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Infused olive oils are a great way to add flavor to a dish. They are amazing in marinades, pasta dishes, and salad dressings.
Infused olive oils are versatile and enhance the taste of various dishes effortlessly. They eliminate the need for extra ingredients and take the taste to new heights, bringing a burst of taste and complexity.
Moreover, they are fantastic presents, perfect for holidays or thoughtful hostess gifts.
The cold method is a simple and easy way to create infused oil. Let’s explore how you can easily create your infused oil with this method.
What you’ll need
- Prepare your Infusing Ingredients
First, you will need to decide on the oil flavor you want to create and ensure your herbs or infusion ingredient is dried first. The moisture in fresh herbs and other ingredients can cause botulism. For this infusion, we created the following infused oils: lemons-infused olive oil, garlic-infused olive oil, and rosemary-infused olive oil.
- Dry the Herbs
Preheat the oven to 200* F.
If using lemon, peel the lemon, making sure to get as little of the white pith as possible. The white pith can make your oil bitter. Place on a baking sheet and put into the preheated oven. Dry for about 20 minutes.
If using rosemary, use long stalks of rosemary, then wash and pat dry the rosemary. Place on a baking sheet and put into the preheated oven. Dry for about 20 minutes.
If using garlic, preheat the oven to 425*. Cut the top of a whole garlic head off, exposing the cloves. Place garlic on aluminum foil and drizzle two teaspoons of olive oil over the head. Wrap the garlic in foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Let the garlic cool slightly, and then squish the roasted cloves.
- Pour the Oil over the Dried Herbs
Place your dried ingredients in the jar. Pour olive oil over the ingredients and screw the lid on.
- Store in a cool, dark place for the oil to infuse. Every couple of days, swirl the oil around.
Store your garlic oil in the fridge unless you dehydrate or use dried garlic. Because all of the moisture is not out of roasted garlic, it can still harbor bacteria that turn into botulism.
- Wait for the Oil to Infuse
Let your oils infuse for 4-6 weeks. Taste test along the way to see if they’re reaching the flavor you desire.
- Bottle the Oil (if gifting)
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between Infused Oils & Essential Oils?
An infused oil is made by soaking herbs in a carrier oil. The herbal material is left to steep in the oil for several weeks, often on a sunny windowsill, and then strained. The resulting oil will have the essence of the herb plus all of its beneficial constituents, which are drawn out by the solvent action of the oil.
This differs from essential oil, which you might buy in a small vial. Essential oil is a volatile liquid distilled from plants’ leaves, flowers, bark, or other parts. To produce an essential oil, the plant material is placed in a still, and steam is forced through it. The hot vapor causes the essential oils to break free and they are collected in a condenser.
Infused oils are not as concentrated as essential oils and are used differently. An infused oil can be used as the primary oil in a recipe, whereas an essential oil would only be used sparingly.
What if I don’t want to wait weeks to infuse the oil?
If you’re in a pinch for time or just don’t feel like waiting weeks for infused oil, you can use the heat method. The basic concept of the heat method is heating the oil slowly on the stove and adding the ingredients. The heat releases the flavor, like heating the alcohol for homemade vanilla extract!
Can you infuse too long?
No, you cannot infuse the oil for too long.
How long should you infuse olive oil?
The olive oil infusion process should take anywhere from 4-6 weeks.
Is homemade infused olive oil safe?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to make infused olive oil at home. In fact, you at least get to control the flavor of your olive oil.
How do you prevent botulism in infused oils?
The only way to prevent botulism is to use dried herbs like dried rosemary and garlic.