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How To Make Herbal Oils - Oils Flavored with Fresh Herbs


Herbal Oils - Oils Flavored with Fresh Herbs

Herbal Oils - Oils Flavored with Fresh Herbs

Marie Iannotti

Flavored oils are wonderful to cook with, easy to make and they are always welcome as gifts.

Caution: Homemade oils won’t stay fresh as long as processed oils and need to be used within a couple of months.

Always start with clean, dry herbs and sterilized jars or bottles. And remember: When preserving any type of food, it is extremely important to follow processing instructions specified in a recipe and to adhere to the USDA guidelines on how to sterilize products for canning.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: About 1-2 hours to make, 1 week to steep

Here's How:

  1. Rinse off your fresh herbs and allow to dry thoroughly.

  2. Sterilize attractive glass bottles or jars.

  3. Allow the bottles and jars to dry thoroughly.

  4. Slightly bruise your herbs and stuff them into the bottles. You don’t need a large quantity of herbs. A sprig or two will sufficiently infuse the oil.

  5. Heat the oil on low, just until warm.

  6. Pour oil into bottles, over herbs.

  7. Allow the contents to cool.

  8. Seal bottle with lid or cork.

  9. Allow to sit in a cool spot out of direct sunlight, for about 1 week before using.

  10. Strain out any fresh herbs. Dried herbs can remain in the oil, but the oil will stay fresh a bit longer if these too are strained.

  11. Oils should be used within 2 months, maximum. Straining out the herbs and refrigerating will help the oil last longer.


  1. The lighter the oil flavor, the more pronounced the herb flavor will be.
  2. Good choices for herbal oil infusions include: basil, bay, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, tarragon, and thyme.
  3. Include favorite recipes when giving as a gift.
  4. Many gift recipients won’t want to use something so beautiful. Remind them the vinegar won’t keep and promise to make more next year.
  5. Wrap simply with a ribbon and a label or cover the top with a decorative fabric for a country-look.

What You Need

  • Bottles or Jars
  • Lids or corks
  • A light oil (sunflower, safflower, olive, peanut...)
  • Your choice of fresh or dried herbs
  • Stove
  • A pot or oven to sterilize bottles & jars
  • Labels
  • Ribbon, raffia, cloth... (Optional)

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