If regular cooking oil is just not quite exciting enough for you, boy do I have good news. Herb-infused cooking oils are incredibly easy to DIY, and they’re way easier to make than they look. How do I know? Because I’m cooking-illiterate, and I made three DIY infused cooking oils successfully, and they’re delicious. True story.
You can use these infused oils for cooking, marinades, and salad dressings. If you’re cooking-illiterate like me, you might think that you don’t have any use for fancy herb-a-licious oils, and that’s where you’re wrong. Those of us who do not cook tend to be very enthusiastic about low-effort meals, such as “stuff on bread” and “bread dipped into things.” And infused oils are perfect for dipping.
Also, infused olive oil looks super fancy, which makes it a great gift.
There are a few ways to infuse your own cooking oils, and you’ll find a million different recipes online. You can use fresh herbs, dried herbs, or preserved herbs. You can heat the oil to help the infusion process along or simply leave the herbs and oil in a jar to cold-infuse.
With so many options, how do you know where to begin?
For starters, most recipes call for extra-virgin olive oil, because it’s a healthy all-purpose oil that’s light enough to absorb whichever flavors you’re adding.
As for herbs, you can use any herb that you would normally use for cooking or seasoning. Popular choices include basil, garlic, rosemary, chili pepper, and oregano. The world is your oyster. Go wild.
As for technique, that depends on how much time and effort you’re willing to put in. For me, that amount is “almost none.”
I figured out how to make infused cooking oil safely and easily. Seriously, so easily. Here’s the process, from beginning to end.