Originally Posted by tideeboo_larkilou
Holes in the buttercream is caused by overwhipping the butter/crisco. You want to beat them as little as possible before adding your powdered sugar. Also, meringue powder really makes a difference. There are so many BC recipes. I find the Wilton decorating BC recipe is really good. Hope this helps. As far as drying out, keep it covered with a wet towel while not in use. I don't know of any buttercream that won't crust over after a while.
I disagree that "holes in the buttercream is caused by overwhipping the butter/crisco." I whip (pulverize) my crisco for at least 15 minutes BEFORE adding any other ingredients. It's about the consistency of sour cream when I'm finished pulverizing it. I also beat/whip the icing for at least 15 to 20 minutes after all of the powdered sugar has been added. I use Indydebi's buttercream recipe and I've never had any trouble with "holes" in my icing. My icing is very creamy and smooth and I can get it as smooth as fondant using the viva method everytime.
The reason you get "holes" in buttercream is from air in the icing. I always make two batches so that the icing completely covers my beaters while mixing. If I do happen to get air in my icing I just use a wide spatula to press it against the side of the bowl until I've "worked out" all of the air.
I never have any trouble with my buttercream "crusting" and I never use meringue powder. It leaves an aftertaste that I cannot stand. It isn't necessary because mine crust within minutes without using it.