What is Ghee?


What is Ghee?

What is clarified butter?


Ghee is actually pure butter fat. Butter consists of water, milk solids and milk fat (about 80% of butter is fat – it’s the same fat as in milk, but the fats are far more concentrated in butter). Removing everything but the fat, along with the specific process used to do this, gives Ghee some characteristics that make it desirable for cooking.

What is Ghee?

What is Ghee?

Ghee originated in ancient India and has been a long time staple of Indian cooking. Also used extensively in Southeast Asian cooking, it is now being recognized for its cooking qualities in the USA and appearing on grocery shelves everywhere. Ghee is also often called clarified butter, but it is cooked for a longer amount of time during the clarification process allowing it to caramelize. This caramelization gives Ghee an almost nutty flavor once the water evaporates and the milk solids are removed leaving only milk fats behind.

Basically, that means that ghee is pure milk fats. The taste is lighter than regular butter and, since it is pure fat, it won’t burn at high temperatures like butter does due to the milk solids. This makes it an ideal fat for cooking purposes.

Basically, that means that ghee is butter with the water removed and milk solids strained out. The taste is lighter than regular butter and, since it is pure fat, it won’t burn at high temperatures like butter does. This makes it ideal for cooking.

Ghee is shelf stable, meaning that it does not need to be refrigerated and can remain on the shelf in the jar that it was purchased. It should be stored in a cool dry place. Ghee will last longer than butter.

Ghee has a very high smoke point of about 480°F, meaning that it will not burn at high heats like butter does. This makes it a good choice for pan frying.

Commercial butter consists of about 80 to 82 percent milk fat, 16 to 17 percent water, and about 1 to 2 percent milk solids. This small percentage of milk solids are ingredients that are not fat and are sometimes referred to as the curd. Ghee, on the other hand, consists of 100 percent milk fat.

what is ghee

Ghee can provide a carmelized or slightly nutty flavor when used for pan frying. It has a taste similar to butter, but without that slight creamy texture and taste.

Ghee is included in the new generation of cooking oils. Also included in this category are:

  • Algae oil – this plant oil has 3 grams more of the good fat than EVOO (monounsaturated) and a fairly neutral flavor. Algae oil is good for drizzling on salads.
  • Chicken Schmaltz – chicken fat with a touch of rosemary. This has a richer, slightly meaty flavor that makes great roasted crispy potatoes and other vegetables.
  • What is Ghee?

    Additional Information

    We just stated that Ghee does not need refrigeration, now find out if butter does.

    Coconut oil also has a high smoke point, but also adds a coconut flavor. Find out how long it lasts on our coconut oil page.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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