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View Full Version : Clarifying butter: filter? Or decant?



SameGuy
08-28-2012, 07:31 PM
I've been clarifying butter lately, small amounts using a small (1-quart) stainless saucier. I'm not sure I'm doing it correctly, but the results seem to be pretty good. To make 8 ounces of clarified butter I start with 10 ounces (2½ sticks) of sweet butter, cut up into chunks. Melt on medium to medium-low heat (my Maytag-brand glass top range is rather slow), get it bubbling and skim the foam off the top. When the bubbling slows considerably -- but before the whey on the bottom starts browning -- remove from the heat and let sit for five minutes. Skim one last time. Now, this is where my question comes in: at this point, do you decant the butter fat off the whey? Or do you filter it through cheese cloth (or musline or étamine)?

shankster
08-28-2012, 07:58 PM
You can clarify butter in a microwave(I know,it's sacrilege).Use a Pyrex or microwave safe measuring cup w/a spout.1-2 mins,wait till it settles and slowly pour into a different container till you hit the whey.Then you can use a spoon or small laddle to scoop up the rest of the good stuff..

Pensacola Tiger
08-28-2012, 08:06 PM
I've always decanted. If you want to make it easier, use one of the gadgets for separating fat to remove the solids:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416s96Ks%2BwL._SY450_.jpg

daveb
08-28-2012, 08:55 PM
Another decanter. FWIW its my understanding that clarified butter has no shelf life issues. I do a couple sticks at a time in sauce pan in oven for the more gentle heat. Pour off and refrigerate in qt container. Remove as necc.

SameGuy
08-28-2012, 09:00 PM
I do a bit of both, carefully decanting through a couple layers of butter muslin (no idea how the "e" got on the end of "muslin" above). My result is translucent instead of the transparent fats I see online, but when I use the butter for frying it clears right up and doesn't burn.

shankster
08-28-2012, 09:04 PM
I've always decanted. If you want to make it easier, use one of the gadgets for separating fat to remove the solids:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416s96Ks%2BwL._SY450_.jpg

That gadget would be perfect for the microwave method!!

SameGuy
08-28-2012, 09:14 PM
Wouldn't that still mix the whey with the fat? In my (limited) experience the layer of whey would be up to right about the bottom of the spout... Tilt it to decant and the whey comes out, no?

Salty dog
08-28-2012, 09:35 PM
Skim top, refrigerate over night. Next day pop two holes in the solid butter, one to pour out the liquid by-products the other for air. (the stuff on the bottom stays liquid)

I recommend relatively large batches and refrigerate.

SameGuy
08-28-2012, 10:09 PM
Cool idea! Thanks.

Shinob1
08-28-2012, 10:11 PM
Skim top, refrigerate over night. Next day pop two holes in the solid butter, one to pour out the liquid by-products the other for air. (the stuff on the bottom stays liquid)

I recommend relatively large batches and refrigerate.

When you do this are you pouring out the water so you're left with nothing but the fat?

tkern
08-28-2012, 10:14 PM
You're pouring out the clari and leaving the solids

shankster
08-28-2012, 10:28 PM
Salty's method gets rid of the whey,which doesn't solidify(the fat does)
Decanting, you pour off the fats first leaving the crap in the bottom of the container.

SameGuy
08-28-2012, 10:28 PM
I think Shinob was asking about Salty's method; the whey remains "loose" after the fat congeals.

Namaxy
08-28-2012, 10:32 PM
Skim top, refrigerate over night. Next day pop two holes in the solid butter, one to pour out the liquid by-products the other for air. (the stuff on the bottom stays liquid)

I recommend relatively large batches and refrigerate.

This is how I do it.

ajhuff
08-28-2012, 10:36 PM
When you filter, isn't that making ghee? I know ghee and clarified butter are similar, but I did not think they were the same.

-AJ

SameGuy
08-28-2012, 10:38 PM
I thought ghee is similar to beurre noisette​ in that the heat is applied until the whey starts to cook and brown.

Shinob1
08-28-2012, 10:49 PM
I think Shinob was asking about Salty's method; the whey remains "loose" after the fat congeals.

I was, so what you're left with is the solid butterfat, because the water was evaporated into foam and the whey was poured out, right?

ajhuff
08-28-2012, 11:22 PM
I thought ghee is similar to beurre noisette​ in that the heat is applied until the whey starts to cook and brown.

Oh yeah, that's it! Thanks!

-AJ

Namaxy
08-28-2012, 11:29 PM
I was, so what you're left with is the solid butterfat, because the water was evaporated into foam and the whey was poured out, right?

Basically yes.

SameGuy
08-29-2012, 10:05 AM
I guess my way is just an extra step, I'm decanting the butter off the whey but through a muslin to trap any that may still be in suspension. One site I just visited suggested to wet the muslin first, or it will absorb too much of the fat. I hadn't thought of that.