Good oil is a fundamental component of cooking. Quality oils provide plenty of health benefits along with flavor. I like to dress up my olive and peanut oils with simple infusions, which further elevate a dish, adding an extra oomph! DIY Infused Oils are a fabulously easy way to create a delicious new ingredient that can be used to top any dish, for dipping bread or even dressing salads. Another major plus – they make for great gifts! A few of these bottles adorned with a ribbon will bring joy to any of your foodie friends. 

DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

One of my favorite quick treats is a platter with hunks of fresh bread with a serving of herby oil. It’s such a simple pleasure, but offers a world of good flavour and textures. While we’re focusing on garlic, rosemary and chilli here, you can make endless variations of infused oils as per your preference and need! They’re quick to prepare, assemble and can be used up in a matter of days. 

Homemade Infused Oils vs Store Bought 

Why should you bother making these at home when you can find them in a store? Well for starters, they’re expensive. As fun as it is to buy fancy oils and play around with them in your recipes (something I’ve done for years), they are not exactly wallet friendly. By making them at home, you can get a better version for a fraction of the market cost. 

Second of all, the homemade version is fresh. While I recommend a shelf life of no more than a week for the homemade version, you are getting a punch of rich flavour using fresh herbs.

Finally, you have the ability to experiment and control the infusion. With a chilli oil you can throw in a dozen chillis or a few depending on your preference. You can mix multiple herbs together. The ingredient is yours to balance and create, which makes your cooking all the more tasty and special!

DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

What do you need to make DIY Infused Oils?

  • Olive oil 
  • Your choice of herbs/garlic 
  • Sterilized airtight bottles
  • Strainer

The process and ingredients are blessedly simple. All you need to do is heat the oil and herbs in a saucepan, strain it into an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator. 

DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

Oil Options for DIY Infused Oils 

I recommend using olive oil for these. It does not need to be very fancy or expensive, a simple one will work perfectly! Try to use pure olive oil if possible. You do not need to use extra virgin olive oil (which also tends to be more expensive). In fact, considering extra virgin is stronger in flavour, light olive oil tends to be a better fit for infusing. 

Olive oil is also a great choice because it’s a healthy fat, with numerous health benefits. It boasts an impressive antioxidant content, has anti inflammatory properties and is linked to preventing many diseases. 

If you don’t have olive oil, a good canola oil or peanut oil ( I use cold -pressed peanut oil a lot!) would work well too! Just steer clear of pomace oil. 

How to Sterilize Your Glass Bottles

  1. Wash with warm soapy water, followed by a rinse. Dry them and then put in the oven for 20 minutes, at 100 – 120 celsius. 
  2. Boil them in a pot of water for 10 minutes, followed by either oven dry or air dry. 

Making the DIY Infused Oils

  • For each of these three variations, we’ll be heating half a cup of olive oil on a saucepan, adding the infusion ingredient and letting it come to a simmer on low heat. The temperature we are looking for the oil to reach is 200 – 220 celsius. You can use a thermometer for exact checking!
  • Each time, we will maintain a low simmer and not bring it to a rolling boil. You’ll know when the gentle simmer is complete when there are a few little bubbles around the edge. 
  • Then let the mixture cool completely, strain it into a sterilized jar and store it in the fridge for up to a week. Oils made with fresh herbs or garlic are not recommended beyond a that point, for risk of botulism (more on this below). 

How to Make Chilli Infused Oil 

In a small saucepan, heat together half a cup of olive oil, 2-4 whole dry chillies and a few tablespoons of red chilli flakes. 

Chilli Oil | DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

On very low heat, let this mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes. Maintain the low heat, otherwise there is a chance your chillies will burn. 

After 10-15 minutes. You will see the oil taking on a reddish hue, the chilli flakes popping a bit and the chilli turning color. That’s your cue to turn off the gas. Let the mixture cool and then strain it into the sterilized jar. 

Chilli Oil | DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

Discard the chilli flakes, but you can add a few of the whole chillies in the jar to continue to infuse as long as it’s stored! 

Please keep stored in the refrigerator.

Chilli Oil | DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

How to Make Rosemary Infused Oil 

In a small saucepan, heat together half a cup of olive oil and some fresh rosemary. If the rosemary is not fresh, the infusion will lack the complete earthy flavor and aroma which this herb provides. Make sure you wash and dry the rosemary before adding it. 

Rosemary Oil | DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

Heat the oil and rosemary on a low heat for 25 – 30 minutes. The rosemary will slightly fry. Turn off the heat and let this mixture sit for another hour, before straining it into the jar. This extra infusion will just intensify the flavour!

Rosemary Oil | DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

Use within a week as this is a perishable item and not healthy beyond that point. Please keep stored in the refrigerator.

Rosemary Oil | DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

How to Make Garlic Infused Oil 

Wash, peel and dry your garlic cloves (make sure none of the peel is left). There should be no water residue left before it is added to the saucepan with olive oil. 

Garlic Oil | DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

Let it simmer in the saucepan with olive oil for 30 minutes. The heat should be low otherwise the garlic can burn. As it diffuses, you’ll get a wonderful garlicky smell! Once the cloves are slightly browned and softened, discard them and let the mixture cool off heat. Strain into the jar once cooled and store in the fridge.

Garlic Oil | DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

 Again, use within a week as this is a perishable item and not recommended beyond that point! 

Garlic Oil | DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils

Important Safety Note 

Please keep in mind that oils made with fresh herbs and garlic are perishable and need to be consumed within the recommended time of a week as well as stored in the refrigerator. These should not be kept out at room temp, otherwise it can promote bacteria growth. 

In addition to storage and consumption, you can take the additional recommended step of acidification of the fresh herbs or garlic before adding them to the oil. This can help reduce the risk of botulism. 

To learn more, here are links about the safety precautions regarding botulism. 

University of Idaho on best practices

Foodborn Pathogens : Clostridium botulinum

Using the DIY Infused Oils 

These are a very versatile addition to your kitchen! You can use them in: 

  • Salads – to drizzle on top, or create a dressing 
  • Pizzas – to add extra flavour on top or in the sauce
  • Pastas – to elevate the sauce, create a delicious aglio e olio or even for finishing touches
  • Breads – to pour on top or for some dunking
  • Eggs – take your eggs to the next level with a pinch of salt and dribble of infused oil 
  • Marinating – chicken, fish, vegetables

DIY Infused Oils

DIY Infused Oils are a fabulously easy way to create a delicious new ingredient that can be used to top any dish, for dipping bread or even dressing salads. Another major plus – they make for great gifts!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Keyword: flavored oils, garlic oil, chilli oil, rosemary oil, infused oils
Calories:
Author: Natasha Minocha

Ingredients

Garlic OIl

  • 1/2 cup ( 125 ml) Olive oil You can use canola oil
  • 6-7 Garlic cloves

Rosemary OIl

  • 1/2 cup ( 125 ml) Olive oil You can use canola oil
  • 2-3 tbsp Rosemary sprigs

Chilli Oil

  • 1/2 cup ( 125 ml) Olive Oil You can use canola or peanut oil
  • 2-4 tbsp Chilli Flakes
  • 2-3 Whole dried red chillies

Instructions

  • Sterilize your jars/ bottles with their lids.

Garlic Oil

  • Wash and dry the garlic cloves well.
  • Place in a saucepan with the olive oil.
  • Let it simmer for 30 minutes, on very low heat.
  • Once the cloves are slightly browned and softened, discard them and let the mixture cool off the heat.
  • Pour into the sterilized jar once cooled and store in the fridge. Use within a week as this is a perishable item.

Rosemary Oil

  • Wash and dry the fresh rosemary well.
  • Place in a saucepan with the olive oil.
  • Let it simmer for 30 minutes, on very low heat.
  • Turn off the heat and let this mixture sit for an hour. This will intensify the flavors.
  • Strain into a sterilized jar and discard the rosemary.
  • Store in the refrigerator and use within a week as this is a perishable item.

Chilli Oil

  • Place the chilli flakes and whole dried red chillies with the olive oil, in a small saucepan.
  • Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, on very low heat.
  • The chilli flakes will start popping. Turn off the heat and let the oil cool.
  • Strain into a sterilized jar and discard the chilli flakes.
  • You can keep the whole chillies in the oil if you wish.
  • Store in the refrigerator and use within a week as this is a perishable item.

Notes

Important Notes:
  • Please keep in mind that oils made with fresh herbs and garlic are perishable and need to be consumed within the recommended time of a week as well as stored in the refrigerator. These should not be kept out at room temp, otherwise, it can promote bacteria growth. 
  • In addition to storage and consumption, you can take the additional recommended step of acidification of the fresh herbs or garlic before adding them to the oil. This can help reduce the risk of botulism.
DIY Infused OIls | Easy Homemade Flavored Oils