Saturday, July 10, 2010

Making Ghee

Some time back when I wrote about ghee, a reader asked me to post pictures of making it and also of rendering tallow, when I did some again. This is the ghee portion.

I take a half-teaspoon of high-vitamin, fermented cod liver oil every morning. Last week it was time to re-order, and the damned stuff is expensive. After some digging around some websites, I found I could order just the fermented cod liver oil, make ghee from my own high-vitamin summer butter, and mix it myself, for substantially less money than I could order it already mixed in one bottle.

Happens I had some organic pastured summer butter in the freezer, and I just needed to cook it down to ghee so I could mix it with the fermented cod liver oil.

This is the wrapper from half a pound of the butter I used. It is generally called 'Summer Butter' and the early summer grass where the cows graze is much higher in Omega-3 and Vitamin A than the grass later in the year.

Half pound of butter in the pan. Turn on to low or barely medium low heat to begin the melting. Don't rush it.

The butter will begin to get a foamy skum on the surface. That's solids from the butter.

If you look closely, you will see bubbles around the edges of the foamy solids. That is water beginning to cook off.

As the quantity of water in the butter diminishes, the bubbles become smaller, and the solids cook and begin to drop to the bottom of the pan. It is important to keep the heat low enough so you don't scorch the butter oil.

I tried to stir this and take the photo at the same time... hard to do! But, at least you can get an idea of the browning layer of solids on the bottom of the pan.

I strained the butter oil through this skimmer into another pan, and dumped the solids back into the first pan so you could see how much there was. The skimmer didn't get all of it, though.

I secured a piece of fine cheesecloth with a rubber band over a pint jar (wasn't sure how much ghee I would have). It strained the remaining solids out nicely.

That half-pound of butter made just a tad under a full pint of ghee. If I had kept the liquid hot while I was straining and jarring it, it may have sealed as the jar cooled, although that is not necessary for keeping qualities. I didn't care anyway since I will be using it immediately.


  1. As always, a wonderful instructional post. I must say that I LOVE your blog! I'm in the start of eating Real Food and have been digging through loads of blogs with a lot of great information and a lot of great writers. Yours is in my top two of favorites! Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Thanks, Sher. I try to pass on what I learn or do; glad it helps someone. :)

    You'll feel so great on a Real Food diet!


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