Is it cheaper to make or buy tahini, surprising savings


Is it cheaper to buy tahini homemade tahini paste with chickpeas in background
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Did you think store-bought tahini is expensive? I’am making hummus every two weeks and was wondering if I could save some money if I make tahini at home from scratch. I analyzed store-bought prices and ingredient prices for tahini to determine if it is cheaper to make or buy tahini paste.

The cost of homemade tahini if you make 6.82 oz. which is ½ cup is 2.49$. So, it’s barely cheaper to make tahini at home. If you compare homemade tahini price to store-bought tahini price, then the difference per ounce is just 8 cents. 

Is it cheaper to make tahini paste at home from scratch?
Weight store bought package Price store bought Price homemade from scratch Difference Homemade cheaper
Tahini paste cheapest price (0.40$ oz) 32 oz. (907 g) $12.80 $11.84 $0.96 8%
Tahini paste average price (0.49$ oz) 32 oz. (907 g) $15.68 $11.84 $3.84 24%

Following are my discoveries about costs and savings if you make tahini at home from scratch.

How to make tahini at home in a food processor

Tahini can be made in a blender and a food processor. If you make it in a blender, you will need to add more oil; otherwise, you will not be able to mix the sesame seeds. 

Making tahini paste in a food processor is very easy. The only thing you need is a sharp food processor blade otherwise, you won’t be able to crush the seeds thoroughly. 

Roasting sesame seeds

The first step is to roast sesame seeds without any oil. Use a large skillet. Add in the sesame seeds and put the skillet on very low heat. Sesame seeds tend to burn fast, so mix them constantly to avoid burning them.

The roasting step in the preparation will extract oil from the seeds and enhance the flavor. Without roasting, the flavor will be a bit dull.

is it cheaper to make or buy tahini homemade tahini roasted sesame seeds

Mixing tahini paste in the food processor

The best way to make tahini paste is in the food processor. Make sure the blade is extra sharp to get the smoothest paste possible. 

Transfer the sesame seeds from the skilled, cover the food processor, and start mixing. 

At first, mix only sesame seeds without any oil. When they are totally mixed, and you don’t see any more seeds, stop the food processor, and scrape off the edges and bottom. The paste will already start to form on the bottom because sesame seeds include a lot of oil.

Cover the food processor and start to add olive oil or other light oil into the mixture spoon by spoon. Don’t pour the whole oil at once; instead, check when the previous spoon of oil is completely incorporated into the mix.

is it cheaper to make or buy tahini homemade tahini sauce in food processor

When you’re done with the oil, add salt if you want and mix for an additional 3-4 minutes.

When done, transfer the paste into a jar and store it in a refrigerator. 

I’ve written a complete hands-on review of the best food processors for home cooking, where I outlined the necessary checkpoints and issues I ran into.

How long is tahini paste good for and how do you store homemade tahini paste

Tahini paste is full of oil. Oil is a preservative, which makes tahini’s shelf life pretty long. In the storing process, oils included in the paste will form on the top, and the solids will stay on the bottom. All you have to do to mix the paste is to take a spoon and mix it. 

Storing homemade tahini – Six months in the refrigerator:

You can keep tahini paste in a fridge for up to 6 months. You could keep it longer, but if it becomes bitter, discard it.

Storing homemade tahini  – Two months in a cold pantry:

Keeping tahini paste in a pantry, which is dark and a bit colder than your average room temperature, is also a great way to store it. It will stay fresh for at least two months.

You can store tahini paste in a glass jar, which is tightly sealed or in an airtight container. If you make a large batch of tahini, a great way to keep its consistency is to turn around the jar or container every month.

What is tahini used for

Tahini is a paste that can be used in a variety of dishes. The tahini sauce came from the far east. That is why it is most common to find it in the Eastern Mediterranean and Levant cuisine. But home cooks use it in a variety of dishes.

The most know recipes that include tahini are:

  1. Hummus dip
  2. Baba ganoush
  3. Sauce for falafel
  4. Various dips for vegetables

Unhulled sesame tahini or hulled sesame tahini what is the difference

  • Hulled sesame seeds are sesame seeds where the hull was taken off
  • Unhulled sesame seeds are sesame seeds where the hull is still attached to the seed

If you wonder whether you can make tahini pasta with hulled or unhulled sesame seeds, the answer is both. The process of making tahini paste with hulled or unhulled seeds is the same. The difference is only in the color of the end product. 

  • Tahini paste with hulled sesame seeds tends to be white-ish color, less nutritious, and lighter in taste.
  • Tahini paste with unhulled sesame seeds tends to be more of a brownish color, preserves more nutrients, but its taste is a bit more bitter than tahini paste made from hulled sesame seeds.

How much does it cost to make tahini, ingredient cost breakdown

The cost of homemade tahini is based on only two ingredient tahini recipe by using the following criteria:

Measurement to grams: I calculated the measurement of each ingredient into grams to get the sum weight of ingredients for tahini.

Average product price: for each ingredient, I checked the latest prices in online stores and calculated the average price of ingredients per ounce, which are included in the tahini recipe.

Price per ingredient: the cost for each ingredient is calculated to match the amount used in the recipe. 

Sum weight of tahini: to get the total weight of tahini, I Isummed the weight of all ingredients in grams. 

Time, utensils, and cookware: I did not include time cost or the purchase of cookware and tools into the calculation. 

Electricity: since tahini is made in a food processor and the mixing time is longer than average, the cost of making tahini paste at home should be slightly higher. The number is not significant in the calculation. That is why I did not include it. But you can check for your reference how much you pay for electricity if you make tahini in a food processor.

Food processors usually use from 700-1000W with an average modern processor usingaround 800 watts. The calculation also includes the USA’s average electricity rate, which is 13.19$ per kilowatt-hour (updated April 2020)

(800 watts x 0,083 hours) / 1000 = 0,066 kWh

0,066kWh * $0.13 = 0.008$ cost of electricity for making homemade tahini

I’ve written a complete “is it cheaper” analysis of the most popular foods cooks make at home.

(BREAD, PIZZA, PASTA, FRIES, BEEF JERKY, LASAGNA, CHEESECAKE, GRANOLA BARS, GLUTEN-FREE BREAD, MAYONNAISE, GNOCCHI, GUACAMOLE, GROUND BEEFBROWNIES, HUMMUS)

I outlined the costs and buying guides for the ultimate savings.

Tahini recipe cost breakdown

If you want to make tahini at home from scratch, it will cost you 2,49$ for ½ cup batch, which equals 6,82 oz. Using this recipe, you can be able to make tahini for 0,37$ per oz.

How much does it cost to make homemade tahini paste from scratch? 
Quantities Quantities in grams Cost
Sesame seeds, hulled 3 cups 140 g $1.58
Light olive oil 4 tbsp 53 g $0.91
Cost of homemade tahini paste $2.49
Cost of homemade tahini paste per serving $2.49
Price tahini paste per ounce $0.37
SUM weight tahini paste in grams 193.2
SUM weight tahini paste in ounces 6.82

homemade tahini sauce

Is it worth making tahini at home from scratch and total savings

If you always buy the cheapest tahini available in bulk or larger packages, then you will not be able to save any money with homemade. If you only look from the money point of view, it is not worth making tahini at home scratch. There is also labor cost and electricity costs, which are not high but significant in such a low price difference between homemade and store-bought.

The average online price of tahini would be around 0.49$ per oz, but you could get it also cheaper. If comparing this price to homemade tahini price, then the homemade price wins, and it will be cheaper to make tahini at home from scratch.

Savings are not high or mentionable. A jar of tahini is not used very fast, that is why except if you are a big hummus fan. When comparing homemade tahini to store-bought tahini, the price of homemade tahini is still lower. Homemade is 8% cheaper from the lowest tahini price, and 24% less expensive from the average cost of store-bought tahini.

The following table shows savings for tahini if you make it at home forms scratch:

Is it worth making tahini paste at home from scratch and savings if you make it once a month
Weight store-bought package Price store-bought per oz. Price store-bought Price homemade from scratch 32oz.=same weigh as store-bought Difference yearly savings making tahini once a month Homemade cheaper
Tahini paste cheapest price (0.40$ oz) 32 oz. (907 g) $0.40 $12.80 $11.84 $0.96 $11.52 8%
Tahini paste average price (0.49$ oz) 32 oz. (907 g) $0.49 $15.68 $11.84 $3.84 $46.08 24%

* The prices for ingredients and products in our tables are average prices take from various websites. The prices are not taken directly from Amazon.
* Pro family chef utilizes affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of our product links, Pro family chef will receive a small commission at no cost to you. This helps support us, and allows us to keep providing tips, reviews, guides, and content for you.

Sources:

Average electricity price https://www.electricchoice.com/electricity-prices-by-state/

is it cheaper to make or buy tahini homemade tahini paste sauce in food processor (1)

 

 

 

Rok Jurca

I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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