Michael Symon's Secret Maneuver For Perfect Brown Butter Every Time

No matter how long you've been cooking, there are always little tips and tricks you learn over the years that can surprise and delight you. New methods pop up that can improve upon old favorites. Just think about reverse searing — for years it was thought that traditional pan-seared steak was the best around. Enter the reverse sear method, which chefs like Andrew Zimmern, Guy Fieri, and J. Kenji López-Alt say might actually be the best way to cook steak.

Then there's the seemingly simple matter of butter. Use it solid, softened, or melted, right? But it turns out there's more to it than that: We're talking about browned butter. You might find yourself wondering why you need to start using browned butter in your recipes, and it all has to do with flavor. Browned butter is one of the tastiest ways to amp up the toasty, nutty flavors in any dish you're cooking. As you cook the butter, the water evaporates out, leaving the milk solids to toast up in the melted butterfat. It's a delicious technique, but can be tricky. Thankfully, chef Michael Symon recently shared his tricks for foolproof browned butter, and it will help you learn how to make sure it comes out perfectly any time.

Low and slow

The Food Network recently took to Twitter to share a clip of chef Michael Symon revealing his foolproof method for making browned butter. His most important tip is to go low and slow. "The mistake people make often with brown butter is they have their pan on high, they put in the butter, and it burns." The easiest technique, according to Symon, is to heat a stainless steel pan over low heat. Add the butter, and let it melt slowly. It will turn to liquid, get foamy as the water evaporates, and then start to brown. That's where Symon's other tip comes in. "As soon as the butter starts to brown remove the pan from the heat," he says. Swirl the butter in the pan as it browns off the heat, and you'll be able to avoid a dreaded burnt butter fiasco. Instead, you'll be left with butter that's savory, toasty, and has a depth of flavor you don't get with regular butter. 

You can use browned butter in savory dishes like a pasta with brown butter sage sauce recipe or scrambled eggs, and you should always brown your butter when baking brownies to add a nutty flavor that complements the cocoa. You can brown butter when baking cookies, too. And if your recipe doesn't call for melted butter, not to worry — you can pop your browned butter in the fridge until it's solid again, and then use it.