Learning how to make brown butter is one of those techniques that everyone seriously needs to know about. It transforms already yummy butter into a nutty, warm, and decadently flavored addition to sauces, spreads, and baked goods.
Brown butter is also known as beurre noisette, which translates into “hazelnut butter.” If you’ve smelled brown butter cooking, you’ll know exactly why this is. It smells divine, seriously.
Solid butter is an emulsion of water and fat with milk protein solids. As you’re heating the butter, the water evaporates and the milk solids start to turn brown. It’s a fast and easy process with the catch being that you have to babysit it. This isn’t a let-it-sit process. Sit it and quit it? Is that a cooking term? 😉
I’ll be using this particular batch of brown butter for an upcoming party snack (think Oscars and the Superbowl!), so stay tuned for some party time snackies incoming. But let’s get to the steps for how to make brown butter:
How to make brown butter
- Get yourself a light-colored pan (this one is amazing). This is super important since you want to see the color of the butter as it browns. Butter burns easily, so you want to keep a close eye on it.
- Cut the butter into evenly sized pieces so that they melt evenly. You don’t want some of it to start heating up before other pieces.
- On medium heat, melt the butter, whisking/stirring constantly. Like, all the time. This allows the butter to heat up as evenly as possible. Otherwise you may end up burning parts of it.
- The butter will start to bubble and foam — this is fine. Just keep stirring, just keep stirring.
- As it starts to get to the color you want, whip it from the pan into a cool bowl so it doesn’t continue to heat any further. It can range from tan to a darker brown. If there’s any black sediment (burned solids), you can scoop/strain it out.
- Use it right away or keep it refrigerator for up to two weeks. Delish!
Want more cooking basics? Check here for the full archive of basic cooking techniques.
Here are a few recipes that would totally rock the brown butter lifestyle:
- Unsalted butter
- Light-colored pan
- Whisk or spoon
- Cut butter into consistent, 1 Tbsp-size pieces
- Layer on the bottom of a light-colored saucepan, heated to medium
- Whisk butter constantly. It will start to bubble and foam. This is okay!
- Continue whisking butter as it turns from tan into light brown. You'll notice a delicious, nutty smell.
- Once the butter is almost as dark as you want it, quickly transfer it to a cool bowl.
- It's ready to use in savory or sweet dishes and will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
If you make this recipe, share a photo and hashtag it #BIJOUXANDBITS. I’d love to see what you’re cooking!