Sounds a bit intimidating for those of us who aren’t professional chefs, but using clarified butter in the kitchen is more common than one might think. It’s not only a must-have for dipping seafood (such as lobster, crab legs, etc.), but it’s also very sought after and beneficial in cooking.
I almost hesitate to mention this…because this is so addictive…but it’s also AMAZING on freshly popped popcorn. You’re welcome.
So what exactly is this magical stuff? It’s melted butter fat with the milk solids and water removed. Because of this the flavor is deeper and richer.
It’s so simple to prepare and you can make it ahead of time, just store in refrigerator then use as needed. Here’s how to make it…
- Using a heavy pan, carefully heat butter on low. Once it’s completely melted let it simmer gently for about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat then skim the surface with a spoon to remove the foam that has formed on top and discard.
- Let sit for a few minutes (5 to 10) and allow it to cool a bit, this will give the milk solids time to settle on the bottom.
- Next, slowly pour the golden liquid into a dish, making sure to leave the bottom milky layer behind. Discard the milky layer.
- The golden liquid in the separate dish is clarified, use this for cooking or dipping with as desired.
- Once melted and cooled for a few minutes, strain liquid through a cheesecloth to separate. A coffee filter will do the trick too.
- Melt as directed above then pour all the liquid in a container. Refrigerate and once it has solidified, remove from container. Scrape off the top and bottom ends where the foamy parts have settled.
- Once melted put into a gravy or fat separator to pour out the liquid and leave milk solids behind.
Quick Microwave Method:
- Heat carefully in microwave, let sit for a couple minutes and then pour through cheesecloth or coffee filter to strain. Because microwaves vary so much in their heating power, I don’t prefer this technique at all, too easy to overheat the product.
You could also try melting it in a cup and then use a large spoon to hold solids inside the vessel while you pour out the clarified part.
- Store in an airtight container and refrigerate, this will keep nicely for several weeks. A small glass mason jar is ideal for this.
Rule of Thumb: One stick will lose approximately 1 tablespoon of volume once clarified.
Now that it’s clarified, it has a higher smoke point (meaning it can handle higher heat than before), so it won’t turn brown (or burnt) as quickly when you’re pan frying or sauting foods. If you’ve ever tried to fry veggies or maybe chicken pieces in butter, you know how quickly it can turn dark and the flavor is definitely affected and turns bitter. This will fix that problem, now you’ll still be able to enjoy a rich, buttery flavor…but without the danger of bitter taste from burning.