How to Make Clarified Butter

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Clarified Butter

Clarified butter is plain butter that’s been gently simmered to remove its water content, then strained to remove the browned milk solids to create a more stable cooking fat. Learn how to make clarified butter, an easy process that removes the water and milk solids from whole butter. 

The taste of clarified butter, though different and less rich than regular butter, is great for frying certain foods, like breaded eggplant, pancakes or blintzes. It has a nice, subtle flavor that you won’t get when frying in animal fats or other types of oil. Clarified butter is useful in dairy and vegetarian dishes, but should not be used to cook meat. Clarified butter does not become grainy when refrigerated and re-melted. It is a popular choice with certain baked goods.

Servings        Prep Time     Cook Time
6 servings     5 minutes      15 minutes 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • Small saucepan
  • Mesh strainer
  • Several layers of cheesecloth
  • Heat-safe bowl
  • Sealed container for storing the clarified butter

Steps to Make

  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat.

  2. Continue to cook over medium-high heat; an even layer of white milk proteins will float to the surface.

  3. Bring to a boil; the milk proteins will become foamy.

  4. Lower heat to medium and continue to gently boil; the milk proteins will break apart.

  5. As the butter gently boils, the milk proteins will eventually sink to the bottom of the pot, and the boiling will begin to calm and then cease. Adjust heat as needed to continue boiling off the water without scorching the milk solids.

  6. Once boiling has stopped, pour butter through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or through a coffee filter into a heatproof container to remove browned milk solids. Let cool, then transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use. Butter will solidify at cooler temperatures, but can easily be returned to liquid by warming.