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How To Melt Butter In Microwave? Follow These 4 Easy Steps

Butter is one of the most straightforward and easiest products that you can melt in the microwave. Really, it’s so easy that a child could make it. Either salted or unsalted, butter is a staple ingredient in our kitchens. 

Whether is just for your breakfast toast, your favorite seafood dishes, homemade popcorn, dip for lobster tails, a steak recipe, or a flaky croissant, you need butter in your kitchen more than you know. 

Melting butter is very easy, either on the stove or in the microwave but, if you want to save some time and do other things in the kitchen without supervising the melting process of your butter, here is the easiest solution to it.

To melt butter in the microwave simply just take a stick of butter, cut it into pieces, transfer it into a microwave-safe bowl or a microwave-safe plate, cover it with a microwave-safe plastic wrap or a paper towel to avoid splatter and making a mess in your microwave, and microwave it on the medium-low power setting that your microwave has. You can also use the defrost mode for lower heat.

Microwave the butter at 1-minute intervals until the butter has completely melted through. Stir occasionally to make your butter melt evenly and smoothly.

If you want to learn how to melt butter in the microwave in detail, stick with us and read the entire article.

How To Melt Butter In Microwave? Simple Steps You Need To Know!

How To Melt Butter In The Microwave Simple Steps You Need To Know!

Even though I mentioned before that butter is one of the easiest things to microwave, there are some things you need to know and learn before you do it. So, without further ado, let’s learn how to properly and safely melt butter in the microwave. 

Things You Need To Know Before Melting Your Butter In The Microwave

  • Cut your butter into small chunks. Small butter pieces tend to melt easier and more evenly than a whole stick of butter.
  • The type of butter plays a big role when melting it. Salted butter has a lower heat tolerance than unsalted butter so make sure that if you’re melting salted butter, you use a low temperature or the defrost setting. 
  • If you already have softened butter, you can microwave it in less time than solid butter. Try microwaving softened butter for 30 seconds and then check the process. If it needs more time, give it another 30 seconds but try not to burn it. 
  • To avoid making a mess and turning your microwave into a popcorn-smelling area, cover your microwave-safe bowl with a microwave-safe paper towel/plastic wrap.
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[Related Article: How To Clarify Butter In The Microwave? 9 Easy Steps!]

3 Simple Ways To Melt Butter In Microwave

The Easy Way Out

If you’re feeling lazy or in a hurry to melt some butter for your cakes or cookies, you’ve come to the right place, and this is your way out. This is one of the most common methods to melt your butter in the microwave.

Simply place your chunks of butter in a microwave-safe bowl or a microwave-safe dish, set the microwave temperature at medium power level, proceed to transfer the bowl to the microwave, and microwave the butter at 30-second intervals until the butter has completely melted through. 

Since butter is 80% butterfat and 20% milk solids and water, when heated, the butterfat(aka clarified butter) separates from the milk solids and water and tends to make a huge mess when doing so. 

That’s why when you’re melting butter in the microwave, you should cover your microwave-safe dish with a plate or microwave-safe plastic wrap. 

The Water Technique

Placing another smaller bowl filled with water in your microwave is a great technique for melting your butter evenly and without burning it.

The water will reduce the heat of the microwave and will not let your butter burn and become browned butter. Place a small microwave-safe bowl of water next to your butter bowl and microwave them for 1-2 minutes, occasionally checking on the process. 

Take the butter out of the microwave and if there are any chunks of butter that still aren’t melted yet, you can use the bowl of hot water to help you melt the butter evenly. 

Melting Butter In A Microwave-Safe Plastic Bag

If you’re trying to melt a small amount of butter just for your popcorn for movie night or flatbreads to have that buttery flavor then you’re in luck; this is the most efficient method for melting small amounts of butter in no time. 

Chop the butter into small chunks, place them in a microwave-safe ziplock plastic bag, and seal the bag. Place the bag in the microwave, set the temperature on your lowest setting, or to defrost mode, and microwave your butter for no more than 30 seconds.

After your butter has melted through you may open the bag and pour your butter into your various recipes or butter sauce. And there you go, the easiest way to get the perfect melted butter in almost no time. 

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What’s The Difference Between Softened Butter And Melted Butter?

What's The Difference Between Softened Butter And Melted Butter

If you’re an experienced cook, you already know that softened butter and melted butter are completely different things; I mean, the comparison is ridiculous.

But, what is actually the difference, and what are these two types used for in the culinary world? Let’s see; Melted butter is famously used for buttering your popcorn, adding it to your pancake recipes, making butter sauces, etc. 

Softened butter, also known as temperature butter is used for baking recipes such as cakes and cookies when you want to make baked goods creamier.

Softened butter can be creamed and easily incorporated with other ingredients like powdered sugar to make a delicious buttercream.

Temperature butter is amazing for creaming and making baked goods puffier because this type of butter still has the butterfat content in it(or milk fat), unlike the melted butter that has its’ fat content separated from all the liquids. 

How To Soften Butter For Cake Recipes

Softening solid butter for creaming is easier than you think; that’s why we, in the culinary world call it room temperature butter.

Simply just take your sticks of butter out of the refrigerator, place them in a liquid measuring cup, and just leave the at room temperature to do their job. 

Another way to soften butter is in the microwave but, you have to be very careful about leaving the butter for too long because you don’t want to get melted butter. 

When softening butter in the microwave for the creaming method, make sure you use the lowest power setting or the defrost mode.

Place the entire stick of unsalted butter in a microwave-safe container, and microwave at 5-second intervals with constant supervision.

Take your softened butter out of the microwave and immediately use it for your creaming process along with a couple of cups of powdered or regular sugar(I prefer powdered sugar when making buttercream).

How To Melt Butter Using The Double Boiling Method

How To Melt Butter Using The Double Boiling Method

The double boiling method can be done either with this amazing kitchen appliance called a double boiler or by using a double boiling technique. If you happen to own a double boiler then you’re in luck.

Simply just fill the bottom half of the double boiler with 2 cups of water, warm up the stove or your burner and bring your double boiler to a simmer.

Now, cut your stick of unsalted butter into small chunks or 1-inch pieces so it melts faster and place it on the top half of your double boiler, and start the melting process.

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Your chunks of butter should start to melt fast so make sure you keep a close eye on the double boiler and stir the butter occasionally. 

Now that your butter is done and melted, you may remove any leftover flecks of milk solids that may appear at the top of your melted butter. 

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How To Melt Butter Using A Make-Shift Double Boiler

How To Melt Butter Using A Make-Shift Double Boiler

Don’t worry if you don’t own a double boiler; you can make one yourself. What you’re going to need is a tall pot and a glass bowl that’s wider than your pot. 

Fill the tall pot with cold water and without turning the heat yet, place the glass bowl on top of the pot. Now, place your already cut butter cubes in the glass bowl and turn your stove to medium-high heat. 

Your butter will gradually start to soften and eventually will start to melt. Keep a close eye on the melting process and occasionally stir it with a wooden spoon so you don’t burn it or be left with brown butter. 

When the butter has completely melted through, you can use the residual heat to make sure it’s all mixed up and there are no chunks of butter left. Then, take it off the heat and immediately use it in your recipes or on top of your fresh popcorn.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Long Do You Microwave Butter To Soften It

It usually takes no more than 10 seconds to soften your butter in the microwave. Take a big chunk of butter and place it into a microwave-safe plate or a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it at 5-second intervals on your lowest setting until the butter is softened.

Can You Overcook Butter In The Microwave

Yes, you can be left with overcooked butter so you got to be careful. Make sure you always keep a close eye on the melting process as you can easily overcook your butter and be left with browned butter instead.

Will Melted Butter Harden Again

Yes. Already melted butter can harden again but, since the melting process separates the two components of the butter which are milk solids and water, your butter will not hold its shape and will crack. 

How To Melt Butter For Cookies

Cut your butter into 1-inch pieces, place them into a microwave-safe bowl, and cover the bowl with a plate. Microwave the butter at 10-15 second intervals at your lowest heat until the butter has been completely melted.