Because I’m baking bread today

By Mir
October 28, 2007

My family has something of a love affair with butter. (You’re shocked. I can tell.) Now that the weather is cooling off, I’m baking bread more often. But I don’t always have the foresight to take the butter out of the fridge half an hour before my kids want to have a hunk of bread.

After doing some research, I determined that what I wanted to get was a “butter bell,” a butter dish you fill with water that can be left out on the counter. (The water keeps the butter from spoiling. Change the water every couple of days and the butter stays fresh and soft, or so the internet claims.) I figured that the cheapest place to grab one would be eBay, so I did some searching there, but guess what! I am not paying $20 for a butter dish!

And then I found this Norpro butter bell for $7.90 shipped. That I will do.

I shall have to report back on its butterliciousness. But in the meantime, if you’ve been searching for one of those, that seems to be a pretty decent deal.


  1. News to me….
    I did not know butter would spoil if not refridgerated. We use Brummel and Brown for spread and butter for cooking. So, we generally never have butter out for extended periods of time. I too LOVE butter!!!!

  2. Please do report back on how it works. I bought one last year and retired it after a few weeks. I changed the water every few days, usually more often just to be safe. It’s true the butter was always soft, but it acquired a weird texture that creeped me out, so I stopped using it. That said, it’s such a great concept and a cute little dish, that I’d love to start using it again, so let me know how it works for you. Maybe I’ll give it another go.

  3. Um, we leave our butter on the counter all the time–my family has always done it that way. Since there are only two of us, I usually only put out half a stick so it doesn’t sit there too long.

    Mmmmmmm . . . butter.

  4. I never knew there was such a thing. Please do let us know how it works. And thanks for a Sunday fix. I swear I am addicted to you πŸ™‚ ok, that didn’t come out right πŸ˜‰
    I also wanted to report in on a few things a lot of us were waiting for…My Susan G. Komen lunchbag arrived on Friday. Its different than what I expected, but in a good way. It looks like it will hold my stuff perfectly. And its oh so cute and girly.
    My D&T popcorn arrived Thursday. OH MY YUMMY!! I have never had it before and will definately be looking for the deals in your blog. The cinnamon creme drizzlecorn was to die for! DH preferred the chocolate one so that was a perfect match.
    My pearls came last week. I already reported on that.
    I think I’m all set for the cool things I was waiting on.
    Thank you pretty, pretty Mir. Without you I wouldn’t have known about any of this. And to show my appreciation, I do most of my Christmas shopping thru Amazon and Overstock, so there ya go πŸ™‚ Mebbe I’ll help pay for your butter bell.
    And did I tell you how pretty you are today…
    Enjoy your bread! I think I’ll make some, too.If I can stop babbling here πŸ™‚ Have a good one everybody!

  5. Hi Mir!

    We too leave our butter on the counter in a covered dish all the time. I’ve never had a stick spoil on me – we are butter lovers too, so a stick will usually last us a week and a half to two weeks.

    You are very pretty and I enjoy this site!! Thanks for all the money I’ve saved!

  6. I’ve used these for years. Sometimes I see them at Marshalls or Homegoods for under $10. Contrary to the advertisements, I’ve found that once the temps go over 80ºF the butter will slide into the water. We don’t have AC so indoor summer temps are usually that high or above. I did find a marble one at Marshalls a few years ago, and that works until the temps hit 90. The downside is that marble has to be handwashed, so that one comes out only during the summer. Above 90º I keep the butter in the refrigerator, but at least it does soften quickly in the hot room.

    Mmmmmm. Organic butter on sourdough bread made with freshly milled organic white wheat….

  7. I think unsalted butter is LESS safe to leave out for extended periods.
    I went for it and got the more expensive butter bell, but truly – have had difficulties with my butter staying in the topper part. There have been a few times I have found it plopped into the water. Maybe I’ll try it again, as it didn’t sell at my summer garage sale πŸ™‚ and I wasn’t going lower than $7.00 on my asking price.

    Looking forward to what you think…

  8. We’ve never had a problem with butter spoiling when left out on the counter. I guess it doesn’t last long enough, considering we’re a family of six. It lasts even less time if our 3 yr old gets ahold of it, lol.

    However, I do recommend getting a butter dish that has a lid, to keep flies and other creepy crawlies out of it.

  9. I love our butter bell. As long as the water is changed every day, it’s fine year-round, but it doesn’t get above about 78 degrees in the kitchen with the AC.

  10. We’re in TX, and I’ve always grown up with butter sitting in a covered dish on the counter. We just used a plain plate that came with a domed lid. This is the first I’ve heard of one with water involved. I’m interested to see how it works for you, but it seems too high maintenance for me to remember to change the water! LOL!

  11. Earth Balance πŸ™‚

  12. We bought the fancy one for MIL last year, and she loves it.

  13. I heard these were also called French butter dishes. We used to use one when I was a kid. Now I just keep butter out in a covered dish on the counter, and it’s fine. Only in the winter, though. In summer it gets too melty. Plus we don’t use as much butter in the summer. Do let us know how it works.

  14. I luuuurve my butter bell. There’s nothing quite as irritating as un-spreadable butter…it really does stay good if you change the water and use it up in a reasonable amount of time.

  15. I’ve seen these before, but living down South, I’ve never been tempted to leave my butter out all the time. I like not having to go to the ER all the time. πŸ˜‰ That being said, my aunt down in New Orleans stores their MAYONNAISE in the pantry after each use, not the fridge. How they’re still alive, I couldn’t even begin to guess.

  16. I love, love, love my butter bell. The Vermont Country Store sells a pretty one for about twelve bucks. One year I gave them as christmas presents and they were a great hit. (

  17. Oh! I just leave the butter out! It doesn’t SEEM to spoil…*looking suspiciously at butter* *butter looking back innocently*

  18. Lurve mine too. Got it on QVC for

  19. Ok – I just bought a butterbell about 2 months ago. Love it, HOWEVER, my butter seems to be molding in it. What am I doing wrong?

  20. Charmed, are you packing your butter into the bell? You need to make sure it’s in the bell part really firmly. Also, keep a couple of tablespoons of cold water in the bottom part of the bell, and change that water every couple of days. Lastly, butter bells are good for about 30 days. If you don’t use up a stick of butter in thirty days, try filling your bell with half a stick (or whatever). The trick is to make sure you are emptying your bell (and washing it, of course) at least once a month.



  21. Hi there,

    I read your blog and just wanted to throw in a couple of comments. Fistly, I work for the L. Tremain, corporation, makers of “The Original Butter Bell Crock”. You refered to purchasing a Norpro butter bell which is incorrect. Butter Bell is a protected trademark of our company and our products are made from high quality stoneware not porcelain. We use stoneware because it is a better insulator against outside temperatures, is a lot more durable and we believe looks better. We offer 28 styles on our website and sell to over 2000 stores across the US. You may pay a little more for the Original Butter Bell Crock but over 1.5 million customers have chosen to do so.

  22. Well Mr. Thomas – sice I actually purchased a L. Trmain Original Butter Bell, maybe YOU can tell me why my butter is moldy.

  23. Hi Charmed –

    If you have had moldy butter, please email me directly so I might be able to help you solve your problem. It is generally never the actual butter keeper. Though my product line is made from top quality stoneware or dolomite depending on the style chosen, that would not contribute to mold. If you email me at, I would be happy to assist.

    We do pride ourselves on providing a top quality product line and we do want to hear from our consumers who may have questions or issues concerning the use or effectiveness of the product. Please feel free to contact me – I will respond.


    Lisa Tremain
    The Original Butter Bell crock

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