Brown Butter (Beurre Noisette)

Brown Butter

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 8 mins
  • Prep: 1 mins
  • Cook: 7 mins
  • Serving: 1 cup
  • Yield: 1 cup

Brown butter (also called beurre noisette) imparts an incredible toasted, nutty flavor to any recipe. The technique is easy to master and once you learn to make brown butter the possibilities are endless. It adds a richer flavor to just about any recipe that calls for butter, from savory foods like vegetables, pasta, meats, or sauces, to sweet treats like cookies or cakes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup/ 2 sticks unsalted butter (high-quality)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Brown Butter
     Kristina Vanni
  2. Cut the butter into pieces rather than just placing the sticks of butter in the pan. Cutting it into smaller pieces will ensure that it melts and browns evenly. When browning butter, opt for a stainless steel or other light-colored saucepan or skillet. A light-colored plan will allow you to easily monitor the butter as the color changes and check for doneness. Dark-colored nonstick pans make it more difficult to watch the butter as it browns. 

    Brown Butter
     Kristina Vanni
  3. Begin to melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Unsalted butter is preferred because salted butter tends to foam more, making it difficult to monitor the color change. Also, using unsalted butter allows you to adjust the seasoning as desired when using the browned butter in a recipe.

    Brown Butter
     Kristina Vanni
  4. Warm until completely melted, about 1 minute. The butter will appear opaque and pale. As the butter melts, gently stir to make sure the butter doesn’t burn. 

    Brown Butter
     Kristina Vanni
  5. As the butter melts, it will begin to sputter. This indicates that the water content in the butter is being cooked off and the fat begins to pop. It is important to stir frequently during this stage. You will notice that the butter will begin to transform into a light golden color. It will start to look more yellow and not opaque. If the butter is sputtering too much, turn down the heat. It will take about 4 minutes for the sputtering to cease. 

    Brown Butter
     Kristina Vanni
  6. As the sputtering subsides, turn down the heat. At this point the butter will begin to foam. The color will once again transform from the lemon-yellow hue to a more golden tan. 

    Brown Butter
     Kristina Vanni
  7. As the butter continues to cool it will deepen to a warm brown color. You will also begin to notice small brown bits of milk solids to develop at the bottom of the pan. Also, this is when the butter will begin to release that signature toasted aroma. 

    Brown Butter
     Kristina Vanni
  8. Pay close attention at this point to monitor the color and smell of the brown butter. The milk solids will become highly visible and you will notice a caramelized fragrance in the air. Once you have achieved the desired toasted brown color and you can smell the nutty aroma, immediately remove the pan from the heat. 

    Brown Butter
     Kristina Vanni
  9. Transfer the brown butter to a heatproof bowl to cool. You want to make sure it is removed from the heat and transferred quickly because the butter will continue to cook and darken further in a hot pan.

    Brown Butter
     Kristina Vanni
  10. Serve and enjoy.