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. #
    Jen — October 13, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    I’ve become so obsessed with your blog over the past few months! I’m a Pennsylvania girl who moved to Montana. I love getting a feel for home while being inspired for so many recipes! My boyfriend, a chef, loves your soup recipes. But I just wanted to comment here to tell you that, having never made brown butter (and feeling left out from the blog world), I used this tutorial to make it for an apple crisp recipe! I linked back to your tutorial when I shared the recipe because it was just so straight forward and the photos really helped! Thanks for sharing!



  2. #
    Di — October 29, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

    Tonight, in the midst of Hurricane Sandy while watching a marathon of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, I decided to make a brown butter sauce for the pumpkin ravioli I bought at the local farmer’s market a few weeks ago. I found a recipe online for the sauce and went at it until the moment I KNEW I burned it. Oh, did I ever know. Then I remembered seeing your post a couple of days ago. Thank you for saving my Hurricane Sandy dinner! It turned out fabulously with your instructions. And I kinda want helping number 2. Midnight snack? It will still be hurricaning outside… that’s a real excuse. you can check.


  3. #
    Natalie @ In Natalie's Shoes — January 3, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

    Oooh, thanks! This sounds heavenly. I’ve never browned butter before, but it looks like I’m going to have to try it.. And look for new recipes to use it in!


  4. #
    Heather — March 4, 2013 @ 10:49 pm

    What a great step by step post! I included it on my blog ( about a brown butter blondie recipe I made! Thanks!


  5. #
    Grace - Fun Little Things — April 3, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

    I just discovered your blog (through Pinterest) and I am obsessed already! I love when you said this is the first in a series of posts where you tell cactus how you do things, even if its wrong! That is exactly how I feel doing my sewing tutorials on my blog!


  6. #
    Denise — May 18, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

    Wow, this worked perfectly. I recently started a blog about cooking things I have never tried before and brown butter is something I have not made. Your site showed me how to do it perfectly so this will become a “divine” post on my blog. Thanks!


  7. #
    jill — August 5, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

    Love the Farberware! It does work wonders…


  8. #
    Rachel — November 26, 2014 @ 5:21 pm

    So, this definitely wasn’t working for me – until I saw someone’s comment that this would take a bit longer for those with electric stoves. I’m not trying to be nitpicky, this is a great how-to, but I think it’s worth mentioning the cooking time for an electric stove will be at 10-12 minutes.


  9. #
    Lauren — September 30, 2015 @ 1:58 pm

    How long can you store the brown butter? Looking to make some items ahead of time for your chocolate chip banana scone recipe :)



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