You can make sunflower oil at home with some specialised kitchen equipment and the right type of seeds. Available sunflower seed varieties fall into two major groups: confectionery and oilseed. Confectionery sunflowers are intended for human consumption and have a low oil content. The oilseed varieties often hold as much as twice the oil of the standard snacking seed. Prepare and press oilseeds to get the maximum amount of sunflower oil with the minimum amount of effort.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Sunflower oilseeds, 1 pound
- Paper towels
- Food processor
- Oven-safe dish
- Metal or silicone spoon
- Probe thermometer
- Home oil press or juicer with seed oil extractor attachment
Rinse the sunflower seeds in a colander under cold water. Pick through them and remove any stones or debris that you find. Spread the rinsed seeds out into a single layer on paper towels so they dry completely.
Dump the clean oilseeds into a food processor. Pulse the blades to break up the seeds and hulls until the volume of plant matter has reduced by about two-thirds.
Pour the chopped seeds into an oven-safe dish. Slide the dish into a preheated 300 degree Fahrenheit oven. Turn the material in the dish with a spoon every five minutes to heat it evenly.
Insert the tip of the probe thermometer into the chopped seeds after they have been heating for 20 minutes. Remove the dish when the internal temperature has reached 76.7 degrees Celsius.
Load the heated oilseed mash into the home oil press or seed oil extractor. Press the oilseeds through the machine with the plunger until all the material has been pressed. Use the collected sunflower oil immediately or store it for up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Tips and warnings
- The expelled hull and nut mash can be mixed into animal feed or given to birds. Store the pressed mash in the freezer until it is used to keep it from going rancid.
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