electronic Gourmet Guide


Clarified Butter

Serving Size: 1
Preparation Time: 0:05



  • 1 lb butter—melted
  • 1 cup oil —Olive or Cottonseed


Melt butter in a plastic container and refrigerate covered.

When the yellow fat has solidified, pop it off and scrape any residue off the bottom. This yellow fat, 80% of the butter, is clarified butter. You can use it by itself, but it is improved by the addition of some oil.

Melt the clarified butter and add a cup of oil for each original lb of butter. Store in a covered container, as it picks up odors.

Olive oil is best for flavor. Cottonseed oil is best for high temperatures in sautéeing. At about 400 degrees F the yellow color in the clarified butter breaks down and the butter becomes clear. This is when it is best to add food to be sautéed.

Regular butter burns because of the milk solids in the whey of butter. You can add the whey that is not used in making clarified butter to white sauces.

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This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

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This page modified February 2007


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