Last Updated on March 7, 2023
Do you know how to keep butter melted? This isn’t a problem anyone thinks of until they’re in it! Learning our 2 tricks will help save you a ton of time!
They are both extremely easy and can be used for many different situations. As an example, use the warmer if you’re serving a butter dipping sauce. But, use clarified butter if you frequently use melted butter during the day or in your kitchen. So, let’s jump right in!
What Is Butter And How Do You Use It?
Butter is quite an incredible ingredient when you think about it. It is extremely diverse in its uses and has a ton of crucial functions that it performs in baking and cooking.
But, what exactly is butter? This is a dairy-based product that is made using the fat and protein elements of churned cream.
When kept cold inside a fridge, it is a rock-solid fat that is impossible to spread or cream. At room temperature, it is a semi-soft solid emulsified ingredient that is very pliable. But, as soon as it is heated above 90-95ºF (32-35ºC), it starts melting into a liquid.
Now, each of these forms has different uses and functions. For example, when making puff pastry, you need cold butter to create layers of fat and dough. But, when making buttercream frosting, you need semi-soft creamed fat.
At the end of the day, how you should use and incorporate the butter will depend on the recipe you are making. And, this will also directly affect which functions the butter performs.
Beaten and creamed butter functions as a leavening ingredient, enricher, stabilizer, and flavoring. Solid butter (in puff pastry) acts as an enriching ingredient that also creates a flaky texture. And liquid butter, for brownies, functions as a tenderizer, moistening ingredient, and rich flavoring.
Today, we are specifically looking at liquified butter. But before looking at how to keep butter melted, it’s important to understand why you may need this.
How To Keep Butter Melted – Why Do You Need Liquified Butter?
Liquified butter can be used in two ways. It can either be incorporated into recipes or used as a type of dipping sauce, glaze, or garnish. Either way, in many cases, you need the butter to stay melted over a period of time.
When working with butter, it stays a liquid above 90-95ºF (32-35ºC). So, once it starts cooling, the fat starts coagulating again, causing the butter to go back to a semi-solid state.
So, as an example, let’s say that you are making a ton of pie crusts that needs to be brushed with melted butter for color. This process can take a while to finish if you can only bake one at a time. Or even if you need to add multiple layers of butter per crust. During this process, you don’t want to be constantly reheating butter to get it melted. It takes time and a lot of effort.
The same goes for when you serve butter as a dipping sauce on a platter. It is a delicious way to add richness and flavor to a dish. But, it needs to remain a liquid in order to do so.
What You Will Need – How To Keep Butter Melted
There are two ways you can keep butter melted. Which one you choose will mostly depend on why you need liquified butter.
Using a butter warmer
If you need butter to stay melted for a shorter period, you can place it in a butter warmer. This is a tool that helps keep butter heated and melted over very low heat.
A butter warmer has three components. A heatproof ramekin that holds the butter. A stand that holds the ramekin. And a tealight candle holder that is the heat source. It fits underneath the stand and ramekin.
Once heated, the tealight candle produces very low heat. But, it is warm enough to keep the butter melted.
Clarified butter is a product that has been around for quite some time. But, it has only recently become more used by the general public. Chefs and professional bakers have been using this ingredient for decades as a way to keep butter melted.
What exactly makes this butter special? The milk solids are removed from heated butter. You are left with a pure fat product that is a lot more shelf stable. The lack of milk solids helps prevent the mixture from setting.
Now, it is important to note that clarified butter will still harden at some point. But, getting there takes a lot longer!
Step 1: Melt the butter in a saucepan
Add all of your butter into a saucepan and melt it over low heat. Do not stir the mixture at all. As the butter melts, you will start seeing white fat rise to the top. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
Step 2: Skim off the fat
Allow the butter to cool for roughly 5 minutes. This will help solidify the milk solids, which will then be easier to remove.
Skim off any foam that is left on top of the clear yellow liquid. Then, using a fine-meshed sieve, fork, or small spoon, remove any remaining milk solid pieces on the bottom.
Step 3: Store the clarified butter
Finally, once you only have the clean yellow liquid remaining, pour it into a clean glass container. Keep it inside an airtight container in your fridge.
Remember, while you did remove most of the perishable dairy components, there could still be some floating around. So, if you simply keep it at room temperature, it could still become rancid.
Clarifying butter in a microwave
We don’t recommend clarifying butter in a microwave unless you can use a very low-temperature setting. The key to separating the milk solids from the liquid is that the butter should be melted slowly.
This way, the liquid doesn’t bubble or move. This enables the milk solids to remain intact and float in the liquid. Not get dispersed throughout it.
Now you know of two very effective techniques for how to keep butter melted. This will not only make your life much easier but enable you to work a lot more efficiently.
Let us know which method worked best for you in the comments below. And, make sure to go check out some of our many other educational articles on our site.
How do you melt butter and keep it melted?
There are two tricks you can try. The first is keeping the melted butter over a butter warmer until you are done using it. The second is to make clarified butter by removing the milk solids (that makes the mixture solidify).
What keeps melted butter from hardening?
Because you removed the milk solids, you are left with almost 100% pure fat. The lack of milk solids is what prevents the new butter mixture (clarified butter) from hardening. But, keep in mind, that it can still become hard. bUt, it will take a lot longer than regular butter.
What butter stays melted?
Clarified butter and ghee are both products that take a lot longer to solidify because the milk solids have been removed. But, neither of them will remain melted forever.
How long does melted butter keep?
Melted butter will keep just as long as regular butter. It mostly depends on how it has been stored. In the fridge, it can last up to a month. But, at room temperature, it will only last a couple of days. Clarified butter on the other hand has a longer and more stable shelf life because it contains little to no dairy elements.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.