Making olive oil from scratch

According to experts, an olive oil shortage is on the horizon, so if you can’t live without it, you’ll have to learn to make your own. Although traditionally made with an oil press, you can produce your own using simple kitchen equipment and appliances that you may already have.

While it’s a time-consuming process compared to simply grabbing a bottle from the store, many people enjoy making their own.

How to make olive oil at home

Gather your supplies

First of all, you should gather everything you’ll need to make your olive oil. You don’t need a huge number of items, but each of them is vital.

  • Fresh olives: Buy fresh olives with or without pits. They can be green or black. Avoid using canned olives.
  • Meat tenderizer or mallet: You need a solid metal meat tenderizer or a mallet to crush the olives.
  • Blender: The process will be easier if it has a powerful motor, but it can be a countertop blender or an immersion blender.
  • Fine mesh strainer: A solid all-metal strainer is best for making olive oil.
  • Cheesecloth: Any type of fine cheesecloth works to strain your olives.
  • Syringe or baster: If you use a syringe rather than a baster, make sure it’s food safe.
  • Dark glass bottle: This is to store your olive oil in when you’re done. It should have a lid or cork.

Crush your olives

Once you’ve got everything you need, wash your olives thoroughly, and let them sit in a colander for a few minutes to dry. They don’t need to be completely dry, just not sopping wet. Next, use the mallet or meat tenderizer to crush your olives to a rough paste. If your olives aren’t pitted, make sure to crush the pits well, or pick larger chunks out before moving on to the next step.

Blend the olive mixture

You need to turn your rough olive paste into a fine paste, using a blender to do so. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of water to your olives, and blend for five to 15 minutes, depending on how powerful your blender is. Once you notice beads of oil forming on the olive paste or a dark sheen over the top, it’s ready. You can use either an immersion blender or a countertop blender, but using a countertop blender will save you arm ache. Set the mixture aside for five to 10 minutes before you move on, and you should see more beads of oil forming.

Strain the liquid

Put the fine mesh strainer over a bowl, and line the inside of the strainer with cheesecloth. Tip your olive mixture into the lined strainer, and fold the edges of the cheesecloth over the paste to form a parcel. Put something heavy on top, such as a bowl filled with dried rice or beans. Leave it for 30 to 60 minutes, pressing down on it every five to 10 minutes to aid the extraction.

Let the oil separate

Once the liquid has been extracted, transfer it to a large glass or another tall, clear container, and let it sit for two to three hours. During this time, the liquid will naturally separate so the water and olive juice sink to the bottom of the container and the oil floats on top of it.

Bottle your olive oil

Use a baster or food-safe syringe to pull the oil off the top of the container, leaving the watery layer behind. Transfer it to a dark glass bottle with a lid or stopper, and store it in a cool, dark place.

What you need to make olive oil

GXone Meat Tenderizer

Gxone Meat Tenderizer

This heavy meat tenderizer is the perfect tool for crushing olives to a rough paste before you blend them.

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Ninja Mega Kitchen System

Ninja Mega Kitchen System

With a powerful 1,500-watt motor, this blender will make light work of milling your crushed olives to a fine paste.

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Cuisinart Set of Fine Mesh Strainers

Cuisinart Set of Fine Mesh Strainers

These fine mesh strainers come in a set of three, each of a different size, so you can choose according to the number of olives you’re using.

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Cotton Farm Cheesecloth

Cotton Farm Cheesecloth

Perfect for straining the liquid from your olive paste, this fine cheesecloth can be used again and again because it is washable.

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Oxo Good Grips Baster

Oxo Good Grips Baster

Once your oil has separated from the rest of the liquid, you can use this baster to suck it up and transfer it to a bottle.

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Cornucopia Amber Glass Bottles

Cornucopia Amber Glass Bottles 

Store your olive oil in a dark glass bottle like one of these to minimize sunlight exposure, which causes olive oil to spoil more quickly and can degrade its nutritional properties.

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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