Learn to make your own clarified butter at home.

How To Make Clarified Butter At Home

Why learn how to make clarified butter at home? The short answer is that it makes a great substitute to canola oil for high heat frying of vegetables, rice, and even meats. Butter is made up of a combination of fat, water and milk solids(protein), with the fat taking up roughly 80% of the whole. When you use regular butter as a fat for cooking, the water evaporates which leaves behind the milk proteins that continue to cook and brown in the fat. 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, due to the proteins being removed and also boasts a longer shelf life.
Strain clarified butter to remove all milk solids.

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Clarified Butter VS. Ghee

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

  • While making clarified butter, it’s 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 before both ghee and clarified butter have extended shelf lives over regular butter and make excellent fat to cook with due to its high smoke point. They are both easy to make and great to have on hand. Hollandaise Sauce, for example can’t be made without it.

A series of pictures showing milk solids being skimmed from butter as it is clarifying

Related:  Hollandaise Sauce From Scratch

How To Make Clarified Butter At Home

So how do you make your own clarified butter at home? Easy! All you need to do is place a few pounds of butter in a (preferably tall container, which makes skimming easier) heat proof container or pot and heat it over low heat for about an hour.

You’ll see the butter fat start to separate out naturally with the milk solids rising to the top in foam form. This foam is skimmed off and discarded, while the water naturally present in butter evaporates. The clear pure butter fat is ladled out and stored in glass jars for future use.

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.

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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
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 pound clarified butter
Calories 3591.6 kcal
Author Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Butter

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter over low heat, until it is completely melted and the milk proteins start to foam up.
  2. Skim the foam from the surface until only the clear butter fat is left.
  3. Store the clarified butter in glass jars for future use.

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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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