Why does butter explode in the microwave?

Melted butter makes your dish soft and adds a beautiful flavor to your dish. It is quick to make and very easy to use.

But the common phenomenon that may have occurred with many people is that when butter is melted in a microwave, it explodes. 

If you keep butter in the microwave for a few extra seconds, you should be ready to deal with the mess as it will explode and ruin your microwave. 

Do you want to know – Why does butter explode in the microwave? How to deal with the mess it creates? Don’t worry, all your questions will be answered in this article. 

Why does the butter explode while melting in the microwave?

Butter is made up of water and milk fats. When you put the butter in the microwave, it starts warming up. The water molecules that it contains start to evaporate and turn into steam. 

When it reaches a certain temperature, the steam starts to put pressure on the fats present in the butter, which results in a spattering of the butter all over the walls of the microwave. 

How to clean the exploded butter in the microwave?

It’s your bad day that your butter decided to fly off to the microwave’s walls. But don’t worry, the mess can be cleaned with some basic cleaning methods. 

  • Start by taking a soft foam cloth or a sponge to clean the stains on the walls. 
  • After the stains are gone, pour some dish soap on the sponge. 
  • Clean the interior of the microwave with a sponge.
  • Make sure to clean off all the walls of the microwave. Do this multiple times if needed. 
  • After it’s all clean and all the spots are gone, take some paper towels and clean the inside of the microwave properly. This would remove any remaining butter. 
  • Repeat this whole process if you feel your microwave needs more cleaning. 

How to melt butter in the microwave without exploding?

The best way to microwave butter is to keep the temperature settings as low as possible. This will provide slow and less heat to the butter resulting in fewer chances of splattering.

Here are some tips you can follow to prevent any such disaster in your kitchen:

  1. Use a microwave-safe container or dish and put small-sized pieces of butter in it. 
  2. Butter starts to melt at 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the temperature accordingly. 
  3. Keep the container or bowl for 30 seconds in the microwave at 40% power. Low power will lessen the chances of an explosion. 
  4. If the butter still hasn’t melted, take a spoon and stir it gently or tilt the bowl from side to side. This will further melt the butter and give you a proper consistency. 
  5. If there is still unmelted butter left in the bowl, take out the unmelted part in another bowl. 
  6. Keep the other bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds again to properly melt the remaining butter.

Things to remember before melting butter in the microwave

Whether it’s a movie night and you need popcorn, or you’re baking brownies and cakes, you need melted butter for a lot of your recipes.

So before you put your butter into the microwave, remember to follow some useful tips.

  • Always remember to cut your butter into small pieces so that it melts faster. 
  • To avoid any spattering in the microwave, cover the container or bowl with a microwave cover.
  • Another measure to prevent splattering is placing another bowl filled with water in the microwave to avoid overheating. 
  • When you take out the melted butter, make sure to use a potholder or a kitchen towel as the sides of the container would get extremely hot.

Is melted and softened butter the same?

Butter is used in different forms in baking. It all depends on your recipe and the result you want. 

While making cookies and cakes, you would need softened butter as it creams easily with the sugar. Whereas if we talk about brownies and muffins, they need melted butter, so it mixes with the batter. 

Softened butter and melted butter differ from each other. Softened butter has a creamy texture and blends well with sugar and other ingredients. Melted butter is liquidy, so it is used to give softness to the baked goods. 

The creaming method is a major part of most baking recipes. When you combine sugar with butter, you will see the formation of little air bubbles in the butter. These bubbles will provide that extra puffiness to your delicious treats. 

Melted butter won’t give you the air bubbles, hence no extra puffiness. Instead, it would make the texture denser. 

Can you store melted butter in the fridge?

The answer is Yes. You can store melted butter in the refrigerator, but keep it in an airtight container. Melted butter can last up to 2 weeks in a fridge. 

The melted butter will eventually solidify. Once it does, you can take it out and use it the same way you use regular butter. You can again place the remaining butter in the refrigerator to freeze for future use. 

If you want to store the butter for a longer period of time, keep it in the freezer. 

Your melted butter can easily last for six months in the freezer. Melted butter will add moisture and a heavenly flavor to your mouth-watering treats. 


After reading this article, I hope now you know Why does butter explode in the microwave.

Almost all your baking recipes would require melted butter. Melting your butter in the microwave is not just easy but also time-saving. 

But you need to be careful while doing it. Keep an eye on the microwave, don’t leave it unattended, as you can end up with a greasy mess in your microwave. 

Keep your microwave on a low setting, so it doesn’t overheat and doesn’t exceed the time limit. 

If you end up with a butter explosion, don’t worry. The mess can be easily cleaned up using dish soap, a sponge, and water.