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How much is a pat of butter?

A pat of butter is a term used to refer to a small dollop of butter that is ornamentally shaped using a butter pat plate.

Butter pat plates had their heyday from 1850 to 1960. A lump, or more specifically, a pat of butter, often molded or stamped with a decorative pattern on its surface, is placed on a butter pat plate.

A butter-making equipment called a wooden butter pat was also used to shape butter into a block. These wooden butter pats were needed for shaping or pressing the butter into a mold since doing so by hand can cause the butter to melt.

How Much Is A Pat Of Butter?

But nowadays, the pat of butter we know are little square servings of butter often wrapped in foil packets or plastic tubs. 

Why Is It Called a Pat of Butter?

There are a couple of plausible reasons for the name.

The earliest explanation comes from the tools used to make butter called hands or butter pats.

Butter pats are wooden paddles with a grooved and smooth side. They were used to squeeze buttermilk out of blocks of butter and distribute salt through the butter.

How much is a 'pat' of butter? Where did the term originate

Some argue that a pat of butter is so named because of the tools used to make it.

Another explanation is that when pats of butter were being molded for use in restaurants, cooks would “pat” dollops of butter into the molds.

The final potential explanation behind the name is not as pleasant.

The word “pat” can describe a compact mass of soft material. The name is supposed to reflect the sound butter makes when dropped into a pile.

It is from this meaning that we get the term cowpat which is a pile of cow dung. Not the nicest link to make with butter, I know.

How Much Is A Pat Of Butter?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a definitive weight or size measurement. You see, when restaurants began molding pats of butter, they just went with whatever shape and size they thought looked good.

Generally, a pat of butter is one serving, so it will have enough butter to cover a slice or two of toast or enough to cover your potatoes. It’s also the amount of butter in those small rectangular foiled packages or plastic cups with foil covers typically given at hotels and planes.

That isn’t very helpful if a recipe asks you to use a pat of butter, though. So, in general, a pat of butter is about 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons or 1/3 to 1/2 tablespoon of butter.

If a recipe calls for a pat of butter, you have some wiggle room and can use butter to taste. Some will want a generous pat, others a more conservative one. As long as you don’t go to extremes, the recipe will still work.

How Much Does a Pat of Butter Weigh?

It depends on the package size, but a pat of butter can weigh around 9 grams or 1/3 ounces. A square slice from a 1/4-pound stick of butter should also equate to one pat. 

How Many Calories Are in a Pat of Butter?

Again, it’s hard to give a definite calorie count if the amount of butter isn’t fixed.

Working with the average, a pat of butter will have about 30 to 50 calories. Most sources and manufacturers list the calorie count as 36 for a pat.

The number of calories in a pat will not change between salted and unsalted butter, as salt does not add calories.

The sodium content is the only nutritional difference between a pat of salted butter and a pat of unsalted butter.

Salted butter has 90 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon, whereas unsalted butter has 0 milligrams of sodium. In a pat, this works out as 45 milligrams of sodium compared to 0 milligrams.

How Much Is A Pat Of Butter?

How to Make a Pat of Butter?

If you want to get fancy for your next dinner party, you could make your own ornate pats of butter.

It is a really simple process that can be done with just your hands if you’re quick enough.

The first step is to decide what design and shape you want to go with. The easiest shape is going to be a rectangle about 1 inch square and about ⅓ inch thick. You can make these by simply cutting squares from your stick of butter.

The best way to do it is to cut a ⅓ inch slice off your stick and then cut your inch squares.

If you’re not a fan of corners and edges, you could make circles or balls of butter. Use a small cookie cutter to make circular pats of butter.

Rolling the butter into balls by hand is tricky because it can melt. If you work fast, you can get away with it, but you might want to use spoons to shape the balls to prevent them from melting.

What is a pat of butter

Use the spoons as extensions of your hands. Flat wooden spoons or spatulas work best.

The easiest way to get a ball of butter is to use a melon baller or a small ice cream scoop to get perfectly formed balls.

If you are going for a more intricate design, you may want to get a mold. Ice cube trays work well as butter molds and tend to be just the right size.

Have a look for some fun and unique designs to liven up your dinner display. We’ve used Star Wars ice cube trays to make little storm trooper butter pats!

For a real show-stopping butter pat, you could try forming your own design. This is tricky because handling the butter will make it melt, but if you start with very cold butter and work fast, you should be okay.

Serving Your Butter Pats

Once you’ve shaped your butter pats, put them back in the refrigerator so that they stay cool and hold their shape.

You want to take them out about 15 minutes before serving so that they have time to soften up. There’s nothing worse than having your bread ripped apart by a pat of solid butter.

The last step is to give yourself a “pat on the back” as your guests enjoy your quirky little servings of butter!

Serving Your Butter Pats

Is a Pat of Butter a Tablespoon?

How many pats of butter in a tablespoon? Depending on the size of the butter container, one pat can be anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 tablespoons. 

Therefore, a tablespoon of butter can have around 1 to 3 pats. 

Is a Pat of Butter a Tablespoon

Why Use a Pat of Butter?

While a pat of butter doesn’t have a definitive weight or size, it’s still a useful measurement because it’s the perfect single serving size. 

This is why pats of butter (those in covered plastic cups) are the ones given at hotels and planes!

If you’re hosting a gathering, you can also prepare a pat of butter for each guest to ensure they’ll have enough butter for their meal. And if you’re looking to liven up your table, pats of butter make ideal pre-portioned amounts to shape into interesting designs.

Why Use a Pat of Butter

What Is a Slice of Butter Called?

Fun fact for all of you butter enthusiasts out there: If you take one square slice from a quarter-pound stick of butter, it’s also called a pat of butter!

What Is a Slice of Butter Called

How Much Is a Knob of Butter?

Like a pat of butter, a knob of butter is another imprecise measurement that can make you scratch your head if you encounter it in a recipe. 

A knob of butter can be equal to 1 to 4 tablespoons of butter, so look out for terms like “small knob” or “large knob” to know how much you’ll need for the cooking task.

You can also use your own judgment.

Typically, if a recipe calls for a knob of butter, it should be enough to cover the bottom of the pan when melted. 

How Much Is a Knob of Butter

FAQ: How Much Is A Pat Of Butter?

How many ounces are in a pat?

A pat of butter is equal to 1/3 ounces. However, since pats of butter come in different containers, a large pat is around 1/2 ounces, while a small pat is equal to 1/6 ounces.

How many grams are in a pat of butter?

A pat of butter is anywhere from 5 to 15 grams, depending on the size of the container. 

How many pats of butter in a stick?

You can get 12 pats of butter from a quarter-pound stick, but this assumes you’ll take even slices, measuring a tablespoon each. 

How much is a block of butter?

A block of butter is equal to 4 sticks or 2 cups of butter. 

Is it a pat or a pad of butter?

It’s called a pat of butter, not a pad of butter if you want to refer to the single-portion butter that comes in packets or tubs.

Final Thoughts: How Much Is A Pat Of Butter?

So, how much is a pat of butter?

A pat of butter is about 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons or 1/3 to 1/2 tablespoon. The reason for this range is that pats of butter come in different packaging sizes. 

How Much Is A Pat Of Butter

One pat is also equals to 9 grams, 1/3 ounces, or one slice from a single stick (quarter-pound) of butter. 

Next time a recipe calls for a pat of butter, check for terms like “small” or “large pat.” 😉

I hope you found this post about how much is a pat of butter helpful. For more frequently asked questions, visit our index of food-related questions and answers. Here are a few suggestions for you:

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