Here's How To Clarify Butter In The Microwave

Butter is something of a kitchen staple for many, but there's a better way to use it, and that is by clarifying it. Unsalted butter is made of three things — water, milk solids, and butterfats. Clarified butter, which is typically butter slowly cooked on the stovetop, is butter without water and milk solids, which means all that is left are the butterfats. Clarified butter can be used at higher temperatures without burning, which means it can be used for cooking when regular ol' butter won't work because of its low smoke point (via Land O Lakes).

There are tons of uses for clarified butter. This type of butter is similar to ghee, which is often used in Indian cooking. Clarified butter can be used to brush naan before grilling, in curries, on top of moon milk, or on seafood dishes like shrimp scampi or lobster rolls (via Bon Appetit). Consider using unsalted butter when making clarified butter to use with dishes because it allows you to control how much you salt your food.

How to clarify butter quickly

Clarified butter is traditionally made slowly on the stovetop by cooking the butter and skimming the solids off the top. There is, however, a faster way to make this delicious condiment and cooking fat in the microwave (via Food52). No matter the size or power of your microwave, though, you will need to keep a close eye to avoid burning it, so don't be tempted to walk away during this process.

Start by cutting butter into smaller chunks (no bigger than 1 tablespoon each) to avoid splatter. Add the diced butter into a heatproof measuring cup or another tall container. The butter will rise as it melts, so there should be enough space for it to grow. Microwave the butter and watch it as it rises to the top. Before the butter reaches the lip or edge of the container though, stop the microwave. You should see three layers in the butter. If not after the first attempt, then definitely after the second. 

The first layer is solids that should be scraped away. The middle layer is the clarified butter, which can be poured off into a dish. The last layer is water that has settled at the bottom and can be discarded. Give it a try and make good use of clarified butter in your next meal.