Clarified Butter is perfect for frying and sauteing! Clarified butter and, the closely related Ghee, have a higher smoke point and add so much flavor to any dish.

Clarified Butter

Clarified Butter

We always have a jar of it on hand because we love it so much. It’s perfect for frying and sauteing because it has a higher smoke point than butter (450°F, compared to about 350°F) and adds more flavor than oil.

Clarified Butter is butter that has been cooked to remove any water and solids so what you’re left with is 100% butterfat. You can use it for cooking steaks, popping popcorn, making sauces like Hollandaise and I especially love it for pan-frying Schnitzel.

Called Butterschmalz in German, this cooked down butter is a staple in the German cuisine and probably the most popular kind of fat to cook with.

What is the difference between clarified butter and ghee

Clarified butter and Ghee are closely related. The difference is that Ghee is heated a bit more until the milk solids are browned which gives the Ghee a nutty flavor and an aroma similar to browned butter.

How to Make Clarified Butter

How to Make Clarified Butter

  1. Cut the butter into slices or cubes so it melts faster and evenly. In a large, heavy frying pan, melt the butter over low heat.
  2. When it’s fully melted bring it to a gentle boil. The butter will start to foam and after a few minutes, the foam will break apart into clusters and sink to the bottom of the pan.
  3. If you want to use the foam skim it off the surface with a spoon before it starts to break apart. It’s not necessary to skim it off because all the solid bits will get removed later.
  4. It is done when the bubbling mostly stops because that means the water is boiled out of the butter. 
  5. Strain the liquid butter through a fine-mesh sieve covered with a few layers of cheesecloth into a glass jar or container. This way all the solid bits get filtered out.

How long does it last

Clarified butter has a long shelf life! Stored in a jar with a lid it keeps in the fridge for months without developing any off-flavors.

Straining Clarified Butter

What butter to use

Use unsalted butter for this recipe. I recommend using European butter because it is usually more flavorful and contains less water so you will end up with more taste and more end product. Using a quality butter is important if the clarified butter is a big part of the recipe, like in a hollandaise sauce where you really taste the difference. But any unsalted butter works!

Recipes using Clarified Butter

Clarified Butter
Servings: 1 jar

Clarified Butter

Clarified Butter is perfect for frying and sauteing!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Calories: 1628kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Cut the butter into slices or cubes so it melts faster and evenly.
  • In a large, heavy frying pan (or saucepan), melt the butter over low heat.
  • When it’s fully melted bring it to a gentle boil. The butter will start to foam and after a few minutes, the foam will break apart into clusters and sink to the bottom of the pan. If you want to use the foam skim it off the surface with a spoon before it starts to break apart. It’s not necessary to skim it off because all the solid bits will get removed later.
  • It is done when the bubbling mostly stops because that means the water is boiled out of the butter.
  • Strain the liquid butter through a fine-mesh sieve covered with a few layers of cheesecloth into a glass jar or container. This way all the solid bits get filtered out.

Notes

This recipe can easily be doubled. Because the water evaporates 1 cup butter makes slightly less than 1 cup of clarified butter.
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