How to Make Colored Cooking Oils

Written by ava perez
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How to Make Colored Cooking Oils
Create decorative coloured oils using food dyes. (oil and vinegar image by Julija Sapic from

Coloured cooking oil adds a decorative touch to dishes or craft projects such as Easter eggs. Use any colourless oil such as canola, vegetable, safflower or almond oil as your base. Dying the oil is simply a matter of choosing the colour and mixing it in. You must use an oil-based food dye as opposed to the usual water-based colour. Water-based dye will separate and bead in the oil. Oil-based dyes are typically used for dying chocolates, and they mix thoroughly into any fat-based product.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1 cup oil (corn, vegetable, canola, etc.)
  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Oil-based food dye
  • Spoon

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  1. 1

    Pour the oil into the bowl and microwave on medium heat for 30 seconds. The dye will mix into the oil more easily if the oil is heated.

  2. 2

    Remove the oil from the microwave and drop one drop of dye into it. Start with a very small amount of dye and add more if needed.

  3. 3

    Stir the dye into the oil. Mix thoroughly to dissolve the colour. Oil-based dye will mix into the oil without separation.

  4. 4

    Add more colour, if desired, then stir.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid dying oils too dark. The colour may impart a bitter aftertaste and dye your mouth if used in excess. Try infusing oils with herbs to naturally create a green colour or use chilli peppers to create a red colour. Simply drop a few sprigs or pieces of the herb into the oil, seal and allow to steep for one week.

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