Updated: Oct 16, 2022
Chefs, cooks, and grill masters are singing ghee's praises, with good reason. If you don't know about it yet, I hope this information is helpful. And...skip the store bought stuff to make your own. I'll guide you through it, and you will be glad you did!
Click here for a short tutorial on Butter 101, the information below will make more sense if you do!
For the instructional video on ghee, click here.
What is ghee?
Ghee is a type of clarified butter which takes the clarification process a step further by allowing the butter to simmer longer until all the moisture is evaporated and the milk solids that remain in the bottom of the pan begin to brown and caramelize, giving the butter a complex depth of flavor and nutty aroma. The butter is then strained to remove the remaining caramelized milk solids.
Why would you use it? Like regular clarified butter, ghee butter is pure fat, and its smoke point (the temperature at which it begins to burn) is 486 degrees, much higher than regular butter (350 degree smoke point) and most cooking oils. The richly fragrant aroma and the ability to handle higher heat make grilling with it a sensory and charry win. Use it to fry and sauté even simple things like eggs or vegetables. Try french fries fried in ghee, it will change your life.😂 Well, not really, but yikes is it beyond what we normally experience in the realms of buttery tastes.
Ghee has a rich, varied, and compelling history, and it has been used in Indian and Pakistani cultures for thousands of years. Too much to recount here.
Let's just dive in to the preparation...
GHEE BUTTER RECIPE
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 1.75+ cups
Tools Needed: cheesecloth, sieve strainer, storage: pint sized food safe glass container with top
One pound high quality unsalted butter, (4 sticks, each cut into halves)
Begin by melting the butter slowly over low heat in a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Do not stir.
After several minutes, the butter will begin to a simmer over the low heat, and once the butter begins to gently splutter and bubble, some of the milk solids rise to the top. Place a bowl for the foam/solids by the stovetop, and begin to gently skim and remove the solids and put in a bowl as it rises to the top.
A note about skimming the milk solids and what to use to do it:
I have tried numerous ways to make this process simpler, using a metal spoon or small sieve. Try different methods to discover the best one for you, I prefer using a simple metal tablespoon. It takes a bit of finesse and patience, but is worth it!
Continue to remove the foam/solids until only mostly golden butter remains at the top. The butter should be spluttering very small, clear bubbles on the surface, if at all. This is a sign that the water has been cooked out of the butter and the milk solids will soon begin to clarify.
Continue to cook the butter just until the milk solids begin to caramelize and turn golden brown on the bottom of the pan. It will be slightly more golden/bright in color than clarified butter, and begin to have a light, nutty, glorious fragrance. 🙌
Remove the butter from the heat immediately, allow it to sit for a few minutes, skim any remaining foam that rises to the surface, and carefully pour the butter through the cheesecloth lined sieve, so that the cheesecloth catches the remaining browned milk solids.
Allow the butter to cool before transferring to a food safe container with a lid. Use or store in the refrigerator. Ghee butter will last in the fridge for 1-2 months, or the freezer up to 5 months.
You can save the skimmed foam (full of flavor!) for other culinary uses.