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drawn butter vs. clarified butter?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
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?
post #2 of 34
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.
post #3 of 34
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.
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post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
So... drawn butter is the same as clarified butter or not? Looks like there really isn't a consensus. Help me out here, folks.
post #5 of 34
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".
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post #6 of 34
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.
post #7 of 34
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
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post #8 of 34
Yup! We also keep are clarified butter and drawn butter in the same big pot on the stove!
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Don't Ride A Boat Without A Paddle.
If The Water Is Not Too Deep,
Take A Little Swim But Don't Fall Asleep!
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Take A Little Swim But Don't Fall Asleep!
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post #9 of 34
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)
post #10 of 34
Wambly is right-

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

Clarified butter is melted then the solids removed.
Michael
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Michael
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post #11 of 34
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.
LR
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LR
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post #12 of 34
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
post #13 of 34
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
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post #14 of 34
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...
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post #15 of 34
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.
post #16 of 34
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.
post #17 of 34
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 SHAD.

Fill the inside with forcemeat, sew it up and tie it on a board, not pine, cover with bread crumbs, a little salt, and pepper, and place before the fire. When done one side, turn it; when sufficiently done, pull out the thread; dish and serve with drawn butter and parsley.--Mrs. D.
post #18 of 34
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.
post #19 of 34
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:
Butter 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.
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post #20 of 34
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.
post #21 of 34

Drawn butter vs. clarified butter? THE REAL ANSWER!

Drawn butter and clarified butter are the same exact thing. Period. Terminology in context is the only difference. Yes this is achieved by melting until the milk solids sink to the bottom. The drawn,or clarified butter has a much higher smoke point for cooking, takes longer to go rancid because of the absence of milk solids, and is also served here in Maine for lobster and shellfish.
The reason clarified butter is also referred to as "drawn butter" is because of the better, but harder way to prepare it. You melt the butter and simmer until the water contained in the butter evaporates. The milk solids will then start to fry in the clear fat. When this occurs, you remove the pot from heat and pour through a strainer lined with DAMP cheesecloth. (Oil & water don't mix, so if the cheesecloth is damp it will not absorb the clear butter fat). This will contain the golden brown milk solids. The remainder of the butter that is DRAWN through the cheesecloth is quite a bit more clear by using this method. Hence the alternate name for clarified butter: "drawn butter".
post #22 of 34
I've never drawn butter - it just ends up a really boring picture :p
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post #23 of 34
If I was at a restaurant ordering lobster and the menu said drawn butter I would not be suprised to get just melted butter. If it came clarified, no shock there either. I never use the word "drawn" on my menus, always "clarified". To me "drawn" is too vague a term and has no real culinary currency these days. But now that I think about it, this thread started like 8 years ago....:crazy:

Melted just sounds lazy...drawn makes it sound sound like a process

Thanks for "THE REAL ANSWER!" Shefood.
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post #24 of 34

Drawn or Clarified...?

I would think that drawn butter would be melted butter in which the surface has been skimmed of all impurities and we all know what clarified butter means...right? ok.
post #25 of 34
I can't beleive people are arguing about this - one is used for making stock, the other for making broth :talk:

mjb.
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post #26 of 34

thanks...

I didn't post for the sake of arguing, I just wanted to state what I thought was true, and find out if that was actually right. Your pin-headed demeanor sucked but I do appreciate your precision. This was the first time I participated in a forum on this website, I can't believe that this kind of *******-ish attitude was the response.
post #27 of 34
You know how definitions work -- truth comes from whomever is feeding you.

There is such a thing as "drawn butter" or "drawn butter sauce" which is different from clarified butter -- no matter what is in the pot at the local "fine dining" establishment. It's an emulsion made of melted (whole, not clarified) butter, water, and (sometimes a little) flour. If you know saucing it's very similar to beurre monte, but with slightly more water. It's typically served with steamed or boiled shellfish.

Hope this clarifies,
BDL
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post #28 of 34
I agree with Mushroom Girl, although depending on where you are from has a big bearing on defintion. If you serve clarrified butter with lobster in some places, I have had it sent back and they wanted whole melted butter, it does have more flavor so I cannot disagree .:look:
CHEFED
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post #29 of 34
This goes to the culinary point of making beurre monte or a beurre monte type "drawn butter." The emulsification keeps the milk solids suspended in the melted butter (indeed, the solids are the emulsifiers). Otherwise the butter would clarify as the solids sank to the bottom because of their relative density, and might also burn or toast as result of being held hot.

To make beurre monte you bring a little water to a simmer and start melting butter into it. After about a 1/4 pound of butter into a 1/4 cup of water you start whisking like a madman (or madwoman, if the shoe fits) while adding more butter. Figure the final ratio at about 20 or 25 to 1 by weight. A 1/2 cup of water will hold about 5 pounds of butter. Two cups of water will hold about 20 in a restaurant which uses a lot -- for "butter poaching" for instance. The French Laundry, who do a lot of butter poaching, probably use 50 pounds of butter a night this way.

I learned to make this as "drawn butter," in the Blue Fox in San Francisco in the early seventies. The BF was in line with the American traditions of "Continental cuisine" and top flight "French," and was known as the best restaurant in SF (or maybe even California) at the time. As many of you know, I never went to cooking school but learned from books or on the job (earn while you learn!) at a few exceptional restaurants. While I can't give you chapter and verse on the origins of beurre monte or its application as "drawn butter," or even its regional associations in the U.S. of A., if 'twere done at the BF, it was considered comme il faut at the time.

BDL
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post #30 of 34
BDL
While iI agree with your definitions and the rest. I am against adding the water. Years ago I would have, and come out with a proper ratio.
Today butter does not even list the score anymore.
You and I used to use a 93 to a 98 score. Today however they are adding more H20 to the butter for xtra weight and more profit. I notice that when I clarify butter I get more and more solids, salt and water today then ever before. Oh well they call it progress I guess?:lol:
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