Butter Bell

The micro investigation began innocently enough at the local Goodwill Store. I noticed a small, lidded pot that was glazed with my favorite shade of orange. The lid was secured with tape as is the practice of the store to prevent customers from losing or damaging pottery lids. The body of the pot was labeled “Le Creuset”. The price was marked $2.00 so it was an easy impulse purchase.

At home, I removed the tape and lifted the lid. While doing this something hit against the interior of the little pot–a bell-shaped object that was molded as part of the lid. This seemed highly unusual. I’d never seen anything like it before. Upon further inspection of the interior of the pot itself, there was an inscription that read, “Fill Line”.

The pot with the peculiar lid was a mystery that I felt compelled to solve. Was it some type of egg cooker? Was it designed to hold spices? I was unfamiliar with the name “Le Creuset” so maybe the pot originally contained some type of fancy French cheese. At any rate, the pot and lid appeared premium and costly.

The investigation continued by searching for “Le Creuset” on the Web. The result brought up the website of a cookware company. There were baking dishes, pans, coffee mugs, and various other ceramic items. All of them were very expensive. Apparently the “Le Creuset” brand is targeted towards gourmet cooks and affluent customers. I searched through the site but did not find any mention of the peculiar pot and lid anywhere.

I went back to the Ecosia search engine and typed in “small Le Creuset pottery items”. The picture search revealed several photos of the item in different colors. I clicked on a random photo. The page gave the object’s name and a short description of what it is used for. I was both flabbergasted and amused.

It is a butter bell crock. The vessel is designed to store butter at room temperature in the kitchen. The soft butter will prevent annoying bread shredding that occurs when we attempt to spread cold, hard butter to bread or toast. This was quite a revelation that opened my eyes to a whole new level of buttery goodness. There would be no more need to microwave cold butter for a few seconds to prevent bread shredding. Brilliant!

There are several YouTube instructional videos that explain how to use this gadget, so I watched one. The principle behind the butter bell crock is simple and elegant: firmly press softened butter into the bell then add cool water up to the fill line in the pot, then place the bell lid onto the pot. Voile’, the butter is sealed away from microbes while the butter remains ready to spread. Easy, breezy.

As a disclaimer: no I have not been paid by “Le Creuset” nor any other manufacturer of butter bell crocks. My blog is not monetized. I simply wanted to share my delight about discovering something many other people may not be aware of.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes cartoonist, Bruce Eric Kaplan (BEK). “There was never any butter in our home. Just margarine. My parents acted like butter was lethal. I don’t think I ever saw either one have a piece of butter. I would go over to friends’ houses and down sticks of butter.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, Gadgets, Hometown and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Butter Bell

  1. Coy says:

    During a period of unemployment I would go to as many as nine thrift stores in one day (and maybe not even buy anything). I was looking for cheap collectibles. My eventual collection included lots of Occupied Japan, toys, and assorted marked pottery pieces. I eventually gave them away en masse to a friend couple, who sold them on Ebay.

  2. Cool find! I actually worked at a Le Creuset outlet store once as a summer job, but I don’t remember having this product. It may have been an old discontinued item or something. Very cool

  3. Ho lucky to find a Le Creuset at the Goodwill store, probably the person who donated it didn’t know what to do with it. Growing up my mom kept her butter in a similar type of dish but I had completely forgotten about it. Now I want one 😊 Maggie

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