When the question “what is clarified butter?” is asked, it is not uncommon for people to give contrasting answers. Some call it “nutty” butter, while others say it is “drawn” butter. In other parts of the world, it is known as ghee. While all these answers are true, there are slight variations to each one. Clarified butter is in higher demand than ever before because of its many cooking benefits.
What is Clarified Butter?
Clarified butter is essentially ordinary unsalted butter that has been melted and cooked in order to remove water and milk solids. It can be easily prepared at home and by cooks of any skill. When milk solids are removed, the result is yellow butter fat. It is preferred because it has elements of both cooking oil and butter.
What is Clarified Butter Used For?
Also known as “drawn” butter, clarified butter can be used to cook many foods. Some cooks prefer to use it in day to day cooking. You can use it to prepare anything from eggs to stir fry. Others reserve it for special purposes. It comes in handy when you want to fry foods for an extended period of time, or when you are cooking at very high heat. It can be used as a substitute for butter in baking recipes or a replacement for oil.
What is Clarified Butter’s Advantage Over Butter?
Clarified butter has a higher smoking point. This means that you can cook foods at high heat without producing any smoke. Smoke is unhealthy regardless of what kind of oil or butter you use. Another advantage that clarified butter has, particularly over cooking oil, is flavor. Although it is not as flavor-rich as “milky” butter, it still has a distinct flavor you can taste in food. You can also store if for longer.
What is the Difference Between Clarified Butter and Ghee?
There is a fine line between clarified butter and ghee. The difference lies in the way they are prepared. To make clarified butter, you simply heat ordinary butter over low heat until the milk solids sink to the bottom and the foam floats to the top. You strain it and it is done. Ghee is when you cook the butter for a much longer time. The longer you melt and cook butter, the longer it can stay stored for later use.
What is Clarified Butter’s Effect on Health?
The use of clarified butter should always be kept to a minimum. Butter contains fats that can have adverse effects on the heart. Fortunately, clarified butter has been shown to contain fats that are more easily processed by the body than those found in ordinary butter and many cooking oils.
How Do You Make Clarified Butter at Home?
In a large pan, put in as much unsalted butter as you would like. Take note that the final product will be 25% less than what you started with. Melt it at low heat until it melts and begins cooking. As it cooks, foam should rise to the top. Remove this foam carefully with a spoon. Milk solids will also begin forming at the bottom of your pan. You can remove them through straining later.
If you want your butter to have a nutty flavor, cook it until the milk solids turn brown. Extending cooking time will also produce ghee, which can be stored foe 3-6 months in the fridge. You can keep it in a jar or container of choice refrigerated or at room temperature.
What is Clarified Butter’s Smoke Point?
The average smoking point for clarified butter is between 300 to 375 F. Ghee, however, has a much higher smoking point. The general rule of thumb is that the smoking point goes up as the cooking time increases.
Clarified combines the smoking point of cooking oil with the flavor of butter. It can be stored longer than conventional butter and be kept refrigerated for future use. Delicious and slightly healthier, you can use it to prepare a range of meals, provided it is used in moderation.