What is Brown Butter and How Do I Use It?

If you’ve watched Julie & Julia, you know what she says about French cooking. Everything tastes better because of the amount of butter in it—and honestly, we can’t disagree. But did you know you could use just butter to create a fabulous sauce to go with your meat, fish, and vegetables?


Brown butter is an easy one-ingredient sauce that can be used in many kinds of recipes, both savoury and sweet. Making it is very simple, but it produces absolutely beautiful results. The French call it Beurre Noisette which translates to hazelnut butter, because once the butter melts and caramelises, it’ll leave your entire kitchen smelling of its nutty, sweet aroma, and all you need to make it is a few sticks of butter and a saucepan.

How do I make brown butter?


Take 200gms of butter and add it to a saucepan over low heat. Melt it slowly and keep an eye on it. You’ll notice that the butter will foam and then subside, and the butter will slowly turn golden brown with a nutty aroma. The milk solids in the butter will separate, turn brown, and settle to the bottom of the pan. This process will take anywhere between 2-8 minutes depending on the amount of butter used, but as soon as the milk solids have sunk to the bottom, transfer the brown butter to a different bowl. If left in the hot saucepan, it will burn. You can store this in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

Should I strain my brown butter?

If you’re going to use the butter to saute vegetables or protein, then you should definitely strain out the milk solids which might burn when more heat is applied. But if you’re planning to use it to flavour desserts or making a sauce, leave it unstrained; the milk solids actually add more flavour.

How do I use the brown butter?


The simplest way to remember this is, you can add brown butter to any recipe that calls for regular butter. Spread it on toast, add it to dough, pastry, saute vegetables, sear meat, cook eggs, roast or grill vegetables and protein, top your pancakes and waffles, or just eat it off a spoon—let no one stop you!