Chilli Oil

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mark foley, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. mark foley

    mark foley

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    Hi,
    I am about to make some chilli oil from home grown chillis, I have been given some advice and would like to get some clarification on it.
    I was told not to use olive oil as it spoils fast but to use peanut oil or canola oil is this correct?
    Also to dry the peppers first as if you don't food poisoning is likely?

    Any other advice would be appreciated.

    Cheers Mark
     
  2. nancya

    nancya

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    I've made it with olive oil and with sesame oil. Used fresh chiles and dried. Never had any problems with it spoiling, but never made huge batches... With infused oils or vinegars I generally make a cup or two at the most.
     
  3. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I usually make my chile oil with Canola or veg. oil, not because I am concerned about the olive oil going rancid but because I want the chile flavor to shine and not compete with other flavors. It is all a matter of personal taste. Though a sesame oil based chile oil, like nancya makes, would be great with Asian cooking. If I am making oils gifts I have left the chiles, whole in the bottle, and never had anyone tell me that the oil or chilies went bad. If I am making it for my personal use I usually blend the oil with the chiles (if using dried re-hydrate them first), let it settle overnight and then strain the oil off of the solids and liquid that settles to the bottom.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Using wet ingredients (fresh chiles) opens up the risk of botulism. Encasing the wet ingredient in oil creates an oxygen free environment in which the botulinin (sp)spores can germanate and grow. If you make it in small amounts so you can use it all fast, you can safely do this.

    Using dried chiles to create the oil should be safe. For maximum safety, I wouldn't wet them. As Pete shows in his example, it can be done, but you're running an increased risk if it's stored much more than a week or so.

    Phil
     
  5. ironchefatl

    ironchefatl

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    I have a question also about this whole botulism thing. Will refrigeration slow down/ or stop the growth of botulism? It thrives in anaroblic enviroments, but would a cool temp slow it? I dont think it would stop it. As to what oil to use decide it application. Pasta or bread dipping applications could be nice with EVOO, all around use canola oil would be the choice, and asian a toasted sesame oil is great. Float it on top of soy sauce and dip dumplings...mmmmmm. Also can't you reduce the risk of botulism by making sure you ingredients are well cleand pryor to infusing the oil?
     
  6. nancya

    nancya

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    btw Pete... the sesame chile oil is also good in marinades such as the one I use for hot wings.
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm just going to muddy the waters here.

    McGee isn't clear on the cleaning/washing issue in regards to Botulinum (got it right that time). He just notes is very hardy even at high temperatures and starts reproducing as the temperature drops.

    Helen Witty is another of my guides here. She warns of the botulism risk with garlic oils. Right above the garlic oil is her hot pepper oil, made with all dry ingredients and no mention of the botulism risk. She does note that the commercially produced garilc and whole chile pepper oils are made with processes not available to other cooks.

    Lastly, was the Reader's Digest. They published a garlic oil recipe and had to recall it because of the poisoning risk. There they noted oils flavored with wet ingredients were at risk.

    On the other hand, fresh herb oils don't seem to have that restriction. Perhaps there is so little water content in the leaves as opposed to the fruit? Maybe the nutritional characteristics of leaves are different enough from the fruits of the plants? I've seen nothing to clarify this contradiction.

    Then there is the vitamins C and antioxidant arguments. Jane Butel claims long storage of chile flavord products in the freezer because of the anti-oxidant properties of hot peppers. McGee notes that Vitamins C is preservative and inhibitor of botulinum. Not that Butel is not referring to flavored oils and only discussing freezing. McGee 's vitamin C refernce is in botulism with sausages.

    We'll need someone deeply versed in food science and healt to unravel all of this.

    My opinion remains that wet pulpy ingredients are hazardous unless used quickly. I'm simply erring on the side of caution.

    Phil
     
  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I was looking at the book Gifts from the Kitchen this weekend. The author made chili oil with whole fresh chiles perforated with a fork to allow oil and such in side. This particularly scares me as you won't purge out the oxygen inside allowing other cultures to start growing, then die as the oxygen is consumed. They then decay...

    It might work and be safe, but the risks just scare me.

    Phil
     
  9. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Folks,

    Things which grow underground add risk because small specks of dirt which contain those bad spores can remain hidden in tiny little crevices.

    Kuan
     
  10. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    I used to make ours when we had our restaurant.

    Combine 2 cups vegetable oil with about 1/2 cup dried, crushed peppers. I used to get them in the bulk containers at Wal-Mart, marketed under the name Chiles Japonese. Heat till just warm, then let cool to room temp. Strain and chill. Kept it in a French mason jar with the metal bail.