Heat Oil Infusion Methods

Heat Oil Infusion Methods

Infusing oil with healing herbs is a great way to make many bases for homemade beauty, body and medicinal herbal products. There are many different methods to making oil infusions. We will cover two methods  below, the double boiler method, and the crockpot method. Before we hop in to that, here are some helpful times regarding the process.

 

Tips For Making Herb-Infused Oils

  • For best results, we recommend using high-quality dried herbs, as they will not contribute to spoilage, and you will have a longer-lasting product. I source my herbs from Penn Herb (if your in Philly it's in Northern Liberties) & Mountain Rose Herbs.
  • While fresh herbs can be used in herb-infused oils for topical use and are preferred for some herbs, such as St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) aerial parts and mullein (Verbascum thapsus) flowers, care must be taken to minimize moisture in the finished product to decrease the chance of growth of mold or bacteria. This article will focus on herb-infused oils made with dried herbs.
  • Culinary oils meant for internal use should be made with dried herbs to minimize the risk of botulism.
  • You can use one herb to make your herb-infused oil or you can blend herbs to create a formula for your herb-infused oil. The choices are endless and completely up to you!
  • Herb-infused oils can be made with either the traditional folk method in which ingredient amounts are eyeballed or the more precise ratio method where ingredient amounts are measured. Each method is included in the herb-infused oil tutorials below.
  • Always use dry, sterilized jars with tight-fitting lids when making herb-infused oils using dried herbs to reduce the chance of bacteria or mold growth or your oils going rancid due to oxidation. Colored glass bottles will reduce exposure to light, which speeds up the degradation of your oils and herbal properties. Also, adding a few drops of vitamin E oil can discourage oxidation as well.
  • Be sure to label jars and bottles with dates and ingredients during the infusion process and after bottling for storage.

Double Boiler Herb-Infused Oil 

Ingredients

Carrier oil(s) of choice
Dried herb(s) of choice
Sterilized, dry glass jar with a tight-fitting lid

Directions
  • Begin by placing a stainless steel saucepan on the stove, filling it ¼ full of water, and bringing the water to a boil.
  • Place your herbs and oils into a second dry, sterilized stainless steel saucepan that is slightly smaller than the first. Use a dry, sterilized spoon to mix thoroughly so all surfaces of the herb(s) are coated and no air bubbles remain.
  • Place the smaller, herb-filled saucepan inside the larger, water-filled saucepan and simmer for 30-60 minutes, keeping a careful eye on the amount of water in the larger pan and being very careful not to let water splash into the oil/herb mixture. Monitor the temperature of your oil and keep it between 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water level runs low in the lower saucepan, carefully add more hot water to bring the water level in the saucepan back up to ¼ full.
  • When the infusion process is finished, follow the directions in the warm-infusion method above for straining and bottling your herb-infused oil.

Stovetop or Crockpot Infusion

If you’re looking for another quick way to effectively infuse herbs into oil, the stovetop or crockpot infusion method is for you. While this method takes a bit more time than the double boiler method above, it will allow you to make a stronger herb-infused oil that more effectively extracts the beneficial properties of the plant material. This method can take anywhere from 4-8 hours (or more, if you’d like) from start to finish, and it produces a lovely herb-infused oil for you to use in a fairly short amount of time.

Stovetop or Crockpot Herb-Infused Oil 

Ingredients

Carrier oil(s) of choice
Dried herb(s) of choice
Natural waxed paper
Sterilized, dry glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
Sterilized, dry glass jar with a tight-fitting lid

Directions
  • Follow the directions for making herb-infused oils in the warm-infusion method above.
  • Once your herbs and oils have been combined in your jar and sealed, place the jar in saucepan or crockpot that has been filled ¼ full of water (place some jar lids on the bottom of the pan to protect the jar from breaking).
  • Simmer for 4-8 hours (or more, if desired), keeping a careful eye on the amount of water in the pan and being very careful not to allow the water to splash into the oil/herb mixture. Monitor the temperature and keep it between 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water level runs low, carefully add more hot water to bring the water level in the saucepan back up to ¼ full. When time is up, remove the jar from the saucepan and allow it to cool before straining.
  • When the infusion process is finished, follow the directions in the warm-infusion method above for straining and bottling your herb-infused oil.

With Grace & Gratitude,

Haleema

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