Spice Road Spices
Spice Merchants

The Art of Flavour Sunday e-magazine


The wonder of Ghee, Olive Oil and Butter

Arthur Huxley - 12-04-2024

When we concluded our short piece on cooking with Lard we promised promise to look at Olive Oil and Ghee when building the first stage of flavour in a recipe. Reflecting on this, we thought it might be useful to include butter in the discussion.

So let's start with butter. Butter is essentially made up of three parts; Fat, Water and Milk solids. And this immediately brings us to the first negative.

You will have noticed that when butter melts and starts to foam, the water element evaporates leaving the solids to naturally burn and if not watched carefully, can easily spoil your dish.

The reasons for this are clear. Butter has a smoke/burn point of 180C, limiting its use for many dishes.

Alternatively, Olive Oil has a smoke/burn point of around 200C giving a much greater scope for home chefs Ghee All this is pretty much well known of course but what may not be so well known to home chefs are the benefits of Ghee.

Ghee has an impressive smoke/burn point of 250C, opening a wide scope of kitchen use.

The reason for the high smoke/burn is easily explained. Ghee is simply pure butter fat with all the moisture removed and the milk solids caramelized and then filtered out. Ghee Flavour For home chefs, Ghee is perfect when sautéing, especially when pan frying, say, meatballs or chips and for steaks or chops when using a hot griddle plate on the stove.

The increased smoke/burn point makes the chefs job much more controlled and the lack of “spitting” is immediately obvious and welcome.

To add to this, Ghee has a lovely, warm nutty aroma and flavour when cooking, much like butter but nuttier and cleaner and this imparts to the recipe. See recipe. Health risks All three have their own respective health benefits which is nice and all have natural flavours without being dangerously processed.

To anyone wandering about the supermarket isles there is obviously a much great selection of cooking oils than the three above.

Several carry various degrees of health risks so always best to do a little research before adding to your kitchen.

Stay well everyone Arthur Huxley www.spiceroadspices.com.au