Homemade infused oils and vinegars -- safe for future giving?

I had great success over the weekend making delicious sage oil -- will posted related recipe shortly. I feel sure this or other infusions would make welcome holiday gifts. My question is, is it safe to infuse oils and vinegars now with peak goods from the garden for later holiday giving, or will I risk also sending the gift of botulism? What if I use citrus or other fruit instead of herbst? I'm guessing there's little (less?) risk with vinegars, but it's the lovely infused oil I really feel inclined to make and give.

  • Posted by: jwlucas
  • July 20, 2011
  • 3822 views
  • 5 Comments

5 Comments

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boulangere
boulangere July 20, 2011

great gifts! be sure to refrigerate after infusion & include instructions for your luck recipients to do the same. when you introduce vegetable matter (herbs, garlic), you introduce the risk of contamination & bacterial growth. refrigeration is your friend!

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames July 20, 2011

I've never refrigerated infused vinegars, and have never heard of anyone doing it; nor have I seen any instructions to that effect. I doubt that using citrus instead of herbs or garlic makes any difference as to whether or not you should refrigerate oils. I've heard that oils infused with garlic should be used within a few weeks, even when refrigerated. ;o)

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jwlucas
jwlucas July 20, 2011

@boulangere -- It seems impractical to refrigerate for months before giving. I was thinking about pouring into decorative bottles and sealing corks with decorative wax, like a signet seal, but that may not be adequate protection.

@antoniajames -- I've also heard about being especially careful with garlic oil. I suspect I'm safest sticking with vinegars for gifts, unless I make them just before giving.

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susan g
susan g July 20, 2011

Give the gifts with recipes, and choose your recipients selectively, to assure that the oils are used in the near future. Waiting for your recipe!

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susan g
susan g July 20, 2011

Here's a good explanation of the problems with infused oils, from nutcakes, 4th comment down: http://www.food52.com/foodpickle...

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