Smoke when using Ghee for frying

Answered on December 13, 2016
Created December 11, 2016 at 9:51 PM

Hey, what's up?

So I have made ghee for the first time, looks good, smells great.

I have read many articles and threads about the greatness of ghee while one of the things that always gets mentioned is the fact that ghee has a very high smoking point, thus very stable and good for frying.

Is it normal for ghee to raise smoke? I have made an omlette with some veggies, medium heat and very quickly it sarted to raise smoke.

Is it normal?


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2 Answers



on December 13, 2016
at 11:39 PM

Use avocado oil instead. Its smoke point exceeds 500F, and one can make amazing sauteed main courses with the oil suffering zero degradation. Unfortunately, the more complex the fat the more nutritious it is, but it is also more likely to smoke at low temperature. You only need one impurity, and ghee is complex for sure. So I heat only avocado oil, and melt lard in my soups at temps below boiling. Every other fat is used at room temeprature.



on December 13, 2016
at 06:54 PM

Hopefully you've made real ghee from actual butter - preferrably Kerrygold or another grassfed butter. It should not easily smoke unless your frying pan is at a very high temperature, or perhaps whatever you were cooking was smoking.

Basically the process should be melting the butter and skimming off any floating solids, then running it through a paper filter and preventing any milk proteins and water from the bottom to be poured into the jar.  The common recipes call for burning those solids, but that process has a problem of letting the proteins burn and creating carcinogens as well as possibly denaturing the small amounts of PUFAs that naturally occur in the butter (such as omega 3's and CLA, which is very beneficial if you don't let it get denatured).

Instead, I do it this way:

Place your butter in a small crockpot if you have one, or if using the stove, use a small stainless steel pot such as for making cappuchino froth, or sauce pan, and melt the butter at a low temperature. Let it take its time to melt.  Don't be in a rush, you don't want to hear sizzling.

When it's fully melted you should see maybe a very tiny amount of stuff floating at the top, almost not. Skim anything floating at the top.  The large portion should be a golden liquid - that's the stuff you're after, and the bottom maybe 20% or so should be a milky like watery liquid.  The bottom contains water and milk proteins which you'll discard.

Put a paper coffee filter over the mouth jar and affix it with a rubber band.  Next, very slowly pour all the oil and just the oil from pot the into the jar, being careful not to let any of the milky liquid and solids from the bottom of the pot.  Use a tablespoon to skim the last of the oil from the bottom if you want, but be careful not to allow any of the milky liquid from the bottom.

What you're after is just golden oil.  The while liquid at the bottom can be discarded.

Once cooled it should be solid, almost waxy.  This might not be the traditional way and won't have any of the nutty flavor, but it will prevent carcinogens from forming.

Again, since this contains CLAs and some small amount of omega3's you really shouldn't cook with the ghee at a very high temperature despite what you've seen.  Preserving these nutrients is better than denaturing them, even if the ghee itself won't smoke at higher temps.

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