How to Melt Butter in the Microwave?


Quick Answer: How to Melt Butter in the Microwave?

Dice the butter into ½ inch cubes and put it into a microwave-safe bowl. Adjust the power level to 50%. Cover the bowl with a paper towel or a microwave-safe plate and microwave in 15-second intervals for 30 to 45 seconds at 95 degrees Fahrenheit / 35 degrees Celsius. After every 15-second interval remove the butter and move around with a spoon.

In this article, you will find comprehensive instructions and ways to melt and soften Butter in the microwave. The steps are easy with minimal risk of the butter exploding.

Once I found that microwaving is the most convenient way to melt better; I have been obsessed with it since. I am sharing this efficient method so you can use it too to melt butter in the microwave.

Keep reading to find out.

How to Prep Butter for Microwaving?

Dice the butter into half-inch cubes. This heats the butter evenly. You can also grate the butter using a grater. For this, the microwaving time is far less.

Make sure to cut uniform pieces for even heating. The idea is to increase the surface area as much as possible.

Use a microwave-safe bowl. Put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl.

How to Melt Butter in the Microwave?

How to Melt Butter in the Microwave?

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Quick Answer - Cut the butter into ½ inch cubes. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and reduce the power level to 50%. Microwave in 15-second intervals for 30 to 45-seconds at 95 degrees Fahrenheit / 35 degrees Celsius. Stir after every nuke to distribute the heat.


  • Butter


  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Spatula/ spoon


    1. Put the container containing the Butter in the microwave: After putting the container in the microwave cover it loosely with a paper towel or a microwave-safe plate.

      This will reduce the splattering if any around the microwave.

    2. Adjust the microwave settings: Switch on the microwave. Set the power at 50% or medium at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Microwave in 15-second intervals.

      The total microwaving time should not exceed 45 seconds for one stick of butter otherwise the butter will burn.

      Do not heat the Butter excessively. Butter melts at 98 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature of the butter increases too suddenly it will burn.

    3. Checking in between the process: Take out the bowl every 15 seconds and stir thoroughly with a spatula or mix. The butter will not look very melted.

      You can also just toss the butter around in the bowl. This will even out the temperature.

      If 80% of the volume of the Butter has melted, use the residual heat to melt completely by mixing thoroughly.

    4. Nuking: If necessary, even after mixing the butter around the bowl the butter still doesn’t look liquid or the quantity of the butter is large, there might be chunks of butter left.

      Put the bowl back in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds only. Take out and mix again. Repeat until it reaches a smooth consistency.

Tips to Remember While Melting Butter in Microwave

Here are some tips to melt Butter in the microwave:

  • Avoid overcooking at all costs. When overcooked butter splits into water and oil. The butter will now have a watery greasy consistency.
  • Place a small bowl containing water in the microwave to avoid overheating the butter.
  • Try to chop the butter into smaller bits. Avoid putting a whole stick of butter at once in the microwave. It is likely to cause splatter.
  • Cover the container with parchment or paper towel to contain the splatter.
  • Choose to melt unsalted butter if you need to control your sodium intake.
  • If cooking with butter frequently, clarify it by heating until it foams. Clarified butter can withstand high temperatures.
  • If a recipe calls for room temperature butter, make sure all the other ingredients are room temperature as well

Alternate Methods to Melt Butter

You can also melt butter the old-fashioned way on a stovetop or simply while preheating the oven.

1. In a pan on the stove: Choose a saucepan with a heavy bottom. This will prevent the butter from sticking to the pan.

Put your diced butter in the pan and turn it on. Cook the butter over low heat. Once the butter starts melting pick the pan up and swirl the butter around.

You can also use a spatula to stir the butter. Remove from heat before completely melted.

2. Pre-heating oven: If you need melted butter in an oven-based recipe. It is easier to leave the butter in the microwave while pre-heating it.

Make sure to check the butter from time to time to avoid overcooking.

How to Soften Butter?

To soften the butter, pour two cups of water in a microwave-safe bowl and let it come to a boil in the microwave. Place the butter in another microwave-safe bowl. Take the water out from the microwave and pop the butter in. Do not turn the microwave on. Keep in the microwave for 10 minutes to allow the residual heat to melt the butter.

There is a difference between melting and softening the butter. When the butter is soft it is still solid.

If a recipe calls for butter at room temperature, it is still relatively cold. Room temperature butter should be at 65 degrees Fahrenheit at least.

How Long Does it Take to Melt Butter in the Microwave?

It takes about 45 seconds of microwaving time to melt one stick of butter. Microwaving times also depend on the quantity of Butter and the relative increase in surface area, whether grated or in chunks or whole.

It is better to melt butter in smaller intervals than in one 45-second nuke.

Not only does it result in an even consistency. It also decreases the chance of overcooking the butter.

How to Melt Butter Quickly?

The quickest way to melt Butter is by using a microwave. It only takes 45 seconds to melt one stick of butter in this way.

Take the butter out of the microwave every 15 seconds and give it a mix.

If you are using metal utensils remove them before putting the bowl back in the microwave. The butter has an average melting temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures above this will cause the butter to separate into a watery grease-like state. Use the residual heat from the bowl to help in melting the butter to avoid overcooking.

Is it Safe to Melt Butter in the Microwave?

Yes, it is safe to melt Butter in the microwave. You can melt butter in the microwave without worry. Avoid using plastic containers as they release toxins into the butter. Do not overcook to preserve the protein value in the butter.

Keep cooking times to a minimum while melting butter. When butter is overcooked the protein value of the butter is stripped away.

Avoid using a plastic bowl. Instead, use microwave-safe ceramic or glass bowls.

How to store melted Butter?

To store-melted Butter, put it in a container with an airtight seal. Keep in the refrigerator. When reheating this butter, be as gentle as possible with the temperature as heating it the first time will cause some of the water to evaporate.

Butter can be re-melted. It is better to melt only a sufficient amount at one time. If you have melted butter, store it in an airtight plastic container.

Don’t leave the butter at room temperature for more than 2 days or it will go rancid. When re-melting this butter gently increase the temperature of the butter.


Why does butter explode in the microwave?

Butter splatters or explodes inside the microwave because the boiling point of oil and water is different. Butter comprises 80% fat and 20% water. Milk solids are dissolved in water.

Water is heavier than fat and when it reaches close to boiling; it splatters the top fat layer around.

What if I accidentally overcook the Butter?

If you have overcooked your butter, do not worry. You can save overcooked butter by turning it into clarified butter A.k.a Ghee. It is also known as brown butter.

Check out this short video from Nick DiGiovanni on tips to make Clarified butter.

Ghee or brown butter is used in cooking as a substitute for oil or butter. It is stable and can be stored for to 6 months in the refrigerator. Store in a glass container.

Bottom Line

I hope this article on melting Butter using the microwave helped you in melting butter the right way.

We would also like to hear your take on melting Butter. If you have any suggestions or questions, mention them in the comments or mail them to us.

Spread the word. Share this article with your loved ones who cook with melted butter.

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About Karen Wilson

Karen is a foodie to the core. She loves any variety of food - spicy or junk! Her slender body and height are deceiving, as she enjoys eating hearty meals that would leave most people gasping for air. She has an appetite for life, and wants everyone around her to share in it too.

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