Learning how to clarify butter is easy. Follow along with me in the video below to see exactly how it is done. We’ll also go through some great ideas on how to use clarified butter!
Clarified butter is gluten free, low carb and paleo friendly!
How to Clarify Butter
The steps to clarify butter are simple:
- Setup a double boiler. Add a pot to your stove with about 1″ of water. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the pot (it needs to sit above the water, not in the water!). Bring the water to a boil.
- Add the butter. Once you add the butter to the double boiler, it will start melting quickly.
- Skim. You will see the milk proteins start to rise to the top. Skim them off with a spoon. You will not get all of them, but that is ok!
- Remove the bowl. You should use an oven mitt to remove the bowl from the double boiler. It will be hot. Also, wipe the water off the bottom so it does not drip into the clarified butter.
- Strain. Using a cloth, coffee filter or cheesecloth strain the butter to catch any remaining milk proteins. NOTE: Be sure not to let any of the water that has separated from the butter at the bottom of your bowl into the strainer. The water will be a cloudy white and should not be strained.
- Transfer: Add the clarified butter to a covered container. Refrigerate.
What is Clarified Butter Used For?
You can use clarified butter as a replacement for normal butter for just about any purpose except baking. If clarified butter is used for baking, the results will most likely come out greasy without the milk proteins.
Here are some great uses for clarified butter:
- Sautéing. Without the milk proteins, the clarified butter has a higher smoke point. A higher smoke point allows you to saute without the butter burning.
- Frying. Most foods are fried in oil at 350 degrees. Clarified butter has a smoke point of about 400 degrees. So long as you are careful to regulate the temperature, clarified butter can be used for frying.
- Braising. When food is braised, it is first seared in a hot pan. Clarified butter is a great option for searing.
Why is my clarified butter not clear?
Typically, when clarified butter is not clear it is due to the temperature being too high when melting the butter. The butter is meant to be melted over a gentle simmer in the double boiler.
In the video, I was losing daylight so I boiled the water hard, which resulted in a cloudy clarified butter. A lower, more gentle heat will always produce clear butter.
Are clarified butter and ghee the same?
Clarified butter and ghee are not the same. Here are the differences:
- Clarified butter. It is made by gently heating the butter, skimming off the proteins and separating the water. The resulting clarified butter has a buttery flavor.
- Ghee. The process to make ghee uses the heat to evaporate the water and brown the proteins, which sink to the bottom of the butterfat. The toasted milk proteins are filtered from the ghee. As a result of the toasted milk proteins, ghee has a nutty flavor.
Where to keep clarified butter?
If your clarified butter has had all the protein and water removed, it is relatively shelf stable. I keep mine near the stove to use in the place of olive oil without refrigeration.
According to What’s Cooking America you can store your clarified butter at room temperature for up to six months. They do note, however, to not let ANY water get into your clarified butter. Even a drop can cause bacteria and spoilage.
Clarified butter will last much longer in the refrigerator and for an extremely long time when frozen.