11 Different Types of Butter To Cook With

Learn about the different kinds of butter you can use in the kitchen.

Whether or not you love cooking, you may already know how important butter is in the kitchen. But did you know that there are different types of butter?

Different types of butters on a woody surface

Butter is an ingredient that needs no introduction. It’s used in many recipes and is a must-have in any kitchen since it gives savory dishes and desserts a rich, creamy, and mouth-watering taste.

The type of butter depends on the type of animal the milk comes from and how it was processed. While all types of butter are versatile, most excel in specific recipes. 

Some butter can transform your croissant into wonderful flakey goodness. And some types are best paired with a slice of rustic bread. Other types of butter are great for roasting.

Types of Butter

Knowing the different types of butter is essential, especially if you love cooking. If you are curious about the different types of butter, get ready. Here, you’ll learn about the must-try kinds of butter and their uses. 

European-Style Butter

European butter is a type of cultured butter churned for a long time, so it can achieve a minimum of 82% butterfat.

Whether you purchase European butter traditionally made through fermentation or one that has only been added with cultures, you’ll notice a light tangy taste. 

This quality makes it an amazing addition to caramel candies and laminated doughs. This type of butter stands out for these dishes because it has a complex flavor.

If you want to explore this type of butter, the Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter is an awesome choice. This butter is made from Irish grass-fed cows, which produce sweet and rich milk. 

Salted Butter

Of all types of butter, this is one of the most commonly found in households. As its name suggests, salted butter is a butter with salt added.

Aside from giving the butter more flavor, the salt also helps to prolong its shelf life.

This butter is common for cooking, especially in sauces and desserts. It can also serve as a spread on toast.

If you’re looking for high-quality salted butter, the Land O Lakes Quarter Salted Butter is worth checking out.

This all-purpose butter will tickle your taste buds with its fresh flavor and salty kick. 

Unsalted Butter

Another common type of butter is unsalted butter. This versatile ingredient is known for its mildly sweet taste.

Because it doesn’t have any additions such as salt, you will have more control of flavors when you use this butter. 

This characteristic makes this butter a favorite of bakers who don’t want salt content to affect recipes. Unsalted butter is also perfect for people who want to develop exact recipes.

If you want to try an unsalted butter made from the finest cream, then the Plugra Unsalted Butter is a great choice.

This American-made yet European-style butter will make your dish more special. 

Whipped Butter

Don’t let its name intimidate you. Whipped butter is simply softened butter with nitrogen gas added to it.

This quality gives this type of butter an amazing fluffy texture that is difficult to replicate. 

Although it is more delicate than types of butter, its airiness makes it perfect for spreading over bagels, pancakes, waffles, and even cinnamon rolls.

Whipped butter comes with a mild flavor and a noticeable pearly sheen, making it one of the most photogenic types of butter.

If you want to try whipped butter, you shouldn’t miss the Breakstones All Natural Salted Whipped Butter.   

Clarified Butter / Ghee

Most butter is simply an emulsion made from water, fat, and milk solids, so when you heat it, these will separate.

This type of butter is made only with fat, so it doesn’t have water or milk solids. 

This characteristic makes it richer and more stable than traditional salted and unsalted butter. 

Ghee is one of the most common types of clarified butter. It is great for high-heat roasting or searing, which perfectly complements its toasty flavor. 

The Organic Valley Ghee has a rich and nutty flavor. It is also lactose and casein-free.

Its high smoke point enables versatile use, including frying, sautéing, baking, and roasting, among many others.  

Plant-Based Butter

Butter commonly consists of animal byproducts. But this isn’t the case with plant-based butter.

It is made from various types of oils, so it’s perfect for people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. 

The most common ingredient for this butter includes olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and palm oil.

Despite not being made with traditional ingredients, this butter doesn’t compromise on flavor. 

If you want to try a plant-based butter, the Melt USDA Organic Rich & Creamy Butter Made From Plants is an awesome buy.

It’s packed with Omega-3s and free of soy, gluten, allergens, nuts, and cholesterol.

Brown Butter 

If you love baking, you’re probably familiar with brown butter.

This type of butter has an amber color and a very distinct caramel and nutty taste, which deepens the flavor profile of cookies, granolas, and savory dishes. 

It can even be spread on bread if you want to take your toast to the next level. 

You can make brown butter yourself with other types of butter, but if you want to save yourself from the hassle, you can simply purchase the Pure Traditions Grass-Fed Cultured Brown Butter Ghee.

This product comes from milk from grass-fed cows raised on a small farm in Ireland. 

Sweet Cream Butter

This type of butter normally derives from pasteurized fresh cream. But there are also sweet cream butter products made with cultured or sour cream.

The flavor of this butter depends on whether or not it is salted or unsalted. 

Unsalted sweet cream butter is known for its mildly sweet flavor, while salted sweet cream butter has a sharp taste. It is best used for frostings, smearing on biscuits, and other baked goods.

The Land O Lakes Butter Salted Sweet Cream is great to have in your kitchen if you plan on using butter on a lot of dishes or baked goods. It will improve the flavor of whatever you’re cooking without adding too much richness.

Compound Butter

This type of butter is made when you mix butter with other ingredients, such as herbs, spices, and cheese.

Aside from using it as a spread, compound butter can also act as a seasoning.

This butter works best as a finishing touch for steaks or to add extra flavor to your roasted vegetables. So, if you enjoy adding flavors to your food, you should try this butter. 

The Chef Shamy Saute Butter in Garlic Herb is a must-try if you want to see whether or not compound butter is right for you.

It will give your dishes a bold garlic taste and a buttery finish. 

Organic Butter

Just like other products, butter can also be organic.

Organic butter is simply butter produced on a farm that follows organic standards. To be labeled as such, the farm should not use growth hormones and antibiotics for the cattle. 

Animals should eat organic feed grown without synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides.

It should also produce enough food to support the farm’s living essentials and the local community. 

The Spring Sunrise Ghee Organic Grass-Fed Butter is a great addition to any dishes that need more richness. It’s great to know that you are putting healthy food into your body when you use this butter.

Grass-Fed Butter

Grass-fed butter comes from cows that graze in grass rich in nutrients.

This quality gives this butter a high content of vitamins and minerals, making it more nutritious than regular butter. 

It is also a great choice to give to your kids, as they can easily spread it on their sandwiches and other foods.

This benefit is great because it will give your kids a boost of vitamins, healthy fats, and Omega-3s in their diet. This butter also has a lower level of saturated fats.

If you have a craving for butter that is grass-fed, the Allgau Grassfed German Butter (Unsalted) is an awesome choice. It has a high smoke point which makes it great for sautéing and roasting. 

Types of Butter

  1. European-Style Butter
  2. Salted Butter
  3. Unsalted Butter
  4. Whipped Butter
  5. Clarified Butter / Ghee
  6. Plant-Based Butter
  7. Brown Butter
  8. Sweet Cream Butter
  9. Compound Butter
  10. Organic Butter
  11. Grass-Fed Butter

Final Thoughts

Butter is a healthy and tasty food that everyone can enjoy. With so many options available, getting the right butter can take a while. So try as many types of butter as you can to determine which one will best suit your needs or the one you like most.

Of course, you can always have different types of butter in your fridge to serve different purposes.

Whether you want to use it for baking, cooking, or as a quick spread on your toast, the various types of butter mentioned above are a must-have. 

Learn more about cooking here on our blog, like the different types of olive oil or the best cheese to top your pizza!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin is an editor and food writer who loves traveling and trying new foods and fun cocktails. Erin has been writing and editing professionally for 5 years since graduating from Temple University, and has been on the Restaurant Clicks team for 3 years. She has a long background working in the restaurant industry, and is an avid home chef and baker. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.