We put branded products to the test so you know which ones to look out for. This month, we tried different types of salted butter to see which came out on top.
Once you’ve picked your favourite salted butter, spread on a slice of bread using one of our best bread recipes.
How is butter made?
Fat is separated from whole milk or cream, leaving buttermilk behind as a by-product. The fat is then flavoured with salt and formed into blocks. You can make your own by beating double cream in a stand mixer until it splits and the fat starts to clump. Strain and wash the butter in cold water, squeezing the buttermilk from the fat, then cover and chill. For another homemade butter recipe, check out our hazelnut butter.
How we tested
We tested 12 branded butters 30 minutes after removing them from the fridge. We tried the butters on their own, then spread over a slice of sourdough bread.
The results for the best salted butter taste test
Joint winner: Shirgar Welsh salted butter £2/250g
Not one of the most well-known butters, but keep an eye out for this underdog – it’s definitely one that we’ll keep on our radar now. This is a Welsh butter with a really good salt level. Super-creamy in flavour and quite pale in colour, with a rich and savoury aftertaste. Perfect for slathering over hot bread or stirring into savoury sauces. It’s the saltiest we tried but we love its balance of creamy, salty and fatty.
Joint winner: Daylesford organic salted butter, £3.99/160g
Gloriously salty, with a rich mouthfeel and grassy notes that are reminiscent of a good olive oil. This is the yellowest, creamiest butter on test, and makes your mouth water when you open the pack. This won’t fit in your standard butter dish with its unique cylindrical shape, but it won’t last long enough for you to worry! Melt over fresh peas or boiled potatoes to allow the flavour to shine.
With a rich, golden colour and smooth, melting texture that coats the mouth without feeling waxy, this butter has a fairly sweet flavour that lends itself to sweeter dishes or biscuits. It has one of the most ‘fresh cream’ flavours of the butters we tried, with a gentle addition of salt.
A creamy, pale colour but with a fantastic texture, this butter is meltingly soft without being greasy when eaten on its own or with bread. As soon as you open the pack, it smells like nostalgic baking – it has one of the strongest aromas of the butters we tried. It has good salt levels and a creamy flavour. A nice all-rounder.
This butter has a rich golden colour with a fresh cream and subtle cut-grass smell. It has a good salt level that’s not overpowering, and a complex taste, with grassy notes, a clean and creamy start and a vegetal finish. It’s flavoured with Cornish sea salt and churned with Cornish cream for a silky finish and deep flavour.
Other expert taste tests from the olive cookery team:
Tinned tomatoes taste test
Marmalade taste test
Anchovies taste test
White miso taste test
Pesto taste test
Strawberry jam taste test
Hummus taste test
Dried spaghetti taste test
Oat milk taste test
Smoked salmon taste test