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Small Batch Infused Oils

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

  Small question for you guys, I have a stupid small:crazy: (1 cup) enameled cast iron dutch oven that I normally sometimes use to roast a head of garlic in olive oil when the oven is on anyways. Can I make infused oils in this on my range?

 

  I was thinking a chili infused oil as I have one large habanero, several jalapenos, too much time on my hands, and too many Superbowl leftovers to merit actually cooking today. Ideas? Other ingredients available are garlic cloves, shallot, scallions, cardamon pods, star anise pods, cloves, ginger, dried arbor chilies, and black peppercorns. Oils available are soybean oil, extra virgin olive oil, and toasted sesame and canola blended oil.

 

  Just feel like doing a project while i watch movies this afternoon. Who knows maybe I'll make some popcorn with the oil. Yes I'm that bored today :lol:.  

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrleansCookJ View Post

  Small question for you guys, I have a stupid small:crazy:  (1 cup) enameled cast iron dutch oven that I normally sometimes use to roast a head of garlic in olive oil when the oven is on anyways. Can I make infused oils in this on my range?

  I was thinking a chili infused oil as I have one large habanero, several jalapenos, too much time on my hands, and too many Superbowl leftovers to merit actually cooking today. Ideas? Other ingredients available are garlic cloves, shallot, scallions, cardamon pods, star anise pods, cloves, ginger, dried arbor chilies, and black peppercorns. Oils available are soybean oil, extra virgin olive oil, and toasted sesame and canola blended oil.

  Just feel like doing a project while i watch movies this afternoon. Who knows maybe I'll make some popcorn with the oil. Yes I'm that bored today lol.gif .  
I don't have any suggestions as I don't have a cast iron Dutch thingie you speak of, but what did you end up making? I bet you just watched movies and went to sleep.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Made some hot and sour soup using some of the jalapenos and had that with left over honey sriracha wings, will try oils later :) Main thing I'm wondering about is do I use the evvo or the soybean oil, my olive oil is very flavorful and I dont want it to over power the habanero, sesame oil would be super overpowering and possibly wasteful.

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrleansCookJ View Post

Made some hot and sour soup using some of the jalapenos and had that with left over honey sriracha wings, will try oils later smile.gif Main thing I'm wondering about is do I use the evvo or the soybean oil, my olive oil is very flavorful and I dont want it to over power the habanero, sesame oil would be super overpowering and possibly wasteful.
Those wings sound amazing!
If memory serves, you can use pretty much anything even though typically it would be peanut. The exception is sesame, because as you mentioned, it's very overpowering. I leant that the hard way as a teen. It's to be treated like a condiment., not a base.

I've never had soybean oil in anything that I'm aware of, but if it is your only other option maybe try that, or do a half and half with the olive. I do it all the time with butter because I don't really like the taste of olive oil, but want to save some calories. *for frying I mean, not actually suggesting you put butter in your oil lol
Edited by Pepper Grind - 2/9/16 at 11:50am
post #5 of 14

Infusing oils with fresh (wet) ingredients is fun and creates some good flavors.  

 

Two important points on food safety both about Clostridium Botulinin. This is what causes botulism. It is ubiquitious in soil and foods grown in and close to the soil as well as higher up. 

 

So, make SMALL batches that you will use up quickly, within 14 days. And it must be STORED REFRIGERATED.  

 

Commercial production of flavored oils involves processes and techniques not available to the home cook. 

 

You seem to like Asian cuisine and particularly in Chinese cuisine there are a lot of specialty infused oils (Eileen Yin Fei Lo especially uses these insfused oils, See  Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking ) She doesn't talk about the risks in this book and it sort of bothered me in what was otherwise a good book which makes and uses some interesting oils.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

  Thanks Pepper and Phatch, I had saw something about botulism on a few online recipes. Most involving sterilizing your jars etc etc. Most in the microwave as well :confused:. Figured I'd hold off on doing anything until I heard something. Never had a problem using the garlic infused oil from making roasted garlic so I was pretty sure I was okay on the equipment. The mini dutch oven is a paperwieght on the microwave most of the time. I'll make some half and half habenero, jalapeno tonight and let you guys know how it comes out. The soybean oil btw is labeled on the front as vegetable oil. It is frequently used to make vinaigrette's in restaurants so this application should be fine and neutral. thanks & cheers :thumb:

 

Josh 

post #7 of 14

It's not about the equipment. Botulism spores are very hard to kill and in a no oxygen environment (oil) will produce botulism. Garlic is also one of the worst offenders for carrying Botulism.

 

Soybean oil is routinely marketed as vegetable oil because soybeans have a negative market reputation. If you look at the ingredient list on most any bottles of vegetable oil, it will list soybean oil. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #8 of 14

In a previous life, I grew things in petri dishes in a lab.  Stuff happens even in a "sterile" environment.  You will never kill 100% of anything.  The best you can do is make the environment conducive to something else growing and taking up the resources.  That's why for lactic acid bacteria fermentations we always add enough salt to discourage other bad things growing long enough for a big population of lactic acid bacteria to get started. 

 

In the case of botulism bacteria, it grows in anaerobic, low acid conditions.

 

Once lactic acid bacteria starts eating sugars, they make as their namesake suggests, lactic acid.  It's the sourness in pickles, and you'll notice on a dry cured sausage like salami, it has a bit of sour flavor.  That acidity also prevents botulism bacteria from growing a meaningful population to create toxins.

 

For sausages we use a bit of sodium nitrate to prevent botulism too.

 

You don't want curing salt or acid in infused oil, so follow the advice of putting it in the fridge and using it up in 2 weeks :D

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

  Yeah I only made a cup so it should go in that time, waiting for it to cool now. Used 1/2 cup thin sliced habanero and jalapeno, and filled the 1 cup dutch oven to half an inch from the rim, brought heat up to where it was simmering but not frying the peppers and stirred carefully. Brought heat to lowest and let steep 20 minutes, tasted while hot, and it has some flavor low heat so brought up the flame a bit and added 2 broken dried arbor chilies and a 1/4 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.

 

*Edit +1 Hr* Yep came out as a smooth lime juice colored oil, about half as strong as I had hoped but I'll just fill the the container all the way next time. This will make a good finishing oil for any blackened fish or shrimp dish. Oh and the strained peppers are good on potato chips too:D.


Edited by NewOrleansCookJ - 2/9/16 at 5:47pm
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewOrleansCookJ View Post

  Yeah I only made a cup so it should go in that time, waiting for it to cool now. Used 1/2 cup thin sliced habanero and jalapeno, and filled the 1 cup dutch oven to half an inch from the rim, brought heat up to where it was simmering but not frying the peppers and stirred carefully. Brought heat to lowest and let steep 20 minutes, tasted while hot, and it has some flavor low heat so brought up the flame a bit and added 2 broken dried arbor chilies and a 1/4 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.

*Edit +1 Hr* Yep came out as a smooth lime juice colored oil, about half as strong as I had hoped but I'll just fill the the container all the way next time. This will make a good finishing oil for any blackened fish or shrimp dish. Oh and the strained peppers are good on potato chips too:D .
Hello again, Josh. What kind of oil did you go with as a base?
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just vegetable oil, specifically soybean oil. I'm sure this would be better with slightly more flavorful oils (Peanut would be really nice) but the olive oil I have on hand is overkill. Also added like 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil which brought out a well rounded smokey end note. 

post #12 of 14
n/a
post #13 of 14


patch & MillionsKnives, could you freeze the oils immediately after infusing and store them frozen for longer than two weeks?  & then at a later time, defrost them as needed?  would that be safe from a botulism standpoint?  would it alter the quality of the oil?

post #14 of 14

I'm not well enough acquainted with the details to say for sure. What I have always seen recommended is to make small batches you'll use quickly, within two weeks and that it is stored under refrigeration. 

 

Reading between those lines, it's probably not best practice to make it and freeze it longer than two weeks.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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