Ina Garten Has an Easy Hack for Melting Butter With No Mess

Ina Garten has used many foolproof tips and tricks over the years and her easy hack for melting butter is the perfect example. When she needs melted butter in a hurry, the Barefoot Contessa star skips the microwave altogether because of the splatter potential.

'Barefoot Contessa' star Ina Garten during an interview for 2019 New Yorker Festival
Ina Garten | Brad Barket/Getty Images for The New Yorker

Ina Garten uses an easy trick when she needs melted butter

Some recipes call for melted butter and people often use their microwave because it gets the job done quickly. It doesn’t always go well, however, as the butter can bubble and splatter, leaving a mess behind.

Garten has an easy trick that avoids the mess completely and takes very little time. A fan asked Garten on the Barefoot Contessa website’s ‘Ask Ina’ section: “Do you have a foolproof way to melt butter for a recipe? I usually melt it in the microwave in a glass bowl, but sometimes it pops and causes a mess.”

Of course, the Barefoot Contessa star has it figured out. “I melt butter on the stove in a small saucepan over low heat. It only takes a few minutes — and no mess!,” she responded.

Another fan asked about the best method when a recipe calls for softened butter. Garten doesn’t turn to any quick hacks in this case but makes sure she is prepared ahead of time.

“When I need room-temperature butter, I leave it out on the kitchen counter for several hours, or even overnight, to make sure it is completely soft,” she explained.

Ina Garten shares the butter brand she prefers

Many fans have wondered about the brand of butter Garten prefers and whether she uses unsalted or salted butter. Her recipes always specify unsalted butter and she has a very good reason for that.

“I often use Cabot unsalted butter, but there are many good brands of butters available,” she shared on her website.

“What’s most important is to make sure you use unsalted butter, so you are able to control the amount of salt in the recipe,” Garten added. “Salted butters can vary significantly in the amount of salt they contain.”

RELATED: ‘Barefoot Contessa’: 3 of Ina Garten’s Easiest Appetizers Are Surprisingly Simple Store-Bought Snacks

Ina Garten has other no-mess food hacks

Garten has shared some of her other cooking hacks over the years, including how to cut corn off a cob or easily trim cauliflower —  both with no mess involved.

Garten demonstrated the corn cob trick in a 2018 Instagram video post. “It’s finally corn season! This is how I cut the kernels off the cob without getting them all over my kitchen!,” she noted.

She explained her “system” — stand an ear of corn upright on a clean kitchen towel and run a sharp knife along each side of the corn cob. Garten noted, “Without the kitchen towel, kernels just bounce all over the kitchen.”

The towel ends can then be gathered together so you can pour the corn kernels into a bowl. “Easy corn kernels, with no mess,” Garten noted.

Garten also had a no-mess cauliflower trick she demonstrated on Instagram after someone asked her for advice about cutting the tricky vegetable. “I realized, if you cut straight through the top, it gets all over your kitchen,” she explained. She removes the core first for easier access.

“So what you do is you just cut through the stem and pull the florets apart — and you have perfect florets and no mess,” Garten explained.