Some Like it HOT! Serrano Chili oil can be pretty hot.
As you know by now I do like spicy food, so much so that I have tried and used some fairly incredibly hot chili’s in my rubs. Here lately, I have been experimenting with using dried chili’s in making my slow cooker/crockpot meals. A friend from Louisiana gave me a blend she made from Trinidad, Scorpion and Bhut Jolokia (ghost peppers) last week that I used in my Halloween night Dracula’s Bane Chili. It was very good, although I used about 3/4 of what I would normally use in chili, and the next day it was a bit hotter.
I have purchased chili oil for various dishes over the years and have been thinking that I wanted to make some. I have considered using the garden “fresh” ghost peppers I have been growing out back but opted for the dried Serrano’s I had in the pantry and have placed the ghost chili’s out to dry for my next batch.. You can also use red pepper flakes bought at the grocery store.
After looking over some of the posts about making chili oil I decided that using dried peppers is the prudent way to go. There is always the possibility of botulism forming in any oil so making smallish batches for immediate use would be the way to go. I will note, that for the most part, the general consensus says that heating the oil to 74°c (167°F) will kill most bacterium, so my goal is to heat my oil to that temp and hold it there while the peppers infuse the oil. After that you can separate the oil from the peppers and store in a screw top jar in the refrigerator for later use. It is suggested that you store the oil in glass container i.e. mason jar with screw top lids. Also, check the chili oil for cloudiness before you use it. If it has mold or smells not right throw it out. In most cases the oil will keep in the refrigerator for about a month.
You will find lots of blogs talking about making chili oil…not one of them has said that anyone has gotten sick from it. 🙂
Here’s the quick and dirty method.
- 1 cup canola oil
- ½ cup crushed dried peppers
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- Add 1 cup of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a small sauce pan.
- Bring to 166°f and hold at that temp for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the crushed peppers simmer for 10 minutes checking to make sure temp does not fall below 166°f.
- Allow to cool and transfer to screw top canning jar for storage.
Now there are a couple of things here to talk about. Your oil will only get as “hot” as your peppers are. I have stored my oil with some of the pepper pods and seeds still in the oil to see if that raises the spiciness. Next if for any reason you suspect the oil has gone bad after storage, throw it away. Do not taste it o see if it is still good. If it has foam on the top or the lid pops when opened, throw it away. It’s simple to replace. Last you can either dry your own peppers or head over to the food distributor’s location and buy some from them. IT will taste just as good.
I have picked my ghost peppers from the bush and have them hung up to dry. I am looking forward to use them to make lots of very tasty and VERY hot dishes. I’ll keep you posted.
Until next time, Take care and Be safe.