Melt the butter in one of the stovetops if you want it to melt evenly or if the recipe calls for browning. If you want to save time, use the microwave, but be sure to follow all the recommendations in this article so that the ingredient doesn't heat up too quickly or melt unevenly. Finally, if you just want to soften the butter that was in the fridge or freezer, many alternatives are viable.
Method 1 of 3: Using the hob
Step 1. Cut the butter into pieces so that the heat doesn't have to melt it slowly until it reaches the center
The more surface is in contact with the pan, the faster the process.
There is no correct size. A bar can be cut into four or five pieces
Step 2. Place the butter in a triple bottom pan preferably
Pans with heavier bottoms are able to distribute the heat better. This lessens the chance that the butter will burn, as it melts each serving at a similar rate. The triple bottom is the best. Even a lighter pan will produce better results than a microwave.
It is also possible to melt butter in a double boiler by placing one pan inside another
Step 3. Heat over low heat
Butter melts between 28 and 36 °C, ie at room temperature on a very hot day. Use low heat to prevent the butter from burning.
Step 4. Melt 3/4 of the butter on low heat
The heat should remain low enough for the butter to melt without browning. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the ingredient during the process.
Step 5. Remove from heat and stir
Turn off the heat or switch to another burner and stir in the melted butter. Both the pan and the butter will be very hot, and this will be enough to melt any remaining pieces. This method has a much lower risk of burning the butter than leaving it on the fire until it is completely melted.
- If there are still too many pieces left, return to the fire for 30 seconds.
Step 6. If the recipe calls for it, brown the butter. To do this, heat it until brown spots appear. Keep the heat low and continue stirring gently. The butter will froth and then form the dots. As soon as you notice them, remove the butter from the heat and stir until golden. Then put it in a container at room temperature.
Method 2 of 3: Using the microwave
Step 1. Cut the butter into pieces
The microwave heats from the outside to the inside, so shredding the butter will increase the surface of the ingredient and make it melt more evenly. However, don't expect even heating in a microwave.
Step 2. Cover the plate with a paper towel
Use a microwaveable container. The paper towel will prevent the butter from making a mess inside the appliance, as it can sneeze during rapid melting by the appliance's waves.
Step 3. Heat for ten seconds on low power
The microwave is much faster than the stove, but it can also cause some problems, such as burns. Start with caution, setting the microwave to "low power" or "thaw" mode if possible, then heat the butter for ten seconds.
Step 4. Stir and check progress
The butter will probably not be melted, but the temperature needed for this is not very high. In that case, using ten-second intervals will suffice. Then stir to distribute the heat and see if there are any remaining pieces.
be sure to remove any utensils from the bowl before returning it to the microwave.
Step 5. Repeat the process until the butter is completely melted
Replace the paper towel and cover the butter for another ten seconds or five if it's almost done. Keep following the process until only small pieces remain. Take it out of the microwave with care as the bowl will be very hot.
Step 6. Stir to melt the remaining pieces
These will dissolve with residual heat. Stir until butter is liquid and golden.
If the butter is left in the microwave for a long time, it will have a white residue on the surface. It can still be used quietly for sauteing foods, but it can negatively affect the texture of some baked goods
Method 3 of 3: Softening the Butter
Step 1. Learn to know when butter is soft
Unless the recipe gives a specific texture description, the butter will be softened at room temperature. In other words, it can be easily caught with a spoon, but it won't dismantle on its own.
Step 2. Cut the butter into pieces
There are several methods to soften it. However, everyone will be faster if it is bitten.
Step 3. Leave the butter near the stove
If it's not frozen and the day is hot, this will only take a few minutes, especially if the stove is on.
Do not place butter directly on the stove top unless it is frozen. Keep an eye on butter in hot places to make sure it doesn't melt, as this can happen quickly
Step 4. Soften the butter more quickly by kneading it
To speed up the process, use a mixer or knead it with your hand. Put the butter in a plastic bag, get as much air as possible and seal it tightly. With a rolling pin or with your bare hands, mash it repeatedly. After a few minutes, the butter will be much softer without being melted.
Instead of a plastic bag, it is possible to place the ingredient between two sheets of wax paper
Step 5. Place the butter in a bain-marie
Fill half a bowl with warm (not hot) water. Place the butter in an airtight plastic bag or a smaller pan and place in the water. Follow the process by squeezing the butter from time to time to check the texture, as this method should only take a few minutes.
Step 6. Soften the frozen butter quickly by grating it
If you can't wait for it to thaw, pass the frozen butter on a coarse grater. The pieces will quickly soften at room temperature.
- If you frequently use butter to saute food or want to extend the shelf life of the ingredient, consider "clarifying" it by melting it until it foams. "Clarified butter", as it is called, is much more resistant to high temperatures, but on the other hand, it has less flavor.
- Using unsalted butter is one way to have more control over the amount of salt in your recipe, especially if you have high blood pressure or are on a low-sodium diet.
- If you are going to melt the butter on the stove, do not allow it to brown quickly or burn. This will compromise the taste of the final product.
- If you are a child, make sure you have an adult with you.