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What Is A “Nob” of Butter?

What Is A “Nob” of Butter?

If you’ve been cooking for as long as I have, then you have read plenty of menus, online recipes, and cookbooks. Cooks have different ways of instructing their readers to add certain ingredients to mixtures, sauces, or a hot pan. There are many generalized measurements that can drive people up the wall.

One of these measurements you may run across is a nob of butter. But just what is a nob of butter?

A nob of butter is larger than a tablespoon of butter but smaller than 2 tablespoons. If you don’t have time to measure out a nob of butter, then as a quick reference, the width of a nob of butter should not be smaller than the width of your pinky and no larger than the width of your thumb.

A not of butter is not a common phrase, but read on to learn a few more things about this measurement.

What Is a Nob of Butter?

Interpreting recipes can slow down the cooking process, so it is best if we understand the recipes beforehand. Some recipes can have certain words or phrases that we don’t understand.

For example, when a recipe asks for a nob of butter, what in the world is a nob?

There is no exact measurement for a nob of butter. It really is up to the chef to determine how big they would like their nob of butter to be. Some chefs would cut a nob of butter to equal 4 tablespoons while other chefs don’t need a nob butter much bigger than a 1/2 a tablespoon.

As you continue to cook and get used to making recipes, you will learn to eyeball the amount of butter required to fry something.

When Would a Recipe Use the Phrase Nob of Butter?

You will rarely hear this phrase when every ingredient must be calculated. A nob of butter is not an exact measurement.

Let’s say you’re watching a YouTube video and the host of the video just used the phrase a nob of butter. That means the recipe does not require exact measurements to cook this recipe. When the instructions of a recipe contain the phase nob of butter, they will usually have other phrases like a pinch of salt, a splash of wine, etc.

How to Know if Your Nob of Butter Is the Right Size

When using a nob of butter in a frying pan, the butter, when melted, should cover the bottom surface of the pan.

How to Know if Your Nob of Butter is the Right Size

So, when cutting off a nob of butter or when scooping it out from a tub of butter, you must keep the size of the pan in mind. If the nob of butter is too small, you can add more butter to the pan.

If there is too much butter, then place a piece of bread in the butter, remove it quickly, and put the smothered bread in your toaster oven to toast.

Perhaps you can use the phrase a nob of butter to understand that measurements aren’t that important for your recipe. Knowing this can be inspiring, as you can increase or increase any of the recipe’s seasonings.

Can a Nob of Butter be Too Large?

Yes, a nob of butter can be too large. The maximum size for a nob of butter should be the width of your thumb and the minimum size should be the width of your pinky.

The width of the nob of butter equals the widths of both of your thumbs, then you know it is too big. If the nob of butter is too big, then simply cut it in half and place one half in the pan or on whatever surface you’re using.

Why is it Called a Nob?

There are so many other words that can be used in place of a nob. The phrase could be called a slice of butter, a pat of butter, or a piece of butter. But most home chefs and trained chefs use the term nob. Is it a cooking term?

Actually, the term nob of butter or nob of any food comes from English cookbooks. Before America started its cookbook craze in the 1950s and 1960s, many people before that time simply used popular cookbooks translated from other countries, like French cookbooks.

England and the US share the same language, possibly, so Americans would purchase cookbooks popular in England.

Conclusion to What a Nob of Butter Is

A nob of butter is an undetermined amount of butter, commonly ranging from half a tablespoon to two tablespoons. The term nob of butter comes from English cookbooks. When using a nob of butter for a frying pan, the surface area of the pan should determine how much butter to use.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.