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How to Infuse Olive Oil

Herb-infused olive oil is a light, tasty way to add flavor to many types of meals. It can be used in cooking or as a dressing on your food. Making infused olive oil with herbs at home is simple, but there are safety concerns that must be addressed when preparing your oil for storage. The following steps will guide you in how to safely infuse olive oil.


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    Choose a bottle to use for your infused oil.
    • Find a bottle with a tight cover.
    • Bottles with a cork stopper work best. Metal lids can rust over time and can even affect the taste of the olive oil.
    • Wash your bottles with soap and hot water and allow them to dry completely before use by placing them in the sun or leaving them out overnight. This allows all of the water to evaporate.
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    Decide which herbs you want to use.
    • Choose herbs based on your preference and how you plan to use the oil. Suggestions include: thyme, rosemary, sage, basil and oregano.
    • You can use dried or fresh herbs, but you will need to take the extra step of drying fresh herbs to prevent bacteria growth in the olive oil.
    • Oils are usually infused with one type of herb, but flavors can be blended to your own preference.
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    Wash the herbs and dry them thoroughly.
    • You can dry the herbs by leaving them in the sun for several hours. Fresh herbs can also be dried by spreading them out on a cookie sheet and heating them in the oven for a few minutes on low heat.
    • Herbs should be completely dried before using them in the olive oil to keep bacteria from forming within the oil bottle. Although bacteria will not usually form in plain olive oil, it can appear if there is water present, such as the water in fresh herbs and in garlic.
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    Combine the herbs and olive oil.
    • This can be done by placing the dried herbs in the bottom of the bottle. Use a funnel and pour the oil over the herbs, filling the bottle close to the top.
    • Another way to combine the herbs and oil is to heat the oil and herbs on a stove top. This will infuse the flavor of the herbs quickly and can prevent bacteria growth. Strain the herbs from the oil for a clear look.
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    Seal the bottle and store it in a cool, dry place for 1 week.
    • The oil will quickly pick up the flavor of the herbs and will intensify over time.
    • You should store your infused olive oil in the refrigerator and use it within a week if you're using fresh herbs or flavorings such as garlic, lemon or peppers.
    • You can keep infused oil longer if you use dried herbs. This can be from several weeks to a few months, but discard the mixture immediately if they spoil.
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  • You can use other types of cooking oils to make oil infusions.
  • You can combine herb flavors when creating your infused olive oils by thinking of salad dressing flavors that pair well together.


  • Botulism is one of the types of bacteria that can develop in the olive oil with herbs that contain traces of water. That is why it is extremely important to completely dry the herbs and the bottles or to keep the oil in the refrigerator and use it quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Dried or fresh herbs
  • Bottles with a lid or stopper
  • Olive oil
  • Baking sheet
  • Kitchen funnel

Article Info

Categories: Food Preparation