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Not necessarily. (it would depend on the temperature). A butter keeper can keep butter fresh for about a month without refrigeration. Most butter keepers are similar. Soft butter is put in the lid, and cold tap water is put in the base. The water forms an air-tight seal. The lid is turned upside down and put into the base. You need to replace the water every few days.
Most people refrigerate butter because they are worried that it will go rancid or attract pests, but for years and years people didn't have refrigeration.
Thank you for the prompt response. It was very informative. I will not feel guilty about leaving my butter out overnight.
This is not brain surgery...use a stick of butter at a time and keep the rest in your refrigerator. If you have cats, keep it covered in your cupboard otherwise, it will be gone before it gets rancid.
I love my butter keeper! Here in Texas, the butter will start growing mold in spots if I don't change the water often enough. So each morning after getting a little butter for my breakfast of homemade-bread, I just dump the water and put a little more in. Easy.
Also, when I finish the butter in the keeper, I get out a new stick and leave it on the counter, still wrapped, to soften. Then when the butter keeper has been washed and dried, the new butter is ready to put in.
As Chris Paulk said it depends on the temperature if your ambient temp. is cool then by all means leave it out providing that it's salted which acts as a preservative if the butter stays firm you'll be fine, obviously in the tropics keep it cool. It can also be frozen if you come across a cheap supply.
I've not come across a butter keeper in the UK! I'm going to have to trawl the net for that one, thanks.