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Clarified butter has a high smoke point and is ideal for searing and sauteing! Here’s how to make clarified butter.

What is clarified butter
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What’s the deal with clarified butter? This clear version of butter might sound fancy, but it’s something you can make in just 10 minutes in your kitchen. It’s perfect for using as a sauce itself, or storing for high heat cooking. Here’s what to know about this kitchen essential!

What is clarified butter?

Clarified butter is butter with milk solids and water removed. This gives it a higher smoke point, allowing it to be used for higher heat searing and cooking. The smoke point of clarified butter is 450 to 480°F, versus 350°F of standard butter. It’s ideal for sauteing and searing foods like fish, chicken, and steak, and it adds additional flavor to the dish. Clarified butter tastes richer and has a more intensely buttery taste.

What’s the difference between clarified butter and ghee? Ghee is used in Indian cuisine and is very similar to to clarified butter: it’s simply cooked longer until the milk solids are toasted and golden, giving it a slightly darker color and more toasted flavor.

How to make clarified butter

How to make clarified butter

It’s simple to make clarified butter at home. You’ll simply place the butter in a saucepan and skim off the foam that rises to the top (water) and filter out the milk solids. Here’s what to do:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat so the butter is just barely bubbling.
  2. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, skimming off the foam with a slotted spoon as it appears (the foam forms as the water evaporates out of the butter). Cook until no more foam appears, the bubbling stops, and the milk solids have settled to the bottom of the pan and are golden.
  3. Strain the butter through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Use immediately or store refrigerated in a sealed jar or container.
how to make clarified butter

Ways to use it

There are many ways to use clarified butter, the most important being high-smoke point cooking! Use it to sear or saute meat, fish, chicken, and more. You can also use it as a butter sauce for dipping, which makes it perfectly clear. Try it for:

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How to make clarified butter

How to Make Clarified Butter


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: ¾ cup 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat so the butter is just barely bubbling.
  2. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, skimming off the foam with a slotted spoon as it appears (the foam forms as the water evaporates out of the butter). Cook until no more foam appears, the bubbling stops, and the milk solids have settled to the bottom of the pan and are golden.
  3. Strain the clarified butter through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Use immediately or store refrigerated in a sealed jar or container.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!