Learn to make your own clarified butter at home.

How To Make Clarified Butter At Home

Interested in learning how to clarify butter at home? You’ve come to the right place! In the following post I’ll explain why you clarify butter, (what it is used for), the difference between ghee and clarified butter, and how to make clarified butter yourself!

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Why Do You Need To Clarify Butter?

What exactly is clarified butter, and why wouldn’t you simply use ‘regular’ butter instead? The short answer is that clarified butter is a great fat for high heat cooking, such as frying of vegetables, rice, and even meats.

Butter is made up of a combination of fat, water, and milk solids (protein), with the butter fat making up roughly 80% of the whole. When you use regular butter as a fat for cooking (frying), the water will boil when it reaches 100C which can cause spattering. Eventually the water will evaporate and leave behind the milk proteins that continue to cook and brown in the fat. If heated to a high temperature, these milk solids can easily burn.

clarified butter being strained through a mesh sieve into a glass jar.

By removing the milk solids and water naturally found in butter you essentially purify it, until only the pure butter fat is left. This pure fat has a higher smoking point than regular melted butter. Butter was traditionally clarified to use as a cooking oil, as mentioned above, but also to preserve it and extend it’s shelf life.

What’s The Difference Between Clarified Butter & Ghee?

While clarified butter and ghee are very similar there is one small difference.

  • Clarified butter, is melted, the water evaporated, and the milk solids skimmed off the top.
  • Ghee on the other hand, is cooked until the milk solids start to brown after which the butter fat is separated out. This results in a nuttier and richer flavored end product.

As I mentioned above both ghee and clarified butter have extended shelf lives over regular butter, and make an excellent fat to cook with due to it’s high smoke point. They are both easy to make and great to have on hand. The classic hollandaise Sauce for example, can’t be made without it.

Related:  Hollandaise Sauce From Scratch

Is Drawn Butter The Same As Clarified Butter?

Drawn butter is a tricky term because it can refer to both clarified butter, or simply melted butter. It depends on the cook! Butter that has just been melted still contains all the milk solids which adds some flavor to the liquid butter making it ideal as a dipping sauce sauce or tossed with freshly steamed vegetables.

Freshly cooked lobster is often served with drawn butter as a dipping sauce.

A freshly cooked lobster on a white platter. Learn how to cook lobster at home!

Related:  The Complete Guide To Cooking Lobster

 

How To Make Clarified Butter At Home

So how do you make your own clarified butter at home? It’s super easy I promise!

To clarify your own butter you’ll need:

  • a deep, thick bottomed pot
  • at least 2 lbs of butter

Can You Use Salted Butter?

You can use salted or unsalted butter, though if you clarify salted butter it is impossible to tell how ‘salty’ the end product will be. If you plan on using the clarified butter in baking, use unsalted butter.

  1. Start by placing a few pounds of butter in a deep pot or other heat proof container. Using a tall metal container, or very deep pot will make skimming the butter easier.two pounds of butter in a steel pot
  2. Place the pot of butter on the stove or other heat source, (the back of a grill works great as well), and keep the heat on very low. It should be just hot enough to melt the butter.butter starting to melt in a steel pot
  3. Once the butter is fully melted and hot, you’ll see the butter fat start to separate out naturally with the milk solids rising to the top and form a foam. Skim The foam off (these are the milk solids), as they form, and discard them.milk solids being skimmed off of butter as it is being clarified
  4. When fully clarified and clear, the pure butter fat is ladled out and stored in glass jars for future use.fully clarified butter in a pot

Optional: If you’d like to make your own ghee keep cooking the butter over a gentle heat until the milk solids sink to the bottom and start to brown. Strain your homemade ghee through cheese cloth or carefully ladle out the fat and store it in glass jars. – Chef Markus Mueller

Learn to make your own clarified butter at home.

Made the recipe? Comment & Rate it below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

How To Make Clarified Butter At Home

Learning how to make clarified butter at home couldn't be easier. A great staple to have on hand. With an extended shelf life clarified butter makes an ideal cooking fat, and is used in many traditional recipes.
Course Cooking Skill
Cuisine French
Keyword can I clarify salted butter?, what is the best way to clarify butter?, why do you need to clarify butter?
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 pound clarified butter
Calories 3591.6kcal
Author Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Butter

Instructions

  • Start by placing a few pounds of butter in a deep pot or other heat proof container.Β Using a tall metal container, or very deep pot will make skimming the butter easier.
  • Place the pot of butter on the stove or other heat source, (the back of a grill works great as well), and keep the heat on very low. It should be just hot enough to melt the butter.
  • Once the butter is fully melted and hot, you'll see the butter fat start to separate out naturally with the milk solids rising to the top and form a foam. Skim The foam off (these are the milk solids), as they form, and discard them.
  • When fully clarified and clear, the pure butter fat is ladled out and stored in glass jars for future use.

© 2017 – 2018, Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire. All rights reserved. Please contact Earth, Food, and Fire, if you wish to use any media or other content contained on this site.

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3 Comments

  1. How much more expensive do you think clarified butter is over canola oil? Like 3 times the cost?

    • Here on PEI, Whole Butter is roughly double the cost of Canola Oil per/ml. So yes, while Canola Oil is cheaper to use, it can’t be consumed by someone on a Paleo Diet for example, in which case clarified butter would be a great alternative for use in high heat cooking. Unfortunately the canola crop in North America is also overwhelmingly genetically modified, which is something I try to stay away from personally. Knowing how to properly clarify butter is another good skill to know when trying to cook from scratch and go back to basics and traditional cooking.

  2. Very informative, Markus… as always. I always, incorrectly of course, use the terms ghee and clarified butter interchangeably. I knew they are slightly different but didn’t know all the details… now I do!

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