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60 votes
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Should I use salted or unsalted butter if the recipe doesn't specify?

Generally, you should use unsalted butter. You can always add salt to your unsalted butter, but you can't take it out if you want it less salty! If it's just being melted on some vegetables, then ...
Erica's user avatar
  • 8,363
46 votes

Why is the outside of grilled cheese buttered?

The part that is buttered is the part that comes into contact with the cooking surface (a pan or a toastie maker). By adding fat the surface of the bread is fried rather than merely toasted, giving a ...
dbmag9's user avatar
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45 votes

Can I deep fry food in butter instead of vegetable oil?

You can certainly deep-fry foods in clarified butter (also known as ghee) and in lard. In fact, there are many foods that are traditionally fried in these fats. They both have very high smoke ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
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35 votes
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Is there a trick for softening butter quickly?

Use a grater If your butter is too stiff, try using a cheese grater on it. The mechanical action will warm the butter slightly and soften it, and the huge increase in surface area will allow the room'...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
34 votes
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Is butter ever the same after having been melted?

Butter may look totally amorphous, but there's actually a fair amount of structure in the fat, in particular fat crystals that make it firmer. Melting it disrupts all that structure, and it can't ...
Cascabel's user avatar
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33 votes
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Why do you need raw milk to make butter?

You don't need raw milk (or more precisely, raw cream). I've made butter from cream many times, but never from unpasteurized cream -- I prefer locally sourced organic cream for reasons, but the actual ...
Erica's user avatar
  • 8,363
32 votes
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I accidentally added butter into flour/cocoa powder/baking soda without beating first

Think shortbread / pie dough: If you have a food processor, dump the butter & dry ingredients in, pulse until you have a coarse crumble. Add some liquid - either your egg (beaten!) or, even ...
Stephie's user avatar
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30 votes
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Does sputtering butter mean that water is present?

Yes, your butter contains water - which is perfectly normal. While oil is 100% fat, butter is only around 80%1 fat plus some protein and ca. 15% water. Regarding your question where the water comes ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 60.1k
29 votes

Is butter ever the same after having been melted?

Part of making butter is churning... the churning process introduces a ton of air into the butter. When you melt it, all of the air is released so you should never expect melted butter to return to ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 16.5k
28 votes

Is there a trick for softening butter quickly?

Original question has been edited since this answer was posted. Microwave wasn't mentioned originally. Microwave. Don't mic it until it's soft! The effect keeps going. Give it 5s at a time & try ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
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27 votes
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Is adding butter to caramel sauce essential?

Yes, you can make a caramel sauce without butter, but you have to add either water or... something else. If you use water, you'll get a pure caramel syrup that looks like honey. Personally, this is ...
kitukwfyer's user avatar
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26 votes
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Usage of butter and flour mixture in cooking

This is called a roux, a common way to thicken sauces; there is nothing about it that is specific to cast iron pans. By first cooking the flour in butter (or another fat), the taste improves and the ...
dbmag9's user avatar
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23 votes
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Can salted butter be used to make lemon curd?

Often, at least in the US, recipes will specifically call for unsalted butter, then call for salt to be added to the recipe — which causes many to scratch their heads. There are three main uses that ...
dlb's user avatar
  • 8,643
22 votes

Making butter at home

Keep at it. You have made butter once you see distinct lumps in the liquid, indicating that the fat and liquid have separated. What you described is pretty close to whipped cream. And all bakers know ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 60.1k
20 votes

Is butter ever the same after having been melted?

There is indeed a physical change that occurs. If you think back to grade school science you probably remember learning about solutions and suspensions, and how the former is a mixture that stays ...
Barkode's user avatar
  • 558
19 votes

Can I deep fry food in butter instead of vegetable oil?

No, you cannot deep-fry in butter. It simply can't handle the heat; it will brown and burn before you reach deep-frying temperatures. In a comment you say that vegetable oils are unstable when heated,...
ElectronicToothpick's user avatar
19 votes
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Is there any substitute for butter (or oil) on puff pastry?

No. An edible organic liquid that does not dissolve in water, almost by definition, is an oil. That's not the important thing, though. Substances like mineral oil are edible yet non-nutritive; they ...
Sneftel's user avatar
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18 votes
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Butter in baking

Butter is not only fine, but extremely common in baked goods. I think the piece you're missing here is that the oven temperature is not the same as the temperature of the baked goods. The internal ...
Cascabel's user avatar
  • 58.3k
17 votes
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Using A Combination of Ghee and Unsalted Butter for Croissants

My suggestion would be to use the Lurpak butter and not worry. If you run into any problems, they won't come from the butter. On the "European butter is better" story I have also come across ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
15 votes
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How can I break an emulsion making carotene butter?

Chill it. The butter will solidify and upon remelting the emulsion will be broken. I've never had a butter emulsion not break after chilling.
Sobachatina's user avatar
  • 47.5k
13 votes

Is adding butter to caramel sauce essential?

If you don't add the butter, it won't be a sauce, it will be pure caramel. Caramel is not a sauce, and is not suited as a cake glaze - it will stick more to your teeth than to the cake if soft, or be ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
13 votes

Is there a trick for softening butter quickly?

pour boiling water into a glass, and let it sit until the glass is hot, or microwave water in the glass, either way, pour out the hot water. Then, place the warm, empty glass upside down over the ...
user140776's user avatar
12 votes

Can salted butter be used to make lemon curd?

Using salted butter would result in a perceivably salty curd - probably not what you want when expecting a sweet lemon curd. The general rule of thumb is to use unsalted butter for sweet dishes and ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 60.1k
12 votes

Can salted butter be used to make lemon curd?

I disagree with Stephie's answer above. I find using salted butter does not give a perceptively salty taste but instead helps to bring out the lemon flavour. A pinch of salt or salted butter is ...
Mark Wildon's user avatar
  • 2,386
10 votes

Achieve butter-like aroma in a vegan recipe

Many of the modern "vegan butter-like spreads for cooking" have a passable butter flavor, not like the margarines of yore. You do want to get one that mentions it can be used in cooking/baking, rather ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 18.1k
10 votes

Can I deep fry food in butter instead of vegetable oil?

As @ElectricToothpick said, the milk solids in butter will brown and burn, so that's not a good option. Since ghee has had the milk solids removed, that's not an issue. Traditionally, rendered animal ...
kitukwfyer's user avatar
  • 5,229
10 votes

How to make coffee-infused butter?

A simple way to do this is to place 250 grams of whole bean coffee and 500 grams of butter in a ziploc bag. Then place that in a water bath with a sous vide device set at 90C. Cook for 3 hours. ...
moscafj's user avatar
  • 75.8k
10 votes
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Water concentration of butter post-melt

The proportion of water will not change significantly unless you leave it hot for a while (evaporation will occur even below boiling temperature); the only substance that will evaporate in any ...
dbmag9's user avatar
  • 12.1k
9 votes

Why do different brands of butter taste different?

Cook's Illustrated (AKA America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country) has done taste tests of various brands of butter, salted and unsalted, cultured and not cultured. They found that the single most ...
Jolenealaska's user avatar
  • 58.6k
9 votes
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What causes butter to "hiss" in the frying pan until I shake it?

The hissing and bubbles are due to the butter's water content turning into vapor. It stops when there's no more water and only fat/milk solids remain on the pan. When you shake the pan you help ...
Vida R.'s user avatar
  • 106

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