How to Keep Hollandaise Warm Without Separating

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Don't hold hollandaise warm for longer than 30 minutes for best results.
Image Credit: tasha_lyubina/iStock/GettyImages

The prospect of making hollandaise instills a bit of fear in home cooks, culinary students and even professional chefs, but it doesn't have to. You have two things to worry about with hollandaise: the eggs curdling and the emulsification breaking. As long as you keep the sauce under 160 degrees Fahrenheit, the eggs won't curdle, but if you add the butter too fast, let the hollandaise get too hot or keep it warm for too long, it separates. You can relieve your sauce-induced stress and keep hollandaise warm without separating by controlling the temperature, using it within 1 1/2 hours and/or adding an emulsifier.


Things You'll Need

  • Sauté or frying pan

  • Saucepan

  • Deep-fry or digital thermometer

  • Soy lecithin

  • Resealable bag or bowl with lid

  • Ice cube tray

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Control Hollandaise Sauce Temperature

Step 1: Put Water in a Pan

Place a stainless-steel sauté or frying pan on the stove and pour about 1/2 inch of water in it. Set the heat on the stove to medium. Use a pan large enough to set a smaller saucepan inside it.

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Step 2: Make a Double Boiler

Transfer the hollandaise to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and set it inside the pan of water on the stove. The saucepan and frying pan act like a double boiler and keep the temperature of the hollandaise stable.

Step 3: Attach a Thermometer

Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the saucepan. You can substitute a digital instant-read thermometer for a deep-fry thermometer if desired.


Step 4: Heat the Hollandaise

Heat the hollandaise to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the hollandaise breaks while heating, dip your fingers in a glass of ice water and flick the cold water into the sauce while whisking vigorously. Continue whisking until the sauce emulsifies.

Step 5: Use a Food Processor or Blender

Mix the hollandaise in a food processor or blender instead of whisking it by hand to attain a more stable emulsion. Simply add hot butter, at 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and a squeeze of lemon juice to pasteurized egg yolks and blend until the sauce emulsifies.


Step 6: Lower the Burner Heat

Adjust the burner heat on the stove as needed to hold the hollandaise at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Hold the hollandaise at that temperature until you serve it.

Stabilize With Soy Lecithin

Step 1: Put Hot Water in a Saucepan

Fill a saucepan about 3/4 full of hot water and place it on the stove. Set the heat to medium-low.


Step 2: Make a Double Boiler

Place a stainless-steel mixing bowl on the saucepan to make a double boiler. Beat 2 egg yolks in the mixing bowl until frothy for every 1 cup of hollandaise you want to make.

Step 3: Whisk in Soy Lecithin

Whisk in a pinch of soy lecithin, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, for every 2 egg yolks you used. Alternatively, add the soy lecithin after preparing the hollandaise sauce.


Step 4: Add Melted Butter

Add about 4 or 5 tablespoons of melted butter for every 2 egg yolks, whisking constantly. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and lemon juice to taste. Hold the mixture warm up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Save the Hollandaise Sauce

Step 1: Refrigerate the Hollandaise Sauce

Pour excess hollandaise sauce into a bowl or a resealable bag. Close tightly. If you're wondering how long does hollandaise sauce last in the fridge, it is just one to two days. Allow to warm to room temperature and whisk until recombined.


Step 2: Mix into a New Batch

Whisk the leftover sauce into the new batch of hollandaise sauce. Add an extra egg yolk while heating to help emulsify and combine the leftover and new sauce.

Step 3: Freeze Hollandaise Sauce

Make a larger amount of hollandaise sauce and fill an ice cube tray. Put in the freezer until solid, then put the cubes in a resealable freezer bag and store for up to one month. To reuse, thaw to room temperature and whisk as needed before pouring over a hot dish.


Make hollandaise sauce at the last minute, if possible. The longer you hold hollandaise warm, the greater the chances of it breaking.