Total Time
5 Mins
2/3 cup

Clarified butter isn’t an ingredient you’ll typically find in recipes, but it is a secret weapon of many restaurant kitchens. This simple cooking fat is the best of both worlds—it has the richness and flavor of butter, but the frying properties of oil, which means it won’t burn if you’re cooking over high heat or for an extended period of time. The butter is “clarified” because it has no additional liquid. Most brands of butter are about 15 percent water (in the form of milk proteins and actual water), and when you simmer the butter and remove those liquids, you’re left with pure butterfat. To make clarified butter, all you need is unsalted butter, a saucepan, and five minutes. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then bring it to a boil. The water content of the butter will look foamy and rise to the surface then begin to evaporate. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the butter until the solids (tiny brown specks) sink to the bottom of the saucepan, about 5 minutes. Pour the liquid butter through a fine wire-mesh strainer, lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter, the discard the solids. Clarified butter has a long shelf life. If refrigerated, it will keep up to six months. So make a big batch and store it for the future. Use it to make scrambled eggs, cook just about anything in a skillet, or to add flavor to pasta, whole grains, or rice.

How to Make It

Melt 1 cup unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium-high; bring to a boil. (The water content of the butter will foam and begin to evaporate.) Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until solids sink to the bottom of the saucepan, 5 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter; discard solids.