Have you ever wondered how to make infused oils?
I’m going to share with you 3 ways in which you can infuse oil. Two methods involve hot oil infusion. The other technique is cold oil infusion. Either of these work just fine. It’s all going to depend on what you’re going to do with your infused oils and how much time you want to spend on the process.
You may be asking yourself: “what can I infuse”, “why would I want to infuse”, and “what kind of oils can I use”? I will help answer these questions down below!
First of all, when infusing oils, I prefer to use dried only items. If you’re not able to dry things such as herbs at home, you can order these items online at Bulk Apothecary . Furthermore, they can be found in craft stores as well as your grocery stores. Don’t forget to check your Health food stores, if you have any near you. I prefer to grow my own herbs and flowers in my garden and to forage for them in the wild.
Goldenrod Flowers and Leaves
- Herbs, sage, thyme, mints, lemon balm, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, rosemary, basil, catnip
- Flowers, dandelion, calendula, sunflowers, yarrow, goldenrod, rose, lavender, elder flowers, hollyhock, dark red or dark pink peony, forsythia, dianthus, daisy, cornflower, chamomile
- Coffee grounds, dried tea.
- Nettle, wild wood violet leaves, plantain, pine.
These are just to name a few. Always make sure you or anyone that may use the infusions aren’t allergic to any of these ingredients. Always do your research on any herb, flower, or plant you intend to use.
What can I use them for
Infused oils can be used in cooking, skin care, and even soap making. Yes, even in cold process handcrafted soaps.
Type of oils
If you’re wanting infused oils for cooking, you have several to choose from. Just stay with the healthier oils.
- Olive oils
- Avocado oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Rice Bran oil
- Safflower oil
- Sesame Seed oil
- Sunflower oil
If you’re wanting to infuse oil for skin care and soaps, you can still use the ones mentioned above as well as:
- Jojoba oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Coconut oil
- Castor oil
Although you can use any of the oils in the list to infuse, olive oil is my favorite. Its shelf life is longer than most. Plus, it’s readily available in any sized jug you need. I purchase my olive oil by the gallon because I use a large quantity for handcrafted soaps, oil infusions, and skin care products.
Types of Containers
I strictly use canning jars, usually in pint or quart size. They are easily available in most areas. I use and love canning jars for a number of reasons. They are heat safe so you don’t need to worry about them cracking. Always check your jars before use for any cracks. Sometimes you may find flaws in the jars.
How to Oil Infuse
Once you have decided on the type of oil and dried item you want to infuse, you’ll want to add the dried item to the jar first. If you’re using a pint jar, fill it at least half way with dried herbs or flowers. Then, slowly pour your oil into the jar, leaving a 1 inch head space. Next, you’re going to want to gently stir (a wooden skewer or chopstick works well) everything around to release any air bubbles. Do this a couple of times to ensure that the air is gone and all the dried herbs are oil covered. Lastly, place your lids on the jars.
Hot Infused Oil Methods
There are two hot methods I use if I don’t have time to wait for the cold method of oil infusing.
- Warming your infused oil in a crock-pot or Instant Pot.
- Warming your infused oil on the stove.
Crock-Pot or Instant Pot Infused Oil
Using a crock-pot or the Instant Pot’s crock-pot setting is the simplest and safest way of warming your oils. You can just set it and walk away. If you don’t have either of the two, then there’s your stove top. Following the same process, you’ll just have to keep a close eye on it.
- If using a crock-pot, lay a kitchen towel in the bottom of the crock. Place your jars on the towel, then, fill the crock with warm water half way up the jars. Turn your crock on warm, keep the crock-pot lid off. Then, let the oil infuse for 12-14 hours to up to 3 days. This will give your oil a more intense infused flavor or scent. Make sure to check the water level in the crock-pot once in a while so it doesn’t get too low from evaporation.
- If you’re using an Instant Pot, leave out the towel and just use your trivet. Place your jar on the trivet, fill with water half way up the jar. Turn on the slow-cooker, leave off the Instant Pots lid. Let it go for 12-14 hours up to 3 days. Remember to check your water level.
- For the stove top method, place a trivet in the bottom of a deep pot. Then place your jar on top of the trivet and fill with water half way up. Turn your burner on low and heat for 2 hours.
Note: If your jars want to float in the water, just place a heavy washed rock or something heat resistant on top of them to hold them down.
Cold Infused Oil Method
The cold infusion method is the simplest but it takes the longest. Fill your jar half way with your choice of herb, flowers, etc. Then, fill with oil, leaving the one inch from the top. Place your lid on tightly and set it near a sunny window for 6-8 weeks. Give it a swirl daily. I personally prefer to keep my oils in a dark place for infusing. I worry that sunlight could break down the oil or cause it to go rancid. Many use the sun method and have had no issues, so I’ll leave that choice to you.
Oil Infusion Complete
When you’re satisfied with how long you want to infuse your oil, it’s time to strain it. I mostly strain it through a fine cone shaped stainless steel strainer. Or if I want it strained even clearer, I’ll add several layers of cheese cloth. When I’m making oil infusions for soap making I prefer not to use the cheese cloth. But if the oils are for cooking or skin care, then I’ll strain with the cheese cloth.
I hope you give infused oils a try, there are so many yummy things you can use with the oils. Remember to have fun with it!