HOW TO CLARIFY BUTTER

Clarified butter is a trashier version of browned butter IMHO. Okay maybe not. Let’s put it this way, you’d want to cook clarified butter further. While you’d want to dunk your food in browned butter as is.

But then, why not use butter just the way it is you ask? I agree. But when certain dishes call for cooking with butter in a way that might cause it to smoke (and in turn your kitchen), you’d want to use clarified butter.

Or when you want to sear a the perfect steak, other meat and veggies without burning the house down, use clarified butter.

I guess from a very basic sense, you could say clarified butter is similar to pure dairy ghee (Indian clarified butter). You’d start with melting butter – which would then lead to clarified butter (heating until water evaporates and the milk solids just about separate) – which would then lead to ghee (heated longer where the milk solids are allowed to caramelize a bit) – and ultimately browned butter (heated until the milk solids brown and get toasty).

Simple enough? Great. Let’s get started then.

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time1 minCook Time14 minsTotal Time15 mins

HERE'S WTF YOU NEED
 a light coloured skillet
 1 cup butter, cut into 1-inch cubes (will give you 1 cup clarified butter)
 a strainer
 a heat proof bowl

HERE'S WTF YOU DO:
1

Dump those cubes of butter into the saucepan and let it melt over medium-high heat. Continue to heat this through until you see white milk solids rise to the surface.

2

You now notice the melted butter start to foam up, and let this continue until it reaches a boil. When it's at a boil, reduce the heat to a medium and maintain a gentle boil. You will start to notice the milk solids now separating, allowing you to see through to the golden melted butter once again.

3

As you keep the butter at a boil, the white milk solids will eventually sink to the bottom of the pan and stay there. At this point, the boiling tapers off to a gentle simmer. It's now that you want to reduce your heat to low, and continue boiling the melted butter. Essentially, we're trying to boil all the water content out, leaving behind pure butter.

4

You must maintain that golden colour on low heat, and your tell here is to keep the milk solids white. Once you start seeing them go golden-brown, you've passed the stage of clarified butter on to browned butter.

5

Around this time, you'll notice the simmering butter has completely calmed down. Take the butter off the heat and pour it through a strainer into the heat proof bowl. Let it cool and then refrigerate to use as needed.

Ingredients

HERE'S WTF YOU NEED
 a light coloured skillet
 1 cup butter, cut into 1-inch cubes (will give you 1 cup clarified butter)
 a strainer
 a heat proof bowl

Directions

HERE'S WTF YOU DO:
1

Dump those cubes of butter into the saucepan and let it melt over medium-high heat. Continue to heat this through until you see white milk solids rise to the surface.

2

You now notice the melted butter start to foam up, and let this continue until it reaches a boil. When it's at a boil, reduce the heat to a medium and maintain a gentle boil. You will start to notice the milk solids now separating, allowing you to see through to the golden melted butter once again.

3

As you keep the butter at a boil, the white milk solids will eventually sink to the bottom of the pan and stay there. At this point, the boiling tapers off to a gentle simmer. It's now that you want to reduce your heat to low, and continue boiling the melted butter. Essentially, we're trying to boil all the water content out, leaving behind pure butter.

4

You must maintain that golden colour on low heat, and your tell here is to keep the milk solids white. Once you start seeing them go golden-brown, you've passed the stage of clarified butter on to browned butter.

5

Around this time, you'll notice the simmering butter has completely calmed down. Take the butter off the heat and pour it through a strainer into the heat proof bowl. Let it cool and then refrigerate to use as needed.

HOW TO CLARIFY BUTTER

Note: If you need to brown butter, head on over here to get the recipe! Although clarified butter and browned butter is made the same way, the difference between the two is that the heating process for clarified butter is halted as soon as the the milk solids separate leaving behind pure butter, and a richer buttery flavour. Albeit, not as intense as butter or deep as brown butter.


Now that you know how to clarify your own butter, try this easy recipe:

Send this to someone who can't cook!