As a frying medium, butter has one main drawback: It burns at low temperatures.
But if you clarify butter — separate the milk solids so that only the butterfat remains — you have a shelf-stable cooking fat with a smoking point of 450 degrees (comparable to soybean oil), as opposed to regular butter, which smokes at 350 degrees.
You could certainly clarify your own butter, but now Trader Joe’s is selling an 8-ounce jar of clarified butter for $3.29.
It’s terrific for eggs and pancakes, and for sauteing veal or chicken cutlets.
Of course, it’s a natural for Indian cooking: Clarified butter, also called ghee, is the preferred cooking fat on the Subcontinent.