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How to Brown Butter

By Annie Petito Published

Everything you need to know about this transformative technique.

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.

Recipes Made with Browned Butter

Recipe Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Browned Butter Vinaigrette

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

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.

Recipe Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

We set out to perfect the back-of-the-bag classic with a cookie that was crisp at the edges, chewy in the middle, and full of rich toffee flavor.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.