How to Melt Butter

Butter Not Yet MeltedMelting Butter

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve blogged steadily.  I apologize.  I got wrapped up in a new project that should be really cool and really perfect for local food producers, but it also has eaten into my blogging time.  (It’s sort of pre-alpha right now.)

Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of great people encourage me to keep blogging, so here I am…  Blogging.

With that said, free time is at a bit of a premium.  So for the next few weeks, I am going to do my best to post 3-4 times per week.  However, the content for these posts is going to be a little unusual. 

See, I’ve been meaning to go back and cover the basics for a while.  I realized while writing some articles for Big Blend Magazine and SheKnows that I take certain things for granted.  Namely, when I say to use a particular technique, I tend to have a general idea of what that means.  Now, if the technique is really wild, I’ll go into greater detail, but for something like melting butter, I just say “melt the butter” and move on.

However, as is the case with most culinary techniques, there’s an art to melting butter.  Seriously.  So I am going to spend the next few weeks going into intricate detail about the basics of culinary manuevers starting with … butter melting.

Also, it has occurred to me when I articulate the purpose of, I say that I firmly believe everyone can cook, but sometimes, novice cooks just need a little know-how.  As a blogger and a food fan, I want to give them that know-how.  Still, I think I’ve fallen down sometimes on know-how providing.

Well not anymore. 

How to Melt Butter

Tools: Knife, pan, wooden spoon

Ingredients: 1 stick of butter

Goal: Turn a rectangular stick of butter into butter puddle

The Trick: Melt the butter evenly (not necessarily quickly.)  Butter burns very quickly, so you don’t want part of it to be liquid and part of it to still be in butter form

The Plan:

Step 1.  Obviously, the most important thing you can do to melt butter is bring it to room temperature long before you need it melted.  (Well, maybe 30 minutes before .)  Room temperature butter is going to melt a lot more evenly because the outside and the inside are the same temp.

But I forgot to take the butter out of the fridge and I have to cook now…

Yeah, that happens.  It’s okay.  Not perfect, but it happens all the time.  That’s why you should always do Step 2.

Sliced ButterStep 2.  Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces (that means 8 slices per stick.)  You can also cut lengthwise (as pictured), but I don’t think the butter melts as evenly.

Step 3.  Warm your pan.  Put your skillet on medium heat (no more) and let it get hot for about a minute.  Adding the butter to a warm pan will start the melting process immediately.  If you put the butter in a cold pan, the process is slower and uneven.

Step 4.  Let the butter sit for 30 seconds.  The heat from the skillet will do most of the work, all you have to do is make sure the pan isn’t getting too hot and buring the butter.

Step 5. Get ready to stir.  After 30 seconds, you should have 8 thin pieces floating on a small ocean of melted butter.  If you’re not careful, some of the melted butter may burn soon, so you want to finish the melting.  To prevent this, take your wooden spoon and stir the butter.  Those last little bits will disappear and you will be ready for the next part of your recipe.


Thanks to Robert S. Donovan and jessicafm for the pictures.

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