An infused oil or infuser oil is a basic vegetable oil infused with a different plant’s flavour. This is usually done by steeping leaves, stems, flowers, roots, or other parts of a plant, either for an extended time or heat. Common infused oils include comfrey, St. Johns Wort, arnica, mullein. Making flavoured oil is easy, and the end product can add a lot to cooking. They can be used instead of herbs and spices. Infused oils make great bases for marinades, sauces, salad dressings. The bottle of infused oil acts as an impressive gift.
Things needed for cold infusion in the infuser oil –
- One cup of spice like cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise, or strong-scented herbs like tarragon, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary, chives. A combination of both can be used.
- 4 or 4 1/2 cups safflower, canola, or other flavourless oil
- A bottle with an airtight seal
Things needed for hot infusion in the infuser oil –
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan put about half the oil. While heating stirs constantly over medium heat, till the oil bubbles a bit and until the spices start to sizzle.
- After cooking for five minutes, the oil becomes aromatic.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the flavorings and oil into a bowl and allow it to cool.
- Taste the oil to ensure that the oil is not burnt and flavoring taste should come from the oil. If required, add more and heat again.
- Add the remaining plain oil with flavored oil. If needed, then strain the oil and store it. It stays for around two months.
Difference between infuser and essential oil –
- The infused oil is cheaper than essential oil because the extraction process is different.
- The infuses oil is mild and essential oil is concentrated.
- Before applying to the skin, essential oils have to be diluted, and infused oils can be used directly.
- Essential oils are always packed in dark glass bottles because sunlight causes damage. The infused oil can be filled in dark and light bottles as no harm is caused due to the sun.
- Essential oils are generally packaged in 0.5-ounce dark glass bottles. Infused oils are usually packaged in a 1-ounce bottle or larger.