Clarified butter is the butter that is leftover after you have strained the milk proteins from the original stick. Why would you ever do this? Well, the most popular reason for clarifying butter is to increase its smoke point, meaning that it can be used at higher temperatures without burning. Usually you can only achieve this with light oils such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Good examples of foods that benefit from cooking in clarified butter are eggs and potatoes. It is also preferred for making butter sauces like bearnaise and hollandaise, as well as for making roux, not to mention, it lasts forever in the fridge. The main reason I started to use it is because its one of the recommended fats in the whole30 cleanse.
Now, I’ve encountered a lot of people who have started the whole30 or bulletproof diet, who have attempted to make clarified butter and either: burned themselves, started a fire, or just ended up with browned butter… This is because all of my friends used the stove-top, frying pan method. My method is a little more tedious, but requires less skill for the same result. The first time I tried it, I ended up with perfect clarified butter!
I use the water bath method. You need 2 pots, a bigger one, and another to fit inside it. Fill the big pot with water, but make sure you can fit the smaller pot inside of it, with out the water spilling out or boiling over. Place the bigger pot with only water inside, on the stove and bring to a boil. Place 1 pound of butter (4 sticks) into the smaller pot. Bring the big pot down to a simmer, and carefully place the smaller pot into the bigger pot. As the butter melts, white foam will form at the top, while the clarified butter remains underneath. Skim the white foam off of the top of the butter periodically. This whole process takes at least 30 minutes. The skimming of the milk proteins is very tedious, but so worth it! Once you have only golden, melted butter in your pot, store in an air tight container in the fridge.
Easy and safe!