Best kitchen techniques: How to brown butter – Making brown butter is a simple method. The process of cooking butter to golden brown results in a rich, nutty flavor that is delicious for both savory and sweet recipes.
Best kitchen techniques: How to brown butter
What is ‘brown butter’?
Butter has milk solids in it. When you brown it technically, you’re browning these milk solids.
Browning butter gives it a nutty, caramel-like flavor.
As well, it’s browned butter not burnt butter so don’t leave it unattended. It will brown quickly. I recommend browning it on a low heat and stirring the butter constantly.
Additionally, as it cooks and browns it will splatter, much like bacon does. For this reason, I recommend using a splatter screen when browning butter. (This also helps keep your stovetop clean!)
How to make Browned Butter
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the butter to a low boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer the butter until foamy. Continue cooking, stirring, and scraping the bottom of the pan until the foam subsides. The butter will turn golden brown and give off a nutty aroma. The milk solids separate into brown specks that sink to the bottom. This process takes 2 to 7 minutes depending on the amount you’re browning. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the butter into a heatproof bowl (unless otherwise noted in the recipe). Don’t leave the butter in a hot pan as it can burn.
I like to use a silver, not a black, pan for browning butter. This is my favorite saucepan for browning butter.
Do I Strain the Brown Butter?
Some recipes that use brown butter call for straining the flecks of browned milk solids out of the butter. I prefer to leave them in the butter. To me, it makes the butter more flavorful. However, if your browned butter got slightly burned, straining can save the butter.
How to Use Brown Butter
Brown butter can be used anywhere you’d use butter. Some ideas to use brown butter are spreading on toast, topping pancakes, making pie crust, roasting or sautéing vegetables, baking cookies, adding to hot buttered rums, making into a sauce for vegetables, baking quick bread, making cinnamon rolls, topping biscuits, searing steaks, and scrambling eggs. These are just a few.
I made frosting with brown butter in this Pumpkin Texas Sheet Cake recipe. I highly recommend it, give it a try!
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- ½ cup butter REAL butter only
- 1 medium heavy bottom pan
- Melt butter in a saucepan on medium to low heat whisk constantly.
- When it turns light brown remove the pan from the heat.