With its high smoke point, ghee is great for frying and for using in paleo recipes. Learn how to make ghee from butter quickly and easily.
I have to admit that it wasn’t until recently that I started to make my own ghee for cooking/frying. I had been frying foods in coconut oil and home rendered lard to avoid cooking with fats with low smoke points, but I didn’t realize that ghee has an even higher smoke point than either of those fats. I had assumed that ghee was just some sort of clarified butter that would be delicate when using in cooking, so I had dismissed it up until lately. Not only does it have a high smoke point, but it is easy to make and has great flavor.
The more I read about ghee everywhere, the more I wanted to try using it. Store bought ghee tends to be pretty expensive, though. Luckily, you can save yourself a lot of money by making ghee from butter.
I love butter, and don’t avoid it because I don’t follow a completely paleo diet. That said, there are times that using ghee is preferable to butter. When making ghee, you remove a large portion of the milk proteins from the butter, the same milk proteins, like lactose and casein, that are problematic for some people. That means that normally people with an intolerance to lactose or casein will be able to use ghee without any problems.
Ghee has a higher smoke point (around 450ºF) than butter (around 350ºF). The smoke point of a fat is the temperature at which it will start to give off smoke. When frying foods, you want to avoid reaching the smoke point of whatever fat you are using. That’s why it is preferable to use fats with a higher smoke point when frying.
Ghee will also keep much longer than butter. If kept in the refrigerator, it should be usable for months. Even at room temperature, you should be able to use it for several weeks without any problems.
Butter is lighter and creamier, but ghee has a deeper, almost nutty flavor, that a lot of people love. When simmering the butter for long enough, you end up with the deep flavor characteristic of ghee, and that differentiates it from just a “plain” clarified butter.
Once I tried it, of course, I was hooked.
Want to try it for yourself?
How to Make Ghee
How to Make Ghee
- 1 kg. butter
Heat butter in a pan over low to medium heat.
The butter will start to separate.
Skim of the foamy solids that float to the top.
As you heat and skim, the butter will further separate, and you will start to see milk solids start to fall to the bottom of the pan. Now is a good time to lower the heat and watch the butter carefully. You don't want to let the milk solids that fall to the bottom of the pan burn!
Continue to simmer the butter until you end up with a clear, yellow liquid with golden brown milk solids at the bottom. At this point you can strain the finished ghee into the containers you want to store them in. I usually just use a stainless steel strainer, but it's a good idea to strain the mixture with cheesecloth, especially if you have an intolerance to the milk proteins.
The transparent liquid that you obtain is your ghee. It will solidify as it cools. you can store it at room temperature for several weeks, or in the fridge for several months.
I used a kilogram of butter because I figured that once I was going to do the work, I might as well obtain a lot of ghee for my trouble.
With butter being the only ingredient, though, you can use either as little or as much as you like.
The milk solids that fall to the bottom, the ones you strain out, are crunchy and tasty. So, yes, you can eat them if you like. (I do!) 🙂
This post is also available in Español.