Making Italian Chilli oil step by step

The ingredients

To make this recipe you will need 2 cups of olive oil,  25 grams of  dried chillies and  four to five whole fresh chillies. To keep the recipe authentic use,Calabrian dried chillies and Italian extra refined olive oil. If you are unable to get hold of the Italian chillies, any dried chilli that has a decent heat factor will work as well. It may be difficult to get fresh Calabrian chillies outside of  Italy, so here, use something like Cayenne or Bird's eye chillies

You will also need a bottle or two with tapered necks with caps. It is preferable to use bottles like this rather than jars as you will want to cover the chillies completely in the oil. If you use jars you will find that the fresh chillies will float to the top. Using a tapered neck bottle will make it easier to submerge the Chillies in the oil


Wash and the Chillies. Cut of the stems and slice them open length wise in. It is use choice whether to remove the pith and seeds as this is where the heat lies. Using a grinder or a pestle and mortar grind the chillies into flakes. Do not make them too fine. Preheat the oven to  100 degrees Celsius. Wash your bottles in warm soapy water and rinse out. Place in the oven to dry

Cooking and bottling

Bring the oil to a medium heat in a small pot on  the stove. Add the chillies and allow to cook for five minutes. Remove  from the heat .  Allow the oil to cool slightly, then using tongs take out the whole chillies and keep them to one side. Pour the oil into a heat resistant jug .

Using a funnel, pour the ground chilli flakes into the now dried bottles. Re-introduce the whole chillies and fill the bottle (s) with the oil. You will find that the whole chillies will want to  float to the top. Push them down using something like a wooden skewer. Put on the cap( s) and turn the bottles up and down a couple of times. Remove  and allow  any air that has risen  to the surface to escape. You will notice that the fresh chillies start becoming saturated with oil and their tendency to want to flat will become less( in a couple of days they will fall to bottom of the bottle(s) Screw the caps back on and place the chilli  oil in the refrigerator.


And finally

Turn the bottles upside down and back upright again, daily,  to help the chillies infuse into the oil. It will be ready for use in three to four weeks. Enjoy in all your cooking.

For a printable version of this recipe follow this link.