This is how we do it… step it by step.

How To Brown Butter - Step By Step I

In my opinion, the best part about this is that you don’t have to use softened butter… otherwise known as my arch nemesis. I think we all know that I sort of lack that thing called patience. So it works with cold butter, room temp butter, all butter! No discrimination.

I do, however, like to use unsalted butter. But that’s just me.

How To Brown Butter - Step By Step I

I add the butter to this cute little saucepan that was Mother Lovett’s. It’s my favorite butter-browning tool, and it’s a miracle that I have not destroyed it yet since every other one of her kitchen tools – like ones that she was able to keep flawless for 30 years – I ruined within months. Not intentionally, of course. Probably has to do with that whole patience thing.

How To Brown Butter - Step By Step I

Personally, I turn my heat on right smack in the middle to medium. The butter melts fairly quickly but I never take my eyes off of it. If this is your first time browning butter or if you have burnt a lot of butter in your day, start with medium-low to low heat. Just know it will take a bit longer.

How To Brown Butter - Step By Step I

Immediately start whisking! Once I start, I never stop.

How To Brown Butter - Step By Step I

The butter will get all bubbly. Sometimes it foams a little more than above. Sometimes it doesn’t. I find that all sticks of butter are slightly different. How special.

How To Brown Butter - Step By Step I

Soon after it starts to bubble, you will see those little brown bits on the bottom. You will probably smell them as well. The MINUTE I see those start to form, I turn off the heat. I continue to whisk though.

How To Brown Butter - Step By Step I

I set my little pan on a potholder on the counter and continue to whisk for another 30 seconds or so. See all those brown dots? Pure caramely, buttery goodness.

And don’t worry… you will know if you burned the butter. You will know.

How To Brown Butter - Step By Step I

Depending on how I’m using the brown butter will determine how I store it. Sometimes I make it to use immediately, like in lasagna or other pasta dishes. Sometimes I make it at the beginning of a recipe – like with cookies or muffins – and let it cool slightly before proceeding. In this case, I made it to simply store in my fridge so I can slather it on, well… everything.

And that’s a wrap.

How To Brown Butter - Step By Step I


How To Brown Butter

Total Time: 5-10 minutes


4 tablespoons unsalted butter


Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and immediately begin whisking. Stir as it bubbles, and after 2-3 minutes or so you should see brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat immediately and continue to whisk for another 30 seconds or use. Use as desired!

How To Brown Butter - Step By Step I

[This is the first post in a whole cluster of posts where I tell you exactly how I do things. Even if they’re wrong.]

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183 Responses to “Exactly How I Brown My Butter.”

  1. #
    the 3volution of j3nn — October 6, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    Sounds easy enough! Never had it but want to try it in so many things.


  2. #
    robyn — October 6, 2012 @ 7:31 am

    i browned butter for the first time today, funnily enough, and used it in chop chip cookies-and honestly made such a difference!


  3. #
    kim@hungryhealthygirl — October 6, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    I’ve actually never tried browned butter. Thanks for the tutorial…I’m sure it will come in handy!


  4. #
    Kim in MD — October 6, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    I’m going to love your new series of step by step “how I do things”!


  5. #
    Pretend Chef — October 6, 2012 @ 8:27 am

    I’ve never browned butter. This tutorial will come in handy when I try out one of your delicious recipes using it.


  6. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 6, 2012 @ 8:34 am

    Ah, a browning tutorial from the brown butter queen herself! Can’t say I’ve ever done it, but you make it look easy enough that even I probably won’t mess it up… unless I forget about it on the stove, which has been known to happen in the past. Bookmarking for future use!


  7. #
    heather — October 6, 2012 @ 8:37 am

    I consider this a valuable public service announcement. Thank you for raising awareness. God bless you and browned butter!



  8. #
    Jenna — October 6, 2012 @ 8:47 am

    Post like this is y I love ya lol have a great weekend


  9. #
    Jessica — October 6, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    I do this every couple weeks to make these awesome muffins:
    Its crazy what a difference brown butter makes! It’s taken a lot of self control not to put it in absolutely everything.


  10. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 6, 2012 @ 9:10 am

    Awesome! I never made brown butter, except when I burned it! lol Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks!


  11. #
    Mandy — October 6, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    Hey Jessica, thanks for the step by step tutorial. The one thing I’ve noticed reading your recipes is that you have gas, right? Err, your stove does, not your rear end…


    The cooking times really do differ whether cooking with gas or electric. Brown butter takes me a lot longer because I have electric. I’ve noticed you seem to indicate it can come together fairly quickly. Maybe it’s because I keep it on such a low heat too. Mother Lovett can only haunt you if you ruin her pans; my mom is still alive and can murder me if I ruin her things ;)


  12. #
    Bea @ Bea's Bites — October 6, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    Thank you!! I admit that I am one of those who is so afraid of burning the butter so I never get the butter really brown. These photos help :)


  13. #
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — October 6, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    …”even if they’re wrong.” There is nothing wrong about brown butter–making it, using it in dishes, or hell, drinking it straight from that dainty little cup.


  14. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — October 6, 2012 @ 10:25 am



  15. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — October 6, 2012 @ 10:30 am



  16. #
    vicki — October 6, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    well you us greeks.. it’s required on pasta with sprinkled cheese all over below it.. makes me hungry just thinking about it…


  17. #
    Sophie — October 6, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    [Useless bit of knowledge of the day]

    Did you know that in French we call this “beurre noisette”, which means “hazelnut butter” ? I like to think it’s as much for that delicious taste as it is for the colour. Anyway, I never thought of using it in any other recipe than financiers (which are a kind of small, delicious cakes with ground almonds and egg whites). When I made this as a kid my mum always used to let me brown butter because she said I was the “spécialiste” :)
    Can’t wait to try this !


  18. #
    JulieD — October 6, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    I <3 brown butter


  19. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — October 6, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    Haha! Love that last line! :)


  20. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 6, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

    Love the tutorial! After reading Momofuku Milk Bar, Tosi suggests browning butter in the microwave and that it’s no different than the stovetop. I really didn’t believe her but tried it when I was traveling and the stovetop was finnicky but the microwave was just fine and you know what…it works. I think in the final, final analysis you get a slightly richer quality on the stove but if you pop it into the microwave for 3 mins, and keep checking every 15-20 secs thereafter, you can get pretty darn close. I love this post!


  21. #
    Leah — October 6, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

    If I didn’t have to eat dairy free, i would TOTALLY make this. I would make it over, and over, and over.


  22. #
    Andrea — October 7, 2012 @ 12:35 am

    THANK YOU!!! I have been unsure of how to do this for so long, now there are pictures!! Trying… Tomorrow!


  23. #
    Rebecca — October 7, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    OK, this is the dumbest question ever: how exactly do you use brown butter? Just in place of regular butter in any old recipe??


  24. #
    Elizabeth @Food Ramblings — October 7, 2012 @ 9:08 am

    Great tutorial! Thank you :)


  25. #
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen — October 7, 2012 @ 9:28 am

    Brown butter is slowly changing my life… I made the most addictive brown butter shortbread a few days ago, and am seriously considering using brown butter in everything, no discrimination! Nice tutorial Jessica


  26. #
    Loretta E — October 7, 2012 @ 9:36 am

    I’ve only browned butter twice, and thankfully didn’t burn it! Which was awesome because I adore that flavor…


  27. #
    Lura — October 7, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

    When I brown butter I strain it through cheesecloth after so I can get all the buttery goodness without the nasty gritty bits at the bottom. ^_^


  28. #
    Ruthy @ omeletta — October 7, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    Girl, thank you. I’ve made brown butter before but it’s been a million years and your recipes with brown butter always make me think, “wait I think I need to google that to double check” so this is a help! Great first “tips” post- looking forward to more!


  29. #
    Nikki Dinki Cooking — October 7, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

    LOVE browned butter! Adds such a deeper flavor to things. My favorite thing to make with it is my lobster pasta!!


  30. #
    Anna @ hiddenponies — October 7, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

    I’ve done brown butter once and was totally unsure if I was doing it right, so this is perfect! Looking forward to more tutorials.


  31. #
    Emily @ — October 7, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

    Thanks for the step-by-step! I always wondered how you browned butter for all of those amazing browned butter recipes you had not too long ago!


  32. #
    Kiran @ — October 7, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

    I’ve never ever tried or made brown butter before. Gasp, i know. Thanks for the tutorial :) xo


  33. #
    Colette — October 7, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Brown butter is one of the secrets to my crepes.


  34. #
    Christina — October 7, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

    I like to use brown butter for my popcorn…and pretty much everything else.


  35. #
    Katie — October 7, 2012 @ 10:24 pm


  36. #
    Lauren — October 7, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

    I use brown butter in EVERYTHING. Not even exaggerating. It makes every dish I cook or batch of baked goods 10000000 times tastier. If you’re a brown butter newbie, I’d suggest trying it in cookies, pancakes or drizzled over pasta with freshly grated parmesan. You’ll be instantly hooked:) Love the post Jessica!


  37. #
    Cookie and Kate — October 7, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

    Ok, time out. I melted butter over medium heat today and butter started splattering everywhere—on my shirt, on my dog, onto the floor. How come yours doesn’t splatter?


  38. #
    jessica lynn — October 8, 2012 @ 2:47 am

    Thank you for this!


  39. #
    Abby@ Totes Delish — October 8, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    Girl, I like the way you brown that butter!


  40. #
    Lisa — October 8, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    I always thought it sounded too easy, and that I must have missed a step or two. But now I know, and thus my butter will now be browned! Thanks!


  41. #
    Ronda — October 8, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    ohh than I can make brown butter as gifts this holiday season. With some homemade bread or muffins. I love that! That is if I don’t eat it all first. I do love me some browned butter.


  42. #
    Liz — October 8, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    This is such a great tutorial! Thank you for taking the time to show step-by-step instructions.


  43. #
    Lindsey — October 8, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

    I am so happy you shared your methods on browning butter! I have always wanted to try it, but was hesitant! You have definitely given me the push to try it now!


  44. #
    Carissa — October 8, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    I haven’t had brown butter in years, but it was a staple of holidays growing up. We’d always make it to go on popcorn in the evenings, after we weren’t stuffed anymore, but still not hungry enough for dinner. My grandma has a special pan just for it, like Mother Lovett’s!


  45. #
    Cowen Park Kitchen — October 8, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    Sweet potatoes: seriously superbfood (that is, obviously cooler than just superfood)!


  46. #
    Erika — October 8, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

    Thank you. I’ve made your Brown Butter Parmesan Chicken Linguine several times (we all love it!) and browning the butter takes FOREVER. It was over 30 minutes the other day, with the burner on medium-low. I haven’t turned the burner up too much higher over fear of burning the butter…but I guess I should! Or do it on a larger burner. I didn’t think it should take soooo long.


  47. #
    Marcy — October 8, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

    You HAVE to do this for Fettuccini Alfredo if you haven’t already. Did it tonite. It just adds a level of richness and depth that makes you say YES!!!!! Comfort food at its best.


  48. #
    Nicole C — October 10, 2012 @ 12:00 am

    Love, Love, Love all that you do :) Your tutorial on brown butter couldn’t have had more perfect timing. I just got a recipe for Pecan Praline cookies that are to die for and I was a little intimidated at the idea of browning butter, but it is so essential for this cookie. Thanks so much !!!!


  49. #
    Jenna — October 11, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    Oh my gosh. This is the most helpful post EVER. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me perfect my brown buttering skills. :)
    Thank you!!


  50. #
    Mary — October 13, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

    I just did this for the first time to make the pumpkin streusel muffins from “Hungry Girl por Vida”… thank you for the step-by-step pictures!!!



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