Browning butter—cooking it until its milk solids deepen to a dark golden brown—adds a complex, nutty flavor to savory applications as well as to sweet recipes. Here’s how to ensure success.
Use the Right Skillet
Don’t be tempted to use a nonstick skillet. You need a stainless-steel or enameled cast-iron skillet to easily monitor the color of the butter.
Use the Right Butter
Use only unsalted butter. Salted butter foams more when melted than unsalted does, which can make it difficult to monitor the color.
Scrape Out the Pan
Much of the flavor of browned butter is in the browned milk solids. Make sure you get every last bit out of the pan.
Don't Toss Burnt Butter
If your butter burns, filter out the burnt bits using a coffee filter–lined fine-mesh strainer, let the butter cool, and then taste it. If it doesn’t taste burnt, use it to top steamed vegetables.
Heat butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling skillet and stirring constantly with rubber spatula, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes longer.