Use Butter Better

Is butter bad for us, or does it just have an image problem?

Related To:
156491458

156491458

Salted butter

Salted butter

What’s the final verdict on butter? Studies and news headlines contradict one another constantly: Just as we’re starting to slather the butter on, we then have to fish the olive oil bottle out from the darkest part of the pantry. The one thing we can be certain about is that a single research study is not the same as an official health recommendation. (And even then, we’ve had some historically bad recommendations in this country when it comes to butter and saturated fat. Remember its replacement, trans fat-loaded margarine? Turns out we were better off with the real thing.)

Butter, along with its saturated fats, can absolutely be part of our diets — perhaps not as our exclusive fat of choice, but if you choose to cook fresh, whole foods with butter instead of eating fast food, then savor and enjoy. Here are some tips for using butter better:

Photo by: CAGRI OZGUR ©CAGRI OZGUR

CAGRI OZGUR, CAGRI OZGUR

Finish with It

One of our favorite examples of this technique is illustrated above. Start by preparing your favorite soup recipe. Once it's finished, ladle it into bowls, and then just before serving, float 1 teaspoon of butter in each one. It melts on top, and then every spoonful has a delicious buttery slick on top. Adding the butter at the very end makes more of an impact than if you had used a whole stick up front.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Pair It with a Friend

A little bit of butter partners nicely with olive oil when you’re sauteing or pan-frying. Olive oil brings its healthy monounsaturated fats and high smoke point, while butter’s milk fat adds flavor and color.

Medium rare grilled Beef steak with herb butter on fork on dark background

Medium rare grilled Beef steak with herb butter on fork on dark background

Photo by: Lisovskaya Natalia ©(c) Lisovskaya Natalia

Lisovskaya Natalia, (c) Lisovskaya Natalia

Keep Compound Butters on Hand

Just a thin slice of compound butter melted over grilled meat, fish or roasted vegetables adds a whole new level of deliciousness. Mix your favorite herbs, spices or hot sauces into softened butter, roll it up into a log with some parchment and keep it in your freezer.

Splurge on Special Butters

There are so many to choose from: cultured, salted and truffled to name a few. Let one soften at room temperature and enjoy it on some good bread!

Keep Reading

Next Up

Butter Basics

Learn how to navigate all the butters in your supermarket dairy aisle, then find out which applications require the different varieties.

Be Smart About Salt

We've all heard that too much sodium can be harmful to our health, but what does that actually mean?

How to Make Buttermilk

Make your own homemade buttermilk with this simple how-to from Food Network.

How to Make Yogurt

Turn a tablespoon of your favorite yogurt into a whole quart of yogurt with this simple yogurt how-to from Food Network.

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

... is actually more than one way. The perfect method depends on the circumstance. Here's how to get perfect bacon every time, no matter what.

The Secret to Really Good Banana Bread

Preheat your oven and pull out your favorite banana bread recipe, because this trick means never having to wait for bananas to ripen on the counter again.

How to Make Iced Tea

Learn how to make homemade iced tea with this simple how-to from Food Network.

Don't Throw Those Out!: Recipes for Throwaway Ingredients from Food Network Kitchen

Don't throw out things like carrot tops and lemon peels. Use them in one of these recipes from Food Network.

Tips for Making Perfect Poached Eggs

Find 1000s of Food Network's best recipes from top chefs, shows and experts. And watch videos demonstrating recipe prep and cooking techniques.

Alton Brown's Guide to Eggs

Alton Brown shows Food Network Magazine how to scramble, poach and more.
More from:

Cooking School

What's Cooking

Latest Stories