Chilli Oil is always something good to have handy, it comes in useful for all kinds of things, unfortunately most shop bought oils are, well, weak. Fortunately, it’s really not that hard to make to your own tastes.
Before we go any further, a couple of things…
What you’ll need:
- A heavy pan and a metal funnel, or a pan with a pouring lip
- A Sterilised Bottle to contain your oil, one that has an air tight seal (How to Sterilise Bottles)
- Crushed Chillies (Flakes)
- Olive Oil
To make a basic Chilli Oil you need two things. Crushed Chillies and Olive Oil. That’s it. You can buy crushed Chillies from most super markets, but you can also make your own easy enough. I’ve got a Dehydrator and so I’m going to start this recipe with this…
Some (obscenely big) dried Scotch Bonnets. I’m not going to use all of those, but this is the beauty of making your own stuff, you can if you want. Choose the amount of Chillies, and indeed the type of Chilli you want to use to your own tastes. I’ve said it before and I’ll likely say it again, Scotch Bonnets are one of my favourites and that’s the reason I’m making my Oil with them – You might prefer something else, go with those 🙂
Next, you’re going to want to put them in a pan. Use an old one if you can, as always messing with hot peppers can wreak havoc among those that aren’t used to them and it’s better to be safe than someone else sorry…
Next, take a pestle, or some other large blunt shaped object, and use the pan as a mortar to create some crushed Chillies. (Or, just add some crushed Chillies to a pan.)
Next you’re going to want to add some oil. The best thing to do here is to get the glass bottle you’re, fill it with oil (remembering that the oil will expand a little with the heat!) and then pour it onto your crushed Chillies.
Remember though, you’re going to be melting the oil so aim for below your target amount. It’s impossible to say how much because of all the different types of oils etc, but, use a rule of thumb; Fill your container a good thumb size less than what you want and then pour that in to the pan.
Once everything is in the pan, apply a medium heat. I say medium as I err on the side of caution when it comes to boiling oil, it can soon start to spit and bubble, and well. I’m paranoid about such things,
Gently stir the oil as it heats up, be careful not to start splashing it about though. It’ll soon start to bubble, again, according to your own measurements this will take a varying amount of time but as you’re staring at a pan of boiling oil you’ll no doubt quickly notice when it’s bubbling.
You don’t want it to start spitting or smoking, so, not long after it’s bubbling, turn off the heat. It’ll likely bubble for a while longer as it calms down.
While it’s cooling down a little, prepare your container. I prefer to do this in the sink, just in case of spillage etc.
Please remember to use a metal funnel for this, a plastic one is going to melt at these temperatures!
And, just in case you don’t know what happens next… You pour chilli oil into the bottle from the pan.
And that as they say, is that.
You’re going to not want to touch that bottle for a while, it’ll be hot.
And, when it is safe enough to touch you’re going to want to hide in a dark cupboard for a few weeks, give it time to properly infuse. It’ll get redder and redder as time goes on, I turn it upside down a few times to jiggle around the flakes and then let it settle again
I’m not sure if it makes any kind of difference, but, in my mind it does 🙂
Truth be told, you can use it straight away, but it’s best when left for a while.
As always with home made food it’s best to be vigilant, bacteria is always a factor in this kind of thing but as long as you’re sensible with the way you store your Chilli Oil then you should be OK, I’ve been making this for a few years now and I’ve never had any problems.
Just make sure you reseal after use and store it somewhere cool and dark and you shouldn’t have any problems either!