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14 December 2015

Learn how to make a simple chili oil at home with this quick and easy recipe. Homemade chili oil is great for drizzling over foods for extra spice and flavor,  for mixing into sauces and vinaigrettes, as well as for cooking many meals.

I purchase chili oils for all sorts of recipes. They’re pretty standard in certain parts of the world. They figure prominently in Chinese and Japanese cooking, and in many parts of Asia, although the Italians enjoy their own version as well. I like to always have a good brand on hand, but sometimes it is more efficient to make your own when you need a small batch, or even as a gift. Perfect for this time of year, right?

What is Chili Oil?

A typical chili oil is made from a vegetable oil that has been infused with your chili peppers of choice. I’ve included a recipe below for a very simple superhot version made with a blend of dried 7-Pots and Scorpion chili peppers, though you can use any type of pepper you’d prefer.

Heat the oil, then add dried peppers and other seasonings and ingredients, then allow to cool, thus infusing the oil with heat and flavor.

Other ingredients might include garlic, shallots, peppercorns, ginger root, and so much more. There are many, many possibilities to explore your creativity.

How to Make Chili Oil - Homemade 5-Minute Chili Oil

The Key to Making Homemade Chili Oil

The key to making proper chili oils is to prevent the oil from getting too hot, which can burn your peppers and other ingredients. If your oil begins to smoke, then it is too hot and you’ll need to reduce your overall temperature. Remove it from the heat source immediately and allow it to cool.

Recipes and Serving Suggestions for Chili Oil

You can serve the resulting chili oil as a condiment or stir it into a variety of dishes, like stir fries, noodles, dressings, drizzles and more. You can keep the peppers in the oil and serve it that way, or strain and serve only the oil.

The dried peppers that eventually sink to the bottom of the oil are called the “sludge,” and can be served on their own in a variety of applications. I’ve seen some chili oils with a thick sludge on the bottom, which can be used in recipes all by itself. So good!

You can also cook with it as you cook with other oils, such as olive oil.

Straining the Chili Oil

If you prefer your chili oil strained, you can easily pour the finished oil through a thin sieve or even cheese cloth to remove the peppers/sediment, depending on how finely you chop/crush the peppers.

You can also include whole dried chili peppers into the oil, which can be decorative.

How to Make Chili Oil - Homemade 5-Minute Chili Oil

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

5 from 1 vote
How to Make Chili Oil
5-Minute Homemade Chili Oil Recipe - How to Make Chili Oil
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Learn how to make a simple chili oil at home with this quick and easy recipe. Homemade chili oil is great for drizzling over foods for extra spice and flavor, as well as for mixing into sauces and vinaigrettes, as well as for cooking many meals.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup canola oil – or any neutral oil such as peanut oil, though yes, you CAN use Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons crushed dried peppers – I used a blend of 7-Pots and scorpions
  • Dash of salt if desired
Instructions
  1. Add oil, dried peppers and salt (if using) to a small pot and stir. Heat to medium-low heat and stir often for about 5 minutes.
  2. Do not allow the oil to smoke. If it smokes, remove it from the heat to reduce the temperature.
  3. After 5 minutes, remove from heat and cool. Pour it into a bottle or jar. You can strain it if you’d like.
  4. Refrigerate and use within a month.
Recipe Notes

Heat Level: Varies, depending on the chili peppers used.

 

How to Make Chili Oil - Learn how to make a simple chili oil at home with this quick and easy recipe. Homemade chili oil is great for drizzling over foods for extra spice and flavor, for mixing into sauces and vinaigrettes, as well as for cooking many meals. | ChiliPepperMadness.com #ChiliOil #HowTo #SpicyFood

22 comments

  1. Emma Knight

    Hi Mike and the gang from Chili Pepper Madness.
    Fabulous chili pepper recipes,great to share,enjoy and entertain with and great to try with different chili varieties.
    Quick question..in my lastest batch of your chili oil I have put whole dried chilis in too but the oil doesnt totally cover the chili..will that be ok or will the chili go off?
    Many thanks Chili Lovers!!

    REPLY: Hi, Emma. Thanks for the compliments! Glad you like the site. For the oil, it is best to keep them under the oil. You can always crush them down a bit so they take up less volume. I hope this helps! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  2. Hi Mike and Patty,
    Ralph here from South Africa.
    I LOVE your site. These recipes are amazing!

    I have a variation of this chili oil which I’ve evolved from a recipe on another site, which I’d like to share. This is not a 5 minute version, though 🙂

    Unfortunately, down here we don’t get shallots, so I used red onions, and some spring onion (I think in the US you’d call them green onions… which are apparently NOT exactly the same as scallions, but I’m sure scallions would work fine).
    It’s also really hard to find a decent variety of chilis other than bird’s eye, Jalapeno, Habs and a few others, so I’ve tweaked the recipe according to what I have managed to get my hands on. In future I will rather get seeds and start growing my own. But for now this is what I used.

    Below are the ingredients and their quantities used in my last batch (I weighed and recorded everything as I went along. Please note I’m in South Africa so we use the metric system (liters and grams) so please convert to pounds, ounces, gallons…etc:

    2L sunflower cooking oil
    76g Serenade chili
    39g red Bird’s Eye chili
    252g green Jalapeno chili
    150g dried chili flakes
    75g white salad onions (short spring onions, white and green parts – green onions in the US)
    Cloves from 4 heads of garlic (+- 300g)
    3 red onions (530g)
    3 Knorr Chicken stock cubes
    1 Knorr beef stock cube
    120g brown sugar (not the sticky kind. Same consistency as white sugar, but a light brown, almost caramel colour. That’s the sugar we use at home. I’m sure ordinary white sugar would be just fine).
    100g sesame seeds (optional for extra crunch and flavour – leave these until very last).

    This is the 2nd time I’ve made this recipe, and this time around I used your recipe and video instructions to roast the chilis beforehand. This is of course optional. I was just intrigued by the idea of different flavours coming out during the roasting.

    Chop up the chilis, garlic and onions to a course mixture and set aside.

    In a large pot heat the oil on a medium heat. My stove settings go up to 12. I had it up to 5, so it’s just below halfway on the dial. (I used a pot because a pan is not deep enough for 2 liters of oil – I’m sure a wok would work, but then cooking time may be reduced… a pot takes a bit longer, I’d think)

    When the oil is hot enough, put the dried chili flakes, sugar and broken up stock cubes into the oil and fry for about 5 minutes.

    Then add the onion, chili and garlic and fry, stirring often so it doesn’t stick.
    Fry this for another 25 minutes, so the total cooking time since you added the flakes etc is about 30 minutes.

    Then I turned up the heat to 8/12 (2 third heat on the dial) for another 20 minutes (total cooking time so far is around 50 minutes). During this part you need to stir almost constantly as it is possible to burn the mixture. The reason I cranked up the heat on the stove is that it almost crisps the chili mix, which I really love. If you don’t care, don’t mind, or don’t have a full hour, you can take it off the stove at this point. But seriously… leave it on 🙂

    And then for the last 10 minutes, add the sesame seeds. The reason I added the sesame seeds so late is because I’m scared of burning them and don’t want to ruin the entire batch by putting them in too early and risk burning them. If anyone knows f they can survive longer in hot oil without spoiling or burning, let me know.
    But I put in for the last 10 minutes.

    That’s it. Remove from the stove and let it cool.
    I first used a ladle to get the chunky mixture into the jars, filling each one about halfway. Then I shared out the oil to fill each jar.
    Seal and put in the fridge.

    The only thing that worries me is some of the comments in this post about using within a month or it’ll go off. I hope that by keeping it in the fridge, it’ll last a bit longer. From the last batch I made, I gave so many away, my remaining jars got used up before a month was up.

    Anyway, check it out, play around and have fun.
    Thanks for reading this, and thank you for this amazing page!!

    REPLY: Ralph, thank you for sharing this. Sounds great! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  3. rachel Anderson

    reply to Francien
    i have made a bigger batch than the recipe….

    for every 2 cups of chilli flakes i add 5 cups of canola oil
    1/2 cup of crushed garlic, 1/2 hoisin sauce, 1/2 oyster sauce. i heat up the oil hot enough but not to burn the flakes right away.. i have pictures of what i made to prove.

  4. We usely buy our 5 liters chillie oil from somebody but he was in a accident and we running out of souce for our tuckshop.
    Want to try to cook our own chillie oil in like 5 liter or more please help
    Never did this before

    REPLY: Francien, I’ve never made a large batch like that, but I’m sure this recipe would scale as needed. However, if you’re selling commercially, you will be bound by federal safety guidelines, so you should research your local laws. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  5. Okay. So I just got done with a 1 liter batch, using extra virgin olive oil and dried bird’s eye chilis. Temperature-wise, I held it between 230-250F for 5 minutes, and I’m letting it cool to room temp.

    So: my chilis were ground at varying degrees- I have some almost powder, with flakes mixed in. This was deliberate, as more surface area means more/quicker infusion.

    My question is, was the temperature too high?

    REPLY: Rob, yes, flakes are a very good call. I’m concerned about the temps because extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoking temp, but you didn’t sustain that temp for a long time. My gut tells me you’re probably good, but I would keep the temps down in the future, and would probably use different oil. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  6. Linda,
    I have done both dried and fresh. Either way they go in the Ninja to devastate prior to going in the oil. this way they are getting maximum exposure to the oil. From my experience the fresh chilis made hotter oil. Other than that i didnt notice much difference.

  7. I’d quite like to do this with whole chillies and leave a chilli in each bottle, for visual effect. It would probably look better if the chilli pepper was left intact (maybe slit down the length, so the oil can get to the seeds etc), including the top section where it joins the stem. However I’m concerned that leaving this piece of stem attached will adversely affect the flavour of the oil. Have you experienceof this?

    REPLY: Jez, yes, the stems might affect your overall flavor. Plus, you do run the risk of spoilage and rancidity when using fresh peppers, so be sure to refrigerate the oil and/or not use it for very long. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  8. Floyd barstool

    I made some from bhut jolicas last year. I kept the oil hot but not t smoking until the chilis turned dark but not burnt.. it seems as though it was about 8-10 mins. Most of it I kept in a mason jar sealed. Did not go bad on me. My brother visited Rwanda Africa, they use chili oil like we do ketchup on every table and he got hooked. I gave him that jar as a wedding gift and he couldn’t get enough, it’s my new favorite hobby.

  9. Hi Mike…..I’m a ‘purist’. When making Hot Oil, using anything other than chilies in the recipe makes it a ‘sauce’.

    That said, I use any of my hottest chilies, dried to crispiness, & peanut oil. I usually make a liter or so twice a year, & jar it for storage. I’ve found that my oils usually last for at least 6 months…..I even had a jar that was over a year old I forgot about way back, on the floor of my pantry, out of sight…..I opened it, & used it….wow was it potent, & it tasted real fine. This was 2 years ago, & I’m still fine, & so is everyone else that helped me finish it up, so the shelf life on my oil wasn’t a problem/issue at all. I usually stick with a 2 month +/-, but I’ve never had to throw any out due to spoilage. My pantry temperature can range between 50°F in winter to 90°F in summer, & the pantry only gets lit by natural light when I open its always closed door (which keeps out all light).

  10. thank you. at last someone explains the purpose & benefit of drying fresh chilies first. i will do this because need shelf life.

  11. Hi my chilies are a little different from your picture they are red and yellow and a bit smaller can I just chop them up and put them in the oil or does it have to be dried chilies first. Thanks

    REPLY: Sharon, you can use fresh chiles, but you’ll achieve different results. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  12. I have a lot of habanero, jalapeño and Serrano peppers and was planning on making chili oil for Christmas gifts. I didn’t realize it woul spoil before then. Do you have any suggestions?

    REPLY: Linda, you can either freeze them or dehydrate them in order to keep them until Christmas. It would be best to dry them out, I believe, for making oils. Freezing should be OK as well. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  13. Hi, I have a new idea, what taste it will be like if your chili oil has nuts ingredients such as peanut, walnut, pinenut, sesame, etc?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      I’ve never tried it this way, but might give it a try. I’m not sure how long it would last, though, with nuts.

  14. Thanks!!! I really appreciate it!! Trying it now! My hubby loves this stuff and I knew there had to be a simple recipe behind it!

  15. Hey, question. Why to use within a month? Is there some kind of health risk or what? It will decay or what? Thanks..

    REPLY: Andrew, with the dried chilies, it will last longer than a month, but some oils can go rancid. If you’re going to use fresh peppers, it won’t last longer than the month. Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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