Enhance the flavor of your dish with your own homemade Truffle Oil. With three easy methods to choose from, you can enjoy this flavorful oil in tonight’s meal!
One of the easiest ways to add flavor to a dish is with a dash of truffle oil. With its potent flavor, a little bit goes quite far. The oil tastes bold and earthy. Plus, using oil is a much easier route than grinding and cooking actual truffles into your recipe each time!
Another great thing about making your own oil is that you know what’s in it… just oil and truffle. Many store-bought varieties contain artificial flavors (and often not much truffle). In making your own, you know exactly what’s included!
What are truffles?
Truffles are rigid, textured, ball-shaped delicacies that grow underground. They’re much like mushrooms in that they’re edible fungi. What makes them different, however, is their specific growing conditions and the fact that growing, harvesting, storing, and even finding them is much trickier than with mushrooms. They take around 7 years to grow and need very specific conditions to do so (particular soil and moisture). This makes farming them unreliable, so most truffles are instead just found in the wild.
Here’s the funny part – humans are pretty terrible at finding truffles, so this is where pigs come in. Yep, pigs are used in harvesting, as they naturally search out truffles and are able to find them hidden underground all thanks to their sense of smell. Read all about what truffles are here!
So what is truffle oil? It’s simply oil that has been infused with truffles!
Is truffle oil expensive?
A quick Google search shouts a big yes. Bottles go for around $30 USD a pop (easily more in many cases), and just 3 oz of truffle butter will set you back at least 10 bucks.
This is due to the nature of how truffles grow. They aren’t rare so to speak, but their growing period, specific growing conditions, and short shelf life (two weeks maximum from harvest) makes getting them from the ground to your grocer quite expensive, and all of that translates into a pricy tag!
Luckily, you can enjoy the earthy flavor of truffles by making your own truffle olive oil. Because truffles contain a very strong and potent flavor, a little bit goes a long way.
Ingredients in truffle oil
Black truffle oil is simple and efficient to make. You only need fresh truffle and some oil! The combination of these two ingredients creates a flavorful oil that is perfect for adding to nearly any recipe, from soup to pasta to pizza (and everything in between).
- Olive Oil: Start with ½ cup of a good quality olive oil. Try to go with one that’s pretty natural and doesn’t contain any chemicals or additives.
- Truffle: Depending on your infusing method, you will need 1 whole black truffle or 1 tablespoon of shaved black truffle.
While we’re using black truffles here, you can make truffle oil with any type of truffle. If using white truffles, which contain a much more potent flavor, consider using less than 1 tablespoon of shavings or more oil to offset that potency.
How to make Truffle Oil
There are three ways to make truffle oil at home. I recommend looking through all of the methods and their pros and cons before choosing, as they have different steep times, shelf lives, and even required tools. No matter what you choose, you’re guaranteed to wind up with tasty oil that feels easy and simple to make.!
Method 1: Hover
First up is the hover method. This involves the use of a mason jar, a nail, and a hammer. Punch a small nail through the lid of the mason jar. Pierce a truffle (or piece of a truffle) onto the nail. Pour the oil into the jar, and then twist the lid (with the nailed on truffle) onto the top of the jar. Ensure that the truffle doesn’t touch the oil. Place the jar somewhere cool and dry. After one week, the truffle flavor will be fully infused into the oil. Store for up to 6 months.
- Long shelf life: Because the truffle and oil flavors fuse together without touching, they both last longer!
- Not degraded: With this method, the delicate truffle flavors aren’t degraded by heat.
- Long infusion time: This method takes up to a week to fully infuse, so you can’t enjoy it for a while.
Method 2: Hot Steep
For the heated steep method, you will simply need a pot. Heat the oil over low heat until it reaches about 130°F (54°C). Remove the pot from the heat and add the shaved truffle. Cover and let the mix cool completely. Once cooled, strain and store in a clean, airtight jar for up to 3 months.
- Fast infusion time: This is a very quick and easy infusion method. If you want to enjoy your oil today, this is the method for you!
- Medium shelf life: Typically, when the infused item is in the oil (as opposed to not touching like in the hover method), the oil will expire faster. Heating the oil allows is to be stored slightly longer than in the cold step method (below) – about 3 months.
Method 3: Cold Steep
The cold steep method requires a glass jar. Place the oil in a clean glass jar and then add the shaved truffle. Let steep for one week, and then strain. Store for up to one month.
- Not degraded: With this method, the truffles aren’t degraded by the heat.
- Easy method: Since no cooking (or jar assembling) is required, this is a simple steeping method.
- Long infusion time: This steeping method takes one week to infuse.
- Short shelf life: With a one month shelf life, this method does not last as long as the others. The oil will expire sooner because the truffles are in the oil.
Though there are many truffle varieties, you will likely find them in your grocery store labeled as either white or black. I recommend using black or burgundy truffles for this oil, which are most cost-effective, though you can use white too! White truffles usually have a stronger flavor, which means you should adjust your measurements accordingly.
This should be stored in the refrigerator, but a cool, dark pantry will also work. I do recommend refrigerating if you use steeping method two or three.
Where to buy truffle oil
Saving the DIY version for later? No worries! If you want to add truffle flavor to your meals in the meantime, you can find the oil at grocers like Publix and Walmart, as well as online retailers like Amazon and Thrive Market. In your search, be sure to check out the ingredients. The fewer ingredients listed, the better, and the more likely you are to enjoy that true truffle flavor.
How to use Truffle Oil
This oil adds a fabulous flavor to so many types of dishes. It works great on vegetables and garlic bread or in pasta, soup, and more. Here are some recipes!
- Truffle Popcorn: Just drizzle oil on at the end for leveled up popcorn!
- Truffle Butter: Infuse your own compound butter with truffle flavor!
- Easy Mushroom Risotto: Enhance the flavor of the mushrooms by adding your oil to this risotto at the very end. (Here’s how to make Truffle Risotto without the mushrooms!)
- Mushroom Truffle Pizza: Drizzle truffle oil on at the end, optionally shaving thin slices of truffle on top!
- Truffle Mac & Cheese: Truffle oil + white cheddar = a match made in heaven.
- Truffle French Fries: The perfect vessel for truffle oil? Quite possibly.
- ½ cup good quality olive oil 120 mL
- 1 Tbsp shaved black truffle
- Punch a small nail through the lid of a mason jar. Pierce a truffle (or piece of a truffle) onto the nail. Pour oil into the jar, then twist the lid with the nailed on truffle onto the jar, ensuring the truffle doesn't touch the oil. Place somewhere cool and dry, letting truffle flavor infuse into oil for a week. Store for up to 6 months.
Hot Steep Method
- Heat oil over low heat until it reaches about 130°F (54°C). Remove from heat and add shaved truffle. Cover and let cool completely. Strain and store in a clean, airtight jar for up to 3 months.
Cold Steep Method
- Place oil in a clean glass jar, then add shaved truffle. Let steep for 1 week, then strain out truffle. Store for up to 1 month.