storing ghee

topic posted Sat, September 16, 2006 - 4:29 PM by  Saul
so I buy ghee and use it but I dunno how you're supposed to store the stuff! should you refrigerate it? I haven't made a dish in a while and I'm wondering if it's gone bad since I just stored it in the cupboard, but I don't want to just taste it and guess, ya know?
posted by:
SF Bay Area
  • I refrigerate ghee once it is open. I would say that if you have stored it in the cupboard for more than just a couple of days then you should toss it. Of course ghee is just clairified butter and butter should be stored in the fridge so i just assume that ghee would need the same.
    • Clarified butter has had all the water and milk solids removed so that what's left is the pure butterfat. The milk solids tend to be what spoils in butter, so if they're gone. . .What I've read is that ghee can be stored on a shelf at room temperature, but I never have, and refrigerated it'll keep for several months. I'd go with refrigeration.
  • i refrigerate mine, but it's hot here. i think you can store it at room temp. if it doesn't get too hot.

    i agree with the removal of solids and moisture idea. It probably keeps about as well as lard or crisco would on the shelf.

    I once had crisco go rancid. There was NO DOUBT that it had. It was putrid.

    I'd say if it smells and looks fine, it should be ok.
    • ghee can be stored on the shelf for MONTHS. i guarantee u of this saully. it has had the milk / lactose proteins removed from it and is pavitra or pure. ppl y do u think india invented it? because it didnt need refrigeration and can be used for frying at high temperatures and used as fuel.

      at any rate, u can also keep it in the fridge, however, u smell it, u will kno if it smells rancid. its quite a distinctive smell and sometimes there is mold. if there is none of the above and no smell it is fine. BUT, if uve had for 3 and 1/2 years id say, u need to cook u up a batch of fresh ghee.

      • >>ppl y do u think india invented it? because it didnt need refrigeration and can be used for frying at high temperatures and used as fuel.

        that was my guess but I wanted to be sure... I figure that sumpin from a hot country that didn't have fridges for thousands of years would have made sumpin that can be stored on the shelf... but just in case, ya know?
        • totally, it was a good call :) (i re-read my post and i hope it didnt seem rude- if it did my bad)

          ohh ya and saul i just LOVE when u say "sumpin" lol.
        • Ghee made with homemade butter rocks, yes ghee will stay perfectly fine for months but don't wait that long use it every day it is good for you.
        • hey there.

          so long as no fungusses are living on your ghee its good to go. ayurvedically ghee is considered to only get better with age. personally i'd be practical about that statement but I've had a tin of ghee that ive used for pujas for over 2 years now and its still fine.the bright yellowness that was there when i first bought it is gone but its still is useful for anything. id cook with it but there's not much left and since i chanted the entire Bhagavad-gita with the tip of my index finger submerged in it as part of my first son's birthing ceremony (jata-karma samskara) i try to use it sparingly and only for rubbing onto Sri Saligram after his bath.
          • at the moment for me it's a moot point because I used up all my ghee for cooking and need to buy more! :)
            • did you get sick from eating it?

              its supposed to increase in its health benefits over the years but i don't have the experience yet.

              • I still haven't made my own ghee yet. I have always been puzzled, however, about the fact that I often get horrible indigestion from Indian food eaten in restaurants. This causes me a great deal of consternation, as I absolutely love Indian food and would probably eat it to the exclusion of all else if I could. I wonder what it could be? The yogurt? The spices?
              • >> did you get sick from eating it?

                naw it was fine. you know, my first few experiments cooking Indian food I used regular oil, and lemme tell ya, ghee makes all the difference in the world! I'm a ghee convert!
                • Ghee makes all the difference!! That is an undisputed fact... but how is the cholesteral/fat content? It is the most delicious enhancement...but I am not allowed to use too much. When my BF is watching me cook, I am only allowed to put less than half of what the recipe recommends, when his back is turned I sneak more in, of course. But he is really, really concerned about such things...He is the same way about the sweets that I make, he always tells me to use less than necessary amounts of sugar, but he also has a history of diabetes in his family, so I can understand his concern for that....
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    see that I wonder about but my metabolism is so damn fast that I rarely worry about that stuff unless it just TASTES bad for you (like fast food)
                    • ghee is fantastic. a huge difference in the authenticity of indian cooking. and melodious, what gives u indigestion in indian restaurants is the quantity of onions ( a cheap filler) that they use.

                      in india or in home cooking u will see them used a lot less. and no indigestion / heartburn.
                      • That's interesting. More reason to cook at home, I guess.
                        • yeah - i was gonna suggest that too. mabye you could try cooking indian food at home and see if its the inidan food that does your stomach in or the restraunts style of cooking thats causing you grief. A restaurant means 'business' and the current Indian ethos towards 'business' is typically to pinch every penny for maximum profits. As Manu mentioned, onions are an affordable and less obvious way of doing this what to speak of cheap flour, palm oil for cooking and other ingredients. rarely do restaurants use ghee in their bulk cooking. i knew one that uses palm oil (shocking) cause its the cheapest oil around in this part of the world besides i guess engine oil.

                          I prefer cooking at home so I can cook with the best ingredients and adjust recipies according to what I know my body can handle.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    What we are being told in some posts and some Google links about ghee and cholesterol is that ghee actually lowers your cholesterol level. I confess I don't see how that is possible, because I am not a biochemist and have always thought that animal fat was animal fat, plain and simple, whether it was from meat (which I don't eat) or dairy (which I do, in moderation.) Now supposedly some studies have been done suggesting a correlation between ghee consumption and lowered blood cholesterol. I seem to read about these studies on sites put up by Ayurvedic practitioners, so I wonder about impartiality--but I confess I don't know what to think anymore. I would say, Google it and form your own decision, and be open to rethinking it several times while the studies continue and conclusions are being established. I remain cautious, but still I do enjoy ghee in moderation, because, of course, it is perfectly delicious!

                • rnam krtva ghrtam pibet

                  "Even if you have no money: beg, borrow, or steal, get ghee and eat very nice. "

                  - Carvaka Muni

                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    sorry ... full verse so i don't get accused of mistranslating ....

                    Yavajjivet sukham jivet, rnam krtva ghrtam pibet
                    Bhasmibhutasya dehasya punargamanam kutah

                    • indeed. ghee rocks. i usually throw in some slices of ginger (skin n all) into the simmering butter. it is hands down my favorite ghee. even just drizzled over plain rice and veggies it is awesome. such a nutty flavor. yummmm.

                      i also usually only eat at home and am never dissapointed ;)

      • Mine kinda smelled stale when i got it! It was my first ghee purchase so I wasn't sure if that was how it was supposed to smell!
        • It should be a light pastel yellow and smell like God. To be more specific, it should smell like sweet, butter toffee. Now if it's fridged, you might not be able to smell it at all, or smell just like butter.

          BTW, do you know what smen is? It's the Moroccan equivelent of ghee. A Berber father will bury a jar in the yard when his daughter is born, and dig it up to season the celebration food for her wedding. And no one dies. :-) (an acquired taste, to be sure.)

          Purchasing ghee? Considering it's literally as easy as boiling water. Err, butter. Try it. Tastes great. And you'll have made your own ghee! Nothing motivates cooking good Indian food than having to smell a ghee pot filling the house with that smell. :-)

          Your stuff is probably safe, but always remember regarding ANY food - when in doubt, throw it out.
  • yes no need to refigerate
    • Ghee is delicious and wonderfully aromatic, but I wouldn't go overboard on it, no matter what the ancients say. It's loaded with cholesterol oxides, which are a significant risk factor in atherosclerosis. Moderation in all things is still your best bet for a healthy lifestyle.
      • Ghee made with homemade butter is much different than the ghee made with butter made in modern countries. Ghee lowers ones cholestrol, as the stated by the Ayurveda Kaviraja's. I am not talking about homemade ghee but rather ghee made with homemade butter. In India this sells for about $18 a pint.
        • I'm curious about the lack of "lactose proteins" that was mentioned. Does this mean ghee might be okay for lactose-intolerant people?
          • it absolutely is fine for ppl with lacose intolerance.
            • You have no idea how happy that makes me, Manu. Off to make ghee....
              • we live to serve ;)
                • You know, when you are making chapati, etc., and you are taking small spoon of ghee to add, the ghee is in liquidy state, but if I keep in fridge, it is in solid state-well it is in solid in both places-the cupboard as well, but at my girlfriends house, the ghee is conveniently unsolid, so she can spoon at ease. I was wondering, how do you keep it in this state. For my diyas and other cooking need, it would be easier to have it liquidy rather than solid. Is she storing it somewhere warmer?
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    it's barely solid at normal room temperature, if you place it on the stove while you're cooking it should go liquid pretty quickly. A couple spoonfuls in a teacup and 15 secs in the nuker will do the trick, too.

                    re: your girlfriends ghee, is it a commercial ghee? Some ghees aren't really ghee, they're more like oil of butter... the butter isn't even cooked, they stick it in a high-speed centrifuge under vacuum pressure... this "ghee" won't be solid at room temperature.

                    Also some commercial ghees use all sorts of additives, read her label next time you're over there.
                    • I was thinking of this because in another thread, Manu and Rax were talking of Chapatis, where you roll it out and fold it and quarter it several times, each time putting a pinch of ghee on the chapati. So it would be hard in solid form. Maybe I am not as visual as I should be, but in the current state of solid, this would be hard. And then my girlfriend was doing the same thing, and hers was liquified, which would be MUCH easier. I have a hard time putting my crunchy Peanut Butter on bread, I can't imagine hard ghee on thin dough! I guess keeping a small dish on the warm stove would work, esp. when you have to whip out a batch of chapatis for dinner.
  • Sef
    offline 0
    I have used ghee for 30 years and never refrigerated it. Although the climate here is quite hot, I live with air conditioning on and the temperature indoors and in my kitchen is usually somewhere between 72-78 degrees. 'Your' individual ... answer depends on several individualized factors. If you have ghee in your kitchen and rarely use it, then your ghee will sit in your kitchen for very long periods of time, and eventually - it could go rancid. I will write that if your ghee has gone rancid you will know it. I suggest that you smell it and look at it before using it. If the scent of the ghee is distasteful to your nose... then throw it out as it has probably gone rancid. I use ghee for cooking almost daily and will use the ghee I make within a short period of time. If the temperature in your kitchen is almost always above 78 degrees, then I would suggest refrigeration or keeping it in the coolest place in your home until you are going to use it. If you refrigerate your ghee it will solidify and you can place the jar to sit in some warm water for a few minutes and it will quickly liquefy. This is a good article to understand ghee:
  • Unsu...
    you pay for clarified butter? What on earth for?
    That's like buying Ragu.

    Just toss some butter in a pot and heat it till it separates. Then heat it a little more to get any entrained water out.
    I mean it's really just rock science.

    It stores well in the fridge.
    It will spoil on the shelf

    • it doesn't spoil
      • Unsu...
        If course it will. Leave it out long enough and it'll turn septic.
        Go ahead - - leave a container on the counter for a summer. You'll see.

        In order to not spoil it'd have to be like mineral oil: aseptic.
        But even mineral oil while not supporting life can be a medium upon and in which organics can reside or float and they can turn septic.

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