Homemade Essential Oils

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I love my sweet basil and spearmint but sometimes it grows faster than what I actually cook with. It recently dawned on me that I could make essential oils with them! After a little research I saw that a distiller is typically used to extract the oils from the herbs. Distillers, however, are super expensive for me!! Has anybody had any experience with making essential oils without a distiller??
 
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There are methods for making homemade essential oils that use a crockpot instead of a still.
Another easy method of preserving herbs for later culinary use is to finely chop the herbs, add enough water to make a thick slurry, and then freeze the slurry into ice cubes. Later melt the cubes or just toss them into the cooking pot.
 
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There are methods for making homemade essential oils that use a crockpot instead of a still.
Another easy method of preserving herbs for later culinary use is to finely chop the herbs, add enough water to make a thick slurry, and then freeze the slurry into ice cubes. Later melt the cubes or just toss them into the cooking pot.
Thank you! That article was really helpful.
 
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I found the description of steam distillation a bit off. The basic principle is that if you have two substances that do not mix, like oil and water, both will boil at slightly below the normal boiling point of the one with the lowest temperature, that means you don't have to heat the oil so much it starts to break up. For something like lavender oil you would have largish, insulated, container filled with lavender and basically use a very large kettle to pump steam into it. When it reaches about 98degrees the oil will boil off with the water and you can catch them in a condenser. Try making a condenser with two pieces of copper tube of different diameters one inside the other. The smaller inner tube connects with your container at the top and empties into something at the bottom. The outer tube has t joints and reduction joints either end so you can pass cold water through it from bottom to top.
 

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