Clarified butter

Has anyone used the APO to make clarified butter? I know it can be done with sous vide and can also be done in an oven. I’m just not sure on the times and temps to use in the APO.

I’ve converted a heap of these type of recipes to using the oven (e.g. sous vide cold brew).

I generally just put the source (butter in this case) in an oven safe container and cover. Use the temperature and timing as per the standard Anova recipe.

Put it in when you start and then the preheat will also preheat the glass container at the same time so the timing is the same.

IMO it’s a lot easier than using the precision cooker as you don’t need to bag it etc.

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I wrote in an old thread:
This is one thing that is really easy to do in the APO, 85 C 30 minutes or so. No water left, but if so run for some more time. Perfectly clarified butter with all the milk residue on the bottom and the fat ready to pour into any jar you like to store it in.

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How do you get rid of the water if it is covered?

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That would work, easy to pour. I just use a glass or steel measuring cup. I know for sure that they are clean since they go in the dishwasher, and cleanup is easy since they go in the dishwasher.

I don’t cover, 0 % humidity.

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Thanks for the help. I’m going to start some right now. I’ve been using ghee, but I ran out last night. I think I’ll give regular clarified butter a try since it is so much easier to make this way.

Best of luck, you shouldn’t have any problems
When making ghee in the old way one just lets it sit a little longer but I’m not sure if 85 C is enough to brown the milk sugar and proteins.
Just checked, you should go just above 130 C for that, according to google.

i am also wondering this. it makes sense in an oven, but i see sous vide recipes where it’s all done in a bag. such a technique wouldn’t be true clarified butter because you’re not removing the moisture, correct?

When you do it in a bag with sous vide water bath you are supposed to put it in a container and then into the refrigerator to harden. The water will be in a layer on the bottom of the container. Just poke a hole through the firm clarified butter so you can pour the water out. I would then move the CB to another container after blotting up any remaining moisture with paper towels.

I have done this twice now in the APO. I leave it uncovered and all of the water is removed. This works great.


what settings do you use and for how long?

earlier, someone said 85°C. i’m surprised that works because it’s below the boiling point of water. i’d think that much of the water would be trapped below the fat since it’s denser than oil. if it’s below an oil layer, it won’t evaporate.

i thought clarification relied on bringing it to at least the boiling point of water so it vaporizes (even below an oil layer). water vapor is less dense than oil, so the moisture escapes.

I use the same - 85C / 185F. Once the butter is clarified you are left with what is essentially an oil that solidifies at room temp. While baggiing butter and putting it in a water bath doesn’t allow the water to evaporate, oil and water separate, so it is possible to drain off the water after the clarified butter solidifies. It’s a different story in the APO. If you just put it in an uncovered bowl, the water will evaporate.

I don’t really know all of the physics involved, but from what I have read water does not need to be turned into steam to evaporate. Evaporation is driven mainly by vapor pressure which creates water vapor and not steam. Think of wet towels hung over the shower rod. They are soaking wet when hung up, yet, after a few hours they are dry. The water evaporated. Higher temperatures and moving air speed up the process. You have both in the APO, so that evaporation happens a lot faster. All I know for sure is that I’ve done it twice now and there isn’t any water left in the butter.

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How long did this take at 185F?

About 30-40 minutes. I’ve done as much as an hour. It’s much more flexible than doing it on the stovetop, because it won’t brown no matter how long you leave it running.

Of course, you still have to skim off any foam and filter the results like you do on the stovetop. That is done after you take it from the oven. I use a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup uncovered.

This is the start

This is the result

This is the residue


Thanks for the pictures!

Just to clarify, - clarified butter is best made using unsalted butter because it contains substantially less water than the salted product.

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as i understand it, evaporation is indeed a surface phenomenon. molecules in the liquid collide and transfer energy. occasionally, enough energy is transferred to a molecule at the surface to overcome the vapor pressure and escape into the surrounding air. if this happens below the surface, it will bump into a slower molecule and lose that energy. it can’t escape into the air. that’s why i’m surprised this works.

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You are correct, unless one goes above 100 C there is very little evaporation of water , it remains in the bottom sediment, but there is no water in the top fat layer. So carefully pouring is recommended. But it is a very convenient way to clarify butter.