I just love clarified butter also known as Ghee or Samneh, although Ghee is ever so slightly different in how it is made. And I love how easy it is to make clarified butter at home, not to mention that it lasts such a long time after making it.
Clarified butter has so many uses. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, it is essentially a butter-flavored fat in melted form. The butterfat has been separated from the milk solids and water. It has a very high smoke point and can be used as cooking oil for frying, sautéing, as a dip, used in sauces, etc.
It is so simple to make, if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Gather the ingredients
In order to make homemade clarified butter, you need just one ingredient:
- Butter – Use unsalted butter, I don’t recommend using salted, because it will be overly concentrated when it is reduced and separated.
- Medium pot
- Slotted spoon or strainer
- Mason jar with lid
Step 2: How to make clarified butter
In order to make clarified butter at home, we need to separate the milk solids from the butterfat and also get rid of the water in the butter. To do that, we heat and melt the butter slowly and simmer it for a long period of time, enough time for the separation to take place and the water to evaporate.
Place the butter in a medium pot. Set the burner to low heat. You can also place the butter in an 8x8 baking pan, and do it in the oven on a low setting (212 F/100 C).
Allow the butter slowly reduce and simmer it will take 15 to 20 minutes or longer. Do NOT rush this and don’t use high heat. This will allow the milk solids or butter solids to separate from the milk fat/butter fat, without the butter or the milk solids burning. In turn, it will give plenty of time for the water in the butter to evaporate.
TIP: If you want the butter to melt a little faster, you can cut the butter up into small chunks. I don’t normally do it, but you certainly can if you like.
Once it completely melts down, use a slotted spoon or strainer and skim any foam or floaters off the top of the clarified butter.
The clear oil-looking liquid is clarified butter. The white stuff on the bottom of the pot is the milk solids/butter solids.
Step 3: Strain the clarified butter
Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. You can ladle the clarified butter over a cheesecloth resting on a sieve/strainer and bowl or measuring cup which will catch any extra floaters you may have missed.
Or pour it gently over the cheesecloth-lined strainer. Be careful, you don’t want to pour any of the milk solids in there, they still might get through the cheesecloth and the sieve.
Then squeeze the cheesecloth to get any extra clarified butter that soaked it, into your bowl or cup, mason jar, etc.
You will be left with the milk solids/butter solids in the pot. Some people will throw that out, but it is great to be used in mashed potatoes, on popcorn, spread on toast, etc.
NOTE: The cheesecloth is optional, it just helps to get the maximum amount of clarified butter once it is reduced.
How long can it be stored?
Pour the clarified butter into a container with a lid, I like to use mason jars. This gets stored in the refrigerator. And it lasts a super long time, 8 months to a year. It will solidify in the fridge, which is normal, but will easily melt down when heated up again. Similar to coconut oil.
Now you have essentially a butter-flavored oil that can be used for sauteing, deep-frying, frying, and many other things. Enjoy!
NOTE: A pound of butter yields right around 12 ounces of clarified butter. (355ml)
Here are some other recipes you may be interested in:
- Medium Pot
- Slotted spoon or strainer
- Mason jar with lid
- 1 lb Butter, unsalted The amount doesn't matter, I usually do a pound of it, and lasts me for quite a while. (450g)
- Place the butter in a medium pot and then on the burner. Set the heat to low, and allow the butter to reduce slowly until it separates completely, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon or strainer and skim any foam or floaters on the top off. The clear oil on top is the clarified butter, the white stuff accumulated on the bottom is the milk solids.
- Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Pour it through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a bowl or mason jar. Be careful not to pour any of the milk solids into it, leave it on the bottom of the pot. You can squeeze the cheesecloth to drain any extra.
- Save the leftover milk solids and use them in mashed potatoes, on popcorn, on steamed or roasted veggies, etc. Or you can throw it out.
- The clarified butter is ready. Store in the fridge with a lid, where it will become solid as it cools. It will last 8 to 12 months. Use the clarified butter in place of oil for frying, sauteing, etc. Enjoy!
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