Try This: Dad’s Hot Pepper Oil

Homemade hot pepper oil Recently my dad gifted me a bottle of oil infused with ornamental peppers from his garden. Trey and I were so excited because we both like spicy foods and I cook with oil often.

My dad also hinted that this might make a good post for my blog. 😉

And I could not agree with him more.

Ornamental peppersSo this is really his method, and he also shared a couple of resources with me (here).

All you need to throw one of these together is a glass bottle that can be sealed (like this one), 18-20 dry ornamental peppers, and about 1 cup of olive oil. You could easily recycle any glass bottle you have/collect. I used a reusable one I had on hand. Whatever you use, just be sure to clean it first.

Homemade hot pepper oil Slice each pepper so that the insides and seeds are exposed. This is usually the hottest part of any pepper. I prefer to wear gloves when I work with any type of hot pepper. I just keep a small package of disposable gloves under my kitchen sink. I don’t use them often, but when I do need them they come in really handy (pun!!!!)

After cutting the peppers, add them to the jar and fill with olive oil. Allow that to soak for 2-3 days before use (or before you gift the bottle to someone).

Homemade hot pepper oilAs the peppers soak they will begin to sink to the bottom of the bottle. This is good! If you notice the peppers floating at the top are exposed (sticking out of the oil), be sure to add a little more oil or invert the bottle.

Exposed peppers can become moldy; this happened to the first bottle my dad gifted me before I realized this was the case. So make sure the peppers are fully submerged.

You can also snag a bottle of pepper oil already made or go for spicy chile pizza oil or an infused oil gift set if you are (or you know) an oil-loving kind of person—they really add so much to a dish!

Thanks for letting me share my dad’s latest pepper project. I just love these and think they make an awesome little handmade gift for this coming season. Yay, Dad! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • Do you know what the shelf life of the hot pepper oil is? We just finished the growing season and would like to prepare jars for Xmas gifts for the kids.

  • My oldest son will love this thank you, I’m putting the hot peppers that I grew in olive oil with garlic also. What did you redo and cooking with this ? Do you have recipes to share ? And how long is the shelf life for it ?

  • I tried the Tabasco pepper in olive oil and it came out great i put some red bell peppers and some minces garlic.
    Wow it is amazing the flavor it gave me .
    Thank you for blogging this recipe.

  • I must make this for Christmas presents! Perfect! What is the shelf life for the oil?

  • There is a lot of flavor …and heat… in the seeds so it’s best to leave them in.

  • Pro tip: you can add other ingredients too to get a more elaborate flavor for your oil. I’d recommend garlic and rosemary <3

    Best, Biene

    • Please be careful — adding garlic can contribute to botulism which is odorless, colorless, tasteless, and can be fatal. I don’t want to be a killjoy but making infused oils with fresh ingredients is very difficult to do safely and I don’t want anyone to get sick.

  • This looks like a great gift for family friends. Not of expensive but still with some thought to it.

    Are you going to be posting any recipes to go with this? That would be great.

  • I love spicy food too! This is a must try. Thanks to your dad and thank you for sharing!

  • This looks great! When my husband and I were in France, we notice that all the pizza places had this hot pepper oil that you could put on top. It was amazing and we were determined to figure out how to make it! Now I will!

  • Any oil should be heated to 141 degrees. This insures against botulism! Be very careful with unheated oil products.

  • Oh we’ll be back with it (probably next week). This week we launched our shop (go check!) so… we got busy. If only there were more hours in the day…

    Glad you’re excited for scrapbook sundays though-that means a lot!


  • Looks delish! I’ve been wanting to make some infused oils, but I’m concerned they won’t last long. Any idea of the shelf life? Thanks!
    Emily |

  • Haha, my Dad has got exactly the same. But we bought the oil in Italy, while having a great walk through a little village. Maybe I make him one of these for Christmas.

    Wishes and Greets

  • My nonno always makes hot pepper oil in the fall. It’s the best! If you let the peppers soak in salt overnight and then add the oil to them, they will be preserved enough so that they don’t go salty. We have jars that last months in the fridge once the peppers have been preserved.

  • What a great idea for adding a bit of heat into meals! I’d love to see some recipes with this oil used! 🙂

    • Me too, I was wondering what to cook with this, I’m going to add garlic with the hot peppers for my son

  • This will make great omelets. Thanks for sharing 🙂 x

  • this looks so good! I’m obsessed with spicy stuff!

    Hannah xx
    Raspberry Kitsch | UK Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

  • I need to share this with my boyfriend. He is all about the spices as well 🙂

    Aniqa Dreams

  • I have million of these bottles! It could be worth trying this in order to fill them up!

  • shut up!
    you guys added the print recipe button!!!
    OMG!!! i love it!!
    this is why you guys rule!

    im going back now and printing basically everything!!!!

    you guys RULE!!!

    and this is also good! (:
    i can make this for my mom to use. my brother and sister are always complaining that nothing is ever TOO spicy so boom! this ones hidden. they wont see it coming!


  • Too cute! My dad is a cutie too giving me ideas for posts. Will definitely be trying this oil I cook with it often and adore spicy!

    Xo Chloe

  • You can also make Chilli Vodka in a similar way (just switch out the oil for vodka) which is great in a Bloody Mary!

    • Isn’t that then called chili extract? And can be used in any dishes that call for spicy?

  • Such a simple gift idea! It would be fun to make a whole bunch of different infused oils too.


  • I know it and I made it with some herbs like a rosemary atc. xa. That is great.

  • This is such a great idea. I wanted to try with different herbs too. Really easy, and it gives nice flavors to your dish or you can simply use it to dip your bread in it.

  • I do this as well. The oil I use the most is probably homemade garlic, but hers are also really great! Not only for frying but also in salad dressing.

  • The bottle looks lovely on it’s own, even if this isn’t to my taste it’ll look great in my kitchen! Great recipe- thanks!!

  • My mum keeps buying me bottles like those and I have nothing to put in them. Now I have some inspiration! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • This is totally something my uncle would do. He grows tons of hot peppers every year and uses them fresh all season. He grows so many that he has enough to make dozens of jars of canned/pickled hot peppers, hot sauce, spiced marinara, dries them to make pepper flakes – you name it, he does it. I’ll pass this along to him (though I wouldn’t be surprised if he has already made some)!

    I love making infused oils though my tastes are more herby than spicy. 🙂 By the way, Crate and Barrel has some decent-priced reusable bottles like that on the Outlet section of their site! I love getting them there when I’m making infused oils for gifting at the holidays.

    • I’m making this for my son, he loves hoot everything, but what could he cook with this

  • Be aware that vegetables in oil can become rancid very quickly as they are exposed to sunlight. To properly store oils so they don’t go rancid so quickly, store them in a dark, cool place, especially after opening. Not trying to be a killjoy, it’s just that I teach preserving 🙂

    • Hi! New to preserving here- how long will the infused oils last? Will they last longer if you remove the vegetables or herbs from them after the initial infusion? What are great resources for doing this?

  • I did this last year with scotch bonnets and it was soooo spicy but had a lovely flavour!

  • Can’t wait to try this! Did you remove the seeds before adding the peppers to the oil? Thanks!

    • Do you need to dry the peppers before putting them in the oil to reduce the chance of mold?

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