• Homemade Ghee

    Homemade Ghee | stupideasypaleo.comButter is right up there with bacon on the list of foods that pretty much everyone loves. Am I right? Thought so. The only bummer is that butter contains milk proteins which means it’s off limits to anyone doing a Whole30 or trying to cut out dairy in general. If only you could have the flavor of butter but without the icky proteins…

    It just so happens that ghee (basically clarified butter) can give you just what you desire. Unfortunately, 1) it can be hard to find in some stores and 2) it’s usually pretty expensive. Luckily, all you really need to make your own ghee is butter and patience.

    The concept is simple: allow the butter to slowly heat so the water is forced out and the milk proteins solidify on the bottom of the pan. Strain it, and all you’re left with is delicious butterfat. It’s very stable at room temperature, has a higher smoke point than butter and is especially tasty when combined with coconut oil.

    Homemade Ghee
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 1 pound of ghee
    • 1 pound (500 grams) of grass-fed butter, salted or unsalted is your preference
    • Cheesecloth
    1. Place the butter into a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat.
    2. Cook the butter on very low heat – resist the urge to crank up the flame. The butter will bubble and foam and make weird noises as the water is being vaporized. Do not remove the foam.
    3. After the butter foams up, it will likely dissipate a bit and then foam up again. The color of the butter-ghee will start to become golden, and crusty-looking milk solids will coagulate in the bottom of the skillet.
    4. The bubbles will start to dissipate and when the butter is golden in color, remove the skillet from the heat. Keep an eye on the pan because it can go from perfect to burned in a blink.
    5. Line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth and pour the butter through and into a glass jar (I like mason jars) allowing the milk proteins to be separated out.
    6. Allow to cool before covering. Ghee can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

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    Steph Gaudreau is a certified holistic nutrition practitioner, weightlifting and mindset coach, and the author of the best-selling Performance Paleo Cookbook. Her recipes and expert advice have been featured in SELF, Outside Magazine, Elle, and Greatist. Steph loves barbells, cats, and anything Lord of the Rings. She lives in San Diego, CA.

    36 thoughts on “Homemade Ghee

    1. Are Mason jars all made with tempered glass? Pouring anything that hot into regular glass spells trouble, ask me how I know.

      1. Hi Danielle! I use canning jars which are meant to be boiled during the canning process. Very good point. Not all glass jars would be a good idea to use.

    2. Okay, So I made my ghee and the first 2 times I made it, it was brown like the above photo (to me that was very burnt)….the ghee i have bought in the past is a pale yellow, so does it alter the flavor when its brown like that? because truthfully I threw mine out when it turned that color. Also, how is store/online ghee smooth and homemade is a little griddy? Sorry for the questions and everything, I just got very frustrated while making mine. The 4th try i did very well, but still slightly gritty. I used grassfed butter unsalted sweet cream

      1. Basically, you want it to cook long enough to remove the milk solids (which form at the bottom). Admittedly, my camera/lighting was poor in this sequence thought it wasn’t bright yellow. Mitul from OMghee is a friend of mine so I’m going to ask him a few questions about how their ghee stays so light in color. Did you strain yours out at the end? I found that the cheesecloth, depending on type, can be a bit porous so doubling it up or using a fine mesh strainer was necessary.

      2. Hi the ghee pictured above is too brown, it looks burnt, which some people prefer. You should go for a great golden color. Once hte butter boils, leave it to boil until the white thick foam turns into a much thinner foam. The trick is to let the mild solids carmelize, and not burn, and skim the top layer off of the pot. That white foam is oily, and while it will come out when filtering, its makes it easier to remove right away.

        For the gritty, thats a good thing. I really love the smooth texture, but that means the temp was off during the process, and the grittys are full of antioxidants! So good job. Remember really golden (grass fed organic unsalted butter) and gritty are good!

    3. I’m doing the Whole30 (1st week) and I wanted to make my own ghee so I went and bought some butter. It is “okay” to use regular butter that’s not grass-fed? I didn’t realize the recipe calls for it when I bought it. Can I use it anyways or is it imperative that I use grass-fed? It’s GayLea brand, if that matters 🙂

    4. the first time was wonderful, pale yellow and yummy. i was overconfident, went to a farm, bought 3 Lbs and used a large iron skillet[ I used a small one originally] It turned out brown when melted than cooled to an
      odd grey color. is it alright to use. cost me about $30.

    5. In my area grass fed butter is just as expensive pretty much as ghee I bought online. So to me it’s not a huge savings. It’s just very costly to use when cooking sauces or baking at 4tbsp a whack. So I found a brand called Organic Valley “organic sweet cream butter with no antibiotics hormones or pesticides”. Does that sound like a decent brand or load of BS? I mostly sauté with cold pressed olive oil from whole foods 365 brand.

      1. I’ve seen the Organic Valley brand in my local store, and I notice it’s not as deep yellow as a butter such as Kerrygold which comes from cows fed a majority grass diet. They do have a “pasture butter” which is sold in a green wrapper…that one is advertised to be from grass-fed cows, so I would opt for that one if it’s available.

      1. Several months as long as you keep it free from moisture and / or contamination. When in doubt, store it in the fridge.

    6. I make my glee in the oven, it takes a few hours but never burns. Just place in a glass pan, grass fed butter and let melt and cook over lowest temp your oven will go. Mine goes to 170 degrees and leave it until it devides into 3 levels. Bottom will be a white milk looking product, middle will be the golden colored glee and top will be a crusty clear product. I take the top off with a spatula and then pour off the glee being careful not to mix in the milk solids at the bottom. You could increase the heat to brown this up some but I prefer it unbrowned.

    7. I’m sorry to hash up an old topic but I have a question. Have you heard of anyone having issues using Ghee? On the few occasions I have used a store bought bottle of Ghee (easily found at Asian Supermarkets like Ranch 99 or Zion btw) shortly thereafter I would get stomach pains and/or a bit queasy. Any ideas why this is happening?

      1. I’m not sure what the quality of those would be…do you remember the brand? Do you have any sensitivity to dairy proteins? Sometimes traces can remain in ghee and trigger reactions in folks but in my experience, it’s not super common.

        1. Diya Pure Desi Ghee (100% Clarified Butter so says the label). I’m thinking now I may have used too much which caused that queasy sensation one gets when you eat too many greasy foods.

    8. Hello! I just saw your newest batch on IG, you made it in your crockpot. Does the timing differ from doing it on a stove top?

    9. Just made my first batch and was way too careful, so the butter melted and just sat there…had to increase the temp to get it to bubble and the water to evaporate.
      I was unsure how much to heat it and how long to keep going, tho. If it starts to smell like toffee, is that a sign that it’s (almost) done or that it’s just getting started?

      Was also curious what’s the reason for not removing the foam, because I’ve seen recipes that advice the opposite.

      1. If you want to skim the foam, you can. Every stove is different, so it’s hard to say exactly, but mine was on the low side of medium-low. Once it really stops bubbling, it doesn’t take long.

    10. Hi just wondering as I am lactose intolerant would lactose free margarine do the same thing? I’m yet to find a lactose free butter.
      If not would using lactose free margarine be ok as a substitute if the recipe calls for ghee?
      Sorry if that’s a dumb question

      1. Hi Chantal,

        That’s not a dumb question at all. Ghee has had the troubling dairy solids removed so it tends to be ok for people who have issues with dairy. But of course that’s not a 100% and ultimately you’d have to see how you feel. Margarines are filled with unhealthy oil blends; I’m not a fan. If you’re looking for good fats then coconut and avocado oil may be the way to go for you. 🙂

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