January 1st, 2021

What Is Compound Butter?

Education

What is compound butter? Let's break it down. The word compound means “something composed of two or more separate elements; a mixture.” Epicurean Butter’s flavored butter is exactly that—compound—because we combine high-quality butter with other high-quality ingredients.

Compound butter is commonly used in the French cooking technique, especially when it comes to creating sauces. The original French masters would bring butter to room temperature, add in finely chopped herbs, roll the mixture tightly with paper, and then store it at a cold temperature. You can refrigerate or freeze compound butter - it's surprisingly easy to slice when frozen.

Restaurant chefs make their own compound butter to optimize flavors and to save time. Why chop garlic and measure butter in the middle of a dinner rush when you can take a roll of pre-made garlic butter from the fridge when you need it? Many chefs even create compound butter with fish and meat like shrimp or bone marrow.

And while our Roasted Garlic Herb butter is a best seller, compound butter doesn’t start and stop at garlic or in the restaurant kitchen. Home cooks can take advantage of the time savings and gourmet tastes ranging from sweet, savory, tangy, and sour flavors. Anything goes with compound butter flavors.

Now that we've answered the question, "what is compound butter?", here are some ways to use it:

Cooking with Compound Butter

At Epicurean Butter, we stick to 12 sweet and savory flavors we know you’ll love.

Compound butter can be used in many ways when cooking or baking. Toss it in the pan when sautéing veggies, use it to create a buttery sauce, or use it when baking cookies in place of regular butter. It can also be used to finish a dish—like Black Truffle butter on top of a steak or Maple Syrup butter on top of pancakes—which is why the term finishing butter is commonly used to describe compound butter, too. It’s a flexible ingredient that saves you time and steps in the kitchen.

Compound Butter Recipe Ideas

If you are interested in experimenting with compound butter and want to go beyond the 12 butter flavors we offer, here are a few compound butter recipe ideas to try.

  • Don’t waste produce! Combine butter with citrus fruit zests, scallion greens, or even carrot peelings.
  • Is that butter or cream in your coffee? If you’ve adopted butter in your coffee, why not create a compound butter with agave or honey for the full coffee experience.
  • Save those drippings. Make a compound butter with a little bacon or steak grease to put on top of baked potatoes or use as a base for a sauce.
  • Clean out the spice cabinet. If you’re like us, your spice cabinet is overflowing. Put those herbs and spices to good use. Create your own spice blends and get creative with compound butter.

The next time someone asks, "what is compound butter?" you can explain what it is and how to sauté, cook, bake, and finish with it. Life in the kitchen just got a whole lot easier. You're welcome.