The Butter Wrapper Trick You’ll Wish You Had Known Years Ago

published Mar 15, 2021
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Credit: Rochelle Bilow

As someone who prides herself on a liberal use of butter in the kitchen, you would think I would’ve known all about the TikTok butter wrapper trick before it went viral. But somehow, this trick had passed me by; it wasn’t until I saw this video on a smart way to grease a pan that I wondered just how much butter I’d been wasting.

Here’s the gist: Instead of throwing away the wrapper from a stick of butter, fold it up into quarters and place it in the refrigerator to re-solidify. When you need to grease a pan, all you have to do is unfold the paper and rub the buttery side all over the surface of your pan. Then toss the paper and proceed with your recipe.

Was this tip really as brilliant as it seemed? I decided to try it myself.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow
Room temperature butter wrapper.

I Tried the Butter Wrapper Trick for Greasing Pans

I tried this tip twice, first with a wrapper that was taken from a cold stick of butter — because that’s what the person in the TikTok video appeared to be using — and then with a wrapper taken off a stick of room temperature butter. Not surprisingly, there was a larger transfer of butter on the room temp butter wrapper versus the cold stick of butter wrapper. Both times, I folded the wrapper into quarters, just like the video instructs. I don’t think you necessarily need to fold it in quarters, but my assumption is that it will fit well into the box if you do.

The next morning, I had plans to bake a coffee cake. Normally, I’d rip off a piece of wax paper and use that to smear butter all over the pan. Instead, I grabbed both of my wrappers (cold and room temp) from the fridge. I tried the cold butter wrapper first, and was not particularly impressed with the amount of grease it left on the pan. But! When I tried it with the room temperature butter, the trick worked like a charm. My pan got an even layer of grease, ensuring that the cake wouldn’t stick. The best part is that I didn’t waste a sheet of wax paper or the butter I typically reserve for morning toast. 

I’ll definitely be saving my butter wrappers for future baking projects — but I don’t think I’d use this trick for any recipe where I’d need to cook on high heat. Butter’s low smoke point means it will burn and scorch at those temperatures. Neutral oils, like sunflower and grapeseed, are better for sautéing and searing.

@thekitchn We’re definitely saving this tip for our next baking project! 🧈 #bakingtiktok #bakingtips #bakinghacks #kitchenhacks #cookingtips ♬ Cute – Aurel Surya Lie

2 Things to Consider When Trying the Butter Wrapper Trick at Home

To make the most out of this hack, keep these two things in mind.

  1. Unwrap your butter when it’s at room temperature. If you unwrap a stick of cold butter, there won’t be much transfer to the wrapper — so be sure to use the soft stuff. 
  2. This tip would work best for baking. Even though the TikTok video didn’t explicitly say this, I think the tip would work best when you have to grease a pan before baking something. Luckily, there is always plenty of baking inspiration to be had