BUTTER 101: How & Why You Should Clarify Your Butter
We’re big fans of butter, and we know you are too! It’s included in so many of the recipes you create, from a fluffy morning frittata to a juicy pan-seared steak.
While you’re likely to think of butter in its usual form – a stick of butter bought at the grocery store – You’ve probably had clarified butter without even knowing it, especially if you like to eat out at your local restaurants.
Clarified butter is simply clear butter, which is made by removing the milk solids and water from a traditional stick of butter. There are many benefits to using clarified butter in your recipes (and with our seasonings), and we promise it’s an easy way to take your meals up a notch
Why You Should Clarify Your Butter
Most commercial butter is 16-17% water. This high water percentage means that butter has a much lower smoke point than your typical cooking oil and can burn quickly when you use it to fry or sauté foods.
When you clarify butter, you raise the smoke point because you remove the water. A typical commercial butter has a smoke point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, while clarified butter has a smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
The higher smoke point of clarified butter makes it ideal for searing, frying, and sautéing, even if you’re using high heat. The flavor of your clarified butter will also be more concentrated and nuttier, making it ideal for a final drizzle over your favorite meal.
If that wasn’t enough to make you want to start clarifying your butter, know this – clarified butter can be stored much longer than typical butter. You can keep it without refrigeration for up to one month and with refrigeration for up to six! But because it’s so flavorful and easily used in place of commercial butter, we doubt you’ll keep it that long anyway.
How To Clarify Butter
Don’t worry – clarifying your butter is easy, and it only takes a few minutes! Here’s how you can get perfect clarified butter in no time.
- Start with unsalted butter. If all you have on hand is salted butter, you can still give it a try, but you may find the results come with an incredibly concentrated salt flavor.
- Put a pound of butter in a saucepan.
- Cook the butter gently over low heat until it is simmering.
- Skim off any froth/foam you see on the surface. Continue to do so until froth is no longer appearing. This should take about eight to ten minutes. At the end of this time, you should have a layer of milk solids on the bottom of the pan with a clear layer of butterfat on top.
- Pour the butter through a lined fine-mesh strainer to remove the rest of the milk solids. Store in an airtight glass container (don’t use plastic – it’s likely to melt).