How we tested
Sixteen tasters sampled six butter substitutes in four tests: straight from the package, melted over green beans, sautéed with chicken cutlets, and baked into shortbread. We included our favorite unsalted and unsalted high-fat butter in all four tests. The real butters were the overall winners. The butter substitutes are listed in the chart in order of preference. We found one product that does work in a pinch, but most failed us— some rather badly.