If you want your dishes to be aromatic and delicious, you should learn how to make lemon oil for cooking. We will share with you two ways you can create this fragrant cooking oil yourself in the comfort of your own home. So strap in and let’s get cooking!
Among the many lemon oil uses, cooking might not be the most apparent. While it is often used for skin care, this scented oil is also absolutely delicious as dressing for your favourite dishes. There are two ways you can make your own lemon oil: one is quick and hot, while the other is cold and long. Neither is better than the other, so check them both out and decide for yourself which way you want to go.
Without much further ado, here are our two lemon oil DIY recipes:
How to make lemon oil at home (cold method)
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If you are a patient type, and you have a few weeks to spare, you should try making the lemon oil the long way, by infusing olive oil with lemon zest for a few weeks. For this recipe, you are going to need:
- 6 ripe fresh lemons;
- 3 cups of olive oil.
You can make more oil if you want to. Just remember that there should be a ratio of two lemons to one cup of oil.
- Wash the lemons thoroughly in cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. You can also just let them dry naturally.
- Peel the lemons carefully, avoiding getting the pulp. You will need only the peels for this recipe, so you can set the lemon pulp aside and find some use for it later.
- Leave the peels out to dry for at least an hour. Your peels should be as dry as possible, because excess moisture might cause the growth of mould and bacteria in your oil.
- Once the peels have dried significantly, put them in a jar that can be covered with a tight lid. Make sure your jar will actually fit the amount of oil you are going to use.
- Pour your olive oil over the lemon peels into the jar. When the last drop of the oil is inside, secure the lid.
- Set your jar somewhere dry and cool, away from direct sunlight, and leave it there for two weeks.
- When the time is up, take a strainer and a bowl (or the receptacle you plan to keep it in) and strain the oil. Once all the oil has dripped, you can discard the lemon peels, as they are no longer needed.
- If you have been using a bowl, move your oil into the bottle/jar you plan to keep it in.
Your lemon oil is ready to be used! Store it as you would your regular olive oil and use in cooking when you want to add a citrusy flavour to your dish.
How to make lemon oil (hot method)
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Now, not all of us have two weeks to wait until the lemon oil will be ready, which is why we want to offer you a much quicker solution. However, it requires precision and care, as you will be working with hot oil. If you are up to the challenge, then go to the store and grab:
- One big lemon;
- One cup of olive oil.
Once again, you can get more lemons and oil to make a bigger amount of lemon oil, just remember about the proportions. If you are feeling bold, you can also add some crushed garlic and red pepper flakes to add even more flavour to your oil.
- Wash the lemon. Take extra care, you can even use some soap to scrub the fruit clean. Once it is nice and clean, leave it until it dries or pat it down with some paper towels.
- Remove the zest from the lemon with a vegetable peeler or a sharp paring knife. The regular zester will not really work, as the zest should not be in small gratings, but instead in big long strips. Make sure you stop removing the zest as soon as you see the white pith. That should be left behind, as it will make the oil bitter.
- Take a saucepan and put your zest in it, along with the olive oil. Heat the pan on medium heat, but do not let the oil to simmer. There should be absolutely no bubbles on the oil’s surface, even at the sides. Keep warming up the oil for 10 minutes and then take the pan off the heat to allow the oil to cool down.
- Once the oil is cool (do not stick your fingers in it to check, though, just in case it is not cool yet), take a strainer and a receptacle of your choice and strain the oil into it, leaving the zest behind. There is no reason to leave the zest in, as it has already given all of its smell and flavour over to the oil. Moreover, the oil can be kept for longer when there is no zest in it.
- When you have strained all of your oil, seal the jar/bottle/what have you and store your oil in a dark and cool place. Use it as salad dressing, drizzle it over grilled meat, fish or vegetables, or even use it for desserts.
As you can see, there is nothing too complicated about making your own homemade lemon oil. Keep in mind, however, that these recipes are meant for making oil for cooking. If you want to make some lemon oil for your face, you should probably try another recipe. That said, we hope you enjoyed our little DIY tutorial.
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