How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

With a season usually focused around cookies, cocktails and other various indulgences, my heart just hasn’t been in it this year. I haven’t been much in the mood for sweets, I guess I can have my personal trainer to thank for that! So, I’ve instead been spending time coming up with fun, handmade gifts for the food-lovers in all of our lives!

There are lots of great options for simple homemade gifts here on TY: Homemade Chocolate Bark, DIY homemade Vanilla Extract, Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter, Coconut Butter, Nut Butters, Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Mix, Chai Concentrate, just to name a few of my favorites.

A handmade gift, made with love, packaged up sweetly with beautiful custom labels and a thoughtful note, to me, is what the season is all about. Sharing something you created with your own two hands, especially for the recipient.

Infused Olive Oils make really great and beautiful gifts for the food lover in your life! The flavor possibilities are endless and it is truly a fun and unique present.

There are so many various ways you can infuse olive oil and there are just as many posts floating around the web telling us about them. Some heat the oil, while others just throw it all together in the bottle and call it a day, some leave in the ingredients in, others strain them out before bottling. I have done a lot of reading and no matter what method you choose, there are a few concerns we have to take into account when making infused olive oils.

When using fresh ingredients that haven’t been dried, there is always a concern of Botulism, but most especially with garlic-infused olive oil. Clostridium Botulinum is a bacterium found in most soil and since garlic, being a root vegetable, is ripped from the ground, traces of this deadly bacteria are still left clinging to it. Since Botulism is an anaerobic bacteria (meaning that it thrives in an environment lacking oxygen), it dies in the presence of oxygen. Olive oil essentially seals out oxygen and when you mix food in with the oil, you have an ideal breeding ground for these potentially deadly bacteria.

Commercial grade garlic infused olive oils are (usually) prepared with an acid or preservative of some kind to preserve the garlic and protect if from growing harmful bacteria. At home, we could add some type of acid to the garlic oil mixture if we figure out the pH levels and all that, or to just be extra safe, we can simply strain out the garlic from the oil and store the infused oil in the refrigerator, consuming it in less than 1 month’s time. When leaving the garlic in the oil, the main concern is that toxin production has been known to occur even when a small number of C. botulinum spores were present in the garlic. When the spore-containing garlic is bottled and covered with oil, an oxygen-free environment is created that promotes the germination of spores and the growth of microorganisms at temperatures as low as 50 F. Scary stuff. So strain that garlic out, kids or if you are leaving it in, eat your garlic oil within a day or two!

Besides the garlic, I tend to prefer to use dried herbs and spices for my infusions. Dried herbs in oil are less of a safety concern because of their low water activity which makes conditions less favorable to growth of C. botulinum. When using fresh, whole herbs, since they look so beautiful in the bottles, I simply dehydrate them myself, so they can stay whole but it is safe to bottle with the oil.

So now that I have effectively scared educated you, let’s move on to this how-to!

How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

Infused Oils Using Dried Herbs, Vegetables, etc.

Heat the olive oil to 180°F in a pot over a medium/low heat. Remove the oil from the heat and pour the hot oil over the dried additives, let cool, then pour into your container and seal tightly. You can strain the ingredients out or leave them in, that’s up to you. If you don’t plan to leave the ingredients in the oil when you bottle it, you can also add them to the oil as it’s heating up, to maximize infusion time and the flavors being released.

Storage

Store infused oils containing dry garlic, vegetables, and/or herbs in a cool, dark place. This helps keep the fat from going rancid. Rancid oils does not look or smell any different. Eating rancid oils will not make you sick, however it can affect you long term and has been linked to cancer and early aging. Do not store for more than three months. After three months, throw away any unused oil.

Infused Oils Made with Fresh Herbs, Garlic or Other Fresh Items

Wash all the ingredients going into your oil and let them dry as much as possible – preferably overnight. You can also use a dehydrator on a low temperature, if you have one. Remember bacteria can’t grow in the olive oil itself, but it can grow in the water left on the ingredients going into the oil.

Heat the oil to 200ºF and add the fresh ingredients and allow to cook in the olive oil for about 3-5 minutes. Then remove from the heat, strain out the fresh ingredients and pour the infused oil into your bottle, tightly cap and allow to cool. Once cooled, store in the refrigerator.

Storage

Store oils made from fresh ingredients in the refrigerator and use as soon as possible, but definitely use within 1 month. Take the oil out from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before cooking with it.

How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

Most importantly, always choose a high quality extra virgin olive oil like Terra Delyssa and whether fresh or dried, always opt for the highest-quality, organic (when possible) ingredients for infusing.

Be sure whatever bottles and containers you are using are well cleaned and thoroughly dried.

How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

Chipotle Infused Olive Oil

  • 2 cups high quality extra virgin olive oil, I use Terra Delyssa
  • 1/2 cup dried chipotle peppers

Using a mortar and pestle crush a couple of the chipotle peppers, to release their flavors. Heat the oil over a low heat until it reaches 180ºF. Remove from the heat and pour the hot oil over the chipotles. Allow to cool and pour into your air tight bottle, adding a couple of the dried chipotle peppers and some of the seeds. Tightly cap and store in a cool dark place (or the refrigerator) and use within 3 months.

 

How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

Toasted Saffron and Pink Peppercorn Infused Olive Oil

  • 2 cups high quality extra virgin olive oil, I use Terra Delyssa
  • 1 teaspoon toasted saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons pink peppercorns

Lightly toast the saffron threads in a dry pan or in the oven, stop before they blacken or burn. Using a mortar and pestle, crush half of the pink peppercorns, to release their flavors. Heat the oil over a low heat until it reaches 180ºF. Remove from the heat and pour the hot oil over the toasted saffron threads and pink peppercorns. Allow to cool and pour into your air tight bottle, keeping all or some of the spices. Tightly cap and store in a cool dark place (or the refrigerator) and use within 3 months.

How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

  • 2 cups high quality extra virgin olive oil, I use Terra Delyssa
  • 5 springs dried rosemary*

In small saucepan, combine the oil & rosemary. Heat over a low heat until it reaches 180º F, and let the rosemary infuse for about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature. Transfer a couple of the sprigs to your air tight bottle, strain the rest out, then add the oil. Seal and store in a cool dark place (or the refrigerator) and use within 3 months.

* I used fresh rosemary that I dried for several hours in the dehydrator, until the wooded part of the sprigs were very dry and could easily break. If you use fresh rosemary, heat the oil to 200ºF, allow the rosemary to cook in the oil for about 5 minutes and strain out all of the fresh rosemary sprigs before bottling.

 

How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

Garlic Infused Olive Oil

  • 2 cups high quality extra virgin olive oil, I use Terra Delyssa
  • 1 head garlic (peeled, rinsed and well dried)

In a saucepan over a low heat, heat the olive oil to 200ºF. Add the garlic cloves and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, don’t let the garlic burn though or your oil will have a bitter taste to it. Lower the heat or turn it off, if necessary. Remove from the heat and strain out the garlic. Pour into your air tight bottle, tightly cap and allow to cool. Once cooled, store in the refrigerator and use within 1 month.

 

How-to Make Infused Olive Oil

BONUS – PRINTABLE LABELS:

Download a customizable version of these labels to print at home to give your homemade infused olive oils an extra-special personal touch! Grab your printable PDF, print out on your sheet of blank labels and simply write your name in under “by:”, fill in the flavor of your infused olive oil, the storage instructions and the date it should be enjoyed by. That’s it. DOWNLOAD HERE.

Print these 2.5-inch diameter labels on any Avery brand 22808 template, 2 1/2-inch circle labels. I used these brown kraft paper labels.

 

 

Terra Delyssa is a sponsor of Tasty Yummies. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Tasty Yummies.

 

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This means if you make a purchase using these links above – your cost remains the same, but I earn a small percentage to help support this blog. Thank you!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Oil Fan Lucy February 11, 2015 at 5:04 am

Wow, these are great, especially the garlic infused olive oil which is my absolute favorit. 🙂 Can’t wait to get home and try this out. Also, thanks for the printable labels, I’m downloading them right now.

Reply

2 Raquel Randazzo March 30, 2015 at 1:14 pm

If i don;t have a dehydrator, can I put the rosemary in the oven?

Reply

3 mary September 14, 2015 at 11:02 am

Yes. I dry a lot of my herbs that way if my dehydrator isn’t out at the moment. I turn the oven light on & leave it overnight with my herbs on a cookies sheet. Just the heat from the light will dry them.

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4 Beth @ Tasty Yummies September 21, 2015 at 6:45 am

Thanks Mary!

Reply

5 Pasha September 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

how do you make the advertising go away on the left and bottom so I can read the article? Want to try but between the row on the left and Avon on the bottom it gets aggravating trying to scroll in between ….

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6 Lauren October 12, 2015 at 8:57 am

Where did you get these bottles?

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7 Beth @ Tasty Yummies October 22, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Hey Lauren, I think I bought them from http://www.specialtybottle.com or Amazon.com, I can’t recall which. It’s been too long. Sorry about that.

Reply

8 rachelle parker October 25, 2015 at 11:01 am

Very interesting but I was not able to finish reading because of your background chevron print. I started getting a headache and feeling dizy.

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9 Beth @ Tasty Yummies October 26, 2015 at 6:18 pm

hahaha, I am assuming you are kidding?

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10 Bev May 2, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Why is a garlic infused oil OK, but not garlic itself when restricted to a low FODMAP diet?

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11 Christine S March 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

Can you use minced garlic that is store bought? Would this help avoid bot tox worry? Would still need to refrigerate since garlic needs fridge once jar is opened. Thanks.

Reply

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