Is there a wrong way to cut butter?

One cooking expert’s opinion on how to cut a stick of butter is pretty surprising.
Bake
People have VERY strong opinions about the way you're supposed to cut a stick of butter.Getty Images stock

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/ Source: TODAY
By Lyn Mettler

Everything is better with butter, right? Well, apparently it depends on how you slice it.

The controversy began when Maria Stephanos, an anchor for Boston's WCVB, posted a photo of how she cuts her butter.

Along with the photo, she acknowledged that her family members are definitely not fans of her technique.

"I know. It's wrong. My family hates it and I've been doing it for years, but please tell me at least one of you cuts your butter this way. Anyone?" Stephanos posted.

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Turns out, people had a lot of opinions about how to slice butter. So far, nearly 700 people have weighed in on the photo.

For fans of keeping things neat and symmetrical, this across-the-stick slicing technique is basically a sin.

But some came to the photo's defense to explain the method behind their madness.

While the photo has clearly irritated a lot of people on social media, is there really just one right way to cut butter? One pro's answer might shock you.

Lisa McManus, the executive editor of tastings and testings at America’s Test Kitchen, said she actually skim-cuts her butter off the top of a stick just like Stephanos.

"I always forget to take it out of the fridge, so I'm looking for slivers that will melt evenly on my warm toast," McManus told TODAY Food via email. "I am way fussy about toast. I like a thin layer of melted butter all over the top surface, no oily pools of soggy bread."

But McManus explained that if you're actually using butter in a recipe, it's important not to just reach for any old piece you have lying in the fridge. "If you're getting toast crumbs in it [a stick of butter], or other food, it's a good idea to take a smaller piece out onto a serving dish just for that purpose," McManus said, adding that she uses fresh sticks when baking.

But if one's butter is never hard, then would this even be an issue? Not refrigerating butter has been the subject of food debates before.

Food safety experts told TODAY Food that it's OK to store butter on the counter if you follow a few guidelines. If your butter is pasteurized and salted, it's OK to leave it on the counter for a week or two. During that time, it's important to make sure the butter doesn't become contaminated (by dirty hands or utensils, for example). While soft butter does make enjoying toast a lot easier in the morning, if you want to stay on the safe side, just refrigerate that stick.

Now, that the butter issue is settled, should we revisit that viral toast debate? In 2017, a viral Twitter tiff erupted over whether one should cut toast diagonally, from top to bottom or from left to right.

Ah, the things people choose to get upset over.