How to Brown Butter

Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Sharing all my tips on how to brown butter easily and quickly to make all your dishes and desserts even better! Brown butter is magical and tastes toasted and almost nutty, adding a lot more depth to a dish!

Brown butted in a skillet with a wooden spoon and towel.

What is Brown Butter?

Brown butter is made when the fat and the water in the butter separate and the water cooks out, concentrating the butter’s unique flavor. Then, we continue to cook it until the milk solids in the butter cook and brown, creating a rich nutty flavor. 

Brown butter is a classic French staple that is used in both savory and dessert recipes. You can also let it cool to become a solid again and use it in different recipes that way as well. It stores wonderfully for future use and you can even freeze it for future recipes! 

How to use Brown Butter:

You can use delicious browned butter in any recipe that calls for butter. Know that when you brown the butter, there will be a little evaporation and your final product will be a smaller quantity than what you start with. For baking recipes, make sure you measure your browned butter carefully to make sure you are using the correct amount of butter. 

You can use brown butter immediately in any recipe that calls for melted butter. You can also allow the brown butter to cool and re-solidify to use it in any recipe that calls for softened butter.

Below are some great suggestions on how to use Brown Butter:

Three sticks of butter in a skillet,.

How to Brown Butter:

This cooking technique is very simple to do and only requires one ingredient – butter. You will also need a spatula (or wooden spoon) and a skillet. I recommend you use a skillet with a light colored bottom. This will allow you to see the exact moment the butter has started turning brown and when you should stop cooking!

Step 1:

Add butter to a skillet over medium heat and melt it. You want to keep your heat at medium, if you go too high, the butter will cook too fast and not be properly browned.

Melted butter in a skillet on a stove top.

Step 2:

Cook butter until foamy. Swirl the pan, or stir the butter, often to be sure the butter is cooking evenly.

Bubbling butter in a skillet on a stove with a wooden spoon.

Step 3:

Keep cooking, stirring constantly. The foam will start to dissipate some and you will start seeing little golden flecks in the butter. The color will progress from lemony-yellow to golden-tan. 

Brown butter in a skillet on a stove top.

Step 4:

Once you see lots of little browned bits and smell that nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat immediately and transfer the browned butter into a heat-safe bowl to cool.

The butter will be very hot. If you do not transfer it to a room temperature bowl, the butter can continue to cook and end up burning. 

At this point, you can use the butter as is, fresh and hot or let it cool and re-solidify before using. It depends on how you would like to use the brown butter! 

Butter in a skillet with spoon pouring some in.

Tips to success:

This is a no-fail recipe as long as you follow these simple tips!

  1. Not too hot! Do not turn your heat up past medium. If your heat is too high, your butter will not cook evenly. The water will not have time to evaporate and the milk solids will burn very quickly. The whole process will take 10 minutes or less, just keep that heat on medium. 
  2. Use a light colored pan. If you use a dark pan, it is nearly impossible to properly tell when the butter is done and to remove it from the heat. 
  3. Keep stirring. You want to continually stir the butter to make sure it cooks evenly. Brown butter can be easy to burn if you do not pay attention to it. 
  4. Don’t look away! The biggest trick is to not look away. Keep stirring and watching and you will never let your butter burn! 

Up close image of brown butter in a skillet.

Brown butter is very easy to make and can be used in many ways! I hope this tutorial has helped you and you feel confident making brown butter! It only takes 1o minutes and I promise the flavor is worth the extra effort. 

And don’t worry, if you happen to accidentally burn it, just clean out your pan and start again! 

Yield: about 6 oz butter

Brown Butter

Butter in a skillet with spoon pouring some in.

Brown butter is magical and tastes toasted and almost nutty, adding a lot more depth to a savory dish or dessert!

Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter (unsalted or salted)

Instructions

  1. Add butter to a skillet over medium heat and melt it. You want to keep your heat at medium, if you go too high, the butter will cook too fast and not be properly browned.
  2. Cook butter until foamy. Swirl the pan, or stir the butter, often to be sure the butter is cooking evenly.
  3. Keep cooking, stirring constantly. The foam will start to dissipate some and you will start seeing little golden flecks in the butter. The color will progress from lemony-yellow to golden-tan.
  4. Once you see lots of little browned bits and smell that nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat immediately and transfer the browned butter into a heat-safe bowl to cool.
  5. The butter will be very hot. If you do not transfer it to a room temperature bowl, the butter can continue to cook and end up burning.
  6. At this point, you can use the butter as is, fresh and hot or let it cool and re-solidify before using.

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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