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How to Infuse Olive Oil

Great quality olive oil can make a huge difference to any dish, but what’s even better is quality infused olive oil.

Anyone who has ever tried infused olive oil knows what’s it worth, and anyone who hasn’t will be glad to know that it is so easy to do yourself!

Of course, you can already buy pre-infused olive oils from certain shops – however, nothing beats the fresh taste of making your own, not to mention that by making it yourself, you have complete control.

Moreover, homemade infused olive oils make a great DIY gift for anyone!

With that in mind, here is a direct guide to help you to infuse your own olive oil!

What Can You Infuse Olive Oil With?

When it comes to making infused olive oil, the possibilities are practically endless! There are so many fantastic ingredients with which you can infuse your olive oil, some of which include:

  • Chillis: Homemade chilli olive oil is the perfect extra spicy, extra fresh seasoning for any dish. Pour oil on pizza, and you will see exactly what we mean! However, for those of you who love that extra kick in all of your food, then try the chilli olive oil on meat, bread, etc.
  • Garlic: Garlic infused olive oil tends to be a winner with everyone. Whether it is for sautéing your vegetables or blasting your meat, garlic olive oil is always the way to go.
  • Dried herbs: From fresh thyme to crisp rosemary sprigs, having that lovely herb flavour directly infused with your quality olive oil will add something to even your most perfect dishes.
  • Citrus: Try using a lemon peel for an extra kick and freshness in your olive oil.

Step by Step for Infusing Your Olive Oil at Home

If infused oils seriously interest you, now’s the time to start looking into making your own. Follow our step by step guide to infused oil, grab those fresh or dried herbs, and power up the hob!

1. Get the right olive oil

For the best infusion, you are going to need to purchase high quality, extra virgin olive oil. You will need about two cups of the extra virgin olive oil to make your infusion work.

2. Choose your flavours

As mentioned, there is a wide variety of ingredients to choose from to make infused olive oil, and this is the fun part for you! All you need to do is decide whether you want herbs, spices, or zests.

For herbs, you will need fresh picks for the best taste, and take about two or three large sprigs.

For zests, you will need to use a vegetable peeler to scrape off the skin (as it will be rich with oils itself and full of taste and texture).

3. Cook the olive oil

Now it is time for you to put the olive oil in a large saucepan and put it on a medium heat on your hob top.

Add the fresh herbs, spices, and/or zests to the pan, and let it all simmer together for about two minutes.

4. Let the mixture steep

Remove the pan from the heat and leave the olive oil and ingredients to steep for around two hours.

5. Time to bottle your mixture

Now that the ingredients will have had time to truly mix and bring out the best flavours, as well as cool down, you can finally bottle the mixture.

Some choose to remove the added ingredients by using a strainer before bottling it – however, you can leave the ingredients in the bottle for added style and flavour (it’s up to you!).

The olive oil should then be capped and stored in a cool, dry area. It will be safe to use for between one and two months.

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How Do You Cold Infuse Olive Oil?

For those of us who are not as keen on having to do any cooking, you will be glad to know that hot infusion is not the only way to make infused olive oil.

In fact, cold infused olive oil can be just as worthwhile (and tasty).

All you need to do is to choose your ingredients, wash them clean, then leave them to dry overnight.

The ingredients should be completely dry being placed into the bottle, as any extra water could bring bacteria and cause bacterial growth in the bottle.

You can then add the ingredients to the olive oil, either chopping them finely beforehand or not.

Then, you should store the olive oil in the refrigerator in a completely sealed glass container, leaving it for up to two weeks.

After the two weeks has passed, taste the olive oil to see if it has reached your ideal flavour. If it hasn’t, then you can leave it for longer.

Once the infusion is ready, remove the extra ingredients and rebottle the olive oil. You can use it for between one to two weeks, paying attention to any change in flavour throughout the period.

Should the olive oil change its flavour, you should throw it away immediately.

How Long Does It Take to Cold Infuse Olive Oil?

It takes around two weeks to cold infuse olive oil. The amount of time that it actually takes depends on how strong you want the flavour to be.

Naturally, the stronger you want the flavour to be, the longer you will have to leave it in the fridge.

During its time in the fridge, you can frequently taste the olive oil every few days, for example, just to keep track of the flavour.

Once it has reached the desired taste, you can remove it from the fridge and rebottle it.

You may find that the cold infusion only takes around one week – it really varies on those fresh herb picks, garlic cloves, etc.

How Long Do Infused Olive Oils Last?

The length of time for which infused olive oils last actually depends on how you make it and the ingredients that you use.

Generally speaking, infused olive oils do not last for as long as simple extra virgin olive oil.

They can last for around one month to two – however, you should always pay attention to the taste of the olive oil.

If you notice that the flavour starts to change, then it is time to throw the infused olive oil away.

Is Homemade Infused Olive Oil Safe?

As long as you prepare the infused oil correctly (using fresh ingredients and following the interactions for your specific infusion type), then yes, homemade infused olive oil is perfectly safe.

Just remember to pay attention to the taste, keeping an eye on whether or not it changes.

That is why making your own oils is such a good idea, and it can be a great gift, especially with all of the flavour possibilities!


Want to get into how to infuse olive oil? Everything from dried herbs and lemon peel to garlic cloves and chilli will likely become your new best friend in the kitchen.

As you can see, it is so easy to do and is definitely worth the effort! So, why not try to make your own oils today and maybe even a little extra as a special homemade gift for a loved one?