What Is Clarified Butter? Durability And Alternatives

Clarified butter is ideal for roasting, baking, and deep-frying. Everything you need to know about its properties, durability, and possible alternatives can be found here.

What is clarified butter?

Butterfat – also known as boiled, clarified, or refined butter – is the fat contained and extracted from milk.

It contains only 0.1% water, no lactose (milk sugar), and about 0.1% milk protein. It is fat of animal origin.

  1. consists of 99.8% fat
  2. contains cholesterol and mostly saturated fatty acids
  3. easy to digest like butter
  4. more calories (898 kcal/100g) than butter (717 kcal/100g)
  5. includes all flavors of butter
  6. pure clarified butter contains vitamin A
  7. enables the organism to absorb the essential, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K from food
  8. can be heated up to 205°C without burning.
  9. does not splatter when roasting and deep-frying


Butterfat is ideal

  • for the production of juicy roasts and pan-fried dishes
  • as a butter substitute for people with lactose intolerance and milk protein allergy
  • for the production of lard baked goods with a fine butter taste
  • for refining sauces, steamed vegetables, biscuits, and cakes


Since clarified butter contains neither water nor protein, it is not an ideal breeding ground for germs. If it is filled into sterile containers and these are closed with a lid, then pure butterfat can be stored at room temperature for 2 to 9 months, and even up to 15 months if refrigerated. Light and air do not affect the appearance and/or consistency of clarified butter. However, it quickly takes on the aromas of the environment, which can lead to changes in taste.


  • ghee

Ghee is mainly used in:

Indian and Pakistani cuisine
Ayurvedic medicine

When making this type of butterfat, the protein particles are caramelized more intensely, which also gives the fat a nutty flavor.

You can also make a vegan version of Asian butterfat yourself from oil with the aromas of guava and curry tree leaves (not to be confused with the curry spice mixture) and turmeric.

  • oil

Oils are a vegan alternative to butterfat. They can also be heated up to 200°C. But you should use more refined oils for this; because when native oils are heated, the flavors and vitamins contained in the plants are lost.

  • margarine

Vegetable margarine is also suitable as a vegan substitute for roasting, baking, and cooking. You can’t fry with it. However, it is ideally suited as a spreadable fat. Vegetable margarine contains no cholesterol but polyunsaturated fatty acids. Vegetable margarine, however, lacks the delicate taste of butter.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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