Problems with balsamic brown butter sauce

Every time I try to make a brown butter, sage balsamic sauce the sauce splatters/steams/spits as I add the balsamic (even when I add it off the heat). What am I doing wrong? The hot sauce sprays everywhere .. Makes a mess and I'm afraid of getting splattered! I'm making this sauce for my Thanksgiving sweet potato gnocchi and would love any tips so I don't scare my guests:)

  • Posted by: KBDalen
  • November 25, 2013


Miguelito April 19, 2014
Your going to have to make brown butter sage sauce and set aside, then reduce your vinegar and sugar and as the final touch, incorporate (whisk,emulsify,marry,) since brown butter any really hold cold, they both must be very warm
ChefOno November 25, 2013

As your butter heats, the water component boils off which allows the temperature in the pan to rise above 212F. The temperature continues to rise to the point where the milk solids brown -- much hotter than boiling. If you add a watery liquid to the pan it will flash-steam which causes the sputtering and splattering. Simply allowing the pan to cool off a bit after the browning step will solve your problem.

A quick and easy way is to have a shallow dish filled with water standing by (a soup bowl or even a dinner plate). Touching the bottom of your pan in the water for a few seconds, just until the hissing stops, will do the trick.

Lisa R. November 25, 2013
Hi, KBDalen. Sorry to hear you're having difficulty adding the balsamic. Basically, any time you add a liquid to hot oil, you are going to get some splatter. Sigh. Try any of the following: a deeper pan, a splatter guard, wearing an oven mitt when adding, tempering the balsamic by pouring a bit of the butter into it before adding it all back into the butter, and/or letting the butter cool more before adding the balsamic, then heating it all back up. Good luck. Let us know what works for you.
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