Ghee (similar to clarified butter) is simply butter that has been heated to remove the milk solids, sugars and water leaving a clear, yellow liquid which is pure butterfat. The smoke point of butter is 350°F, but when you remove the milk solids to make ghee, the smoke point increases significantly…to 450°F or higher! Because ghee has a higher smoke point than most other Paleo-friendly fats, it’s a versatile cooking fat that’s great for high-temp cooking like sautées, roasts, and stir-frys.
It’s really easy to render ghee from butter, and it’s a lot cheaper than buying it at the store. Many people who do not tolerate dairy, do fine eating ghee because the allergenic components of dairy are removed in the process of making ghee. However, when you’re rendering your own ghee, there’s a chance that some milk solids will remain in the final product, so use your discretion. Traditional ghee uses unsalted butter, but I’ve found that it works just as well with salted butter. I do recommend using grass-fed butter to make your ghee, which is a great source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). You can also make ghee in a Dutch oven, but I’ve never been that fancy…I just use whatever pot I can find that’s clean in my kitchen and it’s always worked out fine! Heavy-bottomed pans are best however, to prevent the ghee from burning.
Get started right now with our FREE Paleo Starter Kit:
Inside, you’ll discover...
- 25 Delicious Paleo “Starter” Recipes
- Our complete “Paleo Food Swaps” guide
- A complete starter shopping list
- Tons more free resources
Easy Paleo Ghee (Clarified Butter) Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
- 2 cup(s) butter, unsalted grass-fed (2 cups=1lb)
- 1 large glass jar(s)
- 1 package(s) cheese cloth
- 1 medium strainer(s) fine mesh
- 1 medium spoon(s) slotted, to remove foam
- Assemble the following supplies: medium sized saucepan (or a skillet with high sides), cheese cloth, fine mesh strainer, slotted spoon, clean glass storage container (I recommend small mason jars). If you don’t have a strainer, just use 3 layers of cheesecloth. If you don’t have cheesecloth, paper towels work in a pinch.
- Cut the butter into smaller cubes. Put them in the saucepan over low heat and let the butter melt slowly. (You can also just throw the entire stick(s) of butter into the pan without them cutting up first.)
- Keep the temperature on low the entire time. Do not stir the butter during the melting process. Just let it do it’s thing for the next 10-15 minutes or so (time will vary depending on how hot your stove is). The butter will go through several stages:
- 1) Once the butter melts, the clear golden butterfat will separate from the milk solids.
- 2) Once the water starts to cook off, you’ll see bubbling. Keep letting it simmer.
- 3) Around 8-10 minutes (after the bubbling starts), the bubbles will get smaller and the surface will start to look like foam. At this point you might see some of the milk solids start to turn brown in color, clump together, and fall to the bottom of the pan. At this point, remove the pan from the heat source.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the foam that formed on top, but do not stir the ghee.
- Line the mesh strainer with cheesecloth.
- Immediately strain the butter through the cheesecloth into your glass storage container. You now have ghee!
- Once the ghee cools it will solidify and turn slightly translucent. Store your ghee in an airtight container in the fridge, although it is likely fine to sit on the counter at room temperature.
- Note: If the butter turns brown or black during the cooking process, I’m sorry...you burned it! I recommend pitching this into the garbage and trying again. Burned fats are oxidized and contain free radicals that may harm your health.