Perfect Brown Butter

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Perfect Brown Butter, the Maillard reaction will add incredible depth of flavor to any savory or sweet dish. This simple technique will open the door to creating your own recipes that sing!

And it’s SIMPLE to make too! In culinary school, it’s referred to as Beurre Noisette, meaning brown butter or nut brown butter. A Classic French sauce that is poured over, fish, vegetables, and pasta.

It’s also amazing when used in cookies, granola, pancakes and well just about anything and everything. After toasting, the sauce takes on a beautiful amber color that has an almost hazelnut flavor and aroma. 

Overhead photo of Brown Butter in a decanter on a sheet of wrinkled up parchment paper. Mean Green Chef

We use it to flavor our favorite Brown Butter Granola with Pecans & Cranberries!

Slice the butter, drop into a pan, heat it gently and whisk as it melts.

Butter in a saute pan for making Brown Butter. Mean Green Chef

The butter will foam then subside but you’ll need to keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.

Butter cooking in a saute pan for making Brown Butter. Mean Green Chef
Butter cooking in a saute pan for making Brown Butter. Mean Green Chef

Watch for lightly browned specks forming on the butter of the pan and you’ll also get a nutty aroma.

Butter cooking in a saute pan for making Brown Butter. Mean Green Chef
Butter cooking in a saute pan for making Brown Butter. Mean Green Chef
  • Add to Granola: Try our Brown Butter Granola with Pecans and Cranberries
  • Baked Goods: Incorporate brown butter into recipes for cookies, cakes, muffins, scones, and bread for added depth of flavor.

  • Sauces and Gravies: Use brown butter as a base for sauces and gravies to enhance their richness and nutty aroma.

  • Vegetables: Drizzle brown butter over roasted or sautéed vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, or green beans for an extra burst of flavor.

  • Pasta Dishes: Toss cooked pasta with brown butter for a simple yet flavorful sauce, or use it as a base for creamy pasta dishes like brown butter sage pasta or brown butter garlic pasta.

  • Seafood: Brown butter pairs beautifully with seafood dishes like pan-seared scallops, shrimp scampi, or grilled fish, adding a nutty and savory dimension to the dish.

  • Rice and Grains: Stir brown butter into cooked rice, quinoa, or farro for a delicious side dish or grain bowl.

  • Desserts: Use brown butter in desserts such as brown butter frosting, brown butter ice cream, brown butter blondies, or brown butter chocolate chip cookies for an irresistible flavor upgrade.

  • Compound Butter: Mix brown butter with herbs, spices, or citrus zest to create a flavorful compound butter that can be used to enhance the flavor of grilled meats, seafood, or roasted vegetables.

  • Pancakes and Waffles: Drizzle brown butter over pancakes or waffles, or incorporate it into the batter for a deliciously rich and nutty flavor.

  • Caramel: Use brown butter to make brown butter caramel sauce for drizzling over desserts like ice cream, cheesecake, or apple pie

With its rich, nutty flavor, brown butter adds depth and complexity to a wide range of dishes, making it a versatile ingredient to have in your kitchen arsenal.

Preserving Richness: Storing Brown Butter for Extended Shelf Life

Brown butter, with its nutty aroma and rich flavor, can be stored to maintain its quality over time. Here’s how:

  1. Cooling and Straining: After browning the butter, allow it to cool slightly before straining it through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. This removes any browned milk solids, which can cause the butter to spoil more quickly.

  2. Airtight Container: Transfer the strained brown butter to a clean, airtight container. Glass jars or containers with tight-sealing lids work well for storage. Make sure the container is completely dry before adding the butter to prevent moisture from causing spoilage.

  3. Refrigeration: Store the brown butter in the refrigerator to prolong its shelf life. The cool temperature helps to slow down oxidation and prevent rancidity. Brown butter can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.

  4. Freezing (Optional): For even longer-term storage, brown butter can be frozen. Place it in a freezer-safe container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil to prevent freezer burn. Frozen brown butter can maintain its quality for several months.

Shelf Life: When stored properly in the refrigerator, brown butter can last for up to several weeks. If frozen, it can maintain its quality for several months. However, it’s best to use brown butter within a reasonable timeframe to enjoy its optimal flavor.

By following these storage guidelines, you can preserve the rich flavor and aroma of brown butter, ensuring that it’s ready to enhance your favorite dishes whenever you need it.

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How to Make Brown Butter

Perfect Brown Butter

Perfect Brown Butter, the Maillard reaction will add incredible depth of flavor to any savory or sweet dish. This simple technique will open the door to creating your own recipes that sing!
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Mean Green Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 grams) butter, unsalted

Instructions

  • Heat a heavy-bottomed light colored pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Using a flat bottomed wooden spoon, stir the solids around to keep them from burning.
    Butter cooking in a saute pan for making Brown Butter. Mean Green Chef
  • After the butter is melted completely, it will begin to foam heavily as the moisture cooks off and the milk solids begin to brown. Continue stirring and turn the heat down to medium, watching to make sure the solids don't burn. 
    Butter cooking in a saute pan for making Brown Butter. Mean Green Chef
  • The browned butter is ready when the milk solids become golden brown in color, and the butter slightly darkens in color and has a nutty aroma, about 2 to 5 minutes in total. 
    Butter cooking in a saute pan for making Brown Butter. Mean Green Chef
  • Remove from heat and transfer the brown butter to a glass jar or container to keep from burning the solids. 

Notes

  • Prep time is approximate.
  • Allow to cool and use immediately. 
  • To store: Place in the fridge, it will re-solidify, use within 2 weeks.
  • To freeze: Pour into ice cube trays, freeze and then store in a heavy duty freezer bag up to one year.  
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creative Recipe Inspiration

Caramel Apple Pie, timeless classic with a twist. This mouthwatering dessert features a luscious filling of tender apples, delicately spiced and enveloped in a rich caramel sauce, all nestled within a flaky, buttery crust. 

Brown Butter Granola, a delightful twist on the classic breakfast staple. What sets it apart is the addition of rich and nutty brown butter, which infuses each cluster with a depth of flavor that is simply irresistible.  

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