How to Brown Butter
Brown butter has a golden color and a nutty, toasted flavor, which is the result of the milk solids caramelizing. It's not hard to make, but it can burn easily, so you have to watch it.
How to Make Brown Butter 00:56
When you heat butter until the milk solids caramelize, imparting a golden color and toasted, nutty flavor, that's brown butter. It's an easy way to ramp up the flavor of regular butter without adding any extra ingredients. While easy to make, butter can go from brown to burnt fast. Follow this simple method for great results every time.
Salted or Unsalted?
Start by cutting 1 pound of unsalted butter into equal-sized pieces, which melt more evenly. We prefer to use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the finished dish, but you can use the same method for salted butter.
Use the Right Pan
Put the butter in a skillet over medium heat. A light-colored pan allows you to see the browning better. Swirl the pan so the butter melts evenly. Then stir occasionally with rubber spatula.
Let it Bubble
The butter will bubble gently as the water cooks out and the milk solids rise to the surface. If it's cooking too fast or boiling hard, lower the heat. As the foam subsides, the milk solids will sink to the bottom of the pan and start turning brown.
Watch It Closely
As soon as the butter smells nutty and toasted, and turns a deep golden brown, it's ready! Immediately transfer it to a heatproof bowl to cool. It will keep cooking and could burn if you leave it in the pan.
The Good Stuff
Don't forget the browned bits—that's where most of the flavor is. You can strain or decant the brown butter if a recipe requires it—the clear fat will still have a mild toasted flavor.
Brown butter adds a rich, nutty flavor to everything it touches. Try it on roasted squash, pasta or in baked goods like brownies, pancakes or muffins!