How to Clarify Butter?

When water and milk solids are removed from butter, you get what is called clarified butter. Once your butter is clarified, then it can sustain higher cooking temperatures which makes it a better option for pan-frying compared to whole butter. You can also use clarified butter as a base for different sauces. Therefore, to learn how to clarify butter, there are simple steps that you can follow. 

Steps to Clarify Butter

There are three simple steps that you can take to clarify your butter. You need a small saucepan or skillet and any gadget like a cooker that you can use for heating the butter. 

Step 1

The first step involves melting butter in a skillet or saucepan over low heat until it changes to a liquid state. Just place the butter in the skillet and let it sit without stirring while being heated slowly. Essentially, when you slowly heat the cooking butter, three layers are formed from the melted butter.

 The first step can take a while so you should be patient until the butter begins to liquefy. Slowly, you will observe bubbles forming as a result of the foam created by the milk fat. You will also notice that the milk fats will sink to the bottom while the pure butterfat settles in the middle.  

How to clarify butter?

You need to separate these to remain with clarified butter. You can achieve this by using a large metal spoon to first remove the foam that floats at the top of the contents heating in the skillet. You can throw away the froth since it is not necessary. When all the foam on top of the saucepan has been removed, you can then take it off the heat. 

Step 2

When you observe clear yellow stuff on top after removing the foam, then you should know that you now have clarified butter. The pure butterfat also comes in the form of liquid gold and this is the final outcome you should have. At the bottom, you have milk solids and you should make sure that you separate these from pure butterfat which is the gold.

All the solid matters sink to the bottom of the pan and you should carefully pour the clarified layer of butter into a clean jar. You should leave the solids in the pan and you can achieve this by using a cheesecloth-lined sieve to separate the clarified butter liquid. You can also use a small spoon to ensure that you remove all the clarified butter from the pan.     

How to clarify butter?

Step 3

When you have separated your clarified butter from the residue, then it is ready for use. You can also let the butter cool and store in a tightly sealed container then refrigerate it. You can store the clarified butter for up to three weeks in the refrigerator and you can simply re-melt to use it again.  

When you have successfully removed the clarified butter, you remain with the solids and you should not throw them away. You can add this stuff to mashed potatoes, sauces or soups so that you add some richness. You can refrigerate any extra solids and you should use them within one week. 


Why Clarified Butter?

Clarified butter is ideal for high heat cooking since it consists of pure milk fat that has been separated from water and milk solids. By removing the solids and water, you create a beautiful flavor, longer shelf life and higher smoke point for your clarified butter.

This effectively means that clarified butter can sustain high temperatures during cooking. For this reason, clarified butter is ideal for certain recipes. It is also advantageous in that it adds richness to flavor which helps to improve the taste of your food. 

How to clarify butter?

The other advantage of clarified butter is that you can use it over a long period of about three or so weeks. You only need to keep it refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. Clarification of butter helps to remove impurities meaning that it keeps well for several weeks in the fridge. If you wish you can keep your clarified butter in the freezer and it can even last longer. 

How to Use Clarified Butter?

Clarified butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter by close to 100°F, which makes it ideal for frying under higher temperatures. The main problem with regular butter is that the milk solids can burn easily and this is the reason why they are removed from clarified butter. 

You can use clarified butter for frying meat, vegetables, pancakes as well as popping popcorn. These recipes require high temperature therefore, it is imperative to use butterfat with a high smoke point to avoid burning the food cooking at a particular moment. Another recipe that requires high butterfat is hollandaise sauce and it also needs high temperature. 


Normal butter can burn if you use it to cook different types of food with a higher smoke point. You can also enjoy your steak when it is cooked using clarified butter. Apart from sustaining high cooking temperature, clarified butter also gives your food a rich flavor that helps to improve the test. 


Butter clarification is a process which involves the removal of milk solids and water from cooking butter to come up with clarified butter. There are just a few steps that you can take to clarify your butter and these are very simple and easy to follow. You need to heat your butter using low heat until three separate layers are formed. 

At the bottom, you get solid residue that you can use with other sauces and you get your golden clarified butter in the middle. You can throw away the foam on top. There are many advantages of using clarified butter such as higher smoke point which makes it ideal for higher cooking temperatures. You can also store clarified butter for a longer period in your fridge. I hope you have enjoyed this post and you can leave your comments below or questions if you have any.