Food - Drink
The Scientific Reason Butter Tends To Explode In The Microwave
By WENDY LEIGH
Microwaving butter might seem like a quick way to soften or melt it, but if you’ve tried this before you know that in an instant, seemingly without warning, your microwave is popping, sizzling, and exploding with hot butter. Something as simple as microwaving butter may seem straightforward, but there’s a science and an art to the process.
Butter is made of butterfat, otherwise known as milk solids, and water, and while oil and water famously do not mix, the fat and water in butter manage to hang together due to emulsification in which water droplets permeate the butterfat. The sudden heat from a microwave, causes these water droplets to turn into steam, heating the butter from the inside out.
When the water gets too hot and too much steam accumulates without an escape, the butter explodes. To avoid this, set the power on low and microwave your butter for short increments of time like 15 to 30 seconds depending on the size of your butter. Other tips include cutting a larger chunk of butter into small pieces and covering your bowl with a paper towel.