How to Make Clarified Butter to Complete Your Seafood Dinner

Learn how to clarify butter at home so you can use it for dipping lobster tails and sautéing at high temperatures.

So you're making a fancy dinner of lobster or crab legs. Serving that succulent seafood with clarified butter for dipping is a must. In case you didn't know, the cups of liquid gold that come with your seafood dinner at restaurants aren't made of just plain melted butter. That's right, clarified butter is different and we're here to teach you how to make clarified butter at home. We'll also help clear up any confusion about the difference between clarified butter and ghee, and share some of our best butter recipes. Get ready for this lobster dinner essential to hit your table.

Clarified butter
Kritsada Panichgul

How to Clarify Butter

Clarified butter is butter that has been melted and the milk solids removed. The remaining butter fat is clear when melted, making it attractive for serving with lobster and crab. Because the solids are removed, it can also be used for sautéeing at higher temperatures than butter. Here's how to make clarified butter:

Melt butter over very low heat in a heavy saucepan ($20, Target) without stirring. Cool slightly, then strain through a sieve lined with 100%-cotton cheesecloth into a glass measuring cup. Pour off the clear top layer and discard the milky bottom layer. Enjoy immediately or chill for up to 1 month in the refrigerator and remelt in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave 30 to 45 seconds.

Lobster Tails with Chive Butter
Jacob Fox

Clarified Butter vs. Ghee

What's the difference between clarified butter and ghee? Ghee is a type of clarified butter that has been cooked a bit longer, and its origins can be traced to the Indian subcontinent. It's commonly used in Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, but you can sometimes substitute clarified butter for recipes that call for ghee. The process for making ghee is very similar to making clarified butter, and sometimes spices are added to ghee for flavor.

You can't serve lobster tails without clarified butter, but there are a few other tricks you can do with butter. Try these recipes with clarified butter, or try one of our flavored or compound butter recipes for a new twist.

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