I Tried the Viral TikTok Glazed Carrot Hack and Will Never Make Them Any Other Way

published Nov 10, 2022
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boiled carrots with brown butter sauce
Credit: Cory Fernandez

Carrots are a popular, versatile, and economical staple all year round. A simple dish of roasted carrots is great for Easter dinner, grilled carrots with leeks are a fun way to mix up summer meals, and shiny sweet glazed carrots are delicious on any Thanksgiving dinner table.

That said, I will be completely upfront and say that I haven’t always loved eating carrots. When I was growing up, I was accustomed to eating dry baby carrots with prepackaged ranch dressing — these were carrots with little to no seasoning and with even less flavor. And on the opposite end of the spectrum were the carrots that were drowned in sauces or cooked to the point of not even tasting like carrots anymore.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to see the many possibilities when it comes to carrots. So I was excited to come across a hack for making a flavorful carrot dish shared on TikTok by Zoe Barrie, a chef and influencer from California. In her video, Barrie shared a simple-yet-ingenious hack for delicious glazed carrots she learned from culinary school.

The trick? Simmer whole carrots in bottled carrot juice. Then, remove the carrots, reduce the remaining juice with melted browned butter with the heat on medium high and add a pinch of salt. The result is a simple but tasty side dish with a sweet, salty, and vibrant carrot flavor.

I had to try this tip out for myself, and I was very much satisfied with the end product. I used the same brand of carrot juice (Bolthouse Farms), half a stick of unsalted butter, and a generous pinch of kosher salt — that’s it!

Credit: Cory Fernandez

To start, I used carrots slightly larger than the ones Barrie used. I peeled the carrots, placed them in a pot, and poured in just enough carrot juice to barely submerge them. I simmered the carrots until they were fork-tender, about 25 minutes. (You may need to adjust the time depending on the size of your carrots and how tender you like them.)

Credit: Cory Fernandez

During the last five minutes of the carrots simmering, I placed a half stick of unsalted butter into a skillet on medium heat. I let it brown slowly and gently without burning. I waited until the butter turned into this nice amber color and had a wonderful, nutty, caramel-like aroma.

Credit: Cory Fernandez

Once the butter was nicely browned and the carrots were done simmering, I transferred the carrots to a plate using a slotted spoon (tongs would work too). While the carrot juice was still simmering and hot, I added the browned butter (it will bubble rapidly for a couple of seconds and that’s what you want!) and whisked it into the carrot juice.

I found that making sure the carrot juice is hot while pouring in the melted butter helps the mixture emulsify. As Barrie mentions in the video, you want to make sure you let the mixture simmer on low until reduced, thick, and has turned to a dark brownish-orange shade. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon. To serve, I simply drizzled the sauce over the plate of carrots and allowed some to pool around the sides.

My Final Thoughts on These Glazed Carrots

These carrots were absolutely delicious and probably the best form of cooked carrots I’ve ever had. The fact that it’s such a simple list of ingredients is really just a great bonus.

I think that this idea works because the sugars in the carrot juice caramelize while simmering and create a super-concentrated carrot flavor. This would explain why the sauce was like a “carrot caramel” of sorts. Oh, and the photo at the top of the page is a bag of carrots that I ate the entirety of, if that’s any indication of whether or not you should try this out!