Homemade Clarified Butter (or Ghee)

Ghee, a type of clarified butter, has been used for thousands of years in Indian cooking and in Ayurveda medicine. Clarified butter and ghee are essentially the same, although traditional ghee adheres to specific qualities of the milk, and ghee is generally cooked longer to caramelize the milk solids.

Clarified butter, like all fats, should be eaten in moderation. While excessive amounts of ghee (and all foods high in saturated fats) can be dangerous for the heart, studies have shown that small amounts of ghee (up to 10 percent of total calories) can actually decrease total levels of cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These benefits remain even when ghee is heated to high temperatures.

Clarified butter is an excellent fat for high-heat cooking, because the smoke point is about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. For more benefits and uses for ghee, see here and here.

I’ve started to use homemade clarified butter more and more in my cooking, and I’d like to share my process with you. Trust me when I say the first two times I attempted making clarified butter were disastrous, but now I have a few tips to share with you.

Lesson #1: Get a cheese cloth.

The first time I attempted clarified butter we didn’t have a cheese cloth, so I tried using a slightly thicker fabric. This was a mistake. There must have been some kind of coating on the fabric that made most of the ghee just sit on top. The very little bit of ghee that did go through ended up turning bad because of contamination from the fabric.

Lesson #2: Be patient. Make sure all the milk solids have separated.

The second time I was so worried about burning the ghee that I didn’t cook it long enough to separate all the milk solids. The result got moldy after a few days.

Now that I’ve moved past my mistakes and have been able to enjoy homemade clarified butter, I look forward to the ritual every month or so.

What you need:

  • One pound organic, grass-fed, unsalted butter
  • A heavy bottomed, stainless steel sauce pan
  • A metal spoon
  • A small strainer
  • Cheese cloth
  • A dry, clean glass jar
  1. Put the butter in the sauce pan over medium heat and stir periodically with the metal spoon. When the butter has melted and comes to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low or low depending on your stove. You want the liquid to continue to simmer with small bubbles.
  2. From the milk solids a foam will develop on top and will eventually sink to the bottom. Continue to stir every few minutes until all the foam has gone to the bottom and there is golden ghee on top. This should take about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit for an additional 15 minutes.
  3. Place a piece of cheese cloth (folded a few times) over a small strainer set it over the glass jar. Then gently pour the ghee through the cheese cloth and strainer into the jar. Make sure none of the milk solids make it into the jar. Cover the jar and let it cool overnight.
  4. Ghee can be stored at room temperature for a month or two and for 2 to 4 months in the refrigerator without going bad. Enjoy!

Share your ghee making experience below!

Recipes with Ghee:
Cauliflower Curry With Spinach & Ginger
Ready in 20: Protein-Packed Dal Soup
Indian Comfort Food: Dal & Rice


Vincent T
Past Member 8 months ago


Danuta W
Danuta W8 months ago

thank you for posting

Rosslyn O.
Rosslyn O2 years ago

Thanks for this, something I'll have to try

Veronica Danie
.2 years ago


Edith B.
Edith B2 years ago

thanks for the recipe

Sen Heijkamp
Sayenne H2 years ago

Thank you :)

Mona M.
Mona M2 years ago

Thank you, but so cheap and organic here in India that we do not need to use time to make ghee.

Elaine W.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thanks for recipe and health warnings and concerns.

Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!