Allow Me to Clarify: Butter

Alec was the Executive Chef at Del Frisco’s Steak House in Denver for more than a decade. If there was anyone who knew everything there was to know about steak, it was Alec, so I picked his brain daily. I asked him, “What makes the steaks at Del Frisco better then others? “ His answer, “Clarified butter.” I figured their ode to fame would be blue cheese, or a secret seasoning salt. Absolutely. The same stuff I dip crab legs in, is the same ingredient that makes all the difference at the famous steak house.

Clarified butter is the result of melting butter until the milk solids separate and float to the top. Simply skim the white milk solids off the top and strain the remaining butter.

There are several advantages to using clarified butter, health not being one. Contrary to popular belief, clarifying butter eliminates milk solids, not butterfat. One advantage however, is the smoke point (the temperature at which the butter starts to burn) increases considerably from 350 degrees Fahrenheit to 485 degrees Fahrenheit, making it possible to create a wonderful crust on proteins without burning your cooking fat. Another advantage to using clarified butter is the classic butter taste. You can easily substitute clarified butter in any recipe that calls for oil. The third advantage is the length of time you can refrigerate clarified butter before it goes rancid. Butter has a four month refrigerated life span, one year if you clarify the butter.