting cold, rock-hard butter can be a tedious task. However, there are some unconventional yet effective ways to fast-track the process. Even if you have only 30 seconds or up to 30 minutes, 15 different tricks can soften your butter quickly and easily. These methods may seem strange or crazy, but they can do the job.

Put Your Microwave to Good Use


In a real-time crunch, you can use that microwave magic with caution. Unwrap the stick and place it on a microwave-safe plate or dish. Microwave it on high in 5 to 10-second bursts, flipping it over each time. Those quick little zaps introduce enough heat to moisten the interior without melting the outside.  

Smash and Smear


Grab two sturdy cutting boards, plates, or even books. Place the fully wrapped stick of butter between them and use a meat tenderizer, rolling pin, or anything heavy to pound down on it firmly. The butter spreads into a flattened mass between the boards as you smash. Keep pounding until you reach your desired consistency. It’s pretty satisfying.

Hot Tap Massage


For a simple option, run the hottest tap water over the wrapped butter for 20-30 seconds, turning it frequently. The heat will transfer through the wrapping and thaw the frozen bar. Then, give it a few squeezes to help distribute the heat throughout. Just be careful of melting if it gets too warm.  

Sunny with a Chance of Creamy Butter


On a sunny day, this passive technique is a no-brainer. Place the wrapped butter stick directly on a sunlit indoor windowsill or warm surface outside. Let the rays heat the butter for 15-20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. The butter will gradually soften to a spreadable consistency as it bathes in those golden rays.

The Hair Dryer Therapy


Use your hair dryer’s high heat setting for something other than styling. Hold the wrapped butter stick about 6 inches from the nozzle. For 1-2 minutes, blow the hot air directly onto the butter while turning it continuously with your hands. The heat will gently soften it all the way through without melting. 

Using Indirect Heat

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To perform this trick, you’ll need two plates, containers, or shallow bowls to create a little butter chamber. Fill them with hot water from the tap or kettle. Place the cold butter stick between the hot plates and steam for 5-10 minutes. Check periodically until softened.

The Trombone Trick

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Unwrap the butter stick and hold one end firmly in each hand, keeping it straight. Now, rapidly move your hands back and forth while rotating the bar, almost like you’re mimicking playing a trombone. The friction this vigorous motion creates generates heat that will quickly moisten the butter from the inside out in about a minute. It’s a silly-looking technique but surprisingly effective.

Beating Around the Bush


For an arm workout, unwrap the chilled butter and place it in a large bowl. Use a medium-high mixer, beating the stick until it gradually takes on that whipped, creamy texture. The force from the spinning beaters will help soften it in just 2-3 minutes.

Fork-Fluffing the Butter

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Use a fork to poke holes all over the surface of the cold butter stick, creating a field of tiny indentations. The increased air exposure those holes provide allows the inside to warm up faster. Flip and pierce the other side, too. This will fluff your butter to perfection.

Multi-Tasking Towels


Grab two clean dish towels and dampen them with boiling tap water, wringing out any excess. Wrap one hot, steamy towel snugly around the cold butter stick. Then, wrap the other hot towel around that to encase it completely. Let it steam for about 5 minutes before unwrapping your supple butter.

Slice it to Submission


This hack turns your brick of butter into delicate ribbons. Carefully unwrap and use a sharp knife to thinly slice off long strips from the stick. The thin ribbons and increased surface area will allow them to quickly morph from solid to buttery in just a few minutes.

Coffee Mug Incubator

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This hack turns an ordinary coffee mug into a mini butter incubator. Fill the mug with hot water from the tap or a freshly brewed pot of coffee. Allow it to heat for a minute, then carefully empty the hot liquid. Place the wrapped butter inside the preheated mug, put the lid on, and let it bask in that residual warmth for 10-15 minutes.

The Butter Bath Option

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Fill a saucepan with an inch or two of water and bring it to a gentle simmer. Place the wrapped butter into a heat-proof bowl that will fit over the pan, creating a makeshift double boiler. Let it hover over the steaming water, stirring occasionally, until soft, being careful not to melt it completely.

Hard Grate Shortcut


This trick requires a box grater with coarse or large holes. Grate the chilled butter straight onto a plate or bowl, shredding it into long, thin strips. With the increased surface area, these delicate shreds will become creamy quickly without any extra effort.

Heat it in the Oven 


For the fastest method, crank up the oven heat. Unwrap the stick and place it on a rimmed baking sheet or oven-safe dish, then slide it into a preheated oven for 2-3 minutes. This technique swiftly brings cold butter to a soft consistency.


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