Infusing a high-quality oil with herbs, spices, and other flavors will add rich flavor to your food, naturally. Here’s our simple guide to making infused oils at home.


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What are infused oils?

Infused oils are high-quality oils like extra virgin olive oil (the carrier oil) that have herbs, spices, and other flavors added to it.

How to make infused oils:

  1. Gather your ingredients: Use the best ingredients you can find: Quality oil, fresh herbs, organic when possible.
  2. Choose your combinations: Decide which herbs you want to use. Popular options include basil, lemon rinds, oregano, dill, parsley, chives, and ginger, and sometimes even lavender and germanium leaves.
  3. Very important: Wash and DRY your ingredients: preferably in the sun until they are totally dry, with no traces of water.

While bacteria doesn’t grow in the oil, it can grow in the water left on the ingredients.

  1. Wash and dry your bottle. Use a jar or bottle with a rubber stopper or a canning jar.


Now, you have two choices for preparing your oil:

Method #1: Steeping.

Rub your herbs a bit to expose their oils and place them in your container. You can lightly toast spices and then crush them with a mortar and pestle. Things like lemons and chili peppers can be sliced thinly.

Fill the bottle with olive oil, covering the ingredients. Seal the bottle, and let it sit in a cool, dark place for two weeks. Taste, then strain out the herbs and spices and rebottle the oil. Refrigerate the oil.

OR, you can use…

Method #2: Heat.

The heat method saves time, as the oil infuses more quickly, reducing the risk of bacteria growth, but may change the flavor and quality of your oil.

Heat the oil and ingredients in a saucepan on medium-low heat to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and no higher. Let the oil cool and then strain out the ingredients.

Bottle the oil, and refrigerate. The oil will keep for up to one month. Discard immediately if it shows any signs of spoilage.

Some favorites for you to try:

  • Sundried tomato, garlic, and chive
  • Rosemary, oregano, basil, and thyme
  • Mint and orange peel
  • Chili, peppercorn, and garlic
  • Dill and chive
  • Any combination you can think of!

Why use infused oils?

Oils used for cooking and preparing food should be healthy oils that contain heart-healthy omega-3s. Olive oil is the best example, but macadamia nut oil, avocado oil, and even grapeseed oil can work.

Infused oil enhances the flavor of your food while minimizing extra fat and salt. Infused oils have a stronger flavor than regular oil, so you need to use less of the oil to get a great flavor.

Learn more about healthy oils (and the ones NEVER to use) in our presentation.

Infused oils are great in salad dressing, drizzled over pasta or bread, and even for gentle sautéing of vegetables. What do you use them for?

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