The guidelines issued by the USDA state butter can be left out covered & unrefrigerated for a week.
Butter storage life on the counter or in the refrigerator is shortened by light and circulating air. Have you ever noticed when butter is left uncovered it picks up the flavor of food in the refrigerator or odors in the room? The biēm helps in both of those ways by eliminating light exposure and circulating air, once the cap is sealed.
That being said, locations and room temperatures for storage and use vary, so we recommend leaving the biem out while in use during the day and storing in the refrigerator overnight. Or simply store in the refrigerator when not in use (with the butter still inside the biēm). Storage times can be different depending on the temperature of where you store the biēm but we do not recommend storing in direct sunlight. If you forget to refrigerate overnight, it won't be a problem, but if you store it in a warm place and kept it out for a few weeks, the butter might need to be replaced and the unit cleaned.
Absolutely, they work great! In fact, any food oil will work just fine.
Yes, you can use margarine sticks, but not tubs. (It's not mandatory but, we really want you to switch to butter!)
The biēm is designed to work with butter sticks commonly used across the U.S.! Yes, there are actually two sizes. One is short and stubby and the other is long and skinny, but both sizes are 4 ounces. We thought it was weird too but it happened because of the evolution of butter stick making equipment as it was first developed across the country.
As butter is loaded into the biēm, it travels down from the product’s middle carriage into a reservoir. There, the biēm has layers of ultra-thin heaters that melt the butter. Once melted, butter moves up from the reservoir to spray.
The biēm has a level sensor that knows when to turn the unit on and off, based on its position. In a nutshell, this sensor tells the biēm when it needs to melt more butter, based on how full-with-butter the biēm’s reservoir is. When it gets down to a certain point, it tells the biēm to melt more butter.
It melts an estimated ¼ teaspoon of butter per second of spray.
The melt to spray time depends on the initial temperature of the biēm at the time of use. If the biēm has been in use and you are adding more butter, it takes about five seconds to liquefy and spray butter, If you're just starting to use a unit stored on the counter at room temperature, it will take approximately 15-20 seconds to begin converting it into a spray. Just "out of the refrigerator" stored start times will vary depending on temperature of the refrigerator.
The biēm has a patent-pending nozzle design that's designed not to clog. Here’s how it works: It takes the butter it melts through it's reservoir and sends it to the nozzle, where it emerges as a single separate butter stream. Air, not flammable propellants, from another stream, then atomizes it as it meets the butter stream and converts it into a spray.
Most sprays send the product and the propellant, (in many cases propellant that is flammable and will catch fire if used near flames), through the same path. What happens is, any foreign object that gets in that path can be too large and clog the nozzle. We separated that path into two isolated streams where we push butter through one and air (the biēm's propellant) through the other, thus allowing the pathway to remain open when some foreign matter gets in. Conventional old-fashioned "manual pump oil sprays" have this problem and can clog with just a spec of pepper, while the biēm does not.
The biēm is designed with proprietary motion-detecting technology enabling it to detect when it’s picked up and turn itself on and off . For instance the biēm knows when a refrigerator door is opening and closing, side-to-side versus being lifted up.
The biēm uses no flammable propellants, just heat and air. Store bought non-stick cooking sprays, like Pam®, use butane or propane in order to spray. They also operate at/under high pressure (often at or near 95 PSI), while the biēm operates at 4.5 PSI. What’s more, the biēm will not burn users because it’s designed to melt butter at its base at a temperature of just 95 degrees. The butter comes out cool because there are microscopic air holes all around the nozzle that cool the spray as it comes out.
To clean the biēm, you open the top and fill with water and a drop of dish soap. Then you press and hold the on/off button for two seconds and it will enter cleaning mode. For the next 10 minutes, the unit heats up to 155 degrees. Each part that comes in contact with the butter is heated, all the way up to the spray opening itself. After 10 minutes, you simply activate the spray to flush the soap and water through the spray opening, empty any remaining soapy water from the main chamber, flush the spray again with clean water, and you are ready to go.
It takes approximately 90 minutes to fully charge. The biēm’s charge lasts anywhere from an estimated week (for a family of four, using it at every meal) to six weeks (for a single person). The biēm comes with a proprietary, high-density battery pack equivalent to 4 AA batteries. There is an LED located at the bottom of the product, which turns red as the biēm’s batteries start getting low.
The battery can be recharged at least 500 times or 10 years of normal use charging on average once a week before replacement