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5 Easy Oil Infusions to Liven Up Any Recipe


Olive Oil Infusion Recipe

One of the most common ingredients you’ll find in a kitchen is cooking oil - and if you’re at-home chefs, you may have a wide variety of oils to work with. Whether you’re simply sauteing vegetables or making homemade stir-fry, oil is a critical component of cooking - and most importantly - helps make the flavor of your dish top notch. If you want to take your cooking oils to the next level, we have two words for you - oil infusion. An oil infusion is when you literally infuse an oil of choice with fresh or dried ingredients such as herbs, citrus, peppers, garlic, etc. Infusing oil will elevate your salad dressings, marinades, pasta dishes, and so much more.

Hot vs. Cold 

Olive oil bottle cruet oil infusion bottle pour spoutThere are simply two different ways you can infuse oil: hot or cold. The heated method involves heating up the oil in a saucepan with your chosen ingredients, letting it cool completely, then straining into your bottle, and storing in the fridge - we used our beloved Chubby Bottle and Pour Boy® Pour Spouts. For the cold method, you place fresh or dried ingredients into your infusion container, cover with oil, infuse for 1-2 weeks, strain, and also store in the fridge. If using dried ingredients, the oil can last up to one month. If using fresh ingredients, the oil should be used within one week after infusing. The purpose of the heated method is to speed up the process by releasing the aromatic oils from the fresh or dry ingredients with heat, whereas the cold process can take up to a couple of weeks to fully draw out the oils and flavor.

 

The number one thing you want to avoid with both methods is water. If there is any extra moisture or water in your ingredients or storage container, it can cause the infused oils to go rancid quickly and produce a possibly fatal bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. If this bacteria grows, it can cause botulism. This is why we suggest using dry herbs and making sure your bottles are washed and 100% dry before using them. It’s important to do thorough research before infusing oils to make sure this doesn’t happen. If your oil smells rancid after the infusion, throw it out immediately.   

 Olive oil bottle cruet oil infusion bottle pour spout

Using the Chubby Bottle for Infusions


Olive oil bottle cruet oil infusion bottle pour spoutFor each recipe, we used our Chubby Bottle because it’s just the right size for an infusion and makes the process a lot easier. Due to its versatility, the Chubby Bottle is the best companion for both the hot and cold infusion methods. The bottom of the bottle unscrews, allowing you to fill it without a funnel; saving you time and a potential mess - especially when working with oil. After your oils are infused and ready to use with a Pour Boy® Pour Spout, the bottles make the perfect countertop addition due to their stylish, ergonomic design - which you won’t find in a classic olive oil bottle. The best part? When you’re done, you can simply screw off the bottom, rinse the bottle out, and pop it into the dishwasher for an easy-to-clean finish. We also love using our Chubby Bottle at home in other ways like this.

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Hot Oil Infusions

Rosemary Lemon Infused Olive Oil

Olive oil bottle cruet oil infusion bottle pour spout

Flavor Profile: Lemons pair well with fresh herbs like rosemary and is commonly used in Greek cuisine to liven up common dishes. Rosemary provides a hint of spice with its peppery, warm nature which balances out the sharp yet slightly bitter taste from the lemon. It’s important to use olive oil vs. extra virgin olive oil because it is more neutral and the bold flavor of extra virgin olive oil will overpower the lemon peel and rosemary. 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 rosemary sprigs - dried
  • Peel from 1 lemon - dried
  • 1 3/4 cup olive oil
Applications
    • Dressings
    • Hummus 
    • Chicken Dishes 

    Chili Infused Olive Oil

    Olive oil bottle cruet oil infusion bottle pour spout balsamic recipeFlavor Profile: This flavor pairing is inspired by the well known Asain condiment - chili oil. The spiciness from the chili pepper paired with garlic makes it the perfect addition to almost any dish. We chose sesame oil for this infusion because of its nutty nature that plays well with the garlic and spice. Note - the color of your sesame oil will vary depending on what kind of sesame oil you use.

    Ingredients

    • 3 dried chilis - or 1-2 tsp chili flakes
    • 8 garlic cloves - dried
    • 1 3/4 cup pure sesame oil 

    Applications

    • Garlic Chili Noodles 
    • Sauteed Green Beans 
    • Stir Fry 
    • Pad Thai

     

     


        Directions for hot oil infusions:

        1. Heat up a small saucepan over medium heat with your oil and ingredients.
        2. Let the mixture heat up - but don’t let it come to a boil.
        3. Once the oil is about to bubble, remove from the heat and let sit for 1-2 hours to completely cool and infuse.
        1. Strain and pour into your Chubby Bottle for storage.
        2. Use Pour Boy Pour Spout to pour.
        3. Store in the fridge when not using.

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        Cold Oil Infusions

        Basil Infused Walnut Oil

        Flavor Profile: Basil naturally provides a pungent yet sweet taste when added to many dishes. It’s a delicate herb native from central Africa to Southeast Asia. Walnut oil was the perfect choice for this infusion because it is naturally nutty, slightly sweet, and a little bitter. This oil infusion is perfect for dressings and pesto because it has a low smoke point - not making it a great choice for high heat cooking.

        Olive oil bottle cruet oil infusion bottle pour spout infused oil

        Ingredients

        • 6 large basil leaves - dried
        • 1 ¾ cup walnut oil

        Applications

        • Walnut Pesto
        • Dressings
        • Pasta Drizzle
        • Vegetable Drizzle

        Jalapeno Cilantro Infused Avocado Oil

        Olive oil bottle cruet oil infusion bottle pour spout cilantro infusion

        Flavor Profile: Cilantro is a fresh, delicate herb used in many cuisines, and most commonly found in many classic Mexican dishes. Cilantro has a pungent flavor profile which is why it makes the perfect infusion partner to jalapeno’s spicy nature. Avocado oil is a neutral oil, creating the perfect base for the ultimate flavor infusion. Avocado oil also has a high smoke point, which means it’s great for high heat cooking.

        Ingredients

        • 6 cilantro stems - dried
        • ½ thinly sliced & dried jalapeno
        • 1 ¾ cup avocado oil

        Applications

        • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
        • Cilantro dressing
        • Guacamole Topper
        • Fajitas

        Oregano Infused Sunflower Oil

         Olive oil bottle cruet oil infusion bottle pour spout infused oil

        Flavor Profile: Oregano is a common herb used in a wide variety of cuisines, and can have a stronger flavor when dried versus when fresh. Oregano is incredibly aromatic and slightly bitter. We chose sunflower oil for this infusion because it has a mild flavor, allowing the oregano to shine through, creating an infusion that can be used in many different dishes.

        Ingredients

        • 5 oregano sprigs - dried
        • 1 ¾ cup sunflower oil

        Applications

        • Salad Dressing
        • Hummus
        • Greek Cuisine
        • Sauteed Vegetables

        Directions for cold oil infusions :

        1. Place your dried herbs/ingredients in your Chubby Bottle and cover with oil.
        2. Use Crew Bottle T-Cap and let sit on the counter or in a window for 1-2 weeks to infuse.
        3. Place Pour Spout on and use!
        4. Store in the fridge when not using.

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        Directions to Dry Out The Ingredients

        1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
        2. Wash and dry your herbs/ingredients before placing them on the baking sheet.
        3. Place ingredients spaced out on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 1-2 hours until ingredients are fully dried.