Major Score!


(Marianne) #1

For a long time, I’ve stopped using butter and have substituted ghee. I sear most of our meat in a scorching hot cast iron skillet, and ghee has such a high flash point that I can get a really nice crust on our meats with it. I’ve been purchasing it at the grocery store, although it’s expensive - $10 for 9 oz. jar. Because it’s so expensive, I just use a few teaspoons in my pan mainly to avoid sticking. After removing the meat, I make a “sauce” with the ghee and meat drippings with water and some added bacon grease and pour it over the meat.

Yesterday, my husband and I were out shopping and came across an “international” food market. It appears that they cater predominantly to Asian, middle eastern and Indian customers, so we stopped in there to see how the ghee prices compared. I got a 32 oz. jar for $16.99! That amount would have equated to $35 if it were at the grocery store! Huge savings and definitely worth it to stop in when I am near the store. I love a bargain!


#2

Have you ever tried using Mayonnaise for searing? - I believe is was @Richard who I first saw mention this some years ago, and it does work great. I have since seen videos on-line people showing the same process, but unlike the using of butters or other things I’ve tried, using Mayo seems to work well even when high heat and It doesn’t have a mayo-taste afterwards as one might think. … Just a thought.


#3

WOW that is a huge savings and a great score!

More power to you, save the bucks for the meat and less on the ghee!! Cool


(Marianne) #4

No, I’ve never heard of that. Makes sense, though.


#5

Yeah, it works quite well. The Wife looked at it a bit strangely the first time I spread it on both sides of a steak, but then the Mayo breaks down as it cooks and you don’t see it afterwards. But gives a nice sear.


(Doug) #6

Marianne, have you ever made your own clarified butter? It’s a little effort and time, but well worth it, IMO.

Totally agree on how good it is, high smoke point, etc. Walmart has ghee for ~50 cents per ounce, usually, so would be about $16 for 32 oz. (13 oz for $6.48 is what I’ve seen.)

Moneywise, I think Restaurant Depot is hard to beat.

Western New York - there are locations in Buffalo and Rochester, with the next-closest ones being in Albany and Wilkes-Barre, PA.

You do have to be a member. It’s free and lasts forever, but you need a state tax ID, like you’re in business. It was totally worth it for me to get one - it’s all done online in Georgia, and didn’t cost anything. And you can just cancel it right after you get a RD membership, if you want.

RD also sometimes will give day passes to non-members, and due to Covid they let everybody in for a while, though I think that’s ended now.

5 lbs. for $19.48 is what it currently is, and that’s gone up; used to be $15.99 or $14.99 on sale. Still, a great deal, comparatively. It’s Plugra brand, which also has good butter - 82% butterfat versus the normal 80%.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #7

I first bought ghee at one of the local supers and it was expensive for a small jar of it. Walmart carried it as well, but I haven’t seen it there for a long time - supply chain issues? I have since discovered that I can purchase it much cheaper at ethnic food stores. There are a couple of producers located here in Vancouver who cater to the Indian market - which is huge locally. I bought my current supply from a local Persian market just up the street in North Vancouver. Price was comparable to non clarified butter. It’s made in Ontario.


#8

Definitely a bargain, @gingersmommy !

Hard agree. It is a lot cheaper if you can make your own. It’s something I’ve learnt to do over the last 12 months.

I made some the other week, and it worked out to around £4.40 to fill a 2lb jar. I didn’t weigh it - just went up to the upper rim of the neck of the jar, so not 100% that the yield was exactly 2lb - but close enough!

I use an Instant Pot and find it very simple to do.

If it helps anyone, my method is:

  • Put 6 sticks of 500g unsalted butter into the pot
  • Put it on soup mode for 120 minutes
  • Let it naturally release (do not do quick release; you will end up with butter all over the kitchen)
  • Take the lid off
  • Put it on Saute > Medium
  • Don’t be tempted to touch it; just watch as it bubbles up
  • You can skim the ‘flotsam’ from the edges of the pot (I tend to do this)
  • Let it bubble away until it goes clear
  • Then let it bubble away for as long as you can stand it (the longer you can go, the nuttier the flavour - I used to pull it off the heat too quickly, but it can handle quite a long time at this stage)
  • Turn off the Instant Pot and take the inner pot out
  • Sieve the ghee through a sieve and a reusable coffee filter, or two reusable coffee filters
  • Pour into jars

Let it rest until cool - it takes about 36 hours to go from translucent gold to the vivid yellow of ghee.

I’ve said before that I think the soup mode is overkill, but I put it on whilst I’m doing other things so why not (I have done it at 30 minutes before). I doubt doing it on the stove is much different; just keep the temperature steady. What really takes the time is the volume - you could try a stick or two of butter to begin with.


(Bob M) #9

3 kg (about 6.6 pounds)?


#10

Yeah, that’s right.

You can get 250g blocks but it’s cheaper here to buy the 500g ones.

I think the first time I did it I just tried 500g or so - and then I did 2kg and recently I’ve been doing 3kg.

If you do 3kg, just be careful when you first put it on saute - you don’t want it to go over the sides.

(It’s not 3kg to make 2lb of butter, btw. I was just explaining how big the jars are that I use.)


(Bob M) #11

It’s a good idea, really, as then you make a lot of ghee at one time.


#12

I am with some others, it’s cheaper making it from butter and it’s not particularly hard. I only did a tiny bit once though, I hated it so never again, it lost all the nice butter flavor but I understand it may have uses and taste is individual anyway :slight_smile: I used it as travel food as it doesn’t spoil like butter.

We don’t have 500g butter here, only 250g and 100g… And it’s expensive so I barely use any, I prefer lard anyway and even good lard from a farm costs a fragment of the price of butter. Still, butter has its own flavor and I buy some here and now to enjoy that.


(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #13

Interesting. In the U.S., butter is sold by the pound (454.54 kg), though usually divided in quarters. My ex and I used to get butter in 500-g blocks when we lived in London. He had a dish designed to hold that much. It was very tasty butter, too.


(Marianne) #14

I’ve never tried it, although I believe my sister has. Do you use cheese cloth?

I had never heard of Restaurant Depot and just looked it up. It is very close to where I am. How did you get a state ID?

That is an incredible value, although, that’s a lot of ghee. :blush:


(Marianne) #15

Very cool, although I don’t have an instapot. Will have to google how to make it.


(Marianne) #16

That’s the only way I have seen it, although maybe you can get larger amounts from a restaurant supply store.


(Doug) #17

Great post, @Septimius. I’ve never done it in an Instant Pot or slow-cooker, but that probably makes it easier to control things - I should try it. Just a pot on the burner to this point for me, and IMO it pays to do big batches, like 4 - 10 lbs. or multiple kg of butter.


(Doug) #18

I did it online at the “Georgia Tax Center,” easy.

For New York (as in all states) it’s just getting a tax ID, as if you were going into business, where you’d be collecting sales tax, as opposed to paying personal income taxes where it’s usually just one’s Social Security number that’s used.

Unless one already has a business name, it’s just a matter of making up a name, and getting the tax ID (and perhaps an EIN [Employer Identification Number] from the IRS, depending on the state and the individual Restaurant Depot).

It may seem like a hassle, but membership never expires and it’s well worth it. Even compared to Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale, etc., I’ve gotten stuff 30%-60% cheaper.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #19

That 454kg block of butter would be the ‘family’ size, I presume.


(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #20

Are you kidding? A pound of butter lasts only a few days, in my house. We buy it six or eight pounds (2.7-3.6 kg) at a time.