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How to Brown Butter Like a Chef

Written By: Chef Camorrow Jones

Photo from Sally's Baking Addiction

Brown butter, also know as beurre noisette, is a truly impactful addition for many applications both sweet and savory.

Browned butter offers a unique nutty, slightly sweet aroma and flavor that create an enhanced and intense finish to any item you would use typical butter. The process of making brown butter could not be simpler.


Photo from Seasoned Cooks

The Recipe:

  1. Cut butter into small, equal pieces - to melt faster and evenly.

  2. Over medium heat, using a light-colored pan, add butter and constantly whisk.

  3. Butter will melt, bubble, foam and begin to turn brown. Continue to whisk throughout this step.

  4. Remove brown butter from pan and pour into a heat-proof bowl to stop the cooking process. If left in the hot pan, the butter will burn.

  5. Use right away or store.

What's happening in the pan:

Butter is comprised of three main components: water, milk solids and fat. When you are initially melting your butter, you will notice some bubbling/foaming in the pan with audible popping. This is the water separating from the butter the escaping or evaporating leaving behind the milk solids and butter fat. The milk solids then fall to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown (Millard reaction). The browning of the milk solids, flavor the butter fat and fills your kitchen with an intoxicating nutty aroma! Be careful during cooking because your brown butter can go from golden brown and to deep brown/black and bitter quickly. Once you see the golden-brown milk solids appear, turn down or turn off heat to prevent over cooking.


Brown butter + sweet:

Brown butter is phenomenal when paired with sweet treats. It is a great way of adding a nutty flavor without the nuts or a toasted flavor without over baking. Chocolate chip cookies, cream cheese frosting, cinnamon rolls, and granola are wonderful recipes to start with. Simply swap the regular butter for brown butter in your favorite recipes!

Brown butter + savory:

A favorite use for me is and always will be Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter sauce. Chef’s kiss! Using brown butter as a cooking medium for seafood such as sole Meunière, lobster rolls, or pan seared scallops will work to elevate the natural sweetness present. With your vegetable sides such as green beans almondine, roasted root vegetables, or mashed potatoes it adds richness and an earthy depth of flavor. Please also use brown butter when butter basting your pan seared steaks. Thank me later!

Use these ideas to make your next meal wildly delicious! For more tips on giving your cooking that chef’s kiss, check out our one-on-one cooking classes. We hope to meet you in your kitchen soon!

Learn how to brown butter with me on Zoom in a private class with your friends and family. I will coach you through every step of the way - your class will be 100% personalized to your kitchen equipment, your confidence in the kitchen and the ingredients you have on hand. Here are some of my favorite classes to learn how to brown butter the Chef way:


Fēst, pronounced 'feast', is a collective of Chefs, Pastry Chefs and Sommeliers who teach guided, interactive and completely customizable classes to cooking-curious people of all skill levels around the world.


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