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How To Make Brown Butter In The Microwave

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Can you make brown butter in the microwave instead of using a pan on the stovetop? From caramel to cookies and pasta, use the ultimate guide to microwave butter and add rich delicious flavor to all kinds of recipes.

Brown butter is made by cooking unsalted butter long enough to turn the milk solids brown by cooking out any remaining water in the butter. The resulting taste is nutty and toasty with full-bodied aroma that is totally different than melted butter and clarified butter

To brown butter in the microwave, put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a lid to avoid splattering inside. Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes or until the water evaporates and the milk solids begin to brown.

Depend on the quantity of butter and the power of your microwave, look for the butter turn dark brown color. However, if you prefer a light caramel color with less toast and nutty flavor, feel free to remove it earlier. 

In addition, beware of carryover cooking. Brown butter will continue to cook for another minute due to the residual heat of the container after microwaving. So, if the butter has become too brown in the microwave, it can potentially burn after being removed.

In general, butter contains between 13% to 17% water which need to evaporate so the butter starts to brown. Therefore, butter needs to reach a temperature 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) to start the browning process. 

Is brown butter same as burnt butter?

There are various stages of brown butter based on the recipe you are working on and your taste preference. However, there is definitely a difference in taste between burnt and brown butter.

Butter that has been cooked for extended amounts of time can turn nearly black or burnt. In fact, butter can burn and taste extremely bitter. In contrast, brown butter has a golden caramel color that tastes nutty and toasted.

Burnt butter is bitter and is probably not the flavor you’re looking for. Brown butter has nice baked and browned taste that will enhance the flavor of dishes you cook. 

How to brown butter in the microwave?

Browning butter can be done in various method: from stovetop to microwave. Butter is about 80% fat and 20% milk solids and water, so the water needs to be evaporated for the milk solids to brown.

When you cook butter with high heat, you are looking for moisture to evaporate. The sugars in the milk solids begin to caramelize and the milk solids turn brown and flavorful.

Cut 2 sticks of butter into tablespoon size pieces and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with lid and set for 3 minutes. Look for a medium brown color and rich nutty aroma. 

Depending on the quantity of butter, type of bowl you are using and wattage of the microwave, the exact amount of time will vary.

How do you fix burnt brown butter?

There is obviously a fine line between dark brown butter and burnt butter. If you have been throwing away burnt butter, here is solution for you to give burnt butter a second chance!

If your browned butter has crossed from dark brown to burnt, you may still be able to use it for another purpose.

To fix burnt brown butter, use a coffee filter to strain out all of the burnt milk solids from the butter. The clarified butterfat will have a deep dark taste, but you can save it for another use. 

It’s easy to overcook butter and end up with burnt butter. Burnt butter has a much darker color compared to light brown butter with a very intense nutty smell, but it can still be used for baking and cooking. 

Things to know before browning butter in the microwave

From chocolate chip cookies to ice cream and cinnamon bread, there are many ways to use homemade browning butter to enhance the flavor for every dish. Brown butter is a secret ingredient for many foodies!

Take your skills to the next level by learning these essential tips before browning butter in the microwave: 

  • If you are making less than 1 cup of browned butter, reduce the cooking time to 2 minutes to start with. 
  • Avoid using salted butter to make brown butter. The salt will end up with the milk fat solids and can alter the flavor of the butter, and also make food taste extremely salty. 
  • Cool and solidify leftover brown butter to store it in the fridge. 
  • Use a very fine strainer, coffee filter or cheesecloth to pass the melted butterfat through to keep in pure. 
  • Add ¼ cup of powdered milk to every 1 pound of butter as it begins to brown. Strain out the brown bits for more buttery flavor and crumbly texture. 

To brown butter in the microwave, cut butter into small pieces, put the butter into a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a lid to avoid splatter. Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes so the water evaporates and the milk solids begin to brown.

Browning butter in the microwave adds tons of rich flavor to both sweet and savory recipes. Prepare it correctly to avoid burnt butter that results from overcooking. Use this easy and convenient microwave method to take short cut and brown butter in just a couple minutes.

How to make brown butter in the microwave.
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