Homemade butter generally doesn’t keep as long as store bought at room temperature, because, without preservatives it is more vulnerable to ambient bacteria in the air (particularly if it is unsalted). However, once you’ve made your butter, you can leave it on the counter for a few days. If your home is cool enough, you can just cover it in a butter dish.
It would be a shame to have your beautiful flavored butter go bad, so there are better options:
Freezing butter is a good choice because it won’t change the texture. The taste may diminish slightly, but generally speaking, your butter will keep well in the freezer for up to 6 months. Wrap it closely or vacuum seal it.
Use a Butter Bell
A butter bell (sometimes called a butter crock or a butter keeper) will prevent both air and light from spoiling your butter. It will keep your butter fresh (on the counter) for up to 30 days because it creates an airtight seal for your butter.
To use a butter bell, simply:
- Fill the lid with butter, being sure to press out any air bubbles.
- Fill the crock half full with water.
- Turn the lid over and put it into the crock of water. The butter will not get wet. It is now sealed.
Butter bells can be quite beautiful:
Ghee is clarified butter which has had the milk solids and water cooked out of it. As such, it is lactose free.
It’s widely used in warm climates and it is being used increasingly by chefs in the US. When heated, it imparts a nutty, buttery flavor, more intense than that of butter.
There are many YouTube videos demonstrating how to make it to make ghee.
Slowly heat the butter until it is melted (but not brown). Turn the heat down and let it bubble until the milk solids have settled on the bottom of the pot and the foam has risen to the top. Then, strain the butter through butter muslin or doubled up cheese cloth.
You can then store it at room temperature, if you wish, or keep it refrigerated.
It is often used in paleo recipes as a substitute for coconut oil. Here’s one of several suggestions in a Bon Appetit article – Why Chefs Are Cooking With Ghee and You Should Too:
Roasted Veg with Nutritional Yeast from Bon Appetit
2 small heads of broccoli, cut into florets with some stalk attached
2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Preheat oven to 425°. Toss vegetables with oil on a rimmed baking sheet to coat; season with salt and pepper. Roast until deep golden brown and tender, 20–25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then toss with nutritional yeast.
Do Ahead: Veggies can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.