Fire up the Grill and Don’t Forget the European Butter

Our grilling tips with European butter

Grilling is heating up, and that means it’s time to grab the butter, and don’t cut costs by avoiding the good stuff. According to Data Bridge Market Research, grilling is currently growing due to the rise in the barbecuing on weekends and holidays, especially among young people. And there are no signs of slowing down! The report also predicts that the BBQ Grill Market will grow at a rate of 5.10% during the forecast period between 2021 and 2028.

Meanwhile, according to Future Market Insights, the global butter market is estimated to reach a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 4.9% during the forecast period of 2022 to 2032 and the United States remains the EU’s largest importer of butter.

So how does the growth of grilling and the consumption of European butter – and particularly French butter – go together? Americans are discovering the joys and benefits of grilling with European butter. In fact, many top chefs around the country notice the perks and flavor nuances of French butter.

For example, Chef Sheana Davis, butter monger for Bread & Butter Winery in Napa and author of the upcoming book Buttermongers, says that in addition to the classic addition of butter to grilled steak, there’s no limit to what you can grill with French butter. From sauteed vegetables on the grill, to grilled cheese, and even scallops and shrimp, Davis enjoys utilizing the high-quality butter in all of her summer grilling. A longtime fan of compound butters, Davis recently even perfected a recipe for asparagus with a chive lemon butter, featuring none other than French butter.

Davis explains that appeal, “With the 82% butter fat and the cultured flavor of the butter, French butter can really add a new level to the dish.” She adds, “When I was in Paris three years ago, I attended a butter tasting and they paired butters with wines from the same region. It was an eye-opener. The slight and yet pleasant sourness is what I really enjoy about the butters of Europe.”

Another chef and grill master who religiously uses European butter is Paul Jimenez, a.k.a. @bigpaulonthegrill, and Founder of The PaulieStrong Foundation, which uses cooking to create awareness for Childhood Cancer Research. Jimenez says “it’s all about flavor and French butter provides a unique nuttiness due to the quality of the cultured cream and what the cows consume. It gives it a nutty, mellow tang, and reacts differently when baked and grilled. French butter is extremely versatile in its uses. Spread it on toast and you will experience a subtle, yet delicious difference from traditional American butters, or poach raw lobster meat and prepare a game-changing lobster roll this summer.” He adds, “I like to use French butter to top a seared or grilled steak, and to poach seafood such as lobster or crab legs.” He adds that shrimp poached in French butter is “absolutely incredible.”

Charles Duque, Managing Director of the Americas for the French Dairy Board, explains where the pleasant sour tang of French butters comes from. “Cultured butter is treated with cultures like yogurt and is then fermented and churned. This results in a fuller, deeper flavor and is much creamier. There’s a slight tang from the cultures, just like with yogurt.” To make sure your butter is truly the best, look for the AOP or AOC label. Adds Duque, “Butter with an AOP or AOC is a protected butter from a specific region. If a butter has this symbol, it means it is produced following certain guidelines and uses milk specifically from a certain region.”

And it’s not just the flavor that makes European butter the pick of American chefs. Adds Davis, “the texture is so elegant based on the cream content. French Butter spreads so well and adapts to many dishes.” She shares her pro tips:

  • Purchase only what you need and keep it fresh
  • Store in an airtight container so that the butter does not absorb refrigerator flavors
  • Keep a portion on your counter in a butter dish so you have immediate access to spreadable butter (perfect with your afternoon baguette)


Jimenez also offers this top tip, this time for poaching with French butter on the grill. The key is to prevent the butter from boiling or it will separate. “Try to keep the butter between 160 and 175 degrees F. Use an instant read thermometer to keep it under 180 F,” he notes.

If you want to elevate your cooking, visit the website
@TasteEuropeButterofFrance is where you’ll find many recipes using European butter, along with a store locator, and more tips and techniques for adding more flavor to your favorite recipes.