How much is 4 oz of stick butter?

Quick Answer

4 ounces of stick butter equals 1 stick or 1/2 cup. Most sticks of butter in the US are 4 ounces or 1/2 cup.

What is Stick Butter?

Stick butter, also known as bar butter, is butter that is formed into a stick shape and wrapped in parchment paper or foil. Each stick is precisely measured to contain 4 ounces or 1/2 cup of butter.

Stick butter is the most common form of butter sold in grocery stores in the United States. It is found in the dairy case alongside other varieties of butter such as salted and unsalted butter. Sticks of butter make measuring butter easy when baking or cooking, as recipes will often specify amounts like “1 stick of butter” or “2 sticks of butter.”

Advantages of Stick Butter

There are several advantages to using stick butter:

  • Uniform size – Each stick contains the standard 4 ounces.
  • Pre-measured – Recipes specify sticks instead of needing to weigh or shape butter.
  • Easy to slice – The stick shape makes it easy to cut off tablespoon or teaspoon sizes.
  • Appearance – The stick shape gives a clean, smooth appearance.

Common Butter Stick Sizes

While most butter sticks in the U.S. contain 4 ounces, other common sizes include:

  • 2 ounces
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks)
  • 16 ounces (4 sticks)

Standard sizes vary in other countries. For example, in the UK, sticks commonly contain 250 grams (8.8 ounces).

When a recipe calls for a “stick of butter”, it is referring to the standard 4 ounce American size unless stated otherwise.

How Many Sticks are in a Pound of Butter?

There are 4 sticks of butter in one pound. Since each stick is 4 ounces, and there are 16 ounces in a pound, dividing a pound into 4 ounce sticks results in 4 sticks.

This makes the math easy when working with pounds of butter. For example:

  • A half pound of butter = 2 sticks
  • Two pounds of butter = 8 sticks

Knowing this stick-to-pound conversion is handy for scaling recipes up or down. You can easily adjust ingredient amounts using sticks instead of converting ounces or cups.

Converting Sticks to Grams and Pounds

To summarize the conversions:

  • 1 stick butter = 4 ounces = 1⁄2 cup = 110 grams
  • 4 sticks butter = 1 pound = 2 cups = 454 grams

How Many Tablespoons in a Stick of Butter?

There are 8 tablespoons (tbsp) in one stick of butter. Since each stick equals 1⁄2 cup or 4 ounces, and there are 2 tablespoons in 1 ounce, multiplying this out:

  • 4 ounces per stick x 2 tbsp per ounce = 8 tbsp

Being able to convert between sticks, tablespoons, and other measures is useful for adjusting recipes or meal plans.

Cost of Stick Butter

The price of stick butter varies by brand, fat content, whether it is salted or unsalted, organic, and source. However, average prices for name brand butter sticks in the U.S. include:

  • 1 pound of butter (4 sticks): $3 -$5
  • 1 stick of butter: $0.75 – $1.25

Store brand or generic stick butter is typically a little cheaper than name brands. Sale prices may be several dollars less per pound.

Butter is sold year-round, but prices tend to fluctuate depending on seasonal dairy production. Prices tend to be a bit lower in the spring and early summer months when dairy production peaks, and higher in the fall and winter when production decreases.

Comparing Stick Butter Prices

When comparing butter prices, consider:

  • Unit pricing – Price per pound or ounce
  • Brand vs generic
  • Fat content – Salted vs unsalted
  • Packaging size – Bulk savings for larger sizes
  • Coupons, sales, discounts

Buying larger packages typically provides the greatest savings per pound. Stocking up when butter goes on sale can also help cut costs.

How Long Does Butter Last?

When stored properly, stick butter has a fairly long shelf life. Refrigerated butter lasts:

  • Unopened – 2 to 3 months past the printed sell-by or use-by date.
  • Opened – 3 to 4 weeks

Therefore, it’s easy to buy butter when sales and coupons provide the greatest savings. Storing extras in the refrigerator or freezer ensures you always have butter ready to use for baking, cooking, and spreading.

Maximizing Freshness of Stick Butter

To get the longest lasting freshness from stick butter:

  • Refrigerate after opening – Keep butter tightly wrapped at temperatures of 40°F or below.
  • Watch expiration dates – Discard after the use-by date has passed.
  • Portion unused sticks – Cut whole unused sticks and rewrap in airtight packaging.
  • Freeze for longer term storage – Freeze for 6 to 9 months.

Proper refrigeration is key, as butter absorbs food odors and flavors easily. Wrap tightly or use a covered butter dish.

Uses for Stick Butter

The rich flavor and creamy texture of butter makes it a versatile ingredient for cooking, baking, and spreading. Common uses for stick butter include:


Butter is used in all types of baked goods:

  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Pie crusts
  • Pastries
  • Biscuits
  • Quick breads
  • Muffins

It provides moisture and tenderizes batters and doughs. Butter’s creamy flavor takes baked items to the next level.


Adding butter enhances the flavor of all kinds of savory dishes:

  • Sautéed vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Rice dishes
  • Pan sauces
  • Mashed potatoes

Butter also shines when used to baste meats and poultry while cooking or roasting.

Spreading and Finishing

The rich, indulgent taste of butter makes it perfect for:

  • Toast
  • Biscuits
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Popcorn
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Noodles
  • Rice
  • Vegetables
  • Dinner rolls

A pat of melted butter over hot dishes provides delicious flavor. Compound butters flavored with herbs, lemon, or other mix-ins also make tasty finishing touches.

Butter Substitutes

While nothing quite matches the taste of real butter, there are several substitutes available:


Margarine was created as an alternative to butter since it costs less to produce. Regular margarine contains at least 80% fat, so it can be used in a similar way as butter in baking and cooking. However, margarine has a different flavor profile due to the vegetable oils used.

Butter Spreads

Butter spreads have a lower fat content, containing around 50-70% fat. They provide an option for those looking to reduce fat and calories. However, the texture is not as creamy for baking or cooking.


Oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable oil work well for sautéing. The light flavor lets other ingredient flavors shine. Oils contain 100% fat but no saturated fat like butter.

Non-Dairy Spreads

Spreads made from plant-based ingredients like almond milk, coconut, and avocado oil provide a vegan butter option. They mimic butter’s creamy texture. However, the taste differs.

Butter Storage Tips

Storing butter properly is the key to retaining freshness and preventing early spoilage. Here are the best ways to store butter:


  • Keep butter refrigerated at all times at 40°F or below.
  • Store in a covered butter dish or in moisture-proof wrapping like the original packaging.
  • Place sticks in a freezer bag once opened.

Refrigeration prevents butter from absorbing other food smells and minimizes bacterial growth.


  • Freeze extra sticks for long term storage.
  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, waxed paper, or freezer bags.
  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before use.

Portion sticks into the amounts typically used before freezing for ease of use after thawing.

Avoid temperature extremes

  • Don’t leave butter sitting out at room temperature.
  • Prevent melting by keeping it out of hot car trunks in summer.

Temperature extremes encourage spoilage.

Common Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about stick butter:

Is butter dairy free?

No, butter is not dairy free. It is made from cow’s milk. Plant-based margarines or spreads must be used for a dairy free option.

Is butter gluten free?

Yes, pure butter does not contain gluten. However, some butter spreads or butter blends may have additives containing gluten. Check labels if gluten is a concern.

Is salted or unsalted butter better for baking?

For most baked goods, unsalted butter provides better control over the saltiness in the recipe. However, if a recipe calls for salted butter, use it as directed.

Can you substitute oil for butter in baking?

Yes, in some instances oil can be substituted for butter. Generally, you can use 3/4 the amount of oil. So for 1 cup butter, use 3/4 cup oil. However, the texture and flavor will differ.

Is butter vegan?

No, butter is not vegan since it is made from animal milk. Vegan butter alternatives contain plant-based oils and milk alternatives like coconut oil, cashews, almonds or soy.


In summary, a standard 4 ounce stick of butter provides 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons of butter – the size most commonly used in recipes and for cooking. Knowing how butter sticks convert to other units like pounds, grams, and cups allows easy adjustment of recipes and flexibility in purchasing options. Storing butter properly keeps it fresh for a reasonably long shelf life. Butter’s creamy richness adds indulgent flavor and moisture to baked goods, dishes, and bread spreads. While alternatives exist, when a recipe calls for the real thing, butter is a must-have staple.

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