How to Brown Butter

Here’s the best way to make this one-ingredient wonder.

  • Serves

    Makes about ½ cup

  • Cook

    6 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on June 7, 2024

Brown butter, also known as beurre noisette, is one of those simple-but-magical ingredients that can completely transform a dish. It can be used in place of regular butter to add depth and a toasty, nutty character to sweet and savory recipes alike, from eggs and fish to pasta dishes and snacking cakes. And it’s dead-easy to make, requiring only heat and a few minutes of patience.

Start by melting the butter in a skillet with a light-colored bottom so you can see the milk solids brown, making sure to stir and swirl the pan to get all the good bits. When the crackling quiets down and the butter is golden brown with that telltale nutty aroma, take it off the stove immediately and scrape everything into a heatproof bowl. Some recipes specifically call for straining the brown butter, but we’re generally of the no-strain school of thought—all those little flecks from the bottom of the pan add a ton of flavor.


  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter


Step 1

In a medium light-colored skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. The butter will foam, then change color quickly. Cook, stirring or swirling occasionally, until the foam subsides and the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty, 3–4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat immediately and transfer the brown butter to a heatproof bowl and allow to cool. (The brown butter will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 3 months.)

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