Compound Butters

This year I took out a 20x30 garden plot in Naperville. That’s going okay. It’s the 4’ x 8’ home raised bed that’s rocking. I have 4, 5’6" tomato plants with a minimum of 200 developing 'maters on them with basil and a several other herbs.

My sage and dill and parsley are growing unbelievably well. I just cut back my dill plant (2.5-3.00 feet tall) and plucked enough dill to fill a small cookie sheet.

I can easily do the same with sage and parsley.

I can’t use all of this dill right now and I know I could dry it - but what about going to costco getting a couple pounds of butter and making some compound butter.

Recipes abound on the web so that’s not really the question, though very welcome. What I want to know is if you make your own and, if frozen, how long do the keep? I’d imagine wrapped in wax paper and cling wrap that they’d freeze quite well.


FDA and others have recommendations about how long you can freeze food. I think they’re full of shit. You can freeze that compound butter for months.

You making some for Thursday?

No need for it for thursday. Thursday is braised short ribs, quail and lamb. None of those, to my palate work with dill…

Bob - I’m with you on freezing. If you’ve made it, did you just whip the herbs into butter and repackage it?

No hot dogs?

I haven’t, but that’s what I’d do. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze in a Ziploc bag.

I haven’t used dill, but I’ve made compound butters with other herbs and had no trouble at all freezing them for several months. I don’t like to leave plastic wrap in direct contact with foods for that long, so I wrap the butter in waxed paper, then plastic, and finally in a freezer bag.

This brings up an interesting question - I wonder why packaged cellophane (what food comes in) doesn’t have the horrible flavor that Saran Wrap and other wraps have…?


I would like to add that when I make compound butters, I probably get a bit aggressive with the salt…since it will act as an antimicrobial agent. Haven’t had any issues with butters being frozen for three to six months.

I usually start with a good salty euro-butter, and then my favorite additions are garlic and chives. Keeps away the microbes… and the undead.

I think that is the key…start with a great butter…can only make it better.

Just use this…

I have made garlic confit a few times (for recipes by Thomas Keller) and I have read that you can’t keep the garlic covered in oil in the fridge for too long because there is a risk of botulism in the anaerobic environment. And multiplying a very tiny risk by a very large mortality rate gives a pretty unacceptable number.

Wouldn’t a butter containing bits of garlic be a similar environment to soft-cooked garlic cloves kept under oil? I’m not sure how much of a deterrent the salt would be.

Frank…I understand your concerns. I have made roasted garlic compound butter that has been fine in the fridge for at least a month and up to six in the deep freeze. Done this more times than I can count and haven’t gotten sick yet.

Yeah, freezing it solid sounds pretty completely safe to me. I’ve risked using those garlic cloves too without ill effects but – it’s kind of like picking up food off the floor, you have to say a little blessing and hope for the best…

Five second rule…

That’s the key. Botulinum likes an anaerobic environment at moderate temperatures. The spores won’t activate/grow/whatever in the freezer. Once you thaw it and keep it in the fridge, it’s possible for the spores to become dangerous, so why not just freeze it in small batches so it never has to sit in the fridge for long?