Try This Microwave Hack For Room Temperature Butter

One of the most infuriating parts of baking is forgetting to remove your butter from the fridge to bring it to room temperature. It's easy to overlook that part in a recipe that mentions room temperature butter in its ingredient list, leaving you with no option but to put off the baking until the butter softens.

Butter is an important ingredient in bakes so, if a recipe calls for room temperature butter, it's best to stick to it. Gesine Bullock-Prado, the host of "Baked in Vermont," says that room temperature butter is key to any recipe that requires creaming because creaming is an emulsification, so all the ingredients need to be at a steady and uniform temperature. If you find yourself with a stone-cold stick of butter and do not have the time to wait for the butter to warm itself to room temperature naturally, there are many hacks to speed the process along. Bullock-Prado recommends popping your butter in a microwave and heating it at low power in 30-second intervals until the butter is closer to room temperature. But that's not your only option.

Other ways to bring butter to room temperature

Chrissy Teigen, the queen of clever kitchen tricks, also provided a hack to bring butter to room temperature quickly. In a video she shared on her Instagram account, Teigen filled a measuring jug with water and microwaved it for 20 seconds. She then chucked the water down the drain, placed the warm measuring jug upside down over a stick of butter — and there you have it! Teigen then demonstrated her success by smoothly running a knife through the butter to show how soft it became.

Although it's quick and convenient, there are some drawbacks to using microwave methods to soften butter. According to The Kitchn, microwaving butter to bring it to room temperature can turn it into a melted puddle rather than make it soft, which is just as bad as cold butter. The website recommends three other ways to soften butter. 

You could chop cold butter into smaller chunks and place them near a warm stove to help the process move along. There's also the option of grating butter to make it soft — that is, if you do not mind a messy box grater that will have you looking for hacks on how to clean greasy, buttery kitchen tools. Another way to soften butter is to pop a cold stick of butter in a zipper bag and whack it with a rolling pin a couple of times to flatten it. Or, you could place a bowl of butter on top of a saucepan filled with hot water. However, if you are using this method, make sure to keep checking the butter so it does not end up melting instead of softening.