If you cook - sauté or fry - in butter, most recipes you encounter are going to call for clarified butter. So here’s a quick primer on what it is and how to make it.
Clarified or ‘drawn’ butter is unsalted butter that has had its proteins and milk solids removed, a process that is achieved by melting it over low heat, allowing it to separate, then skimming off the proteins from the top and leaving the solids in the bottom. The golden liquid that remains - the pure butter fat - is the liquid with which you will cook.
Clarifying butter has a couple of advantages. For one, without the milk solids, the pure butter fat has a much higher smoke point, which means it won’t burn nearly as easily when you’re sautéing, say, fish or steaks, which you would want to cook at high temperatures.
Another bonus of clarifying butter is that it doesn’t spoil as quickly as butter that contains milk solids. Clarified butter may be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.