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Smoking and watery clarified butter?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 08, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Yesterday I made my first ever batch of clarified butter. I think the process went well (did it by slowly melting the butter instead of letting it boil which seems to be an alternative method).

I put it in the fridge and today I made some fried eggs whit it.

I used a cast iron skillet, preheated it and then added the butter. It melted pretty quickly, which was expected, then it acquired a very watery look (almost transparent) and started to produce a lot clear/white smoke.

Is this normal? I was expecting it to hold for a long time before smoking, altough the smoke didn't look like when you overheat oil, it seemed more like there was still water in the butter and it was vaporizing.

Could it be because I kept in the fridge instead of ambient temp?

Thanks!

25cea8ecf1ec87b02e9e6219aad0004a

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 04:10 AM

Yes, I think too much heat and moisture was the cause of the smoke. Thanks for your answer!

25cea8ecf1ec87b02e9e6219aad0004a

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 04:08 AM

Thanks! I think in fact it was fridge moisture what cause it. I'm keeping it now in a very tight closed container and putting in the cold pan first then heating it. No more smoke. Thanks!

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2 Answers

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1
0f27c2d95e7d8e33c58297893ea45fae

on December 09, 2012
at 01:58 PM

Did you take out the milk proteins left at the bottom after melting? If they're allowed to remix with the clarified butter and not removed, it can cause a kind of separation to occur when heated which is akin to frying water. They look white and sit at the bottom of the melted butter.

Also, put butter into a cold pan and heat, don't heat pan then add butter as you loose control of heat. From what you said about smoke, your pan was too hot, and will undo all the goodness of clarifying is the butter is allowed to burn.

Also, once clarified, let it cool and set before putting it in the fridge otherwise fridge moisture can penetrate, which might be another source of your troubles.

Hope some/any of that helps.

25cea8ecf1ec87b02e9e6219aad0004a

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 04:08 AM

Thanks! I think in fact it was fridge moisture what cause it. I'm keeping it now in a very tight closed container and putting in the cold pan first then heating it. No more smoke. Thanks!

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 08, 2012
at 09:38 PM

When it melts, it turns watery. But mine doesn't smoke. I usually just let it melt in the skillet, give it 10 or so seconds to swirl around, then put my eggs in. I don't let it sit there for a long time, so I probably don't get to the point where I'd see smoke.

25cea8ecf1ec87b02e9e6219aad0004a

(0)

on December 18, 2012
at 04:10 AM

Yes, I think too much heat and moisture was the cause of the smoke. Thanks for your answer!

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