How to Infuse Olive Oil: 5 Easy Recipes | Craft Connections Co
Oil infusions are great to use all year round, whether you want to dress a summer salad, drizzle a little something extra over your hearty winter soup, or simply have a dipping plate with some crusty bread as a starter, oil infusions are really versatile.
Here we unpack everything you need to get started as we take you through how to infuse olive oil, including 5 simple recipes that are sure to become family favorites.
Craft Connections Co offers oil and vinegar infusion kits with all the tools you need to get started creating delicious oil infusions, as well as a recipe book containing over 40 recipes to try!
Tools You Will Need to Infuse Olive Oil
- Glass Oil & Vinegar Bottles with Flip Top Pourers
- Mason Jar with Lid
- Funnel & Strainer
- Kitchen Thermometer
What Oil is Best for Infusing?
When it comes to choosing an oil to infuse, it is best to experiment and everyone will have their own flavor preferences. Extra virgin olive oil is a quality refined oil that is a staple in most kitchens, and avocado oil is another popular choice. You could also opt for a lighter oil when making your own infusions, such as vegetable oil or canola oil as these are fairly inexpensive and neutral in flavor.
Infusion Method: Do I Need to Heat the Oil to Infuse?
There are two infusion methods you can use to create your flavored oils: The Cold-Infusion Method and The Heated-Infusion Method. We would always recommend heating the oil as part of the process as it does help reduce some of the bacterial contamination risks and if done well, the Heated-Infusion Method also creates strong, robust flavors that can last for a bit longer.
The Cold-Infusion Method tends to produce weaker, more delicate flavors and involves using a blender to puree your ingredient of choice before mixing it with the oil, without ever heating the mixture.
The Heated-Infusion Method involves gently heating your oil with your chosen ingredients, to a temperature of no higher than 150 degrees so as not to change the flavor profile of your chosen oil. You then remove the oil from the heat and allow the flavors to infuse. The longer the better for the strongest flavor.
How to Infuse Olive Oil with Garlic
With garlic being a fantastic base for many dishes, this is the ideal flavor to begin your oil infusing journey. Here is how you do it:
- Peel the garlic.
- Place your oil in a small saucepan with your peeled garlic cloves and slowly heat on low until the garlic is soft.
- For a lighter, sweeter oil keep the heat low and avoid any color on the garlic, or for a stronger flavor turn up the temperature slightly to give the garlic a bit of color, making sure not to boil the oil.
- Strain the oil into a clean, dry mason jar with an airtight lid, making sure to remove any garlic pieces.
- Store your oil in the refrigerator and use it within 3 days.
When making garlic infused oil it is important to heat the garlic, because if left at room temperature it is possible for it to cause botulism, which is a bacteria that can be harmful.
How to Infuse Olive Oil with Rosemary
Woody and aromatic, rosemary infused oil is a great option to have on hand to use with chicken dishes, roast potatoes, or even to drizzle over popcorn, and it is so simple to make.
- Rinse the rosemary and dry thoroughly to avoid getting any water in the oil.
- Strip the leaves from the rosemary branches.
- Place your oil in a small saucepan with your rosemary and slowly heat on low for 5-10 minutes, the oil should warm up but not simmer or bubble.
- Remove from the heat and allow the rosemary to infuse in the oil for 1 hour.
- Strain the oil into a clean, dry mason jar with an airtight lid, removing any rosemary.
- Store your oil in the refrigerator and use it within 7-10 days.
When using fresh herbs for your oil infusions it is recommended to ‘acidify’ them beforehand using citric acid to help keep any bacteria from growing. By doing this, your oil infusion will have a longer shelf life.
You can also dry your herbs by air drying, oven drying, microwaving or using a food dehydrator, or using shop bought dried herbs. This will ensure your herbs don’t contain any moisture when mixing with the oil.
How to Infuse Olive Oil with Basil
A softer, more delicate herb than rosemary, basil pairs particularly well with tomato. Here is the recipe:
- Rinse the basil and dry thoroughly.
- Combine the basil and oil in a blender and puree until smooth.
- In a saucepan, heat the mixture over a medium heat for 45-60 seconds.
- Use a strainer to transfer your oil into a bowl, removing any basil, and allow the mixture to sit for a few hours.
- Pour the mixture into a clean, dry glass mason jar with an airtight lid.
- Store your oil in the refrigerator and use it within 7 days
Because basil is a gentler herb, blending it together with the oil prior to heating will create a more intense flavor that is delicious drizzled over tomato and mozzarella.
How to Infuse Olive Oil with Chili
For something with a little more bite, infuse your oil with chili to use in stir frys or on top of pizzas.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over a low heat.
- Add dried chili flakes and whole chilies to the oil and heat for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and once cooled strain into a clean, dry mason jar with an airtight lid.
- Store your oil in the refrigerator and use it within 7 days
Depending on your heat preferences you can use more or less chili flakes and whole chilies to infuse your oil.
How to Infuse Olive Oil with Lemon
A fantastic addition to any grilled fish or vegetable dish, or drizzled over a side salad, a lemon-infused oil ensures that healthy doesn’t have to mean boring. Here is now to prepare this recipe:
- Using a small sharp knife or a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemon in large strips.
- In a small saucepan, gently warm the lemon zest and olive oil without bringing the oil to a simmer or allowing any bubbles to form.
- Keep the oil and lemon warm over the heat for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow the lemon to steep in the oil as it cools to room temperature.
- Strain the oil into a clean, dry mason jar with an airtight lid, removing the strips of lemon zest.
- Store your oil in the refrigerator and use it within 2-3 weeks.
When peeling your lemon, make sure to remove only the zest and not the white pith as the pith will make your oil taste bitter.
If you are keen to try making homemade oil infusions for yourself, you may be asking: How long does homemade infused olive oil last? Is it different for each ingredient? The answer to this is: It depends.
If using fresh ingredients to infuse your olive oil, if they have not been acidified then they will need to be stored in the refrigerator and it is recommended to use within a few days. Using dry ingredients, such as dried herbs or dried chilies, or acidifying your fresh ingredients using citric acid prior to use, will eliminate this risk and allow you to store your oil infusion for a longer period.
The Choice is Yours
Of course, there are a whole variety of ingredients you can choose from besides the recipes we have included. Our Oil and Vinegar Infusion Kits come with Texas Jack’s Famous Infused Olive Oil and Vinegar Recipe Book with over 40 recipes inside to try.
What is your favorite olive oil infusion? Post a picture of your dish and tag us on Instagram.Craft Connections Co offers oil and vinegar infusion kits with all the tools you need to get started creating delicious oil infusions!