The Butter Mistake You're Making With Homemade Chex Mix

Who doesn't love a party snack that is sweet, savory, salty, and crunchy? Homemade Chex Mix covers those bases and is extremely easy to whip up at home before a gathering. A classic Chex Mix party recipe combines three types of Chex cereal with pretzels, nuts, bagel chips, and savory seasonings like Worcestershire and garlic powder. Everything is coated in melted butter before being baked until nice and crunchy. It's difficult to mess it up, but not adding enough butter is one major pitfall.

While adding a ton of melted butter to crunchy cereal may seem counterintuitive, butter helps make everything extra crunchy — if baked correctly. It also acts as a binder for all of the ingredients, so the flavor from your seasoning mix adheres to the crunchy pieces. Unfortunately, sometimes people only add a few tablespoons of butter to several cups of mix, resulting in a dry, flavorless mess. 

For the best Chex Mix, it's recommended to use a stick of butter for every 10 cups of the cereal and cracker mixture. If you're doubling the recipe for a larger party, double the amount of butter to ensure the ratio stays the same.

Avoid these other buttery mistakes

Cooking and baking with butter is delicious, but people still make some mistakes when cooking with it. When crafting the perfect Chex Mix, you'll need to make sure you are using melted butter. Cold or room-temperature butter won't mix well with the other ingredients. While some recipes call for pouring all the melted butter over the mix and stirring to combine, others suggest pouring half the butter in, stirring everything, then adding the remainder. Either method will work; it's more a matter of coating every nook and cranny to ensure each bite is as delicious as the last. 

When choosing salted or unsalted butter, unsalted is the clear choice for Chex Mix. Since savory Chex Mix is flavored with heavily salted ingredients — such as Worcestershire — salted butter could make it inedible. Using unsalted butter also gives you control over how much salt you add to the final mixture. 

Finally, since the butter will inherently make the crunchy crackers and cereal a bit soggy, you must bake it properly. While it may be tempting to fill the entire pan, you want to leave space for the mix to dry out. This may mean using multiple baking sheets — but we promise it's worth it.