What is clarified butter?

Clarified butter, also called "drawn butter", is unsalted butter that has been slowly melted to evaporate most of the water and let the milk solids sink to the bottom of the pan. The result is a clear golden butter that's great for sautéing because it has a higher smoke point than solid butter. You'll often see fresh lobster and other seafood served with drawn butter.

To make clarified butter, melt unsalted butter in a skillet over low heat and skim the foam from the surface. Heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the white milk solids sink to the bottom of the pan. Let the butter cool slightly, the strain and discard the milk solids.

You can keep clarified butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Watch our video on How to Clarify Butter for step-by-step instructions.

Marge Perry

May 2011