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Chili Oil

Make your own delicious chili oil

Chili Oil

recipes | preserving | grow your own

Chili peppers for chili oil

If you grow your own chili peppers, then chili oil offers an excellent way to preserve them and provide you with a useful cooking ingredient. Bottles of home made chili oil also make a wonderful present which your friends and family will appreciate receiving. Chili oil can also be made from dried chiliís in the same way described below.

The most important thing to remember when making chili oil is that you cannot just throw some chili peppers into a bottle of oil. Apart from the fact that you will not get a very tasty oil, you will also be at risk of contracting botulism!

The Oil

Large tins of olive oil

The best oil to use as a base for chili oil is a mild olive oil. It is not worth investing in the best extra virgin olive oil since the chili taste youíll be adding will dominate it - therefore you do not need to spend a lot on the oil. If you want to make a large batch of chili oil, then buying a 3 or 5 litre can of oil will save you money over buying multiple 750ml or 1 litre bottles.

If you intend to use the chili oil in Asian cookery, then it is better to use a sunflower, or other common plain cooking oil (or sesame oil) rather than olive oil so that you get an authentic Asian flavour.

The Chili Peppers

Any chili peppers can be used to make chili oil with the number of chiliís and the variety depending on your own personal taste. Around 5 medium sized medium heat chiliís per 750ml of oil will give a chili oil with a good kick, but not too much fire.

Making the Chili Oil

The chiliís need to be washed well and then added whole to a pan of simmering malt vinegar. They need to stay in there for around 10 minutes with occasional stirring to ensure that all the chiliís get submerged. Remove the chiliís from the pan and place on a couple of sheets of kitchen towel for the vinegar to drain off, then pat them dry with another piece of kitchen towel.

Infusing hot oil with red chilli peppers

Now pour the oil into a pan, drop in the chili peppers and gently heat for around 5 minutes, not letting it get near to boiling point. Then leave the oil to cool.

Bottle of homemade chilli oil

Your homemade chili oil can now be poured into sterilised glass bottles. It is nice to include the chili peppers in the bottle so everyone can see that this is chili oil, but doing so will mean that the chili oil will not keep so long.

Using Chili Oil

You can cook with chili oil where you would usually start a recipe by heating some oil and dropping in some chopped chili pepper. It can also be drizzled over any food you want to add a bit of heat too. It is particularly good on pizzas and pasta dishes, as well as on salads if you like them hot.

Article Published: 14:36, 25th Nov 2010

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