Clarified butter is butter that’s been purified or literally made clear (hence the name of this website). Butter is made up of fat, water and milk. When the water and milk are removed, you have clarified butter. Clarified butter is bright yellow in color and completely clear. It’s used for cooking but is probably best known as drawn butter served with lobster.
To make clarified butter melt unsalted butter over low heat without boiling it. As the butter melts, the milk solids create a foam on the surface and the water falls to the bottom of the pan. Once the foam is skimmed from the surface, the pure butterfat, or clarified butter, is poured out of the pan, leaving the water solids at the bottom.
Because the impurities have been removed, clarified butter has a higher smoke point so it won’t burn or brown as quickly and it lasts longer.