I've taken control of my health. I grow my own herbal and infused remedies on my Michigan farm. No more pharmaceuticals for me!
Infusions for a Healthier Lifestyle
Health-conscious people have become increasingly aware of the advantages of creating your own herbal infusions at home. As a result, the availability of kitchen countertop botanical extractor and infusing machines have successfully evolved. The leading manufacturers have brought to market home extraction that is both practical and economical. By infusing your own herbs you can customize concoctions and get exactly what you are looking for and know exactly what’s in it. A well-proven machine cost between $150 and $250, depending on your needs and the accessories that you may want to invest in. Most accessories are optional but a good basic set of silicone cookware utensils could cost another $100.
The machine I use is the “Magical Butter 2e” machine which has served me well for over a year. The Magical Butter Machine was the first extractor invented and paved the way. The Vevo Machine followed suit and is designed for more of an “on-demand” approach. Both are good machines. The choice depends on what and how much you want to produce.
What Is an Extraction/Infusion Machine?
Over the years, many methods of extraction and infusion were developed but the process was very cumbersome, and in some cases, downright dangerous. The new wave of good extractors was developed to overcome those challenges by creating kitchen countertop machines that are safe, pre-programmed, and are quickly mastered with a very small learning curve.
Not only did these developers and manufacturers take away the guesswork, but they also streamlined the process by including multi-function features that give the home chef or herbalist the ability to create endless concoctions that easily rival commercial processors for about half of the price. Home extractor and infusion machines can produce better results as they allow you to be in control of the potencies of your own fresh organic personal products.
The machine works by automatically balancing heat, time, mixing and steeping, by doing the “right” thing at the “right” time through a programmed circuit board that monitors the processes at all times. When the product is extracted, or infused, is complete, the machine will shut itself down. It can take one to five hours of processing time, depending on the ingredients, for the final product to be finished and ready to use on-demand or stored for later use.
To tell you the truth, I have become a bit of a geek when it comes to creating my own herbal remedies, mainly because I have become enlightened about the proven benefits of infusion and extraction. What I had previously thought of as “an interesting hobby”, has turned into “taking care” of my health. Extracting and infusing has become my main alternative to pharmaceutical medications, including my heart “meds”. I feel physically, mentally, and spiritually, healthier than I have for a long time.
This was a personal decision of mine, but I highly recommend talking to your doctor before considering replacing any occasional or regular medication with infusions or extractions. Contraindications are real and can be dangerous.
There are three main categories that botanical infusion and extraction machines can offer.
- Medical substitutes (doctor and naturopath dependent). Extraction and infusion can offer a high potency combination without side effects. With my machine, I can produce herbal remedies using what nature has already given us. I have developed my tincture recipe that stops tooth and sinus infections in less than 24 hours. When my pain strikes, a single drop under the tongue is all it takes. If I can’t sleep, I will add a teaspoon of my herbally infused sweetener to my nightcap. It works all night. During the day, if I am feeling sluggish, I will spread my infused protein peanut butter on a cracker and be back in “business”.
- Healthy (and not so healthy) recipes and other edibles to supplement your diet with superfoods and nutrients. I have a sweet tooth, I will admit. But, I have also found that I can satisfy my sweet cravings by infusing certain herbs and proteins that provide real energy that lasts without sacrificing taste.
- Topicals including ointments, massage oils, pain rubs, and cosmetics. I’ve made topicals in the past but until I got a nasty burn from a greenhouse woodstove, I didn’t fully understand the importance of infused topicals. I created what I called pain rub that includes CBD, aloe, and several other organics infused essential oils in an infused coconut base. My burn healed within three days with no scarring. I use the same ointment for muscle soreness.
What Can Be Infused?
I use my botanical extractor primarily to make base recipes for cooking, baking, and homegrown herbal remedies. Some of the tinctures that I make, I use full strength and apply sublingually for common ailments or into certain recipes. These, however, are just a sampling of what can be made. The nice thing is that the process is quite simple and easy to learn to do. Over the past year, I’ve made a wide range of hundreds of different infused end products just by making a handful of base products. Most of what I infuse is with organic CBD and hemp for personal health reasons. Below is a partial list of my favorite base infusions that I try to keep well-stocked in the fridge and my cooking cabinets.
- Honey infused with coconut oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Concentrated infused tinctures
- Glycerin infusions
- Infused sweeteners including “no calorie” and "Keto-friendly”
- Infused butter variations
- Olive oils
- Coconut oils
- Sauces and spices
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These simple base recipe combinations have served me well, although I do use my extraction machine to make other things like infused healthy herbal drinks, shakes, and desserts. I haven’t done it yet, but I have a feeling this machine is going to help me make one heck of an infused omelet . . .
Topicals and Salves
I work my machine hard. One day I might be making infused olive oil, and the next, topicals and salves. I’m still learning this side of things about herbs, essential oils, and the likes, but what I’ve experimented with so far, I’ve had great success. The Magical Butter Machine and the Vevo II websites have an extensive infused and extracting cookbooks including, the directions and recipes to make things like these:
- Cleansing Hand and Body Soap
- Homemade Hand Sanitizer
- Macadamia Face and Body Scrub
- Cocoa Butter Lotion
- Medicated Bath Bombs
- Aloe Soothing Gel
- Allergy Tinctures
- Lavender Baby Lotion
- Edible Healing Salves
- Herbal Insect Repellent
- Jojoba Hair Conditioner
- Bug Bite Relief
- GrapeSeed Massage Oil
- Tattoo Aftercare Lotion
- Personal Lubricant
- Natural Beeswax Lip Balm
- Peppermint Foot Lotion
- Almond Hand Salve
- Whipped Shea Lotion
The Science Behind the Machine
Extracting at home is a never ending science that continues to improve the more that is practiced and refined. It is not necessary to understand all the science behind the machine to effectively use it, but the more you understand the “why and how” of the extraction and infusion processes, the better your results will be and you will learn to tweak the variables.
The three main variables are heat. time, grinding, and mixing. The secret with modern extraction machines is the internal processing of the control unit. Both the Magical Butter Machine and the Vevo II were engineered with balanced formulas programmed in right from the start. Both follow proven science.
You can, of course, take your own direction and experiment. It took three tries to get the right combination to make the perfect infused freeze pops but it was worth it. When I give infused freeze pops away, I quickly run out!
Examples of Infused Final Products I Have Made in the Past Year
- Local Honey
- Olive Oils
- Coconut oils
- Salad dressings
- Freeze pops
- Rice Krispie treats and Snacks
- Hard Candy
- Garlic Butter
- Ketchup and Mustard
- Trail mixes
- Hot sauces
- Mixed drinks
- Pain Rub
- Lots of cookies/cake
- CBD sugar
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Lip Balm
- Massage Oils and ointments
- Fruit smoothies
Infusion/Extraction Time and Temperatures
The time presets on the Magical Butter 2 machine are determined by optimal grinding/heating/mixing/steeping times. The Vevo II has variable temperature control which I find one of it’s best features, especially when it comes to fine-tuning your extracts and infusions.
Depending on what you are making, shakes, certain dressings, smoothies, etc., require no heat and the blending time is usually less than one hour. Both units are capable of using the no-heat option. Below is a “standard’ list of pre-programmed settings for some of the common base recipes on the Magical Butter machine to give you an idea of what to expect especially if you want to make several batches in one day.
Herbal Oil: 1 hour
Herbal Butter: 2 hours
Herbal Tincture: 4 hours (if your base is alcohol, the Vevo II is not designed to extract safely)
Concentrated botanical Oil: 5-8 hours
Edibles Dosage Calculators
Both the Magical Butter 2 and the Vevo have II have free edible dosage calculators available. The calculators aren’t just simple ‘plus and minus’ calculators, however, they are both powerful tools that give you the answers you need to establish and adjust your dosages or measurements as precisely as possible.
You start by entering a couple of variables like weight, amount of butter, oil, or alcohol, and original potency. For instance, if I want to know how much CBD’s or other infusion is in each portion or batch of butter, the calculator will break down the results in several ways including recipe conversions. Below is the Magical Butter calculator presents these results:
- Total mg of CBD in batch
- Total mg of CBD per tablespoon
- Amount of infusion needed for recipe (tablespoons)
- Total mg of CBD in the entire recipe
- Total mg CBD per serving
I have found these calculators have been an essential tool in my kitchen. On my recipe cards, I write down the results so I don’t have to recalculate again further on down the road. The Vero II will record the settings you use on different batch settings on its app which can be used to also pre-program the machine although some people have reported issues depending on what platform they are using.
This Magical Butter Edible Dosage calculator is available for free directly from the Magical Butter Website. You can find it on the bottom left navigation bar on most of their pages. The Vero II has its calculator directly on their app.
Where to Get Ingredients
I always begin with me, my friends, and my family’s gardens. I use vegetables, herbs, and fruits, for many of my edible, medicinal, topical extractions, and salves. I use certain plants like aloe, and other herbs to create topicals, massage oils, and skin creams. I also take advantage of the fresh ingredients available at the local farmer’s markets.
As far as getting the CBD hemp flower for medicinals, it is not as hard as you may think. I am fortunate to grow my own, but for others who don’t have the time, space, or desire to grow your own, you can usually find it locally from CBD storefronts or licensed hemp farmers (depending on your state). If you can’t find it locally, hemp and CBD can easily be found on the internet. (And yes, it is legal to ship to all continental United States.)
For other ingredients such as sweeteners, oils, butters, etc., I try to shop locally whenever possible. And, I don’t buy cheap. I get very picky when it comes to olive, hemp, and coconut oils and don’t skimp on quality.
Ingredients that aren’t so common, are certain flavorings for candies, binders, and other natural organic specialty ingredients such as sunflower lecithin and glycerin, I usually buy them from Amazon or directly from dedicated websites.
For tinctures, where alcohol is the primary base, I again shop locally and stick with the “good stuff”. For alcohol-based tinctures, I normally use Everclear 90 proof. (In the past, alcohol-based tinctures were dangerous to make at home. The Magical Butter Machine, for example, is sealed when the lid is closed and eliminates fumes from escaping and igniting.)
Where to Get an Infuser/Extractor
In the beginning, I shopped and shopped. I studied. I read the reviews. I watched the videos. And then, I purchased a Magical Butter Machine 2 off of Amazon. I bought a combo kit that included the Stainless Steel machine with all the bells and whistles. I am very happy with my decision. This machine has served me well so far with no problems. I really like the capacity, the one-button control set up, and the self-cleaning mode. The biggest drawback is that you cannot put the whole unit into the dishwasher.
With that being said, I still continue to research other makes and models. Perhaps, my second choice would be the Vevo II. This unit does not have the capacity of the Magical Butter Machine, but is a bit more “on-demand” and user friendly as the unit dispenses directly into your storage containers and critical parts of the unit can be put into a dishwasher. Either unit, in my experience and opinion, would be an excellent choice. The Magical Butter Machine is a bit cheaper than Vevo II.
The machine that I use, The Magical Butter, I purchased from Amazon.com. If I were to buy there again, knowing what I know now, I would have spent just a little more and purchased a combo kit that included molds and expanded accessories. That purchase would have been worth the money and would have been cost savings because I ended up buying many of the accessories anyways. Amazon also carries the Vero II, and just like the Magical Butter Machine, the combo packages are the best value. Many of the accessories can be used with both these machines.
There are of course other sources for both new and used machines. eBay, direct from websites, Walmart, Hemp, and Wellness Expos, and even Craigslist from time to time. From what I have seen, even good used units retain their value. When people sell their current machine it is usually because they are “upgrading”.
A Note on Guarantees
It is important to note that if you were to purchase a Magical Butter 2 from sites such as Amazon, the guarantee is not honored. Only units purchased directly from an authorized distributor or from the Magical Butter website qualify. On the other hand, I purchased mine from Amazon about a year from this writing and haven’t needed it. So far, my machine has worked flawlessly.
Side by Side Comparison Magical Butter 2 vs. Vevo II
In my research before choosing and buying an extraction machine, I ranked both based on what I was looking to do with the machine. The Magical Butter2 ended up being the right choice for me, but I certainly look forward to trying out the Vevo II through its own specialized tasks.
|Comparison||Magical Butter 2e||Vero II|
Quality of Machine
Remote Control App
Total Score Avg.
Extraction/Infusion Counter Top Machine Comparisons
Depending on the quantity of what you want to infuse or extract will help you determine what unit you may want to choose. However, there are also some other things to consider. The two top brands of machines, The Magical Butter Machine 2 and the Vevo II both allow for controlled temperatures, proper infusion timing, and mixing.
The Magical Butter machine is best for making larger quantities and the Vevo is great for smaller runs and is a bit easier to dispense directly into your storage containers. The Magical Butter machine takes a bit more to process but it also has a one-touch button control with presets and features a self-cleaning mode which speeds up the process between batches.
The basic process and extraction and heat settings will change depending on which machine you are using. For example, on my machine, if I am making a CBD infused cooking oil, I follow these simple steps:
- Pour two to four cups of olive oil into the machine
- Add ½ to one ounce of dried and decarboxylated CBD flower into the machine
- Add about a teaspoon of lecithin powder to increase infusion properties
- Push the button that reads “oil” (that will set correct temperature)
- Push the time button for one hour.
- At this point, the machine will maintain the correct temperature, stir itself, and announce when the product is ready.
- Strain the mixture, pour into molds or containers, cool, and store for later use.
If I am making butter, the process is pretty much the same but I will add additional ingredients like garlic or other herbs for flavorful ready to use as a direct one-to-one replacement in recipes.
Extraction and Infusion Accessories
I love my accessories. I love silicone. I love molds. I love storage and gift jars. At my last count, I have over 50 different molds, a case of freeze pop sleeves, a case of sampler preserve jars, lots of dropper bottles, and small butter and oil blank bottles. Most of these I have purchased online.
My favorite mold is my butter mold. It is made of silicone with a silicone snap-tight cover. The sticks of butter come out looking better than any store-bought stick! The sticks pop out with individual one teaspoon markings embedded right into the sticks of butter making it easy to work with recipes.
In my collection of molds, I also keep candy molds, holiday molds, and even dog biscuit molds for making hemp-based treats. (My dogs love my CBD infused treats . . .)
The other stock of accessories include things like miniature cupcake baking tins, silicone spatulas, stainless steel candy dispensers, stainless steel bowls, and a nice set of silicone measuring spoons and glass measuring cups.
- Silicone spatulas work perfectly when working with oils, butters, and confectionery ingredients. Make sure they are food grade and high temperature. The average cost is about $15 for a good set.
- Silicone measuring cups and measuring spoons make clean up easy and are essential to the accuracy of your recipes. A combo set cost about $15.
- Digital kitchen scales are a great way to measure and convert ingredients. I usually convert to mg for accuracy and easy math calculations. These can range from $10 for an economical choice to $50 and more for a more solid version.
How Much Does It Cost to Operate an Infusion/Extraction Machine?
The cost of operating either unit won’t break your budget but it is worth answering. The bottom line, it will cost you about (or less than), $1 per run . . . even if you are creating a batch that may take several hours of machine time to produce. The Vero II runs on about 400 watts per hour, the Magical Butter 2, is twice that.
Other considerations would be the cost hidden expenses like how much you use your kitchen oven for any baking or cooking or things like running the dishwasher for example.
Infusion and Extraction Recipes
There is certainly no shortage of recipes that can be used and infused. In short, almost any common recipe can be used. In most cases, where a recipe calls for butter or oil, simply replace 1-to-1. Using oils, even for frying, adds not only a unique flavoring, but also infuses what you are frying in.
One of the biggest reasons I have stuck with the Magical Butter Machine is because of not only their website online cookbook but especially because of their social media presence. You can easily find blogs and forums of like-minded people who share their recipes and tips and tricks.
There are thousands of infusible recipes available. Below is one of my personal favorites. The active customer base of gather by the thousand on the Magical Butter website.
So far, I have been very happy with the recipes I've tried.
The first time is the best!
Packaging and Labeling Your Infusions and Extractions
Normally, I don’t always label my personal cooking and baking infused back stock or a list of ingredients, but when it comes to “gift-giving”, I always do. I always try to include the approximate percent of infusion along with the list of ingredients on a self-printed label. Most of my “gifts'' are for friends who are struggling with major health concerns. It is important for them to know how to regulate their dosages, especially when it comes to things like chemotherapy, special diets, and pharmaceutical interactions. I always remind them to check with their nutritionist and doctors before using.
Besides that, creating labels and unique packaging of your gifts is fun! Infused gifts, whether edible or topical, are always well received. I love to give the gift of healing, we all need it.
About My Experience
I’ve been growing my own organic vegetables, herbs, and medicinal plants for over twenty years anywhere from the Amish fields in Pennsylvania, Front Range Mountains in Colorado, and now, in mid-state Michigan. Although retired, I am still heavily involved in the Hemp Industry, and the products I produce now are mainly for a handful of veterans and cancer patients. My extraction machine serves many. I feel good about that.
Please Leave Questions in the Comments!
I would love to hear from you. I want to hear and share your experiences (with permission). Can you help others by sharing your experience? Do you have “tips and tricks” when it comes to infusion, extraction, and infusing? I want to hear. Please feel free to comment, both good and bad! If nothing else, just say “hi.” Thanks, Joel.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.