If you feel that you need to up your cooking game, but are stumped as to how, we’ve got a seriously rich tip for you today! Elevating your culinary skills isn’t about expanding your repertoire, it’s about refining just one ingredient: butter. If you’ve never cooked with browned butter, then listen up carefully. This will add a kick to all of your dishes!
I’ll be honest here—browned butter isn’t precisely rocket science. As our host Ashley Moore puts it, “It’s exactly what it sounds like, butter that you brown.” How’s that for a simple explanation?
So, what’s the big deal about browned butter anyways? According to Serious Eats, browned butter (or beurre noisette, if you’re fancy) adds a rich, toasted nut flavor to both savory and sweet dishes. They write that:
Every self-respecting home baker should know how to brown butter, especially considering there’s nothing to it.
Browned butter is, of course, a staple in French cooking, but it can be substituted for the original fat in any recipe. In fact, Bon Appétit says that this ingredient “makes everything better. From cake to pork chops.” Certainly a diverse addition!
Ditch that tasteless butter and start browning it with these simple steps:
Choose the right pan
Go for a sauce pan or skillet with a light interior. Moore explains that in this case lighter is better, because using pans with black griddles makes it difficult to judge the color of the butter, which is an essential later step in the process.
Melt a stick of butter over medium to high heat. The general consensus is that unsalted butter is generally the way to go. Be sure to swirl until the butter melts down evenly. This will ensure that the milk solids brown evenly.
Allow solids and fats to separate
Once your stick of butter is melted, you will notice that the concoction will have been reduced down to butter fat and milk solids. Roll your pan gently so that these two stay moving and separated.
Return to the heat
After swirling your melted butter around, return the pan back to the heat and allow the mixture to bubble. The browning process has now begun! At this point, you should be smelling a rich, nutty scent coming from the stove, along with a tannish brown color in the pan. Later, you will find that this is the step that gives the browned butter that opulent taste.
Transfer your butter
Pour the browned butter into a small glass mixing bowl RIGHT AFTER you identify that special scent and tanned color. In this step, timing is key—otherwise you won’t be enjoying browned butter, you’ll be throwing out burned butter!
Get ready to take your cooking to the next level. Watch America’s Test Kitchen’s video below!
What do you think about this browned butter recipe? Are you a browned butter advocate? If so, what are the best recipes to use it in? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!