Infused oils involve transferring both scent and flavour into a carrier oil, which can be utilized to enhance the flavour of cooking oils, create scented oils for use in aromatherapy, massage oils and beauty products like soaps and lotions. This process involves infusing herbs, flowers or even spices into an oil through heat allowing the volatile oils to transfer into the carrier oil. In this instructable we will demonstrate how to make infused oils using our decarboxylator and oil infuser.
If you're new to oil infusion we highly recommend taking a look at our decarboxylator and oil infuser which will help you infuse your oils with absolute precision and ease.
Our unit is an all in one allowing you to both precisely activate your botanicals if needed, and then infuse them.
It is the only unit one the market to date that will allow you to actually customize the temperature and time while all others just have an all round setting. If you're not aware as well, different compounds and botanicals activate at different temperatures so it's vital you activate the right ones at the right temperature!
Click here if you're interested in learning more about our decarboxylator and oil infuser.
What Plants are commonly infused For Foods.
In the forthcoming steps you'll observe that a diverse range of flowers, herbs & spices can be employed to create infused oils. Given that these oils will be ingested or applied to your body, we highly suggest using organic materials wherever possible. Ideally, if you can cultivate them in your own garden you can regulate what is applied to the plants and be assured of their purity. Even a small herb plant in a pot on your windowsill would suffice.
Utilizing infused oils in cooking is an excellent method for enhancing the flavour of your meals. An array of herbs and spices may be used depending on your taste preferences and cooking approach. Both fresh, dried and decarbed herbs can be used; however, fresh herbs will provide a stronger flavour, but the oil will not last as long and should be kept refrigerated (see note below**).
We usually recommend creating small quantities of infused oil at a time to ensure that it is used up quickly.
Here are a few suggestions of plants, herbs and spices which are commonly infused for cooking and feel free to mix and match them to make your very own magical flavours!
Extra virgin olive oil is the best oil to use as the carrier oil but you can also use grape seed, peanut oil or sunflower oil. **Walnut oil is also suitable for use in cold dishes such as salad dressings as it is not suitable for heating (do not use it in our oil infuser).
Preparing Your Botanicals & Oil Infusing
Before you start we recommend hand washing any fresh herbs and letting them dry out over a tea towel. Once dried you can simply add oil into our oil infuser, add in the botanicals, set a temperature and time and then the oil infuser will combine the oils and botanicals together. Once done you just need to strain them and volia, you're left with a beautifull hand made oil infusion ready for cooking.
Things to note are:
Dried herbs and spices do not obviously need to be washed before hand.
To make the oils last longer, you can heat the botanicals (decarboxylate) them in our oil infuser before hand. For example, you could heat rosemary up at 71 degrees for 30 minutes which would slowly and gently dry them out. From there, add the oils into the machine and do another 71 degrees at 30 minutes. Doing this will prolong the lifespan of the oil compared to using fresh herbs. The benefits of using fresh herbs is that they do generally have a stronger aroma and flavour. Either way works so it just depends on your personal preference.
Once the oils are infused it's also recommended to place them into a fridge. This will help prevent prolong their lifespan.
Making Massage, Bath And Scented Oil.
Many people also love to infuse a range of other botanicals like flowers and herbs to make their very own massage oils, lotions, soaps, perfumes and more. If you're running your own massage business and a customer walks out smelling fresher and better than ever before you'll have a client for life. The best part is no one can replicate your fragrances so make sure you always write them down or remember your ingrients encase you find a truely amazing mixture or fragrance!
Common oils utilized for massage oils, perfumes and bath oils include:
Sweet almond oil
Evening primrose oil
Apricot kernel oil
Borage seed oil
Various nut oils (such as walnut, pecan, hazelnut)
Grape seed oil
Various seed oils (such as hemp, sesame, sunflower)
These oils are readily absorbed by the skin (making them fantastic moisturisers) and do not possess a strong odour. They can be purchased at most health/natural food stores or specialty aromatherapy stores - we also usually always have them here at The Hippie House :)
Some can also be found at grocery stores but try to obtain cold-pressed oils.
The type of flowers or herbs you can use is virtually limitless and depends on your imagination or what you happen to have growing in your garden. Here are some suggestions and popular fragrances/botanicals used:
Using fresh flowers or herbs for fragrances is usually preferable over dried ones as the fragrances are usually a lot more potent. Furthermore, if you're obtaining them from your garden, cut the flowers/herbs in the morning and begin making the infused oil right away if feasible. You can also mix various flowers and herbs together to create a range of different scent combinations.
The instructions for making scent-infused oils are fundamentally identical to those as mentioned above however since flowers are more delicate than culinary herbs and spices we would not recommend using the decarboxylation method - just the oil infusion method. Just simply add them into our oil infuser with your desired carrier oil, set a lowered temperature and you're all set!