This Instant Pot ghee is clarified butter taken to the next level with a nutty flavor. All the guesswork is taken out with the convenience of an Instant Pot.
We're planning on starting a round of Whole30 in just a few weeks. And in doing some research and planning for the VERY restrictive menu, I came to the conclusion that making my own ghee was an absolute necessity - mainly because store-bought ghee is ridiculously expensive. But when I realized that ghee can be used just like other oils that can be heated to higher temperatures than butter, I was really curious why that was. So I did a TON of research. And this Instant Pot ghee recipe is the result of all that knowledge.
Currently, my favorite thing to cook with ghee is pan-fried eggs! You know how, when using butter, the eggs can seem to burn rather quickly? Well, I learned that's because it's the milk solids that are burning, not the eggs themselves. So now, after making ghee (which removes the solids), I can have perfect eggs with crispy edges that are not burned. I know, it seems silly... but it really made me happy!
There's a difference between ghee and clarified butter?
(Yes! So please stop saying it's the same thing!)
Let's first talk about the different parts of butter. Butter has four parts: milk fat, water, protein, and milk solids (which include lactose). When heated, the water and solids sink to the bottom, the protein floats to the top, and the fat remains in the middle. That is the good stuff! That is what we want to get from this purification process.
When making clarified butter, you heat the butter until the four parts separate. Then you skim the proteins on top and discard. The next layer is what you want. You can either ladle out the middle layer of butter fat or pour it off, making sure to leave behind all the solids at the bottom. This is the type of butter you might get when you order crab legs.
For ghee, you basically just take clarified butter to the next level. You boil the butter until two things happen: the water evaporates and the milk solids caramelize. By caramelizing the milk solids, the butter fat layer takes on a nutty flavor that has WAY more flavor than clarified butter. So while this Instant Pot ghee is a type of clarified butter, it kinda bothers me when people label it that way because it is SO MUCH MORE.
And this is the AMAZING Result…
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Instant Pot Ghee
- 32 oz. unsalted butter high quality
- Place butter in pot and turn on “keep warm” setting. Gently stir butter while it melts completely. With refrigerator cold butter, it will take about 10 minutes.
- Once butter is melted completely, switch to sauté setting (normal level). After butter begins to boil, stir well every minute or two.
- When stirring, you want to be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so that all the milk solids that settle will cook even. You will begin to feel them the longer the butter cooks. You also want to watch the color of the surface - the "foam" (which are the proteins). The goal is to get that to a light golden color, NOT BROWN. If you see brown, you've probably burned the milk solids and charred the taste of the ghee.
- Once you see the light golden color (after about 12-13 minutes), turn off the power and allow to continue cooking with the residual heat.
- After 10 minutes with the power off, the ghee is ready. The milk solids at the bottom of the pot should be a medium brown color, not too dark.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a mixing bowl, then line the strainer with cheesecloth. Pour the ghee through the cheesecloth.
- Then transfer the ghee to an airtight container. Allow to cool completely uncovered. Then cover and store away from sunlight or heat. I recommend just putting it in the fridge and it will last for up to 6 months. Some people store at room temperature, but I don't. Just because I don't want to lose it.