The product: Dansk Kobenstyle Butter Warmer
The price: $55 (on Dansk site, price varies at other retailers)
The reason: On my 21st birthday, I unwrapped this squat little butter pot from a box with a big bow on top, and I was perplexed. Just hours before, my sister and I had sat in our room, recounting the events of my karaoke party the night before, only to discover that she had somehow crammed a slice of pizza into her purse during her night on the town with me—which is just to say, irrespective of several massive pitchers of Tequila Sunrise, my culinary predilections at the time were far from refined. My college roommate and closest companion Julia had taught me some of the basics of cooking and, more impressively, how to bake bread, but the two of us also wrote an emotional thank-you letter to a roasted peanut company we believed had single-handedly kept us alive during our first season of exams. Again, I’m just trying to illustrate the fact that I was not exactly the type who needed a separate pot just for melting butter in her kitchen.
My aunt, giver of the gift in question and a famously good finder of pretty-yet-useful objects, registered my skepticism and said, “Trust me, you’re going to use this all the time.” And now it’s my turn to do the very same and say to you, who probably feel that you do not need a tiny container for heating up dairy: Trust me, you have got to try this butter warmer.
The first (and best) thing you should know about the butter warmer is that it’s good for much more than its name would suggest. Its official capacity is listed as a quart, but I’m more of an “eyeball it” cook, and I’ve discovered that this is reliably just the right size for sauce or salad dressing to feed two. I use it often to gently warm tahini and peanut butter for sesame noodles or to whisk together miso and lemon to drizzle over vegetables. Even sauces or dressings that don’t need to go over a burner do well in the butter warmer because its lip makes for easy pouring.
This little pot is also the perfect size for boiling a cup of water. When I work from home, I use it constantly to make mugs of tea. It also fits an egg or two, which is great if you’re feeling peckish and don’t want to bring an entire vat of water to a simmer. (My preferred egg method, you ask? Bring the water to a boil, then add the eggs, keep at rolling boil for seven minutes, rinse with ice-cold water and peel). If you’re lacking a similarly specific kitchen implement known as the milk frother, the butter warmer also works well to steam milk for a matcha latte. Once again, the humble butter pot proves that it’s more than just its name一never judge a book by its cover or an appliance by its title, I suppose.
However, using the butter warmer for its intended purpose makes me feel infallibly classy, like my house is a lobster restaurant. Imagine seating your friends for dinner and giving each of them a little dish of piping hot, foamy butter in which to dip their protein of choice—is there anything better? Maybe there’s also some browned garlic in there too! Maybe you’re also dressed like a stick of butter; I don’t know your life or your lactose tolerance.
Finally, it must be acknowledged that the butter warmer is just plain pretty. It provides a dash of color in the kitchen, and it looks good on many permutations of a tablescape. The first one I received was in a striking, now-discontinued Kelly green and my current is in a lovely, moody shade of lavender. It’s so cute I almost want to wink at it every time I catch it sitting innocently on my stove.
Edith referred to the butter warmer as “Cottagecore,” an aesthetic movement I now understand that I have belonged to my entire life but for which I only just found a name. Anyway, this whole story began with me receiving a weird birthday gift and has ended in me finding my people, which is really the most resounding endorsement I could imagine for a kitchen implement. Go forth and melt butter!