Microwave Butter Perfectly With A Toothpick Tripod

Microwave Butter Perfectly With A Toothpick Tripod

You need butter right now, but you forgot to take it out of the fridge. Josef Spalenka has cracked how to soften butter in the microwave without it melting. He calls it the “Toothpick Tripod Method”.

My idea was to elevate the butter pat above the plate, using toothpicks as shown in the above image, to avoid contact with the plate and hopefully achieve even heating without melting.

Using the toothpick tripod method, you can simply set the microwave for any sufficiently long length of time, and then carefully watch the microwave until the buttery tripod softens and falls down under its own weight. The result is perfectly spreadable butter with no melted liquid, every time.

Spalenka notes that this also eliminates the problem of variable heating between different microwave ovens. If you don’t have toothpicks handy, you could use a glass to soften butter or a zipper bag and rolling pin.

Toothpick tripod: microwaving butter without melting it [The Spalenka Letters]


  • It’s actually really easy just to put the container of butter in the microwave on high for 9-11 seconds. That way, it doesn’t melt but it softens perfectly. You might need to experiment with your own microwave as it might be a different wattage. (My container usually has a 250g pat of butter and even if it’s half consumed, 9-11 seconds is still roughly what’s required.)

    But sure, the toothpick tripod is novel 😉

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