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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.