How To Clarify Butter In The Microwave (7 Simple Steps)

If you are clarifying butter on the stovetop, then stop! Why make clarifying butter a long and tedious task when you can make clarified butter in microwave within 10 minutes instead? But to that, you must know how to clarify butter in the microwave first.

I love cooking, especially seafood, and I am always trying to find a way to enhance the taste of crabs. So, you can understand how happy I was when I learned that clarified butter makes seafood taste much better.

However, when I tried to make clarified butter on the stovetop, all of my excitement got lost. It was messy, complex, and time-consuming.

I told myself that you could do anything in the microwave these days, right? Then let’s clarify butter in the microwave as well.

After some research and 11 butter sticks later, I found out the best way to clarify butter in the microwave. And today, I will share my secret with you.

So, what are you waiting for?

Can you clarify butter in the microwave?

Yes, you can clarify butter in the microwave. Microwaving butter to clarify it is the easiest way to do it.

Butters clarifies at 260 °F. Even if you have a 700 watts microwave, you are cooking at around 350 °F. And if you use 100% power setting, you will be able to heat the butter to 260 °F quickly.

However, if you have a microwave with a turntable, it is best to turn it off or remove it before the process. The butter clarification process separates the butter into 3 layers. And the turntable feature can mix the layers and ruin the process.

How do you clarify butter in the microwave?

To clarify butter in the microwave:

  1. Cut the butter stick (or sticks) into even pieces.
  2. Place the butter in a tall microwave-safe glass container.
  3. Microwave it on 100% setting till the butter separates into 3 layers.
  4. Turn off the microwave and let the container sit for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Take it out of the microwave, but do not stir it.
  6. Remove the milk foam layer from the top.
  7. Now strain the middle and bottom layer using cheesecloth fabric.

The process looks daunting, but if I can do it, so can you.

My secret to quickly clarifying butter in the microwave is simple. Do not stir!

During the butter clarifying process, the butter separates into three layers. The bottom-most layer, white in color, is the clarified butter.

Alternatively, if you do not have cheesecloth fabric to strain the clarified butter, you can also use your spoon and coffee filter.

First, take out the bottom layer with a spoon. Then place it on the coffee filter and wait till it has filtered out the liquid from the clarified butter. After that, you can store the clarified butter in an airtight container.

Suggested for you: How to Soften Butter In Microwave

Is it safe to clarify butter in the microwave?

Yes, it is safe to clarify butter in the microwave as long as you follow the proper recipe. Always keep an eye on the microwave, and just when layers start to form, turn off the microwave.

One of the huge risks when clarifying butter in the microwave is the butter boiling and overflowing in the microwave. I always recommend clarifying butter in a big and tall container. Because, when the butter increases in its volume, it will not spill out.

Also, using a glass container is compulsory here. As glass containers allow you to see the layers easily, there would be fewer chances of butter overspilling.

How long does it take to clarify butter in the microwave?

The length of time it takes to microwave clarified butter depends on microwave wattage and the amount of butter you are clarifying. On average, 4 sticks or 2 cups of butter take 2 minutes to clarify in the microwave on 100% power.

For instance, if you have decided to clarify 3 cups of butter, it can take anywhere from 2 minutes and 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Similarly, if the amount of butter is less than 2 cups, then it will clarify faster.

This length of time does not include the prep and the resting time. In total, the whole process takes around 10 minutes to complete.

How do you know when butter is done clarifying in the microwave?

When the butter has clarified in the microwave, the most obvious sign would be the separate layers. During the butter clarification process, the butter separates into 3 layers. So, when you see the layers, it is time to turn off the microwave.

Due to different butter consistency, the time to clarify it also varies. But as it takes only two minutes, you can keep an eye on the microwave.

When the butter has completely melted and has started forming layers, it is time to turn off the microwave. It will turn into brown butter if you heat the butter anymore. 

Tips to Clarify Butter in the Microwave

Clarifying butter in microwave involves several steps. And even if you miss one step, the butter would not explain.

The following tips will help you clarify butter ideally.

  1. When clarifying the butter, only use a microwave-safe glass container. The transparency of the glass will allow you to see the layers of butter during the clarification process.
  2. Chop the butter into equal pieces. Smaller pieces of butter are easier and faster to melt than entire sticks of butter.
  3. When the layers have started to form in the butter, turn off the microwave. Any heat exposure after this point will turn it into brown butter.
  4. Do not stir the butter while it is clarifying. Let it rest and separate.
  5. Cheesecloth is the best way to separate clarified butter.
  6. If you do not have a cheesecloth, spoon out the clarified butter first and then strain it using a coffee filter.

You May Also Read: How To Melt Chocolate Chips In The Microwave With Butter

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make clarified butter with salted butter?

Yes, you can make clarified butter with salted butter. However, the end product would also be salty. If you want salt-free clarified butter, it is best to use unsalted butter.

Are clarified butter and melted butter the same?

No, clarified butter and salted butter are not the same.

To understand the difference between clarified butter and melted butter, you need to know what butter is. Whole butter consists of; milk, solids, water, and butter fast.

The butter clarification process separates the butterfat from the rest of the whole butter components. And at the end, the clarified butter only has butterfat.

Are clarified butter and ghee the same thing?

Technically, both clarified butter and ghee are almost the same. Both of these products consist of only butterfat. And both of them are made by removing the water and milk solids from butter.

However, ghee is created by heating butter for a little bit longer. And due to this difference, ghee has a slightly deeper and richer taste.

Can I substitute ghee for clarified butter?

Yes, you can substitute ghee for clarified butter and vice versa. As both of these products consist of butterfat, they act similarly in recipes.

How to clarify butter quickly?

Clarifying butter is, in nature, a long process. You have to let the butter heat up and separate. Only then can you get the clarified butter. The quickest way to clarify butter is to microwave it.

Butter clarifies in 2 minutes at 100% power in an average wattage microwave. However, do not use the 100% power setting if you have a high-wattage microwave. The higher heat will not quicken the process but just burn the butter altogether.

Related: How to Defrost Butter in the Microwave?

Final Words

You finally know how to clarify butter in the microwave. But before you leave, remember never to stir the container while clarifying the butter. Any sudden movement can end up mixing the layers and ruin the process.

If you want to cook vegetables or make popcorn, clarify butter and add a different and unique flavor to every dish. So, let’s turn on the microwave and start clarifying the butter.

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