Clarified butter is melted butter with the solids and water removed. It is a delicious, simple ingredient that is often used in sauces and as a condiment for lobster and other seafood treats. Best of all, making it only takes a few minutes! See Step 1 below to get started.
Method 1: Skimming the solids
- Melt butter. Place any quantity of butter in a saucepan and melt it slowly over low heat. Don't let it brown.
- Remove the butter from heat and let it stand. The foamy solids will gather at the surface of the melted butter.
- Skim the butter fat from the top. Use a spoon to remove the whitish solids, then strain the clear yellow liquid into a container.
Method 2: Straining through cloth
- Melt butter. Place any amount of salted or unsalted butter in a pan and melt it completely. Don't overcook it or it will brown.
- Let the butter stand for a few minutes. The solids will rise to its surface.
- Pass the butter through a cloth. Pour the butter through a clean tea towel or damp cheesecloth after melting. Let the liquid run through the cloth into a bowl.
Method 3: Using a plastic bag
- Melt butter. Melt whatever quantity of butter you wish in a saucepan over low heat. Don't let it get so hot that it browns.
- Let the butter stand. Remove it from heat and let it sit until the solids gather at the top.
- Pour the butter into a resealable bag. Use the type of food storage bag that has a zipper seal. Seal the bag, making sure it's locked.
- Let the butter cool. Two distinct layers will form in the bag; a liquid layer on the bottom, and a solid layer on the top.
- Snip off a corner of the bag. Snip off just enough of one of the bottom corners to make a small hole for the liquid to run through.
- Let the liquid run into a bowl. The solids won't be able to pass through the hole.
Method 4: Using a microwave and turkey baster
- Put unsalted butter in a standard tall and wide drinking glass.
- Put the glass into the microwave. Melt the butter slowly at mid-power until you see the three layers develop (top foamy solids; middle clear yellow liquid; and bottom heavy solids).
- Let the glass stand for a couple minutes. Leave until the layer separation is complete. Remove from the microwave.
- Squeeze the turkey baster bulb. Insert it into the middle layer and suck the clear yellow liquid (clarified butter) from the glass.
- Transfer it into a separate container. Repeat until all the clarified butter is extracted, leaving the solids behind.
- Check the butter's package to see if the butter is salted or not and adjust accordingly the amount of salt added in your recipe.
- Store clarified butter in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.
Things You'll Need
- A pot of reasonable size
- A heat source
- A tea-towel or cheesecloth