I love the taste of oranges, and I'm looking for ways to introduce that flavor into some of my cooking.

I've tried adding orange juice and pieces of orange when frying or baking, but I find that these only add a hint of orange to the dish, and of course it is really easy to drown something in orange juice without adding much flavor.

8 Answers 8


Orange zest is where most of the oil is. This can be removed with a grater and some patience, or a peeler if you have a light touch, but the best way is a zester. They are fairly expensive and only do one thing, but they are the best tool for the job. Mircoplane makes a nice line, and I have no complains about mine.

You want to avoid scraping the white pith from under the colored part of the skin, as it is bitter and doesn't contain the flavor oils.

  • From the days before microplane, my mom would use the 'star' side of a box grater, and a light touch. You can also use a vegetable peeler, then take a knife and scrape the pith off, before chopping it up. (but you won't release as much of the oil as with a grater)
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 18, 2010 at 3:36
  • Zest freezes well. A jar prepared from the skins of 3 or four oranges, or limes, will last months in the freezer, without losing flavor. Commented Apr 11, 2011 at 17:13

Another option: confit the orange peel in a mix of vegetable oil and white wine, say for 30 minutes at 200F. This peel could then go in closer to the end of when your cooking as its going to be soft and more edible directly.


Orange oil. It also comes in lemon and lime - it's far more concentrated then extracts.


Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, or Blue Curaçao

  • Mmmm Grand Marnier :)
    – e.James
    Commented Jul 18, 2010 at 20:45

Some options would be: orange peel as a spice, orange juice concentrate, and orange extract (probably not in your local grocery store, but you can order it).


I wouldn't cook with orange juice concentrate. Orange juice does not taste very nice after it is pasteurized, necessitating re-addition of the flavours via 'flavour packs' derived from oranges. This is also why e.g. Tropicana always tastes the same.

Cooking with OJ concentrate just makes that happen again. Only use it in cold uncooked applications.


orange blossom flower liquid. You can get it at most middle eastern food stores


I recently picked up some orange flower water, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_flower_water, which works very well for adding orange flavour to desserts or fruit salads.

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