Essential oil distillers extract concentrated oils from plant material. Unlike infused oils, essential oils are pure and contain oil only from the plant being distilled.
Essential oil distillers can be quite expensive. It is possible to use common kitchen equipment to produce a homemade distiller. The equipment used to make a the distiller should be made only of glass or stainless steel.
The base of the distiller should be a large stainless steel stock pot. When the distiller is in operation, this is where the plant material and water will be heated to produce steam. Maintain a temperature that slowly produces steam without over-heating the plant material.
The condenser can be made of a lid placed upside down on the stock pot, a heat-safe glass dish, or pie plate that completely covers the top of the stock pot. When the distiller is in operation, steam rises and carries the plant oils to the condenser. The condenser cools the steam separating the oil from the water in the steam. Ice should be placed on top of the condenser to facilitate cooling.
A collector is a bowl placed inside the stock pot to catch the essential oil as it drips back down after cooled. The collector should be elevated above the level of water and plant material. It should be in the center of the stock pot. A steamer insert makes a good base for raising the collector above water level while operating the essential oil distiller.
References and ResourcesEssential Oil Uses for Beginners
Essential Oil Uses at Home: Cleaning, Aromatherapy, Pest Control