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What is Brown Butter and How to Make It

by on April 15, 2012 · 1 comment

So what is brown butter, anyway?

All it is, is regular old butter that has been cooked just long enough to toast the milk solids found in butter. All you’re doing is cooking the butter just a tiny bit past it’s melting point. By doing this, you create this magical nutty flavor that you just don’t get with regular melted butter.

We absolutely LOVE using browned butter in our recipes. Within five minutes, you can add a nutty, buttery flavor to any dish. We’ve used brown butter in a lot of pasta recipes, such as our Brown Butter Pasta With Walnuts and Brown Butter Kale Pasta.

How to Make Brown Butter – It Only Takes 5 Minutes

  1. You want a wide heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Start melting the butter, but as it melts, make sure you swirl the butter around the pan. The butter will go from brown to burnt quickly, so really stay close to the pan when you do this.
  3. Keep swirling the butter over the heat until it is light brown in color … see that light brown color in the photo above?
  4. Once it’s light brown and smells all nutty, turn off the heat.

Use a wide, heavy-bottomed pan when making browned butter. Also, keep the heat to medium-low. Butter can burn quickly

Can I Add Flavors to Brown Butter?

Of course! Try adding a handful of fresh sage leaves, rosemary springs or even fresh thyme to the pan while you make the brown butter. Just remember to stay close and watch the butter so it doesn’t burn. Keep on swirling that pan and you should be set!

Was this helpful? For more kitchen tips, visit our How to Cook section or to find more easy recipes, browse through our Visual Recipe Index!

Brown Butter
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
What is brown butter? It’s butter that has been cooked just long enough to toast the milk solids found in butter. The butter becomes nutty in flavor and is perfect to toss with vegetables, pasta and even shrimp.
Created By:
Yield: 2
You Will Need
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Directions
  1. Heat a wide heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add butter. As it melts, swirl the butter around the pan. The butter will go from brown to burnt quickly, so really stay close to the pan when you do this.
  3. Continue swirling the butter over the heat until it is light brown in color. Once light brown and smells nutty, turn off the heat.
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About the Author

Adam

I'm Adam Gallagher and alongside my wife, Joanne, I photograph and share favorite recipes from our kitchen. Sharing our recipes began as a hobby, turned into a dream and now has become our business. I just love that.

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1 Comment

1 katie May 7, 2012 at 11:09 am

Love this explanation on what exactly brown butter is!

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