Recipe: The do it yourself guide to ghee

Want to sing with glee over ghee? Keep reading. This guest post is from my partner in crime over at While we’re not updating the site, we still get ourselves into trouble while wearing bacon knee socks and rocking it hard-core and low carb style. Lita is an amazing designer and photographer, so when she’s not making bacon glitter, she’s making visual magic.

Says Lita:

Butter.  The word alone is enough to send me into a calm, gentle, warm state of inner peace where all is right with the world.  I would even venture to say that there is precious little on this green earth that comes close to the silky, creamy goodness of this culinary delight.  Well, maybe one thing: butter that doesn’t burn when I cook with it.  Luckily there is such a thing.  Ghee, or clarified butter, to be more scientific-y, is the pure fatty goodness left behind after the milk solids and proteins have been removed from whole, fresh butter through the process of heating.  Since these solids are what actually burn when we fry or saute with butter, by removing them we get a frying fat with a groovy 480 °F smoke point, well above most vegetable oils (and much better tasting too).  Ghee is probably ingredient number one in this chick’s kitchen.  I use it for darn near everything, and it’s so simple to make I almost feel guilty about it.   Ok, here we go:

  1. Start with a nice, big, healthy slab of your favorite unsalted butter.
  2. Cut said butter up into smaller, yet equally butter-tastic pieces.
  3. Add to a small pot and put over low heat. Swirl the pan around every minute or so until all the butter has melted.  When melted, keep an eye on the prize to avoid burning.  Now, put your eyes away and get your ears out.  You will start to hear a slight crackling sound which means that the heavenly liquid is boiling and working out all that pent-up moisture.  Let it do it’s thang for a few more minutes until a white foam starts to rise and collect at the top.
  1. When the foam has risen to the top, remove the melted butter from the heat.  Take a spoon and gently skim the foam from the top, trying to avoid any of the clarified butter underneath (that’s the good stuff).
  2. Continue skimming until all of the white foam is gone and you are left with the gawgeous golden buttery paradise below.  Our work is not yet done, however, because as you can see, there are yet more butter solids hiding at the bottom of the pot, under said buttery paradise.  These are also white in color, but are more dense, and kinda look like the stuff in your lava lamp.  As psychedelic and intriguing as they may be, we’ll want to get rid of those too.  Set the pot aside for a little while and let all of these solids fully settle to the bottom.  Now all you have to do is simply ladle, or pour, the clarified butter into your receptacle of choice and you are ready for buttery bliss.

Use the ghee in place of oil in any cooking application, deep frying included.  It brings a sinfully rich flavor to all kinds of dishes and a healthy dose of saturated fat to boot.  While it can be stored at room temperature, we opt to store ours in the fridge and cut off a hunk when needed.  Use as a base for sauces, add a tablespoon or two to scrambled eggs for extra flavor, or just grab a spoon and go to town!  Just kidding.  Ok, maybe not.

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  1. I have done this before for a recipe years ago, never thought to keep it on hand just "because". Wonderful step by step process. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Swoooon!

  3. What a great step-by-step! You convinced me. I can do this. 🙂

  4. Okay, I’m convinced. This made it seem so easy, I’m gonna try it! I use the store bought ghee, but it’s so expensive I tend to be stingy with it’s use. Thanks for this!

  5. James Melbert says

    Another way to get rid of the milk solids after they settle, is to put the pan in the fridge and let it solidify. Then turn the solid ghee out and scrape the whiye solids off into the trash. Put the now pure ghee into a ziplock and use when wanted.

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