Butter Measures [UK] fridge magnet

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(business-card sized:  4.8 x 8.5cm)

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Why a butter-measures [UK] magnet?

Here's why. Butter in America comes in individually wrapped 'sticks' and the wrappers show where to cut for 1 tablespoon, 2 tablespoons, etc.  Many Americans leave their butter in its wrapper, so they can see where to cut when a recipe calls for 1 or 2 tablespoons. British butter, however, comes in a 250g block which we often put on a butter dish on the table, so we've no reference point for how wide a piece to slice for 1 or 2 ounces, and anyway, our butter wrappers often don't have printed guidelines.

One or 2 ounces of butter is a common amount called for in recipes [metric: 28g, 56g often rounded up to 30g, 60g]. 

To use the fridge magnet as a British-butter slicing guide, hold it above your block of butter*, and slice to the width of the 1-oz. measure, or the 2-oz. measure obviously you can repeat for larger amounts called for.

This is for the normal-sized blocks of British butter:  
3 5/8 in. long x 21/2 in. wide x 15/8 in. thick
A butter block of slightly different dimensions started appearing in shops (2013).  The measures on the fridge magnet will be correct only for butter blocks that match the dimensions given above, i.e., the dimensions of most British butter blocks.

A word of warning: if you live with someone who skims butter off the top of the block then, in order to use the butter-measures magnet accurately, I suggest you keep 2 blocks of butter: a 'cooking butter block' that you use, and a 'toast buttering block' that they use.

The butter magnet also gives the weight equivalents for 1, 2 and 4 tablespoons butter, plus, inside the yellow rectangles, the calories for 1 and 2 ounces of butter are listed. You might not want to see them but there they are, and yes, they're high. But butter's not alone in being a high-calorie ingredient: oil, cream (and by extension, ice cream) and cheese are also high in calories, and they can greatly improve the flavour of what you're cooking. However, it's important to have an idea of which ingredients you can use freely, and which you need to keep an eye on you don't want to have to buy a larger clothes size every year.

If you know which ingredients are high in calories, then you can figure out which dishes and desserts are also high in calories. The easiest way to reduce the calories of a high-calorie main course or dessert is by having a small serving you'll get the full flavour, but just a fraction of the guilt.

For some charts of other common cooking ingredients and their calories, see:

Calories of cooking oils, etc.     Calories of milks, etc.     Calories of cheeses


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