What is the Difference Between Ghee and Butter

The main difference between ghee and butter is that ghee has a slightly nutty flavour, a higher smoke point and a higher fat concentration than butter.

Both ghee and butter are dairy products with similar uses. They are mainly made from the milk of cows or buffalos. Ghee is clarified butter, i.e., butter without milk solids and water.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Ghee 
     – Definition, Features
2. What is Butter
     – Definition, Features
3. What is the Relationship Between Ghee and Butter
     – Outline of Common Features
3. What is the Difference Between Ghee and Butter
    – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Butter, Ghee

Difference Between Ghee and Butter - Comparison Summary

What is Ghee

Ghee is clarified butter made from the milk of cows or buffalos. Clarified butter is a product that has been strained to remove all water. Clarified butter usually has some uncooked milk solids, resulting in a final product with a sweet and clean flavour. However, the manufacturing process of ghee is somewhat different. Traditionally, ghee is made to simmer for a while, making the milk solids go brown and creating a slightly nutty flavour and caramelized feel. 

Main Difference - Ghee vs Butter

Ghee is commonly used in Indian and South Asian cuisines. We can use it as a substitute for butter or oil. It can substitute vegetable oil or coconut oil in the frying or sautéing. We can even melt it and spread it over bread or drizzle it over vegetables. For hundreds of years, it has played a vital role in Ayurveda. It is known to have digestive, anti-inflammatory, and therapeutic properties. Moreover, it has a high smoke-point – the smoke point of ghee is 450 F, while the smoke point of butter is 350 F. This means ghee is a better option for you if you prefer cooking at high temperatures. In addition, it is shelf-stable.  

What is Butter

Butter is a dairy product made from the fat and protein components of milk. It is made by churning the cream part of milk. At room temperature, butter is a semi-solid emulsion containing around 80% butterfat. It has a rich, creamy and sublime flavour. We can use butter for many culinary uses – for spreading on bread, baking, pan-frying, sauce making, etc.

Difference Between Ghee and Butter

The United State, the European Union, New Zealand and India are the top producers of butter. Butter is typically unsalted, but you can also find salted butter in supermarkets. There are many substitutes for butter, depending on the recipe as well as your flavour preferences. For frying and sautéing, you can use oil as an alternative. Margarine and shortening are also substitutes for butter in baking.

Relationship Between Ghee and Butter

  • Ghee is clarified butter, i.e., butter without milk solids and water.
  • They have similar uses – as a spread, for baking, sauce making, frying, sautéing, etc.

Difference Between Ghee and Butter

Definition

Ghee is clarified butter made from the milk of cows or buffalos, while butter is a dairy product made from the fat and protein components of milk.

Smoke Point

Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter. This means ghee is a better option for you if you prefer cooking at high temperatures.

Fat

Also, ghee has a higher concentration of fat than butter.

Flavour

Ghee has a slightly nutty flavour and caramelized feel, while butter has a rich, creamy and sublime flavour.

Shelf Life

Moreover, ghee at room temperature is more shelf-stable than butter, and you can keep it in the pantry without refrigeration.

Conclusion

Both ghee and butter are dairy products with similar uses. The main difference between ghee and butter is that ghee has a slightly nutty flavour, a higher smoke point and a higher fat concentration than butter.

Reference:

1. Alfaro, Danilo. “Ghee: A Nutty Butter With Indian Origins.” The Spruce Eats, Available here.
2. Alfaro, Danilo. “Everything You Need to Know About Butter.” The Spruce Eats, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “1449453” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “Ghee or Clarified Butter” By Chiot’s Run (CC BY-NC 2.0) via Flickr

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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