Genius Ways To Use Butter Powder Like A Recipe Developer

butter powder popcorn noodles
butter powder popcorn noodles - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

Buttered powder is a helpful ingredient to keep for when you've run out of fresh butter, forgotten to add it to your shopping list, or don't use enough butter to warrant buying a whole stick and potentially having it go to waste. This underrated ingredient should be a staple in your pantry. It's perfect for when you're in a pinch, and, because it's shelf stable and doesn't need refrigeration, it's great for times of power cuts, natural disasters like flooding or hurricanes, or if you have a broken refrigerator. If this still sounds strange to you, think of a box of mac and cheese where you've reconstituted a packet of cheese powder without thinking twice. Butter powder works the same and only needs water added to it for it to become rehydrated, thick, and spreadable.

You can also use it as is, as a powder, which is especially handy if you want to add a butter flavor without the grease. Butter powder has been dehydrated from all liquid (and then ground to a powder), so it won't melt the same way that regular butter does. However, it's still an incredibly versatile ingredient. As a professional cook and caterer, I use butter powder in various ways to enhance my cooking, especially in outdoor or volatile environments. I also regularly take it along on camping trips. If you're curious about it but unsure how to use it, don't despair. Here are some genius ways to use butter powder in your recipes.

Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

Sprinkle It On Popcorn

closeup popcorn butter
closeup popcorn butter - 4kodiak/Getty Images

The best part about going to the movies is to eat popcorn. Perhaps one of the easiest and best uses for powdered butter is to sprinkle it on popcorn. It's not always easy to add regular butter to popcorn without making it soggy or unevenly buttered, and using butter in powder form solves this problem. It adds the perfect buttery taste, without adding any moisture to the popcorn. Plus, you can sprinkle it evenly across the popcorn to achieve something close to the delicious popcorn you might get at the movies. However, it's actually better as it won't have the artificial additives and flavors that movie popcorn often has. It might surprise you, but butter powder doesn't usually contain anything else except butter.

The best thing about using butter powder on popcorn is that you can go either sweet or salty. Mix in some salt and any other spices you like on your popcorn with some butter powder, to make your own savory popcorn sprinkle. Use some paprika, or even cayenne pepper if you like a bit of a kick. Then, to make a sweet sprinkle, mix some sugar, cinnamon, and butter powder to make a crunchy, sweet, and buttery topping. Or, be daring and go sweet and savory, combining butter powder with both some sugar and salt and enjoy every bite.

Use It In Baked Goods

plate banana muffins
plate banana muffins - Mariha-kitchen/Getty Images

When it comes to baking with non-perishable ingredients, people are more likely to keep milk powder in their pantry rather than butter. A lot of people might know how useful milk powder might be, but not realize that butter powder works in much the same way. And you can use it in baking, too. For many recipes, you can simply mix in the powder with your dry ingredients to add some buttery richness to your bread or cake. However, if the recipe calls for creaming your butter with sugar, you'll need to reconstitute it first by mixing it with water. The ratios for how much water to add should be included on the packaging. Then you'll need to exercise some patience, as butter powder will take longer to cream than regular butter. Just keep creaming, (even if you start to think it's not going to work) and it will get there.

When reconstituted, it also works well to smear it on things like scones, cornbread, and muffins or drizzled on pancakes. You can also use butter powder to make a buttercream frosting. You'll need to add in some heavy cream to give it the creamy velvety texture you're after.

Enrich Gravy With It

turkey gravy pouring potatoes
turkey gravy pouring potatoes - Cislander/Getty Images

Whether you're making a saucy gravy from scratch, or you want to make a store-bought gravy taste homemade, butter powder is a nifty secret weapon. Adding butter to gravy is one way of instantly adding a deeper, richer flavor which will make your meal taste more luscious. This is one of the genius ways to use butter powder since you're adding it to a liquid, it will dissolve into it, forming a smooth sauce. This will not only thicken your gravy slightly but add a concentrated butter flavor, for extra decadence.

To incorporate your butter powder into your gravy, add it to the liquid and then whisk until well combined. If you're using gravy powder, you can mix the dry powders together and then add your liquid (stock, water, or milk), or, you can make your gravy first and then sprinkle in the butter powder. Either way, don't be wary about using both gravy and butter in powder form, as they'll work together to form something tasty, whilst saving you a lot of time and energy.

Make A Butter Seasoning For Vegetables And More

roasting pumpkin oven
roasting pumpkin oven - Gmvozd/Getty Images

One of the reasons butter powder is so handy is that you can use it as a seasoning. Without needing to add water and make it spreadable, it still adds the taste of butter. That's why using it in powder form is great, because it adds all the flavor, without needing to melt, spread, or do any prep work with it. Use it on its own and sprinkle it on some roasted vegetables like carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes, or broccoli. Or add it to some roast chicken, fish, or whatever you're cooking. If there's anything that will taste good with butter, you can add butter powder to it.

Butter powder works the same whether you add it during cooking, or after, so you can add it to your marinades, or use it as a finishing seasoning. You can add it to your own spice blend. Mix in a teaspoon of butter powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and some salt and pepper, to make a really delicious all-purpose seasoning or rub for some roasted chickpeas, or basically any protein. The possibilities are endless.

Add It To Your Mashed Potatoes

mashed potato black pepper
mashed potato black pepper - New Africa/Shutterstock

Another no-brainer way to use butter powder is in mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are one of the most comforting side dishes you can have with your weekly meal. But as delicious as they are to eat, they're not the quickest thing to make. After washing, peeling, and boiling potatoes, you still have to mash them up to the right consistency. Sometimes, you add in the butter too late, and then to get it melted and spread evenly in the mash, you have to over-mix the mash and potentially make it a little gluey. With butter powder, there's no risk of that. You can add some to a salt shaker and shake the butter evenly over the potatoes, without the need to mix again.

It's the perfect way to get out the jar of butter powder from the pantry and finish off your mashed potatoes, completely fuss-free. Plus, you might not even need as much to add a concentrated butter flavor as you would with fresh butter, so this is also a more cost-effective way to do it.

Make Honey Butter

spiced honey butter spread
spiced honey butter spread - Michelle Sun/Tasting Table

If you haven't had honey butter, you're seriously missing out. The balance of buttery and sweet makes for the most delicious spread that you can add to just about anything. Spread it on toast, a bagel, pancakes, crackers, biscuits, scones, muffins, cornbread, you name it. It can make almost anything taste exponentially better. The good news is that butter powder is probably even better than fresh butter when it comes to making honey butter.

If you were using real butter, you'd have to get it to the right level of softness and whip it with honey using a beater or use some good old elbow grease to whisk it vigorously. With butter powder, the honey will moisten it and make it whip-able or spreadable almost instantly. However, you can also add a few drops of water to help it along, or if you don't want it to be too sweet. Then, use a spoon or fork to mix everything up and you'll have a smooth honey butter in less than a minute. You always have the option of whipping it into a creamier and fluffier consistency if you like. You can eat it as is, or play around with flavor by adding spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, to make spiced honey butter.

Use It To Make Your Noodles Richer

fetuccine butter garlic
fetuccine butter garlic - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Making some pasta or noodles is one of the easiest ways to eat something satisfying and quick on a weekday, or when you don't have a lot of energy to cook. There are various ways to make these beloved carbs tastier, and using butter powder is one of the easiest ways to do so. Cook up an easy garlic pasta and finish it off with some butter powder and Parmesan for a rich and umami-filled meal. Or, add some butter powder to your ragout to make it a little more decadent. Whether you're going plain or cooking with sauce, making buttered spaghetti for the kids, or whipping up a noodle stir fry with ginger and soy sauce, sprinkling on some butter powder will add instant richness and depth.

This applies to your instant ramen and boxed mac and cheese, too. If you want to take the savory flavor to the next level, add in some butter powder along with the packet seasonings and sauces. You won't need much, but just a pinch is enough to amp up the richness.

Add It Straight Into Your Stew

beef vegetables stew
beef vegetables stew - Gwenael Le Vot/Getty Images

Stew is one of those meals that cooks itself. All you need to do is get everything in one pot and let it all cook and simmer together. The result is a marriage of ingredients creating something warm, comforting, and tasty. There are various condiments or seasonings people might swear by when making stew, promising to add maximum umami or depth. Butter powder should be among those favorites because it can take your stew from flat to delicious in a cinch.

It works exactly the same as how you would when making gravy. There's no need to reconstitute it; just pour the powder straight into the cooking liquid and give it a mix until it's incorporated into the sauce. Your sauce will thicken slightly, and have a subtle buttery taste that works well with the other savory elements in the stew. This same approach can be used for soup. Whether you're making a creamy potato and leek soup, or a chunky chicken soup, you can add a little bit of butter powder to make it taste extra luxurious.

Bring It To The Barbecue To Sprinkle On Grilled Meats

grilling corn sausage veggies
grilling corn sausage veggies - Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

As the weather starts to get a little warmer, it's always a good idea to turn on the grill and barbecue. Whether it's grilled corn, mushrooms, steaks, chicken, sausage, or kebabs, you can use butter powder to give your barbecue an extra oomph. Part of what makes barbecue taste so good is that smoky taste you get. When that smokiness combines with the rich taste of butter, there's little that can rival it.

The great part is that using butter in powder form actually makes a lot of sense for grilling food. It's not always easy to baste your food with butter while trying to operate the grill. It requires you to melt it first or have the appropriate basting brush. Plus, you have to get really close to the heat and try make sure you've evenly spread it everywhere. With butter powder, you simply sprinkle some on as you would with your seasonings, and you can do so at the end of grilling. It's easier to evenly sprinkle it if you use a salt shaker, and there's no melting required. Once you know about the value of butter powder in barbecuing, you'll never look back.

Season Your Rice With It

white rice wooden bowl
white rice wooden bowl - poomsak suwannasilp/Shutterstock

Similar to noodles and pasta, butter powder is a great topping for rice. Plain, steamed rice can sometimes need a little flavor boost, and adding a hint of buttery goodness can make all the difference. This simple trick might have you eating it straight out of the pot or rice cooker.

For many people, making rice can be a little intimidating, and thinking of how to incorporate fresh butter to it can make it even more so. You could fry the rice in it first, or you could add some butter to the cooked rice, but there's the risk of your rice going mushy. Using butter powder makes this seamless and worry-free. You can shake it over the cooked rice like it's some salt, or even furikake (also why not add all of these too), and enjoy the taste without needing to mix it in or melt it.

Store It For Emergencies

bulk staple foods pantry
bulk staple foods pantry - Studio Cj/Getty Images

Butter powder may not be a well-known ingredient in the mainstream, but it's quite well-known among "preppers" or "survivalists." These may be a fringe group of people, but they want to be prepared for the apocalypse. While extreme, they highlight certain foods that are beneficial to keep in your stock for times of emergencies. Survivalist or not, butter powder is among some of the useful powdered ingredients you should consider keeping in your pantry. Having just experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, we all know too well that times may come where we can't access certain foods, whether it's because of viruses and lockdowns, or natural disasters like hurricanes. However, it's not necessary to be an alarmist to keep butter powder. Even in less serious situations, like you've simply run out of fresh butter, or your refrigerator isn't working, it'll be handy to have butter powder on hand.

This shelf-stable butter can last for up to five or 10 years if stored correctly, so make sure to keep it away from the cabinet above your stove, which can heat up and, over time, cause your preserved foods to spoil. It might not taste absolutely identical to fresh butter, but it's really close. It will definitely serve the purpose of adding a buttery taste to whatever making. In truth, it's a very useful ingredient to use in your daily cooking regardless of emergencies.

Take It Camping To Make An Instant Spreadable Butter

campsite food sharing
campsite food sharing - Morsa Images/Getty Images

One of the ways that people could benefit the most from having a stock of butter powder is if they love to go on long hiking or camping trips. Avid hikers know that most of their meals come from dried or freeze-dried foods, and even if they're not the most appetizing, they serve the purpose of sustenance while out in the world. For people who don't know about butter powder, it might seem unheard of that you could have butter to spread on your crackers, or to add to your can of soup to make it more palatable while camping. But butter powder makes this a reality. With just a little bit of water added to it, you can whip up some butter no matter how deep in the bush you might be.

The ratio of water to butter differs depending on the brand. Instructions are usually on the packaging, or quite intuitive if you start with a little and add more to get your desired consistency. It can be a real treat to have butter spread on bread or crackers, with no worry of it melting or going off because of no refrigeration. Plus, you can add it to your breakfast porridge or oatmeal, or your rehydrated dinner to make it taste better, or even make some honey butter if you're craving some sweetness.

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