Cooking is an art that is essential to everyday living. For the art to be completed and presented, you must take careful action to provide the necessary ingredients. When a recipe calls for thawed or soft butter, but you don't have time to let the butter sit out for hours, you need to find other ways to quickly thaw butter.
Cut the butter up into small pieces. Cutting the butter up, instead of leaving it compacted together, will cause it to melt much quicker. This works best if you are needing to thaw a stick of butter, however it should work with any form of butter.
Beat the butter with a heavy object such as a rolling pin or meat tenderizer. This method causes the butter to soften with each pound without heating the butter. This works best for recipes that call for softened but not melted butter.
Put the butter over warm water. Use either a double boiler or a metal bowl inside a sauce pan. Put almost boiling water in the boiler or the saucepan and set the butter in the other boiler pot or the metal bowl. This method softens and melts the butter very quickly. Watch carefully to insure you remove the butter when it reaches the desired consistency. Letting it sit for too long will melt the butter completely and may not be what you are hoping to achieve.
Use the microwave to warm the butter. This method may be the fastest, but it is not always the best. Microwaving butter causes the middle of the butter to melt completely while the outside stays soft. However, if you need the butter melted as quickly as possible, try putting the butter in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds.