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How To Clarify Butter In The Microwave? 9 Easy Steps!

Clarifying butter in the microwave is very easy to do if you need a quick solution for your seafood dishes, sauces, or dips. I can’t tell you how many times the microwave has saved me when I need to do things in just a matter of minutes.

Butter is the easiest thing to melt in the microwave and in all honesty, It saves me a lot of time, especially because I always forget to melt some butter just at the time I need it the most. 

So, I hope that this helps, and without further ado, let’s me explain how to clarify butter in the microwave. 

To clarify butter in the microwave, cut 100 grams of butter or a cup of butter into smaller chunks, transfer them into a microwave-safe dish, preferably a taller, heatproof jar or a measuring cup, and microwave on high heat for 1-2 minutes.

Keep an eye on the butter as it can quickly melt and rise to the top of the jar/measuring cup. After 2 minutes, the butter should be completely melted with yellowish foam on the top; if it’s still not melted, pop it back in the microwave at 30-second intervals until the butter is completely melted through.
Remove the butter from the microwave and let it sit for several minutes. After that, slightly tilt the jar/measuring cup and discard the yellow foam on top of your clarified butter with a spoon or a ladle.
Use a cheesecloth or a mesh strainer to separate the melted butter from the watery substance you’ll find on the bottom of the jar. Store your clarified jar in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months or 3 months at room temperature. To find out more details about how to clarify butter in the microwave, keep on reading the entire article.

How To Clarify Butter In The Microwave? Here Are The Steps You Need To Know!

How To Clarify Butter In The Microwave Here Are The Steps You Need To Know!

Before we talk about these steps, I would like to explain what exactly is the process of clarifying butter, and what is it used for. 

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What Is Clarified Butter?

What Is Clarified Butter

Regular butter consists of three essential ingredients; milk solids(the top layer), butterfat(middle layer), and water(bottom layer). Clarified butter consists of only one thing and that is the butterfat.

So, when clarifying a stick of butter, you basically want to remove or extract the water and leftover milk solids and only leave the butterfat. Why is this you ask?

Well, if you cook on regular basis you know that butter doesn’t have a high-temperature tolerance and tends to burn easily because of the milk solids content.

Since clarified butter, also known as liquid gold in the culinary world, only consists of butterfat, it has a higher smoke point of 450 degrees F than regular butter can only take 350 degrees F, meaning that you can use it as a cooking oil. Clarified butter also has a slightly longer shelf life than regular butter. 

This golden oil is often used in stir-frys for your rice, in Indian cooking, and it is legendary in seafood dishes like lobster, shrimp, or crab. If you don’t feel like making your own clarified butter, you can find it in the more equipped stores or simply just order it online. 

You can also use it to pop some butter-flavored popcorn and basically add it to anything that needs a little buttery taste. I recommend using unsalted butter but you can totally use the salted version if you wish to. 

When clarifying butter on the stove, do not melt your butter at high heat. Start with melting the butter on your lowest setting and when the butter starts to melt, gradually take it up a notch. 

It is important NOT to stir the butter when you’re clarifying it as you can easily mix all the milk solids and water together.

Your butter needs to have layers so you can extract them properly and get the perfect clarified product. Also, do not leave the butter for more time than it needs to completely melt as it can burn or brown very easily. 

[Related Article: 7 Substitute For Unsalted Butter That You Must Learn Today!]

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Tips For Clarifying Butter In The Microwave

Tips For Clarifying Butter In The Microwave

  • I recommend using unsalted butter when doing this microwave method. 
  • You’re going to need 2 sticks of butter or a cup of it. 
  • Cut the butter into smaller chunks so it melts faster and evenly. 
  • Transfer the butter pieces into a tall, microwave-safe bowl or a microwave-safe measuring cup/jar
  • Set the cooking temperature to the highest setting and microwave the butter for 1-2 minutes. 
  • When the butter has fully melted, take it out of the microwave and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of minutes. 
  • Using a ladle or a spoon, scrape off the yellow foam aka the milk solid that’s formed on top of the melted butter. 
  • Separate the water content from the clarified butter using a cheesecloth-lined strainer.
  • Transfer your golden liquid to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge or a dark shelf.
  • Use it for cooking your favorite seafood recipes, stir-frys, roasted veggies, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

What Temperature Does Butter Clarify At

When you’re clarifying butter in the microwave, use the highest possible temperature. If you’re clarifying it on the stove, then start with a medium temperature and melt the butter until it simmers and reaches 260 degrees F. 

What Is The Purpose Of Clarifying Butter

Chefs usually use clarified butter for the purpose of cooking on high heat. Clarified butter contains only butterfat, making it heat resistant. 

Can You Use Coffee Filter Instead Of Cheesecloth

Yes. A great hack for when you don’t have a cheesecloth at home is to use a coffee filter instead. Line a mesh strainer with a layer of the coffee filter, and after you can throw it in the garbage so you don’t need to make a mess in your kitchen. 

Clarified Butter Vs Ghee

Clarified butter is only the butterfat that’s left from the whole butter. It doesn’t contain any moisture like milk solids or water. Ghee on the other hand is actually clarified butter that has been so to say, overcooked and it is browned(caramelized). Ghee has a caramel, nutty flavor, and longer shelf life.