A Complete Guide To Making Brown Butter At Home
Image Credit: A Dash Of Megnut

Brown butter, as the name suggests, is basically butter that has been browned to the point where it caramelises and develops a nutty aroma and flavour. A result of the Maillard reaction – where the protein present in the milk product caramelise as it reacts to the applied heat – brown butter tends to undergo the same process like you would, while cooking down milk slowly, over a period of few hours, to make milk toffee.

The reason why brown butter is known to be such a celebrated ingredient is because of its low-effort procedure which results in a complex-flavoured product which can be used to flavour anything from cookies to saucing ravioli. The toasty, nutty notes of the butter add more richness to a dish than you would find regular butter contributing. Pretty much every recipe that uses butter can be replaced with brown butter for a delicious, layered taste profile.

Depending on what the application for brown butter is, it works best in sweet dishes, courtesy of the butterscotch-like aftertaste that also surprisingly works with pasta or roasting vegetables and chicken. Interestingly enough, brown butter is also a great way to use as a replacement in dishes that use nuts, which replicates the flavour, without the risk of allergies.

The idea behind making your own brown butter is to take into account of how complex and toasty you want its flavours to be without pushing it to a point where it is scorched. Keeping a close eye throughout this process is extremely crucial to ensure that the butter is just the right level of brown and the milk solids begin to collect at the bottom of the pot. To further avoid any burnt or bitter taste, it is advisable to transfer the brown butter to a heat-safe bowl and prevent cooking it further.


  • If you’re making brown butter for the first time, start with a small quantity of butter (roughly 200 grams) and add it to a saucepan on low heat.
  • Allow the butter to melt slowly and turn foamy. As it heats up gradually, you will notice the butter starting to bubble, but not changing colour for 7-8 minutes.
  • Continue to keep an eye on your pan where you will notice that the liquidised butter has begun to turn a shade of caramel. Swirl the butter around slightly at this point to allow even caramelisation.
  • Once the butter has a nutty aroma and you can see milk solids starting to settle at the bottom of the pan, take off the heat immediately and pour into a cool bowl or jar.