Wondering if you can you use butter as a binder?
Yes you can, but, butter’s usefulness as a binder has some limitations.
More common binders include eggs, breadcrumbs or flour
These ingredients have the ability to bind together.
Butter lacks this binding ability. Melted butter can help hold ingredients together to a certain extent.
But, once it cools and solidifies, its loses its binding properties.
Butter is an ideal binder for certain types of desserts and sauces/soups.
Also for dry rubs for smoked turkey, barbecue chicken and brisket.
Table of contents
Butter as a Binder for Desserts
1. Pastry Dough
Butter binds ingredients together to create a flaky pastry dough.
- 2 Cups all purpose flour
- 4oz shortening
- 4oz unsalted butter
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cold water
Add all ingredients to a bowl and use fingers to break up shortening and butter into small pieces.
Mix to combine with the flour.
Add cold water and mix until you have a smooth ball.
Wrap dough in clear plastic wrap and chill for a couple hours in the refrigerator.
2. Pie Crusts and Tart Shells
Recipes for a flaky, tender pie crusts or tart shells, uses butter as a binding agent.
Combine flour and brown or granulated sugar and pressed into a baking pan.
Butter as a Binder in Sauces/Soups
Butter is a binder in certain types of sauces and soups.
When added to a hot liquid, the butter can help to thicken the sauce or soup, creating a smooth and creamy texture.
But, in these cases, the butter is not serving as the sole binder, but rather as a supporting ingredient.
Butter as a Binding Agent for Dry Rubs
During the smoking process, butter helps the dry seasoning rub stick to the meat.
It also adds a stronger flavor and allows the turkey skin to become golden brown and crispy.
Dry Rub Ingredients for a 12-14 LB Turkey
- 3 stick of butter
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried thyme, black pepper and ground coriander
- 2 tsp oregano, sage, dry ground mustard, ground cumin, smoked paprika
- 3 tbsp brown sugar.
Thaw, wash and dry turkey. Loosen skin over the turkey breast.
Combine room temperature melted butter and spices to make a paste.
Apply rub under the skin of the turkey breast and on the outside of the turkey, making sure to get the wings, legs and back. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
To cook the turkey preheat the smoker to 275°F. Place the turkey in the smoker breast side down and then cook for 4 hours. The internal temperature of the breast meat should be 165°F when done.
Butter as a binder for dry rubs for barbecue chicken allows the meat to maintain moisture and flavor.
Dry Rub Ingredients for 6-8 Chicken Thighs With Skin
- 4oz room temperature butter
- 1 tbsp table salt, black pepper, smoked paprika
- 2 tsp chili, garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp seasoned salt
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.
Combine all spices in butter and slather onto and under chicken skin.
Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat grill at 400 degrees F and cook thighs on direct heat for 15 minutes flipping them every 4 minutes.
Add barbecue sauce on the last flip so it can caramelize on the skin.
Internal temperature should be 165°F when cooked.
Butter as a Binder for Brisket
Using butter as a binder for a brisket add moisture to the meat and helps achieve a flavorful bark.
You can use either of the above mentioned rubs.
Slather butter onto the brisket and then coat with dry rub and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Place brisket on wire rack of smoker and cook for 6 hours until internal temperature is 160 degrees F.
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).
I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!
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