Cooking Tips

How to Brown Butter

Everything you need to know about this transformative technique.

Published Dec. 5, 2018.

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.

Recipes Made with Browned Butter

Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Browned Butter Vinaigrette

Salads made with these hearty leaves can be a lot to chew on. We fixed that.
Get the Recipe

Sage, Walnut, and Browned Butter Pesto for Cheese Ravioli

Packaged ravioli are super convenient. But choose the wrong sauce and dinner will be a washout.
Get the Recipe

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

We set out to achieve a cookie that was crisp at the edges, chewy in the middle, and full of rich toffee flavor. The result? One of our most popular recipes of all time.
Get the Recipe


This is a members' feature.