Clarified Butter – How to Make Clarified Butter

July 17, 2012 0 Comments

How to Make Clarified Butter

What is Clarified Butter?

Clarified butter is another one of the many culinary terms that can be intimidating for home cooks to tackle. Let’s take a step back, though, and find out what clarified butter is and how to make it.

Most people think of butter as a solid fat. It certainly looks solid enough. However, if we look closer, we find that butter is actually an emulsion. An emulsion is a forced mixture of two dissimilar substances that don’t normally like to mix. Think oil and water.

In the case of butter, the two dissimilar substances are butterfat (roughly 80%) and water (roughly 17%) along with about 3% milk solids. The emulsion breaks, and the components separate, when heated. Clarified butter is nothing more than pure butterfat. Not so intimidating now, huh?

How to Make Clarified Butter

It is very easy to make clarified butter. Just slowly melt unsalted butter in a pan over medium-low heat. As the butter melts, some of the water will evaporate, and, since water is heavier than butterfat, some will sink. Likewise, some of the milk solids will sink to the bottom and some will rise to the surface as foam.

Let the butter sit for a minute or two for all the layers to separate. Then, skim off the foam and spoon or carefully pour the butterfat into a separate container, making sure to leave the water and milk solids behind.

Advantages of Clarified Butter

Many chefs consider clarified butter to be superior to whole butter for sautéing. This is because the milk solids present in whole butter brown and then burn well before the butterfat has reached its smoke point. As a result, whole butter is not recommended for high heat cooking. If you still want the taste of butter without worrying about burning milk solids, clarified butter certainly fits that bill.

Does it make sense to make clarified butter at home? That depends on the cook. If the cook is a fan of high heat cooking (sautéing or frying) and prefers the flavor of butter as opposed to a more neutral oil, clarified butter might be the way to go.

Clarified butter is certainly easy to make. It also keeps very well. Refrigerated, clarified butter will stay fresh for several months. Frozen, it will keep for much longer. Another plus to cooking with clarified butter is that, since the milk solids are eliminated, it is suitable for people who are lactose tolerant.

If the cook is more concerned with lower-calorie foods, they might choose to cook with an oil that contains more mono- and polyunsaturated fats than butter, which contains almost all saturated fat.

Ghee

Another form of clarified butter is the Indian ghee or French beurre noisette (browned butter). Browned butter is made in a similar manner to clarified butter, but the milk solids that sink to the bottom of the pan are allowed to brown before pouring off the fat.

The Maillard reactions that result in browning also impart a wonderful, deep nutty flavor to ghee or browned butter. Browned butter is very rich and flavorful and can be used for sautéing, but it also adds a rich, nutty flavor to classic French financiers and genoise.


How to Prepare Clarified Butter & Ghee Cooking Videos

Watch how to make Clarified Butter and Ghee at home by clicking on the link or the image below.

Last modified on Thu 31 July 2014 11:04 am

Leave a Reply

Culinary Schools

Ice Cream Sundays

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe On a recent trip to State College, PA, my wife stopped at Tait Farms to pick up some local products including a Strawberry Dark Chocolate Sauce that my daughter thought would be a great ingredient to try in a new gelato or ice cream. I also had some Dark […]

August 13, 2014 0 Comments
Chocolate Trail Mix Ice Cream

Chocolate Trail Mix Ice Cream

How About Some Chocolate Ice Cream with a Bit of Trail Mix While I was down in the basement working out, I heard my youngest daughter upstairs in the kitchen preparing something.  My daughter has cerebral palsy and uses a walker to get around so I could hear the wheels rolling back and forth as […]

July 25, 2014 5 Comments
Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

 We Used Starbucks Hot Chocolate Mix For This One Maddie and I were thinking about making some homemade ice cream and since chocolate is her favorite, we thought we would give that a try. I looked in the recipe book that came with my new Cuisinart Ice Cream Gelato Maker and found a basic recipe […]

July 10, 2014 0 Comments
Strawberry Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Gelato Recipe

Fresh Seasonal Strawberries Make For Great Gelato By now you know I am the proud owner of a Cuisinart Commercial Quality Ice Cream & Gelato Maker given to me by my neighbors Bob and Barbara for my recent birthday and I’ve been experimenting with it to learn how to make great homemade ice cream and […]

June 29, 2014 0 Comments
Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato

Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato

What’s the Difference Between Ice Cream & Gelato I celebrated a big birthday at the beginning of the month and my wife invited some friends over including my neighbor who gave me a Cuisinart Commercial Quality Ice Cream & Gelato Maker (ICE-100) as a birthday present.  This past weekend, my youngest daughter and I put […]

June 20, 2014 5 Comments

Reluctant Gourmet’s Top Tip Lists

Check Out My RG Cooking Cartoons

css.php