Do you also feel that everything gets better with a bit of butter? Indeed, butter is one of the most preferred and loved complements to many food items.
In some recipes, butter is an irreplaceable ingredient, like butter chicken, while it boosts the taste tremendously in others.
Many recipes instruct you to mix the butter with water. One such instance is when you boil pasta and pour some butter or oil into the boiling water. Now, many people have asked whether butter dissolves in water. The answer is ‘no.’ Butter doesn’t dissolve into the water.
This article will discuss some common questions related to butter that cross people’s minds often. Why does butter not dissolve in water? Let’s find out.
Why Does Butter Not Dissolve In Water?
Butter is prepared from churned milk or cream. When the cream is churned, the fat globules get separated from the buttermilk and accumulate. These accumulated fats and oils are together known as butter.
The butter components are – 80 percent milk fats, 16-17 percent water, and the rest are milk solids other than fats. As butter majorly contains milk fats, and fats are water-insoluble, butter does not dissolve in water and floats on the surface similar to oil.
Can You Mix Butter With Water?
If butter doesn’t dissolve in water, why do we put it into boiling water? We cannot dissolve butter into the water, but we can make an emulsion of both. When you mix the butter with water, the butter particle gets suspended in the water. This solution is called an emulsion.
What is an Emulsion?
Emulsions are combinations of two or more liquids that are immiscible. When you make such a solution, the particles of the solutions get suspended. The particles get mixed when you stir them. Else they settle down.
Interestingly, milk is also an emulsion of fats and oil in water. You might have noticed that a thick layer of cream floats on the surface of the milk. However, when you heat it, it seems to disappear.
It gets suspended in the milk and makes an emulsion.
How to Emulsify Butter Into Water?
Many recipes require you to make an emulsion of butter into the water during the cooking process. For emulsifying butter into the water, boil some water in a saucepan. When it starts boiling, add some butter (as much as you like).
Stir it until the butter particles are suspended in the water, and your butter-in-water emulsion is ready!
How to melt butter?
Usually, butter is kept refrigerated, and therefore, you might need to melt it before using it. If you keep butter outside the fridge in the summer, it will remain semi-solid. Sometimes, it readily melts on a hot summer day.
The melting point of butter is 100 degrees Fahrenheit. You can melt your butter in three ways:
Cut the butter bar into small cubes and microwave at an interval of 10 seconds.
Cut the butter into cubes and heat in a saucepan. Keep the flame as low as possible while continuously stirring it.
You can also melt butter the way you melt chocolate. It is the safest method for melting butter. Cut the butter into cubes and put it into a bowl. Boil some water in a pot.
Place the bowl at the mouth of the boiling water so that the steam can provide heat.
Why does butter start smoking so quickly?
Some people say that it smokes very quickly when they cook with butter. It happens because the smoke point of butter is very low. Butter starts smoking at 302 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s why you should be careful while cooking with butter.
Consider mixing some oil with the butter to prevent the burning of the butter.
Can Melted Butter Get Solidified Again?
Once you throw the butter cube into the hot pan, it melts and starts to form foam. At this stage, the butter is completely melted, and the foam that you see is the milk solids separated from the fats.
If you now put this melted butter into the refrigerator, it will not turn into the initial stage butter bar. The separated milk solids also burn a little, which transforms the butter into a whole new state.
However, if you have not melted the butter with a lot of heat and the butter hasn’t formed any foam, the butter can go back to the solid state completely. As mentioned earlier, the milk solids and fats constitute the emulsion that stabilizes the butter.
1. What happens when you boil butter?
If you boil butter, the milk solids will burn and turn brown. The liquid fats are left behind and are commonly known as clarified butter or ghee.
2. Does butter dissolve in oil?
Butter and oil are both made up of fats. Fats can easily mix up with other fats. Hence, butter can dissolve in all other fats and oils.
Butter has been a common ingredient in foods all around the world. However, it is essential that you understand the science of butter to get the most of it.
So far, we have understood how butter cannot be dissolved in water, but we can make an emulsion of butter-in-water for cooking purposes.
Cooking with butter needs a careful approach to preserve the taste of butter from deteriorating. We have discussed all the necessary precautions to help you cook with butter with ease.