Cooking With Spices 101: How To Make Chili Oil

Chili oil is great on everything. Pizzas, noodles, soups, eggs, and even for dipping bread, chili oil elevates the flavor of any meal. There is just something about the kick from the chili flakes along with the smooth, fatty mouthful of olive oil that is the perfect accompaniment.

For me, I particularly enjoy it in soups. And having just made a big batch of broccoli soup, I couldn't wait to top it off with some chili oil and savor my meal – but of course, we were out. Slightly perturbed, I had to settle for some hot sauce. Don't get me wrong, I love hot sauce, but it just didn't have the same effect I was looking for. Determined to not run out again, I decided to make my own.

For any of you who've never tried to make your own chili oil, it's pretty easy. I'd say it's right along the lines of making toast – it even requires only two ingredients! In fact it's so simple, that after making it at home you'll wonder why you ever bought it at the store.

So grab your olive oil and dried chili flakes and follow these two steps:

1.In a small saucepan, add olive oil and chili flakes on low heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 180°F and begins to shimmer, about 5 minutes. Careful, you don't want the oil to smoke - if the oil smokes you'll have to start over.

2.Turn off the heat and let the oil sit for 2 hours. Strain the oil and store in an airtight container.

That's it! See? Super simple. Oh, and if you like your chili oil extra hot, you can leave the chili flakes in there. If you aren't using the oil up immediately, then be sure to sanitize your jar properly and make sure no water resides in the jar – for more information on food safety and botulism, check out this guide on Safe Homemade Flavored and Infused Oils.

Next time you’re rummaging through your kitchen for the chili oil, you won't be disappointed.