Learn how to make clarified butter (ghee), an easy process that removes the water and milk solids from whole butter. Clarified butter tastes great, lasts longer in the refrigerator, and has a higher smoke point for cooking.

Learn how to make clarified butter (ghee), an easy process that removes the water and milk solids from whole butter. Clarified butter tastes great, lasts longer in the refrigerator, and has a higher smoke point for cooking.
When you make clarified butter, you skim milk solids off the top of melted butter and leave released water in the bottom of the pan. The stuff in the middle, the liquid gold, is 100% pure butterfat.

I had one goal the first time I made clarified butter: To make Hollandaise Sauce.

This means a higher smoke point, a longer shelf life, and a more versatile substance great for making everything from stir-fries to sauces.

Recipe ingredients:

Learn how to make clarified butter, an easy process that removes the water and milk solids from whole butter. Use it for Hollandaise and many other recipes.

Ingredient notes:

  • Better butter: The best butter for clarifying is European-style, imported butter. These butters usually contain more milk fat than American butter (82% to 86% milk fat in European vs. 80% to 82% in American). After clarifying some store-brand or other inexpensive butters, I was left with what looked like a pan of yellow water. Not appetizing! If you are clarifying butter to make a delicious Hollandaise Sauce, choose a delicious butter (since Hollandaise Sauce is mostly butter). But If you’re clarifying butter to make a stir-fry, the quality won’t be quite as important.
  • Butter solids: You can lightly brown the butter solids (the layer you scooped off the top) in a small amount of clarified butter to make “browned butter.” Then, add to cookies, vegetables, soups, mashed potatoes for extra butter flavor, or use as a condiment on bread.

Step-by-step instructions:

    1. Melt the butter over low heat. If the butter boils, the milk solids get dispersed throughout the fat and you won’t be able to skim them off. Skim off the foamy milk solids that rose to the top.
      Learn how to make clarified butter, an easy process that removes the water and milk solids from whole butter. Use it for Hollandaise and many other recipes.
    2. Last, ladle the butterfat from the saucepan in to a second (clean) saucepan or another vessel for holding. Be sure to leave the water in the bottom of the original saucepan (it will look like a white, milky substance).
      Learn how to make clarified butter, an easy process that removes the water and milk solids from whole butter. Use it for Hollandaise and many other recipes.

What you’re left with is pure butterfat. It doesn’t have the same rich, buttery flavor as whole butter, but it doesn’t turn rancid in the refrigerator, either. (At least not for several months).

Put clarified butter to work:

 

Learn how to make clarified butter, an easy process that removes the water and milk solids from whole butter. Use it for Hollandaise and many other recipes.

How to Make Clarified Butter

Learn how to make clarified butter (ghee), an easy process that removes the water and milk solids from whole butter. Clarified butter tastes great, lasts longer in the refrigerator, and has a higher smoke point for cooking.
4.98 from 36 votes
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 12 ounces
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 203

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound unsalted butter

Instructions 

  • In a small saucepan over low heat, warm butter without boiling or agitation of any kind.
  • As the butter melts, the solids rise to the top and water sinks to the bottom. Sometimes the solids appear to bubble up from the bottom.
  • When the butter is melted, skim the milk solids from the top using a ladle or slotted spoon (see notes for ideas of what to do with the solids).
  • When the skim solids have been removed, transfer the butterfat to a clean saucepan or bowl using a ladle. Leave the water in the bottom of the original saucepan.
  • 1 pound of whole butter will yield approximately 12 ounces clarified butter. The clarified butter can be kept in the refrigerator or freezer.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Better butter: The best butter for clarifying is European-style, imported butter. These butters usually contain more milk fat than American butter (82% to 86% milk fat in European vs. 80% to 82% in American). After clarifying some store-brand or other inexpensive butters, I was left with what looked like a pan of yellow water. Not appetizing! If you are clarifying butter to make a delicious Hollandaise Sauce, choose a delicious butter (since Hollandaise Sauce is mostly butter). But If you're clarifying butter to make a stir-fry, the quality won't be quite as important.
  2. Butter solids: You can lightly brown the butter solids (the layer you scooped off the top) in a small amount of clarified butter to make "browned butter." Then, add to cookies, vegetables, soups, mashed potatoes for extra butter flavor, or use as a condiment on bread. 

Nutrition

Calories: 203kcal
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!
Culinary School Secrets
Pro-level tricks to transform your cooking!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

You May Also Like

Questions and Comments

Thank you for your comments! Please allow 1-2 business days for a reply. Our business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am PST to 5:00 pm PST, excluding holidays. Comments are moderated to prevent spam and profanity.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. Used clarified butter(cb) to make chicken Milanese. The cb turned darker after the first 3 cutlets and continued to darken through 8 cutlets I cooked. Was the flame to high or is the cooking life of cb short?5 stars

    1. Hi Rich, chicken Milanese sounds delicious! Clarified butter will continue to brown as it is exposed to heat. If you were able to get through the cutlets and nothing burned, I don’t think your flame was too high. – Meggan

    2. Just add olive oil to your clarified butter to help increase the longevity of the butter to keep from burning. Hope this helps.

View all comments