Pantry Staples

How to Make Garlic Confit

Hi, do you have a vampire problem? If so, I have the recipe for you! Not only will it safeguard your house and surrounding area from garlic-hating demons, it will also happily feed you.

For the poll last week you all voted for something with a lot of garlic in it and I can think of nothing that has more garlic in it than, well, garlic.

If you’re unfamiliar with the technique of confit cooking, it is used a lot for meats like duck to slowly cook them and also preserve them for later. Essential it involves cooking them in fat, but not frying them necessarily. Theoretically, you could do this with almost anything but some foods take on the technique better than others. Garlic is one of the things that it works perfectly on.

I’ve had this on my list to try forever and finally got around to it over the weekend.

As Betsy said when she tried a piece of bread slathered with Garlic Confit: “Sometimes you know what you’re doing.”

Garlic Confit

Just a moment please...

Yield
60-80 cloves
Prep Time
Total Time

This simple step by step guide shows you how to make Garlic Confit. This stuff will rock your world and ward off any vampires in the area!

Ingredients

6 large heads garlic, peeled
2 cups olive oil
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Helpful Equipment

Thermometer

Directions

1) Separate cloves from garlic heads, removing as much paper as possible from the cloves.

2) Boil the cloves in rapidly boiling water for 20 seconds. Then transfer cloves to cold water to stop the cooking.

3) Cut off the root ends from each clove and peel each clove. The outer layer should pop off easily.

4) Place peeled cloves in a small pot and cover cloves with olive oil.

5) Gently cook cloves over low heat in oil. Never let the oil get above 210 degrees F. Try to keep it around that temperature for 40 minutes.

6) Remove garlic from heat and let cool in the oil for 20 minutes until oil is almost room temperature.

7) Use cloves immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks.

Garlic Confit

Peeling the Garlic

There are really only two steps to this Garlic Confit recipe and the bad news is that both steps are fairly annoying.

Quick Peeling Update: A few readers already commented on a much faster way to peel garlic! I haven’t tried it, but it looks awesome to me. Definitely worth a shot. Check out the video on how to peel a whole head of garlic in 10 seconds.

Step one is to peel like 80 cloves of garlic. There’s actually no set amount of garlic you need for this recipe. It would work with 2 cloves or 200 hundred cloves assuming you have a pot big enough and enough oil. I decided to use 6 large heads of garlic which worked out to be around 80 cloves I think.

Lots of garlic! - Garlic Confit

Lots of garlic!

Separate the cloves from the garlic bulb and try to scrub off as much of the annoying paper as possible so you’re just left with the cloves themselves.

Minus the paper - Garlic Confit

Minus the paper.

To make peeling them a little easier, I recommend dunking the cloves in rapidly boiling water for 20 seconds. Then transfer the cloves to some cool water to stop the cooking. This will loosen the skins and make them easier to peel.

Boil, but don't cook.

Boil, but don’t cook.

To actually peel them then, you can just cut off the root end of each clove and the skin should slide off fairly easily.

I’ll be honest though, it’s still a really annoying process to peel all of these. It is what it is.

Still a pain in the butt - Garlic Confit

Still a pain in the butt.

Peeling the garlic is the most annoying part of this Garlic Confit recipe, but the second step is also somewhat annoying in a different way.

Cooking the Garlic

To accomplish the end goal (garlic confit) we need to very gently cook the garlic in oil for about 40 minutes until the cloves are really tender.

Olive oil is really the only way to go here but there’s zero need to use a very nice olive oil. Don’t spend $20 on this. Any olive oil will do the trick.

Adding oil - Garlic Confit

Adding oil.

You need enough oil to cover the cloves. It helps to use a small pot for this because the larger the pot the more oil you’ll need. I think I used about 2 cups of oil for my cloves.

Just covered.

Just covered.

When you’re ready to cook, place the pot over low heat on your stove. As the oil heats, little bubbles will start to form and come to the surface.

Very importantly, you don’t want your temperature to go above about 210 degrees F. and ideally it will stay in the 200-210 range.

This should go without saying but that’s such a tiny range that it’s almost impossible to do this without a deep fry thermometer to monitor the heat.

The problem is that if you didn’t use a thermometer, by the time you noticed your oil was too hot, it would be too late and your entire pot of garlic would be burned and ruined.

Temp is key!

Temp is key!

This Garlic Confit needs to cook for about 40 minutes which will smell nothing short of amazing assuming you like the smell of roasted garlic (and if you don’t then I don’t know why you would make this).

Once the garlic is cooked, remove it from the heat and let the pot slowly cool for about 20 minutes.

The finished result is really tender, savory but not bitter, cloves. You can literally pop one of these in your mouth and eat it. It’s garlic perfection.

Done deal -Garlic Confit

Done deal.

Store your Garlic Confit  in an airtight container in the fridge and you should probably use  within a few weeks.

How Should You Use Them?

Oh let me count the ways… Mashed potatoes, garlic bread, any pasta dish, pizza, salad dressings, stir-fries, and pretty much any other dish where you need garlic. The only difference is that the flavor of these is more mild and subtle. If a recipe calls for a clove of garlic, you can easily use 3-4 of these cloves.

My favorite use? I just smashed a few cloves of garlic with softened butter and spread it on toast with some chopped scallions.

Perfection.

Garlic Confit ~ Macheesmo

In love.

I’m not one to sugar coat and so I am definitely calling this Garlic Confit recipe annoying. It sucks to peel a million cloves of garlic and it sucks to stand next to a pot for 40 minutes constantly monitoring temperature.

But, the end result is pretty impressive. To be honest, I could see bottling small containers of these cloves and giving them away as holiday gifts. They are really unique and delicious.

How to make Garlic Confit at home! It's easy to make in large batches and keeps well for a long time. You can use it for so many things, but is really best just smeared on toast!

 

Has anyone ever tasted or made garlic confit before? Leave a comment!

30 comments on “How to Make Garlic Confit

    1. Whoa! That’s awesome… I’m updating the post with that link also. ;) That would’ve saved me like 20 minutes… ;)

  1. Yum! And, I was about to share that same video but Hope beat me to it. Now it will be delicious and much easier/faster – yay!

  2. Haha, I was about to tell you about the same thing in the video that Hope did too, only I saw it on Martha Stewart’s “cooking school”. ;-) I’m going to have to give this a try, since we tend to eat a LOT of garlic, but would it be possible to can them or something to make them last longer? I was thinking little half pint jars in either a water bath or pressure canner (I can do either)?

  3. For this, I would definitely head to the store and buy a bag of already peeled garlic!!
    Totally worth the extra dollar.
    Going to try this soon!

  4. You can also use a ovenproof pot and stick it in a 200 degree oven for an hour or so. Thats how i do all my meat confits. Just set it and forget it. Also, i cant imagine that doing this is duck fat would be a bad thing, since duck fat makes EVERYTHING better! Sorry bacon you have been dethroned.

    1. I think so? I think the high setting on crockpots will get to around 200 degrees which should be perfect. I would check the temp ranges for your model and match the temperature and I would still use a thermometer to make sure it’s accurate. Could definitely be easier to maintain a solid temp range though in a crockpot. Good idea!

      1. Thank you for the info. I’m all about easy and your recipes fit the bill, especially the biscuits!

  5. I, too, had heard of the two-bowl Martha method … but I suspected that she was reciting an incantation under her breath during the demo, or maybe it was trick photography. Anyway, I have a “magic silicone garlic peeler” (little tube with ridges inside) that works nicely.

    I LOVE your site! You inspire me.

  6. But DON’T get one of those garlic rocker things that are in all the cooking catalogs. I fell for it last year and got two for Christmas – messy, inefficient and wasteful. Ugh!

    For the kitchen chemists out there, could the shelf life be extended for this recipe by making sure there is no air in the container? Plastic wrap laying on the surface or similar?

    1. No.
      The oil is your airtight container. Theres a reason people confit, its a way of preserving foods.

  7. I made this yesterday, but the garlic was a 2 day job, also, I doubled the recipe and used the crockpot. They are wonderful. My hubby had some on crackers last night and today I mashed 6 cloves and made a fancy version of ramen noodle soup. I will be taking some garlic to my daughter because I do share well with others. Thank you for this recipe, it has opened up new ideas for my cooking. Have a good Thanksgiving, Helene

  8. I just saw a video where a man used a clean, empty pickle(?) jar, threw in a head of garlic (completely intact) and shook it for nearly a minute. He dumpt out a lot of paper and CLEAN GARLIC.

  9. I’m going to try shaking the garlic in a jar. I don’t think I have two matching aluminum bowls.
    I’ll bet if someone had one of those machines they use to shake paint cans it would work wonderfully. Another possibility, though probably slower but no more difficult, might be to use a rock tumbler. Throw in a few rocks or ball bearing and I’m pretty sure it would remove all the skin from the garlic.

  10. I have made this WITHOUT peeling the garlic. When you are ready to use a clove the skin slips off very easily. And the oil has soooo many uses!

  11. I’ve been doing this for years, though I had never heard of confit or anyone else ever doing it. We eat a LOT of garlic and I was just trying to find a way to maximize the productivity for the effort I spend preparing the garlic and an easier way to “roast” it. Now I usually buy the 3 lb. bag of already peeled garlic from Sam’s Club, and cook it on med-low in my cast iron Dutch oven. I pour off most of the oil into a pint jar and most of the garlic fits in a quart jar. So easy to use and SOOOOO YUMMMMY!

    1. Hi Shanny, you should keep them in your fridge and they will keep fine for a few weeks. I would say a month at the max. You could also freeze them actually for longer storage. :)

    2. Shanny, I’ve never had any issue with spoil or waste, and have had them in a quart jar in the fridge for several months, probably at least 6 months. Of course I do 3 pounds of garlic at a time, so it takes a while to use it up. Hope this helps!

  12. That garlic shakey thing does not work perfectly, especially if the bulbs are fresh. You can even see at the end of the video there is still some paper clinging to the clove. Will probably be fine for cured garlic like what comes in wreaths but those are no problem to peel anyway, skins fall right off once the bulb’s outer shell is stripped away.

    Also you can cook garlic cloves in butter on an induction cooktop up to 220º for however long you like without having to monitor the contents. I just did a couple pounds this way and along with a bunch of other ingredients turned out six quarts of Indian style garlic relish/chutney, which I canned for posterity — will last forever.

  13. The shaking method in container works great. I hav a small boiler pot with matching lid and rubberband it together, and shake like crazy. Works my arms too. Two small metal bowls rubberband together using a thick strong rubberband (like ones that come on some vegetables) also works.

    1. To be totally safe I’d say 3-4 weeks but honestly I used mine like 6 weeks later and it was still just fine. To be safe though the 3 week range is probably good. ;)

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