How to Make Ghee
Homemade ghee is delicious, easy to make and cheaper than what you can buy in the store. Watch the tutorial video to see for yourself!
Here’s my first video in my new place! I’m excited to finally shoot videos in an actual kitchen (rather than a basement studio), but will admit it’s gonna take me a while to get the lighting dialed in. There’s no natural light in my kitchen and standard overhead lights are a no-no for video, given that they produce an orange tone and unfriendly shadows. Sorta oompa loompa-ish.
So just when I had this video thing figured out, I get to start all over in my new place. Never a dull moment, right?
The good news though is I have have tons of delicious, homemade ghee to enjoy. I made two batches of ghee – a test batch and then the one you see on the video. Perhaps I’ll share some with my brother (who has dairy sensitivities) because he was so kind to let me borrow his suitcase on my trip to Chicago this week. Yep, golden ghee is my barter currency.
Watch the video to learn how to make ghee:
So let’s chat about how to make ghee. But first, here’s a few answer to questions you might have:
What is ghee?
Ghee is similar to clarified butter, where all the milk solids are removed, but it’s cooked just a tad bit longer. Those extra couple of minutes allow the milk solids on the bottom of the pan to begin to brown, which gives ghee a slightly different, more nutty flavor profile to clarified butter.
Is ghee dairy-free?
Sort of. I know that’s not a definitive response, but it depends on your level of sensitivity. And honestly, how well it’s been cooked. Yes, the milk solids are removed, but unless it’s been tested to be 100% casein free, I’d be remiss to claim it as dairy-free. Invariably some microscopic milk proteins may remain. Now, in saying that, most folks who are dairy sensitive (to lactose and casein) find they don’t have any problems with ghee. But it’s something you’ll have to try for yourself.
What are the benefits of ghee (read: why do I love it so much)?
If you’ve ever burned butter on the stove before, you know the frustration. And what you’ve actually done is burned the milk solids in butter. Ghee doesn’t have those, it’s just pure butterfat. This means it has a high smoke point (making it perfect for sautéing and frying) and is a stabilized cooking fat, similar to rendered bacon fat.
Ghee is also nutrient-dense and contains vitamins A, K2 and gut-healing butyric acid. The great thing about homemade ghee is that because you’re starting with high-quality ingredients, you get a high-quality end product.
What happens if you cook ghee too long?
Well, you’ll end up with brown butter. That just means those milk solids on the bottom became really caramelized and the butter starts to smell like toffee or butterscotch. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just different. The first time I made ghee I cooked it too long and thought I ruined it, but realized, “hmmm, this smells an awful lot like toffee.” Thankfully I didn’t toss it (I couldn’t bear to waste all that organic butter), so used it on veggies and cauliflower rice. Oh wow, it was delicious.
But today we’re aiming for that clear, golden liquid stage to create ghee. So here’s what you do. Start with the best ingredients possible by using unsalted, organic, grass-fed butter. Add about a pound to a small pot and cook on low heat. Once the butter is melted and it starts to simmer, you’ll notice the ghee separates into three layers.
Foam forms on the top and it’ll sputter a bit, which is the water evaporating. Skim that off with a spoon (you’ll have to do this several times). As the ghee continues to cook, that foam turns into clear bubbles and the middle layer becomes translucent. You should also start to see the milk solid sludge sticking to the bottom of the pot.
After 25-30 minutes, your ghee should be done. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a couple minutes, then strain it into a glass storage container. The ghee will become opaque and light yellow as it cools. You can store the ghee at room temperature in a cupboard (away from direct light) for a few months, though if you plan to keep it longer, it’s best to store in the refrigerator.
How to Make Ghee
- 1 lb organic, unsalted butter
- Slice the butter into cubes and place in a small pot on low heat.
- Melt the butter and bring to a simmer. After several minutes, foam will form on top and it may sputter a bit. Use a spoon to skim off the top foam. You'll need to repeat this a few times.
- Continue cooking the ghee on low for another 20-25 minutes, or until the middle layer is translucent and the smell is fragrant. You should also start to see some milk solids at the bottom of the pan.
- When the ghee is done, turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then strain the ghee through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or coffee filter into a glass storage container.
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