Pressing Acorns into Oil

Matt has been dreaming and scheming about making acorn oil for the last several years.   The oil is used traditionally in Spain and Morrocco, and he was curious what kind of oil we could get from our local oak varieties.  He finally bought an oil press this winter, determined to see what we can draw from our local and abundant acorn supply.  His first run with this hand-press did not work so well, so he invited his Buckeye friend Stephen to come over and share his oil pressing experience.

pressing acorn oilThe hand press definitely requires some finesse! But once Stephen and Matt got it going, a scrumptious roasted nut smell filled the air and a beautiful golden oil became dripping out.  The first batch was made with Canyon Oak acorn (moderate in tannins).  I tasted a few drops and it was like golden nutty melted butter! It was hard to taste it without making a some noise about how yummy it was.

As I type, Steven and Matt are continuing to press acorn oil using a few different acorn varieties, Tan Oak and Black Oak.  They comment on each flavor as if they were in Napa tasting wine.  They also chat about the nature of the world, and every now and then interject with a “now we got it!” or “here we go!” or “that is SWEET” when the oil comes dripping out in a nice flow.  They talk about the ease in which we go to the store and buy a large container of cooking oil, and what would happen if for some reason that supply was no longer available to us so abundantly.

I must admit, it sure is handy going to the store (or someplace like Chaffin Farms) to buy a large bottle of oil to use generously for every meal.  Matt and Steven have been working at this oil pressing for several hours today and we have about 4 ounces of oil to show for it.  Sure, some of this time was experimentation with trial and error, but you get my point about the time involved to press this precious oil by hand!

pressing acorn oilBut I must say…. taking an afternoon to explore the treasures of our local food shed and build community around processing food is like nothing you can buy at the store.   And the deep appreciation we have for every drop of that precious oil is nothing we could have experienced had we purchased it from someone else.  And this is amazing acorn oil! It is made from the essence of our bioregion, rich in nutrients and indigenous to this land.

We have much more experimentation to do to on the processing of acorn oil, but we are excited to have begun the process!

Watch the video below to see more.



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5 Responses to Pressing Acorns into Oil

  1. Marcie Mayer says:

    Good afternoon from Greece,

    I’m so glad to see you had success with the PITEBA and acorns, we unfortunately cannot say the same. We tried and tried but found, although our almonds easily yielded a rich buttery oil, we could not get a single drop out of acorns. We are very interested in large scale oil extraction from acorns and would appreciate learning anything you’ve heard about larger oil presses that might be suitable for acorns. We’re so glad to hear you have manged to get oil from acorns and hope to soon set up a small oil pressing and bottling workshop.
    Best wishes,
    Marcie & Kostis Maroulis

    • admin says:

      Wow it sounds like you guys are going for it! I have only done one pressing with my friend Steven who was sharing his secrets on how to get the oil from acorns. We are thinking also of going to a bigger press or one that may be bicycle driven instead of by just hand. Interesting to know that the amount of oil is roughly the same for olives. We have video footage that we still have to edit during our acorn pressing. We are also using the Davebuilt Nut Cracker to shell the acorn faster than just by hand. Some acorns come out fully shelled all you have to do is put it all in water and everything but the nut meat floats up. The acorn then has to be at the right dryness level–this is key to getting the oil out as is letting the press heat up enough and keeping it at the right temp during pressing.
      As far as a bigger press looks like it may work?
      Another product we thought of was acorn beer! Good luck with all your endeavors,

  2. Patrick says:

    You guys rock! I bought the piteba a few months ago and had no luck getting oil out of acorns. The only thing that came out was mush acorns form the other end. I think they key here as you pointed out in your entry is that the acorns need to be fully dried. Acorns contain a lot of moisture and the oil extractor can’t properly extract oil through moisture.

  3. Barbara Brooks says:

    I wonder if you have found a more efficient way of removing oil from acorns since you posted this. Also, how do you store it, and how long does it last? I have 40 acres of oaks and am very interested in learning as much as I can about utilizing them.

    • admin says:

      I have only tried the method that we have on the web site–yes is is slow but doesn’t need electricity–Be nice to have it rigged up to a bike and able to have a hopper that works better.

      I store it like any other oil–in a dark bottle and keep it in a cool place out of the light or in the frigde.

      For the future we are researching a bigger press and wanting to do oil and flour on a Local/regional scale…

      Good luck! Matt