WHY CLARIFY BUTTER?
The problems with regular butter are:
- It has a low smoke point (about 350 degrees) which means it burns easily.
- If you keep your butter too long, the water and the milk proteins can spoil, making the butter rancid.
The best way to fix both of these problems is to remove the water and milk proteins (clarify it).
- Clarified butter lasts a lot longer in the refrigerator and it has a smoke point of about 450 degrees.
- Clarified butter is better for frying and sauteeing where you want to bring out the flavor from browning the food and not the flavor of the burning butter.
There are several ways to clarify butter. One of the easiest and most flavorful versions is Ghee which is used in asian dishes.
- Unsalted Butter
- Salted can work in a pinch
- Put the butter in a saucepan on MEDIUM heat.
- We want the water in the butter to boil (212 degrees) we don’t want the butter to burn (350 degrees).
- Heat until the water boils.
- Continue heating until the mixture stops boiling (the water has all boiled out).
- Strain the mixture though a cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
- Use or refrigerate for a very long time (because the water and milk proteins were the parts of the butter that led to spoilage). It really doesn’t even need to be refrigerated if ALL the water and proteins are removed.
- Alternatively, you could bake the butter in an oven safe pan or dutch oven at 250 degrees until the water is gone and the solids brown and drop to the bottom.