How to Infuse Oil with Flavor

How to Infuse Oil with Flavor

Flavor-infused oils are not only some of the most delicious items to cook with, but they simplify the cooking process by adding seasonings. I love infused oils, but they can be expensive. They’re really easy to make at home, though. Keep reading if you want to make your own; they make great gifts!

One of the keys to making flavor-infused olive oils is to start with incredibly fresh ingredients. Some of my favorite items to use are lemons, herbs, hot sauces, and garlic. For the fresh items, I like to go to the farmers’ market. For the hot sauce, I like to get my absolute favorite flavor which is chipotle. The smokiness is a great contrast to the smoothness of the oil.

Anyway, once you get your ingredients (including the high-quality olive oil) home, just lay them out on the counter. Usually, I’ll make a few infusions at once to have on hand.

 For the lemons and herbs, I like to wash them in cold running water, soak them in vinegar for a few minutes, dry them thoroughly, and then slice them thinly. I then line an airtight container with paper towels and allow the items to dry overnight in the fridge.  While bacteria cannot grow in the oil itself, wet ingredients will cause bacteria to grow.

Personally, I use mason jars because I’m not fancy and they work just fine. You’ll want to make sure the mason jars are thoroughly washed and dried before you make the infusions. Then, all you have to do is place the “infuser” into the bottom of the jar with a pinch or two of salt. Use a fork or a pestle to gently mash the lemon, garlic, or herbs (no need if you’re using hot sauce). For the garlic, you may want to roast it before placing into the jar, it’s delicious.

Top the muddled ingredient(s) with oil and seal tightly. Place the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 2-4 weeks prior to using.

That’s it! Do you have any other ways that you like to infuse your oil? Have you tried it with vinegar? Let me know, I love finding new ways to get creative in the kitchen!

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