How To Make Your Own Vegetable Oil

Jacob Moore

Last updated May 13, 2021

Being on the path of self-sustainability can be a long process but indeed an attainable goal if you avoid being dependent on corporations and third parties.

Having a skill set for making your vegetable oil is one of those little things you should learn to take one step toward your sufficiency goal. Not to mention it will surely come in handy one day in case of an emergency or SHTF situation.

If your goal isn’t to be self-sustainable but to want a better lifestyle and make healthy choices, this article is for you too. You can learn how to make high-quality oils without extra chemicals and refining steps.

The oil you procure will be 100% natural and healthy. Apart from the health benefit, you will learn a new skill which is very cost-effective as you can procure your oil at half the price available in the market.

Making Oil At Home

Absolutely yes; making oil at home is not a very complex process. You will need few ingredients to procure a jar full of healthy and organic oil.

However, we would like to mention that it can be a bit labor-intensive. You might have to get ready for an upper-core workout, but the result will surely make you feel good about making an effort.

Apart from it being easy, you have tremendous varieties of oilseeds to choose from. If you wish to make oils for soap making or cosmetics or flavoring your food, consider making coconut, pumpkin, hazelnut, and almond oil.

If you want some oil that is a little inexpensive and can be used for deep frying and multi-purpose, then undoubtedly, sunflower is your best bet!

Once you get the hang of this extraction process, you can even start building your collection of exotic oils that you can use for cooking on high temperatures or raw as salad dressings.

Type Of Oil You Can Easily Make At Home

oils you can made at home

All types of oils are easy to make, but we recommend going for cold-pressed oils.

When it comes to nuts, always try to choose seeds or nuts with high oil content. Some of the easiest and good nuts that harvest ample oil quantity are pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanuts, flax seeds, almonds, and walnuts.

Below is a little comparison that helps you notice yields per quart of the most loved seed oils:

  • Sunflower: 5.3 pounds
  • Peanuts: 4.6 pounds
  • Walnuts: 2.9 pounds
  • Pumpkin: 5.3 pounds
  • Hazelnuts: 3.5 pounds

Note: You can get lesser yield from sunflower or pumpkin seeds, but in a broad sense, they are effortless to grow and dirt cheap to buy, which balances the extraction conundrum.

Hot Versus Cold Oil Pressing

When you decide to make your batch of homemade oil, you will need to determine the type of oil you wish to make.

You can extract oil through the hot or cold pressing method. Cold pressing is the easiest and no-fuss method that doesn’t require electricity. Cold-pressed oils are better in taste and comparatively healthy and pure than hot oil.

The catch is, not all seeds and fruits can go through the cold-press method to extract oil. Seeds like sunflower, canola, sesame, coconut, and olive oil are highly capable of producing oil through this process.

Coldpress oils require a little more process and multiple pressing stages in commercial oil factories. The term that you often hear in the oil industry- extra virgin oil comes through this process in which you only press the seeds one time, and there are no multiple pressings involved to increase the quantity.

On the other hand, hotpress oils do not require heavy machinery; you can use your stovetop or oven to yield the oil. This type of oil gives a larger quantity of oils too. These hotpressed oils usually stand up better to high heating while cooking.

Step-By-Step Guide For Making Sunflower Oil At Home

These are the steps you need to follow to get a bountiful harvest of pure unadulterated sunflower oil.

Pay attention to the type of sunflower seed you are buying; black sunflower oilseeds would drastically double the amount of oil than regular sunflower seeds. If you wish to make 3 gallons of oil, you will need approximately 35-36 pounds of oilseeds.

Requirements

  • Peeled sunflower seeds
  • Hand crank machine
  • Strainer
  • Bottle
  • Big bowl (for husks)

Directions

Get your machine situated

oil press machine setup

You need to purchase a manual hand crank machine for extracting the oil. At this point, you can either opt for a manual device or an automated machine.

The latter would be expensive, and we won’t recommend it if you are on a tight budget. These manual machines are way cheaper and long-lasting because of their strenuous hardware and built quality.

Prepare your nuts

nuts in oil press

Clean out the dirt, residue, and other big little earthy surprises in a large pot. Rinse the seeds in good flowing water and let them dry for 24 hours in the sun.

If you live in areas that do not have a lot of sunlight, you can use a dehydrator to dry out the seeds. Keep tossing them, so they are equally dried.

Setting up your machine

With the help of the clamp provided by the manufacturers, affix the tool to your workplace securely.

Start warming up the hand crack by keeping a heating lamp or candle under the machine and let the machine heat up for a good 10 minutes. The most efficient way is to use kerosene or alcohol lamps to have a brighter and more strong flame.

Processing

oil pressing machine

Most hand crank models require you to make a makeshift funnel out of a plastic water or milk can. Once you have that or a wide-mouthed funnel, start adding your seeds in the funnel at the top.

As soon as the nuts start getting inside the machine, turn the crank. This motion makes the seeds get hand-cranked and fed into the expeller. Make sure you have a bottle under the device to trap the oil coming from it.

A mason jar would be the perfect size as its wide mouth would allow the oil to drip down into the bottle irrespective of the flow. This process would create a seed husk cake that gets expelled out. You can save it for a nutritious chicken feed or compost.

Settling and storing the oil

Once the oil gets extracted in your mason jar, keep the pot for 24 hours as is. The oil you extracted would have a few impurities that would automatically get settled once the oil settles overnight.

Carefully sieve the oil without disturbing the remains to have an extra filtered product. Transfer this oil to an airtight container and place it in a cool and dry place.

A kitchen cabinet or pantry would be an ideal place. Your oil can stay fresh for two years as long as it is perfectly sealed. If, after few days, you start smelling a rancid oil, you should stop using it for cooking and start using it as a lubrication or lamp oil.

Alternative To Vegetable Oil

homemade oils

Sunflower, peanut, palm, olive, cottonseed, canola, and coconut are some oils that come under vegetable oil.

Most people use these oils for heavy cooking and not for dressing and seasoning. Some of the other alternative that you can use include:

Avocado Oil

Believe it or not, the star ingredient of avocado toast can make pure avocado oil. This oil is extracted from the pulp, which then gets heated to a high temperature which eventually separates the oils.

The result is a rich, creamy and buttery oil that will make amp up any dish within few drops of this oil. Pure avocado oil has one of the highest smoke points, so the oil doesn’t burn very fast.

You can use avocado oil for grilling, stir-frying, marinades, and dressings.

Olive Oil

Olive oil still wears the crown of being the healthiest oil available in the market. This healthy oil is made from fresh olives harvested from the tree.

This oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which considerably help to reduce the harmful risks of heart diseases. You should avoid using olive oil for desserts, but it gives a complex flavor to savory food items, which we highly recommend.

Coconut oil

natural coconut oil

This nutty oil is extracted from the dried meat of the coconuts. You can easily use this as an alternative to vegetable oil.

As this oil has a good smoking point, you can use it for deep frying, but mind you, the recipe would taste extra nutty, so only deep fry food items go with the flavor of this oil. This oil turns solid at room temperature, so you might have to melt it before using it.

Sesame Oil

This flavorful oil is often used for sauces and stir-fried foods. Sesame oil is not the most appropriate oil for deep frying or dished with subtle flavors because of its strong and distinctive flavors.

Almond

Almond oil

This sweet-tasting oil is often used in skincare and cosmetic products, but the oil is very nutritious.

You can use this oil for salad dressings or cold applications. This oil is perfect for baking, too, because of its light and delicious smell.

Re-using your harvested homemade oil

Sometimes you can re-use the oil you have harvested with so much effort with this simple trick mentioned in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

The author instructs you to peel few potato skins and dip them in the hot oil. This method will quickly absorb all the flavor from the previous cooking sessions. Remove the skin and strain the oil, and you can use it one more time before discarding it.

Conclusion

Knowing how to extract oil is truly a great skill to have under your belt during emergencies and building a broad skill set.

We promise that these extracted oils would be healthier and tastier than your store-bought ones. If you aren’t sure about the hand crank machine or wish to try it first before committing to a device, you can try the cold press method via a blender.

Blend the seeds and add few drops of water. You then extract the oil from the seedy husk by pressing on it with your hand. Make sure to wear gloves before extracting oil.

Now that you know how to extract the oil efficiently, why don’t you give your body a workout and test your skills?

Jacob Moore

Jacob Moore is the founder of BasicFoodPrepper.com, and he has spent more time surviving in the wilderness than an average human being. A familiar face from the rural United States, Jacob has always wanted to live close to nature. Even after spending a few years in the buzzing world of cities and 9 to 5 jobs, he managed to get out to the outer world when he got a chance. Jacob would say that hiking is his passion, and he has spent up to several weeks in the wild.