Ghee (Clarified Butter)

A jar of hot ghee

A jar of hot ghee

Ghee is something we’d enjoyed in Indian food before starting the GAPS diet, but which I’d never bothered to make for use at home. In the past couple years, though, it has become a staple! Ghee is a saturated fat. That means it’s solid at room temperature. It also has a higher smoke point that butter, and doesn’t have solids to scorch. We use it for sauteing, basting chickens, adding to soups, making desserts, and more!

Butter melting

Butter melting

Ghee is also known as clarified butter. Basically, it’s butter without the water, lactose, casein, or other milk solids. In other words, just the pure fat! Many people who have a hard time with other dairy products are able to eat ghee. If you have had allergic or other bad reactions to dairy products, I do not recommend trying ghee without the guidance of your health care practitioner!

Ghee (Clarified Butter)

The ghee starts to form under the foam

The ghee starts to form under the foam

Makes a bit less than 4 1/2 Pints

  1. Start with the best unsalted butter you can find. Right now, for us that is Larsen’s Creamery Mother’s Choice Organic Butter.
  2. Put 4 lbs of butter in a heavy stainless steel saucepan and turn on medium-low heat. You can make less at a time in a smaller pot, but this amount helps prevents scorching and gives you a good amount to have on hand. Ghee keeps at room temperature for 2 months or longer!
  3. Simmer the butter, occasionally stirring gently. It will begin to make a foam on top.
  4. The skimmed butter is simmering

    The skimmed butter is simmering

    When parting the foam shows a clear golden liquid underneath, you can skim it off. I like to see what’s going on so I skim it. Lots of people just leave it.
  5. Turn the heat down if necessary. The butter will boil gently and make a crackling sound.
  6. When the crackling stops and new foam stops forming, the ghee should be a golden, clear color. It will also be mildly fragrant. That means it’s almost done!
  7. Set up cheesecloth or coffee filters in a sieve and pour the ghee through it into a bowl. The filter will catch the foam and the milk solids.
  8. Filtering ghee through coffee filters in a sieve

    Filtering ghee through coffee filters in a sieve

    Pour the ghee into jars. It will be clear and golden. If it’s not clear and golden, return it to the pan and simmer it a bit longer, then filter it again.
  9. Allow it to cool. The ghee will be solid when it is cool. You can store it on the counter or in the refrigerator.



4 lbs butter made 3 1/2 pints

4 lbs butter made 3 1/2 pints

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Healthy 2Day Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Make Your Own Monday, Fat Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Blog Hop, Made From Scratch Monday, Pennywise Platter, Full Plate Thursday.

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14 comments to Ghee (Clarified Butter)

  • This is a great idea. I have a hard time finding ghee in my area but I can get wonderful grassfed organic butter. Thanks for the post!

  • Yummy, yummy ghee for my tummy :) :) I need to make another batch. I bought more butter just for that purpose, too!!! Love and hugs from the ocean shores of CAlifornia, Heather :)

  • Unfortunately, this is a ‘no-no’ on Michaela’s diet, but I do find the recipe interesting. I didn’t realize that you could make this at home and it doesn’t sound too difficult. When I first heard of Ghee, I had searched in our local health food stores, and it wasn’t an easy item to find. I had thought that my daughter would be able to have this, but soon found out she couldn’t. I have many Indian friends around me…I wonder if they realize they can make it at home? Hmmmm…will have to mention this to them :) Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Joy

    Yeah, even though it’s clarified, that doesn’t mean everyone with dairy issues will be able to have it.

    I’d be surprised if some of your Indian friends aren’t already making ghee. That’s how I first encountered it and I had no idea it was something that you could even get in the store!

  • I have heard of ghee but never cooked with it, and I had no idea you could make it yourself. We like Indian food, so this will help me to make my recipes even more authentic. Thank you for sharing this really interesting post!

  • I just made ghee for the second time yesterday! I was brave enough this time (wasn’t the last time, lol) to try it with my son, who has a dairy allergy. He was able to handle a very small amount, so I gave him a little more, and then he got a few hives. I wondered if maybe I didn’t simmer it for quite long enough.

    • Joy

      Hi Anne,
      I don’t think you’ll ever be able to completely get the proteins out of the ghee. Even if you did, it wouldn’t be easy to tell before your son ate it. I’d consult your health care practitioner before deciding whether to try it again.
      Joy

  • Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  • Great information, thanks for the post! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Kathy Ellenberger

    May I print it? Do you have it in printer-friendly form?

    Thanks, Kathy

    • Joy

      Yes, go right ahead and print it. Then let me know how your ghee-making goes :)
      We don’t have a printer-friendly set up but I have been able to print blog entries from our website without the sidebars by choosing print from my browser and setting it up as landscape. You can also copy and paste what you want out of the web page.

  • fran kie

    i just made Ghee and boiled it for 40 minutes. Strained lots of ghunk out but the ghee is still not clear. Now this was the cheapest most rubbish butter on hand. It had stopped sending up big bubbles but sediment was not burning. I guess back for another boil will not do any harm?

  • […] Ghee is quite expensive and hard to find in stores. But it, too, is easy to make at home. […]

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