Clarified Butter for Healthy Saute
We are often asked which are the best oils for cooking.
Here are the ones we use most often:
- Olive oil
- Rice Bran oil
- Coconut oil
- Clarified butter
- Sesame oil
Clarified butter is inexpensive, easy to make and appropriate for regular use.
How to make clarified butter
To make about 1½ cups clarified butter, place 500g (1
pound) butter in a small saucepan. Too little butter in a large diameter pan will make it difficult
to separate the solids from the fat later.
Put saucepan on the stove over a very low heat. The butter will melt and gradually separate. The butter may make a slight sound as water boils off.
Be patient! This is good project while doing other things in the kitchen – you need to keep checking it occasionally. Turning up the temperature will make the process go faster, but will also make the butter for brown or even burn.
Continue to keep the butter on a low heat. Some of the impurities will rise to the surface. Most of the milk solids will sink. In about 30 – 40 minutes most of the solids will be in a mass at the bottom of the pan.
Skim off the foam from the surface. Pour the clarified butter into a ceramic or stainless steel bowl, leaving behind the dark milk solids. Alternatively strain the clarified butter though cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer. Discard all the impurities.
If you find your clarified butter has browned slightly, it can still be used – it may even have an interesting nutty flavour.
When cool, but not set, pour the clarified butter into a
glass jar or a small bowl (not plastic) that has a lid. Cover, refrigerate and
use as required for cooking.
Why use clarified butter for cooking?
- Stable when heated to moderately high temperatures. This makes it useful for sautéing, shallow frying and roasting.
- Inexpensive and easy to make at home.
- Has a mild flavour that suits many recipes.
- The milk solids in butter contain proteins to which many people are intolerant. These proteins burn at moderate temperatures, creating unhealthy compounds and distasteful flavours in the food.
Is the saturated fat in butter unhealthy?
Saturated animal fats, like all fats and oils, should be eaten in moderation. For cooking they may be a healthier alternative to polyunsaturated vegetable oils.
Most cheap vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, corn and canola oils should be avoided completely. They have been mass-produced by industrial processes that create toxic compounds. They become even more dangerous when heated for cooking. The best fat for high-temperature frying is high-quality coconut oil. Contact us for details of a good brand.
What is Ghee?
Ghee is used in traditional Indian cooking. For most purposes it can be used interchangeably with butter. It is similar to clarified butter, but the milk has been allowed to sour slightly before being made into butter. Ghee can be purchased in many supermarkets but the quality may not be as good as what you can make at home.