- Some types of butter are better than others.
- We talked to chefs and experts to see what they buy.
- Among the favourites are Kerrygold, Trader Joe’s Cultured Salted Butter, Land O’Lakes, and Goat Butter.
- One chef also loved a flavored butter that’s called Everything Bagel Butter.
- Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.
To quote one of the world’s most celebrated chefs (and dairy enthusiasts) Julia Child: “With enough butter, anything is good.”
We have to agree. And while pretty much any brand of butter will do the trick, pro chefs tend to gravitate toward especially creamy, rich, and flavorful versions.
We asked a group of experts for their top butter recommendations. Here are 10 decadent dairy products you can get at grocery stores and online.
When selecting a butter for baking, stick with a classic like Land O’ Lakes.
Plenty of luxe types of butter exist on the market, but time-honored supermarket staples like Land O’Lakes can totally get the job done, especially in a utilitarian baking context.
“Land O’ Lakes butter is my go-to butter for baking,” explained recipe developer Leah Klein of City Living Boston. “It always has the best results.”
Klein told INSIDER the butter is her go-to for it’s “neutral” flavour and consistency. Plus another major plus is its packaging.
“Some other brands don’t include the lines on the packaging of each stick to help with measurements, or tell the customer if the stick is salted or unsalted,” Klein said. “Being able to have a loose stick of butter and not play a guessing game is helpful.”
For a delicious and authentic “jambon beurre” sandwich, opt for Beurre D’Isigny from Normandy.
Why pay extra for imported butter from France when the local goods can be bought for much less? Because French butter is unbelievably tasty, particularly when you’re using this butter from the Normandy region.
Chef Dieter Samijn from Bar Boulud in New York City particularly favours Beurre D’Isigny, a butter from the Normandy region.
“[Beurre D’Isigny] is the best, and you can easily find it,” Chef Dieter Samijn from Bar Boulud in New York City told INSIDER, adding to check your local Whole Foods or speciality grocery stores. “It’s butter from grass-fed cows in Normandy, available with rock salt or unsalted.”
The best version, according to Samijn, is the “beurre de baratte” that is slowly churned. Samijn suggests using it in a jambon beurre, a French sandwich made with Parisian ham, butter, and baguette.
Kerrygold Irish Butter sets all butter standards high.
Easy to find in American grocery stores, Kerrygold Butter from Ireland has a higher fat content than its US-made counterparts. This gives it a creamy texture and a more developed flavour profile, making it a favourite among chefs like Judy Joo of Jinjuu in London, England.
“My all-time favourite butter is Kerrygold Irish Butter,” Joo told INSIDER. “It tastes like what butter should be, with a very subtle buttermilk-esque tang. It’s also 100% grass fed, so it’s better for you than grain-fed butter, due to the amount of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid).”
As for the best way to eat it, Joo suggests spread over a slice of toasted sourdough.
Californians can easily snag their own grass-fed butter from the Challenge brand.
Looking for a great grass-fed butter made right here in the States? Challenge Dairy Butter from California delivers on all fronts.
Mobile, Alabama, chef and co-host of “Sip & Chew with Mike and Stu”Stuart Reb Donald loves this butter, telling us that its partnership with family-run farms is why it’s so successful.
“It’s a California staple with an artisanal approach, as Challenge uses only milk from family-run, grass-only farms,” Donald told INSIDER. “They have been partnered with most of these farms for almost a century. This approach is noticeable in every bite.”
Trader Joe’s Cultured Salted Butter brings an appealing tang to breakfast treats.
Trader Joe’s is famous for its frozen foods and snacks, but it also knows how to make functional and flavorful kitchen staples. Case in point: the Cultured Salted Butter, a favourite of Los Angeles chef and author of “101 Asian Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die” Jet Tila.
“The butter has an active bacteria (like yogurt), so it has a beautiful tanginess,” Tila told INSIDER. “It’s perfect on crusty fresh bread, rolls or pancakes. I like eating it over any fresh breads or pastries. Also, melted and slathered over some packed lobster or shrimp, this butter is amazing. You can use it for cooking as well, like mashed potatoes or sautéed anything!”
Goat butter is a great match for a fresh loaf of bread.
Cow’s milk butter isn’t the only game in town. Savvy shoppers can find butter made from a variety of milks, like the popular Meyenberg Goat Milk Butter from California.
“When I’m looking for a more dimensional butter, Meyenberg Goat Milk butter is one of my all-time favourite favourites,” pastry chef Zairah Molina of CUT by Wolfgang Puck in New York City told INSIDER. “It’s easy to incorporate into recipes or to serve lightly-salted [as a] spread for crusty bread.”
Plugra European-Style Butter spreads easily and brings a welcome richness to baked goods.
A common complaint is when a cold stick of butter won’t spread easily across a slice of toast. Schlow Restaurant Group‘s Director of Pastry Programs Alex Levin says the solution is Plugra European-Style Butter that spreads easily because of its fat content.
“My favourite butter is Plugra European-Style butter,” Levin told INSIDER. “It has a slightly higher fat percentage (83% or higher sometimes) compared to other types of butter, which makes it more spreadable even when cold.”
He also said the flavour is delicious, and perfect for making cookies, croissants, laminated Danishes, and scones. “It does the job the best, period,” Levin said.
Vermont Creamery makes some of the best all-purpose butters in the United States, according to one expert.
Whether you’re looking for butter to spread on toast or a dairy product ideal for cooking, you’ll find both with Vermont Creamery. This brand is a long-time favourite among chefs, and executive chef Craig Hopson of Farmhouse in Los Angeles, California, explained why.
“[My favourite] domestic butter would be from Vermont Creamery – very creamy, slightly tangy and rich, very ‘French style,’ and it’s widely available,” Hopson told INSIDER. “I also love the round log it comes in, which makes it very convenient to shave off thin slices.”
Amish Country Roll Butter still churns its butter with traditional equipment.
When it comes to butter, the “old” ways tend to yield the best results. For the Amish Country Roll Butter team, that means traditional churning equipment.
“I absolutely love Amish Country Roll Butter,” chef Jainine Jaffer of Shiraz Restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada, told INSIDER. “The reason this butter is so good is that it’s made in a traditional old-fashioned butter churn and rolled in wax paper.”
Jaffer says the butter is made with a combination of whey and sweet creams too, which amps up the flavour.
Plus, not only can you get this specialty butter in stores and online, but Jaffer says it lasts “forever.”
“It has a printed shelf-life of one month, but I kept one roll of butter in my fridge for a good 6 months and it kept perfectly fine,” Jaffer said. “I’ve used this butter to make biscuits, scones and savoury tart shells, and they come out tasting amazing.”
If you’re worried about butter fatigue, jazz things up with a flavored butter.
Although certainly delicious on its own, butter is also a prime canvas for creative flavours. It’s easy to customise butter on your own, but if you’d rather buy a version with mix-ins already included, Bennett’s Butter Co. has you covered.
Chef Matt Barth of T&Cakes in Boulder, Colorado, is a devoted Bennett’s fan, and he’s especially partial to one variety.
“I love cooking with compound butters (flavored butters) because they help elevate food to the next level of flavour with minimal effort,” Barth told INSIDER. “My favourite is Bennett’s Butter Everything Bagel Butter. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savoury with a delicious blend of seeds and spices with a hint of honey. It goes great on everything from baked salmon and roasted sweet potatoes to homemade popcorn or kettle corn.”
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