drawn butter vs. clarified butter?

356
10
Joined Aug 23, 2000
Dumb question time.

I thought drawn and clarified were the same thing, i.e. you melt butter and draw off the clear fat while leaving the cloudy milk solids and stuff behind.

There's a difference?
 
26
10
Joined Jul 22, 2000
Drawn butter is butter that has been melted, solids left in.

Clarified butter is melted then the solids removed.

Clarified is used when you need a high smoking point. Drawn is used for things like lobster candles and at times emulsification sauces.

Had this discussion more than once over the years, with more than one chef ... seems to come out about 50/50 if it is the same thing or not.
 
1,062
28
Joined Dec 8, 1999
I have to side with Jeff on this one. Also, using melted butter for an emulsified sauce will thin it out; use clarified but keep the solids on the side to use only if your sauce tightens up too much. Then again, I've also had this argument with other chefs, also.
 
356
10
Joined Aug 23, 2000
So... drawn butter is the same as clarified butter or not? Looks like there really isn't a consensus. Help me out here, folks.
 
203
11
Joined Oct 12, 1999
Yeah everybody has a different opinion. From my understanding, they are the same thing, but are just called drawn or clarified in different situations or places. A cook knows it by "cooking with clarified butter" and a customer eating a lobster knows they will want some "drawn butter".
 
107
23
Joined Sep 22, 2000
Live to cook, to help in the consensus. If I am going to saute something, I am going to use the clarified butter out of the big pot sitting on the stove. If a guest ask for some drawn butter, that too is comming out of the big pot on the stove.
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
LOL....big pot on stove!!!!!
Clarified for using when you don't want milk solids blackened in your dish that you further cook
Drawn for anything that is not further cooked
used for dunking
 
203
11
Joined Oct 12, 1999
Yup! We also keep are clarified butter and drawn butter in the same big pot on the stove!
 
281
13
Joined Mar 9, 2000
I have had both opinions insisted upon. One chef I worked with said that drawn butter actually was whisked at melting point of whole butter with a little water to kind of emulsify it, he insisted on this definition. By far though I have heard they are the same thing, and The Food Lovers Companion concures. I hope this clarifies the matter.(yuk,yuk)
 
177
10
Joined Aug 14, 2000
Wambly is right-

Drawn butter is butter that has been melted, solids left in.

Clarified butter is melted then the solids removed.
 
16
10
Joined Nov 26, 2002
My grandmother, who was from Syria, taught me how to make the Syrian 'Baklava' (called Bitlawa in Arabic) The first thing she taught me was the importance of using 'clarified' butter. She had me melt the butter in a sauce pan and then pour out the 'clear' or 'clarified' portion of the butter. We set aside the 'residues' that were left behind. Hence, clarified.
 
1,191
10
Joined Sep 10, 2005
Live to cook there are no stupid questions here my friend you do not know unless you ask and your question made perfect sense. Don't be afraid to ask thats what we are all her for to help each other out. Good Luck.

Rgds Rook
 
1,691
38
Joined Dec 23, 2000
Well, of course I went to our guru, Harold McGee to try to settle this.

He says, in his section entitled Clarified Butter "...butter whose water and milk solids have been removed..." (page 36)

Unfortunately, I find no entry in his index for "drawn butter." So I guess we're never gonna know for sure. ;)

My own experience inclines me to think "drawn butter" is just melted, for dipping your lobster/crab meat into. Actually, a little garlic and lemon juice doesn't hurt here, either.

Mike
 
157
10
Joined Nov 8, 2006
Seems to me that, if drawn butter is simply melted butter, we'd call it "melted butter". Why would we need a special name for it?
When a recipe calls for drawn butter, I use clarified butter. When it calls for clarified butter, I use clarified butter. Never had a problem following this line of interpretation. Seems a lot to do about nothing...
 
915
10
Joined May 23, 2006
I was perusing my "Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cooking Techniques" book last night and stumbled upon the entry for "clarified butter". "Also called drawn butter," the book says. It then describes the procedure for removing the solids from the melted butter. The controversy continues.
 
2,068
12
Joined Dec 30, 1999
In some regions the terms are colloquial but for the most part, think of it this way:

All carified butter is drawn butter.
But not all drawn butter is clarified.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of the term was in 1879 by M. C. TYREE Housekping Virginia p102 Dish, and serve with drawn butter and parsley.
 
915
10
Joined May 23, 2006
That Housekeeping in Old Virginia book is on the same link as for The Epicurean that I posted some time ago. I took a look and found the following reference, as you've stated:

"TO ROAST [size=+0]SHAD.[/size]

Fill the inside with [size=+0]forcemeat,[/size] sew it up and tie it on a board, not pine, cover with [size=+0]bread crumbs,[/size] a little [size=+0]salt,[/size] and [size=+0]pepper,[/size] and place before the fire. When done one side, turn it; when sufficiently done, pull out the thread; dish and serve with [size=+0]drawn butter[/size] and [size=+0]parsley.[/size]--Mrs. D.
 
573
11
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Wikipedia to the rescue:

"Drawn butter can refer to a number of butter preparations, including:

A sauce made of butter, flour, and water.
Melted clarified butter.
Melted butter.
Is the same thing as Indian Ghee "

So there! You're ALL right.
 
3,853
11
Joined May 26, 2001
What I remember from my days of eating lobster out :p is that it was served with "drawn butter" that was just melted butter. :look: Maybe they wanted to sound fancy so called it that but didn't want to go to all the trouble of really clarifying it.To make clarified butter, in restaurant school we were taught not just to melt it and pour off the fat, but to skim, skim, skim all the stuff that floats to the top, and then to let all the moisture boil off. So what came out was pure butterfat with neither milk solids nor water.

My preferred version of Joy of Cooking (1975) says:

Drawn or Clarified Butter or Ghee

There need be neither mystery nor mystique about this substance: it is merely melted butter with the sediment removed. But, as it is used in so many different ways -- among others as a sauce for cooked lobster, to make brown and black butter and as a baking ingredient -- here is the recipe;
Melt completely over low heat:
Remove from heat and let stand a few minutes, allowing the milk solids to settle to the bottom. Skim the butter fat from the top and strain the clear yellow liquid into a container.
 
2,068
12
Joined Dec 30, 1999
On Ghee:

Ghee is a type of clarified butter, but not all clarified butter is ghee.

Ghee is cooked longer until the milk sugars are just about to caramelize after it foams twice so that it has a more nutty flavor. However this is most likely the simplified version. In native countries however, ghee is extremely specific. Based on region, the animals, the land, and the technique as can be viewed here.
 
Top Bottom