Compound Butter for Steaks

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Compound Butter For Steak can completely jazz up any grilled meats or vegetables. This is a simple garlic and herb compound butter recipe that is perfect on steaks and ready in minutes.

A log of herb compound butter, sliced into rounds on a black platter
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When catering we find little flavor additions to make dishes really shine. And a compound butter for steak is one of our secret tools.

Compound butters are fantastic over grilled meats and vegetables, spread over crusty bread, or simply used wherever else you would use butter, like cooked with mussels, to top a baked potato, or over corn on the cob. They can even be sweet to top over breakfast treats like pancakes or waffles.

Find out how to make several variations of this recipe to place over anything from grilled meats, to veggies, to breakfast treats and crusty bread.

What is Compound Butter

Compound butters are mixtures of butter and other ingredients (most commonly herbs and spices) to jazz up a dish, in this case a steak. 

While you can purchase them from the store they are ridiculously easy to make at home. And the best part is that you can make them exactly the way you want them when you make them yourself.

We’re keeping this recipe simple and straightforward, but if you scroll to the bottom you can see different variations and ways to get creative with your combinations.

Ingredients

  •  Unsalted Butter – Use softened unsalted butter so you can add just the right amount of salt that you like.
  • Herbs – Use a single or combination of your favorite herbs. We use sage and rosemary but you can use any combination. Plan 1 tablespoon of herbs per stick of butter.
  • Garlic – Garlic adds a nice rich acidic flavor. An easy way to add the garlic is to remove the outer skin and shave it with a microplane. This avoids inconsistent chunks of garlic in the butter. One clove of garlic works for one stick of butter.
  • Kosher Salt – Add salt into the butter with good kosher salt. Adjust the salt if you are sensitive. Avoid iodized table salt at these portions as it will make it too salty.

If scaling up this compound butter for steaks use the same ratio. 1 stick of butter, 1 tablespoon of herbs, 1 clove of garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt per stick.

Tools + Preparation

  • Small Bowl + Fork – You can place the bowl on a kitchen towel to avoid it moving while mixing.
  • Micro Plane – For the garlic.
  • Parchment Paper or Plastic Wrap – To roll into a log and store linger term.

How to Make Compound Butter

A four photo collage illustrating how to make a compound butter.
  1. Softened Butter: you’ll want to start with butter that is soft enough to be able to mix up. Room temperature butter works great. Make sure to use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt for your butter.
  2. Mix: combine all ingredients together in a small bowl and mix together. For the garlic we recommend grating the garlic using a microplane grater, for best results (as shown in the photo above).
  3. Roll: transfer butter to plastic wrap or parchment paper and form into a log. 
  4. Chill: place in the fridge and chill for at least a half hour to firm up.
  5. Serve: cut into logs and serve over a hot grilled steak

Softening Butter

It it’s last minute and the butter is firm or cold, microwave the butter in a glass bowl for 10 second increments until it’s soft. You don’t want the butter to melt as that will separate some of the fats.

Making Ahead

You can make this compound butter for steaks in advance. Follow the recipe and store in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

A grilled ribeye steak topped with an herbed compound butter

For longer term storage we recommend storing in the freezer (also in plastic wrap) in smaller batches and thawing what you need the day before using it.

Compound Butter Variations

Switch it up! Try any of these compound butter combinations on anything from meats to sweets.

  • Cilantro and Lime — great over white fish and chicken, or over shrimp.
  • Strawberries and sugar — to top over pancakes or waffles.
  • Honey and cinnamon — for a sweet topping for toast.
  • White wine and garlic — serve with seafood.
  • Horseradish and garlic — for a holiday smoked prime rib
  • Lavender and honey — try with a pork chop or over crusty bread
  • Roasted bone marrow, garlic, and salt — insane over a steak

Recipes Using Compound Butter

Add to any of our favorite steak recipes or pick from some of our favorites below.


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Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

Herb Compound Butter log cut into slices on a black platter
4.34 from 6 votes

Herb Compound Butter for Steaks Recipe

Compound butters are a great way to jazz up grilled meats or vegetables. This is a simple garlic and herb compound butter that is perfect served over a grilled steak.
Prep: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 log

Equipment

  • 1 Small bowl
  • Plastic Wrap Or parchment paper. If storing long term use plastic wrap.
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Ingredients 

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, One stick at room temperature.
  • ½ tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • ½ tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1 clove garlic, grated (or very finely minced)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions 

  • Combine: Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix well to combine. Using plastic wrap or parchment paper form into a log. Place into refrigerator to harden up for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Serve: Cut into rounds and serve over a hot steak or vegetables. 

Notes

To use on steak: grill steak as directed, then while the steak is resting place a round of compound butter over the hot steak while it rests, allowing it to slowly melt into that delicious steak. 
Softening Butter: It it’s last minute and the butter is firm or cold, microwave the butter in a glass bowl for 10 second increments until it’s soft. You don’t want the butter to melt as that will separate some of the fats.

Nutrition

Calories: 815kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 91g | Saturated Fat: 58g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 241mg | Sodium: 65mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 2830IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Course: Breakfast, dinner
Cuisine: American, grilled
Servings: 1 log
Calories: 815
Keyword: compound butter, compound butter for steaks, compound butter recipe, Herb Compound Butter
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About Mary


I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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