Updated July 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Best of the Best
Dansk Kobenstyle Teal Butter Warmer
Kobenstyle Teal Butter Warmer
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Most Stylish
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The cutest little butter warmer stylish enough to go directly to your table from the stovetop; our cooking expert's go-to.


Teal color, but also comes in red. Small serving size that's perfect for 1 person. Also great for heating milk or water for a cup of tea or cocoa. Heavier than expected. Wooden handle stays cool.


This butter warmer includes a pour spout, but it is not terribly effective.

Best Bang for the Buck
Progressive Prepworks Ceramic Butter Warmer Set
Prepworks Ceramic Butter Warmer Set
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Good for Entertaining
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A fondue-style butter warmer that our expert recommends for having on the table when you’re serving lobster or asparagus.


Stylish and easy to use. Dishwasher-safe. Comes in a set of 2. Melts your butter and keeps it warm. Gets hot, even with a tea candle. Bowls hold about 4 ounces. Includes wire stands.


The bowls are a little on the small side.

Neoflam Nonstick Milk Pan and Butter Warmer
Nonstick Milk Pan and Butter Warmer
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Stovetop Warmer
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A nice saucepan with 2 pouring sides that can warm butter over the stove.


Features a nonstick surface. Bakelite handle stays cool to the touch. Well-made and stylish. This small pan ends up offering you many different uses. Easy to wash.


This is more of a practical butter warmer used for baking rather than for serving on the table.

Norpro Seafood Serving Set
Seafood Serving Set
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Most Versatile
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A butter warmer set perfect for enjoying a seasonal seafood meal.


Includes 2 generously sized ramekins with handles and wire stands along with all the tools you need to enjoy a shellfish feast. There’s also a handy odor remover to rid yourself of the lingering scent or fish and garlic.


Stands are a bit low. It's necessary to keep an eye on the butter to prevent burning.

Norpro Porcelain Butter Warmer
Porcelain Butter Warmer
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Classic Design
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A great warmer set that our expert loves thanks to its ability to keep butter warm through the entirety of dinner.


This bowl's shape makes it perfect for dipping seafood. The heat is only stored at the base so you can lift it to pour if need be. The porcelain is easy to hand-clean or put in the dishwasher.


The butter will start to boil if candle is left on for too long.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best butter warmers

Delectable butter is the perfect pairing for a wide array of foods. Its rich flavor and oily texture are the ideal coating for bread and, of course, seafood. The fatty taste of butter complements the delicate flavors of lobster and shrimp. A lobster feast is nothing without miniature warmed vats of butter, ripe for dipping.

Perhaps you’re looking to don your next table setting with individual butter warmers for your guests. Or, if you’re not interested in such a specialized kitchen accessory, perhaps you’d like a stovetop butter warmer instead — you can use it to melt large quantities of butter as well as for heating sauces. That’s right, butter warmers aren’t solely for butter: you can also use them to melt chocolate or cheese for a romantic fondue or to heat up stock for a cozy dinnertime hot pot.

To learn more about butter warmers and which type might be right for your culinary setup, just keep reading.

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Melted butter isn’t just for lobster. Enjoy it with delicious steamed artichokes, crispy fresh bread, and a host of other delicious recipes.

Why buy a butter warmer?

You may be wondering why you couldn’t just use a microwave to melt butter. In fact, you could. However, using a butter warmer is more efficient and a lot less messy! Furthermore, it’s easier to melt butter gently using a designated warmer. You’re less likely to burn your butter if you melt it this way.

Butter warmers are versatile in the kitchen, too. As mentioned, you can use a butter warmer to melt chocolate or cheese, two foods which require gentle heat in order to preserve their quality and taste. You can also use a butter warmer to reheat sauces, soups, and other liquid foods. If you’d rather avoid hauling out and dirtying a large saucepan, a compact butter warmer could be ideal.

Key considerations

Types of butter warmers

There are two types of butter warmers on the market: candle warmers and stovetop warmers.

  • A candle warmer usually includes a ramekin made of ceramic that sits atop a metal stand holding a tea light. The tea light flame keeps your butter (or other liquified food) warm. The single-serving design of a candle warmer is perfect for individual place settings. These types of warmers are not stovetop-safe.

  • A stovetop warmer is bigger and usually features a handle. These larger vessels are useful for more than just melting butter. You can use a stovetop butter warmer to reheat or warm large quantities of butter or liquified foods that can be doled out into individual dishes later on.
Expert Tip
Wash anything with a wood handle by hand to protect the integrity of the wood and the joints of a pan.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Butter warmer size

As mentioned, single-serving butter warmers are great for dinner parties. You can place one for each guest for a chic table setting. A large stovetop model, however, allows you to melt butter quickly or reheat liquid foods like broth, chocolate, or cheese for a crowd.

Your dinner plans

The choice between candle warmers and a stovetop warmer comes down to your dinner plans. Are you serving up lobster as a treat for you and your partner? If so, a set of two tabletop warmers would do just fine. Do you need to reheat sauces or melt a lot of butter quickly for your dinner guests? In that case, a stovetop warmer would provide rapid results.

If you regularly find yourself in the kitchen and love to cook, consider adding a stovetop butter warmer to your collection of pots and pans. If you’re also enchanted by the idea of having candle warmers on the table, you may want to invest in several of these as well.

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Did you know?
The difference between a butter warmer and a traditional saucepan is size. Stovetop butter warmers are the smallest saucepans you can buy.

Butter warmer features

Material and design

Most stovetop butter warmers are made of stainless steel or enameled cast iron. A model with a thick base can help prevent burnt butter. A nonstick model prevents food from sticking and is easy to clean.

Individual tabletop ramekins are typically made of ceramic, which retains heat well, so even if your flame goes out, the butter remains warm for a while. Avoid flimsy ramekins with thin bases to prevent liquids from burning.


Tabletop butter warmers typically don’t have handles, but stovetop butter warmers should have thick and comfortable handles that make them easy to grip. A grippy handle prevents accidental drops as you transfer melting or reheated foods from stovetop to table. A butter warmer with an oven-safe handle can be stored in the oven to keep the liquid warm and out of the way.

Generally speaking, try to avoid stovetop warmers that have plastic or plastic-coated handles.

Dishwasher safe

Some butter warmers are dishwasher safe; you can easily pop them in the dishwasher for quick cleanup. For convenience, some tabletop warmers have dishwasher-friendly ramekins and bases. Of course, you could always wash your butter warmer by hand, too.

Expert tip
Always use unsalted butter (which is fresher than salted) in your warmer and season it yourself with salt or other seasonings if you like.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Butter warmer prices

An inexpensive set of four ceramic tabletop warmers shouldn’t cost more than $25. Most of these include tea lights, but you’ll need to buy additional votives for future use.

You may also find elaborate tabletop warmer sets that include accessories like lobster crackers, knives, and crab forks. Expect to pay at least $25 for a warmer set with seafood tools.

Stovetop warmers are not sold with accessories. The price for this type of butter warmer typically ranges from $20 to $60. However, some brand name stovetop butter warmers may cost even more.


  • Don’t leave your stovetop butter warmer unattended. Butter and other liquids may burn, even in a vessel with a thick base.

  • Use caution around candle-operated butter warmers. Long sleeves and clumsy movements could inadvertently knock over your open flame.

  • Consider investing in a set of small fondue forks for dipping.

  • Use flavored butter instead of plain butter for an interesting twist. You can flavor it on your own or purchase ready-made versions, such as chive or garlic butter.

  • Consider a stovetop model with a spout for easy pouring.

  • Having a dinner party? Outfit your table with individual butter warmers, but have melted butter on the stovetop at the ready in case your guests run out of their liquid gold.

  • You can also use ceramic ramekins apart from their metal stands to serve cold sauces or oil blends for dipping bread.
Expert Tip
Make sure to buy unscented tea lights and/or Sterno when using a tabletop warmer. The smells from the flame might disrupt guests trying to enjoy your food.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert
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A butter warmer is more efficient than a microwave when it comes to melting butter, in large part because it’s less messy.


Q. How long will my candle butter warmers keep butter warm?

A. This largely depends on the tea light used. Most standard tea lights should last for a couple of hours, which should be sufficient for most meals. Ceramic ramekins are ideal for multiple-course dinners thanks to their propensity for heat retention. Remember never to leave a lit candle unsupervised.

Q. Can I cook foods with a stovetop butter warmer?

A. It’s not recommended. You can use a stovetop warmer to reheat and melt foods, but it’s not the right cookware for other types of food prep. Butter warmers don’t hold a whole lot of food, and the shape is not ideal for cooking most foods.

Q. Will butter burn if I keep it warm for too long?

A. Butter and other foods are likely to scorch if left on a stovetop butter warmer. However, a quality tabletop butter warmer should keep your butter warm without burning it. The tea light should be far enough from the flame that it doesn’t touch the ramekin base, and the vessel should be thick enough to prevent overheating.

Q. Is butter unhealthy?

A. Butter is a calorie-dense, fat-filled food, but that doesn’t mean you should completely eliminate it from your diet. It’s filled with essential nutrients, including vitamin A and vitamin E. As with all foods, enjoy butter in moderation.

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