Garlic confit…and its side-creation, garlic-infused olive oil!

Garlic confit

Life without garlic? I would rather never have to contemplate such a thing. The tiny cloves of the mythical Allium Sativum plant are pungent, intensely aromatic and impressively flavorful – an irreplaceable and unique ingredient.

I always marvel at what one little clove of garlic can do. Whether sautéed, roasted or used raw, its presence transforms any dish in the most dramatic, delicious way.

But have you ever tried making garlic confit? If you haven’t then you’re in for a wonderful treat.

What is garlic confit?

The term confit is used to describe anything that has been cooked slowly into a rich, succulent texture. To confit garlic, the cloves are very gently poached in oil, transforming them into the most delicate, sweet and tender morsels. A dream!

The confit cloves can be used to flavor soups, sauces, pastas, vinaigrettes, sandwiches, or marinades — or in these super-easy garlic mashed potatoes. For a quick but sublime nibble, spread them on a crusty slice of bread — the freshest garlic spread you’ll ever taste.

Olive oil is my preferred oil to confit garlic, but of course you can use others. I like to use extra virgin olive oil: since the temperature of the oil doesn’t get too high, its natural flavor is preserved and then slowly imbued with the delicate garlic flavor as the cloves cook.

Bonus: After making your confit, you’ll also end up with garlic-infused oil!

And the confited garlic is not the only thing that will add zing to your recipes. Every drop of the infused oil will, too. Use the garlic olive oil in salad dressings and marinades, drizzle it on veggies, or dip some bread in it.

Whichever way you use your garlic confit, you’ll be astounded by its subtle yet rich flavor. I can only hope that it’ll become a favorite pantry item in your household too.

Garlic head

Garlic confit

makes 2 1/2 cups (garlic with oil)
active time: 30 min

  1. 2 cups (10 oz) (285 g) unpeeled garlic cloves
  2. 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  1. 1 quart saucepan
  2. heat diffuser

  1. Step 1: Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Set aside. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves and boil for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until the skins have softened. Scoop the garlic cloves out and place them in the ice water bath until cooled. Drain, cut off the root ends and skin the garlic. (The skins should slip right off.) Thoroughly pat-dry the peeled cloves with clean kitchen towel.
  2. Step 2: Place the garlic cloves in a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the oil. (The oil should cover the cloves by 1/2″. You may need a bit more or less oil, depending on the size of the pan you use.) Place a heat diffuser over your burner and place the pan on top of the heat diffuser. (The heat diffuser will help achieve and maintain a low temperature – an essential tool, especially if you have a professional stove like a Viking or Wolf.) Heat over medium heat until it reaches between 200°F (90°C) and 210°F (99°C). Small bubbles will form and rise to the surface, but make sure the oil never comes to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain the temperature between 200°F (90°C) and 210°F (99°C) and slow-simmer the garlic for about 1 hour until completely tender the cloves should look very pale-golden. Remove pan from heat and set aside, allowing the cloves to cool in the oil. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
  3. Cook’s note: Bring garlic confit to room temperature before using, as the oil will firm up when refrigerated.

Garlic confit

condiment, confit, garlic


STEP BY STEP

Garlic confit - Step 6

Boil the unpeeled garlic cloves for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until the skins have softened. Drain, cut off the root ends and skin the garlic. (The skins should slip right off.)

Garlic confit - Step 7

Thoroughly pat-dry the peeled cloves with clean kitchen towel.

Garlic confit - Step 8

Place garlic cloves in a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Garlic confit - Step 9

Add the oil.

Garlic confit - Step 10

The oil should cover the cloves by 1/2″.

Garlic confit - Step 11

Place a heat diffuser over your burner and place the pan on top of the heat diffuser. Heat over medium heat until it reaches between 200°F (90°C) and 210°F (99°C). Small bubbles will form and rise to the surface, but make sure the oil never comes to a boil.

Garlic confit - Step 13

Reduce heat to maintain the temperature between 200°F (90°C) and 210°F (99°C) and slow-simmer the garlic for about 1 hour…

Garlic confit - Step 14

…until completely tender; the cloves should look very pale-golden. Remove pan from heat and set aside, allowing the cloves to cool in the oil. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

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53 Comments

  • Reply Carla Danna August 13, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Can the end product be frozen for long term storage?

    • Reply Viviane August 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Carla! No, you mustn’t freeze the garlic confit. Olive oil shouldn’t be frozen. It spoils when thawed. Refrigeration is best.

  • Reply Sue December 28, 2013 at 1:38 am

    Thanks, great help with instructions and pictures

  • Reply Sue December 28, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Just finished making a big batch of confit garlic. I hate peeling the cloves because it burns my hands. However your tip makes peeling the cloves so much easier. Thankyou

    • Reply Viviane December 28, 2013 at 9:43 am

      You’re most welcome, Sue! I am delighted you found the peeling tip helpful. Enjoy your confit!

  • Reply Fred December 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Happy I found this site. I was thinking of ways to preserve lots of peeled garlic in oil. I tried something like this before but I didn’t cook it as long in oil and the temp was probably too high. I’ll follow your cooking process on my next attempt. I think this would work too if the garlic was slightly browned, so you have a roasted garlic taste.

    • Reply Viviane December 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      Hi Fred! Welcome to my blog… I’m very happy you stopped by. To get the true flavor of a confit, you must resist the temptation of cooking the garlic cloves at high temperatures. It’s not meant to be roasted garlic. It is an entirely new flavor profile for garlic. I can’t wait for you to taste it! Bon appétit!

      • Reply Fred December 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

        Thanks for the heads up. Will do this soon!

        • Reply Viviane December 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm

          Fred… you’re welcome! Do let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply Tia T. February 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    a MUST DO this weekend LOVE LOVE LOVE GARLIC

  • Reply Adele July 19, 2011 at 9:32 am

    This site is like a classroom, except I don’t hate it. lol

  • Reply jim June 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Viviane,

    Looks amazing!

    For a great guide on growing your own garlic see below.

    http://www.wascene.com/home-garden/grow-your-own-garlic/

    Regards,
    Jim

  • Reply Elle March 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Oooooh! I cannot wait to make this! Thank you, Viviane.

  • Reply Rachel February 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I have made this recipe and love it. I add a fresh bay leaf and a few whole pepercorns to the mix when its gently cooking, adds a really delicate pepper flavour to the oil.

  • Reply Reena, Coconut Raita July 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I made this today – and it is truly wonderful. I can’t imagine it lasting more than two more days in our house! Thank you for the recipe I think it is going to become a staple.

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre July 11, 2010 at 11:37 am

      Reena, I totally understand how the garlic confit would disappear in two days – it is the same in our house! I thank you for your comment and I am truly delighted you loved the recipe.

  • Reply Demetra Lambros May 8, 2010 at 1:44 am

    one time my MIL was explaining a recipe to me and when she got to the part about the garlic, she got this look on her face… she stopped, mid-sentence, to convey how important the freshness and quality of the garlic was, and to convey a sort of horror at using anything less. in the way that only a greek MIL can do. fresko, fresko, she said…. sort of shaking her head and wincing her eyes, at the mere thought of anything less–and at the thought of her daughter-in-law being the one doing it! it is a moment that comes back to me whenever i use garlic. now YOUR post comes to my mind whenever i am in garlic mode. love this post!!

  • Reply Daniel @ The Food Addicts May 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    What a great way to preserve garlic!

  • Reply Alisa-Foodista May 2, 2010 at 12:27 am

    I have never tried this before but I will now. It looks really wonderful. I love the blanching method too!

  • Reply Brie May 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    lovely post. i have not seen garlic used in this manner, and this would taste wonderful in so many dishes – thanks!

  • Reply Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) April 28, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Looks great, a really great idea for the peeling the garlic. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply justine April 24, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Wow this sounds amazing! I would eat it with everything : )

  • Reply Chef Dennis April 24, 2010 at 6:45 am

    what a great way to prepare garlic….I do con fits of other veggies by roasting, including garlic and it caramelizes deliciously, never thought of using this method and to be able to prepare and keep that much garlic for a month is great way to have prepared garlic ready to use….
    thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!
    all the best
    Dennis

  • Reply Baking Barrister April 24, 2010 at 1:01 am

    I add garlic to almost everything. This sounds like a wonderful option. I might have to do it in smaller batches though since not everyone in this house shares my love of garlic.

  • Reply allison lemons April 23, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Garlic confit. Wow. I love that it lasts up to a month too. What a great gift, can’t wait to make a batch and give it out to friends (or keep it. yeah, I’ll keep it.)

  • Reply bunkycooks April 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Thank you for the detailed instructions. Garlic is wonderful when it is baked or cooked this way!

  • Reply Laxmi Hiremath April 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Love those step by step images. Garlic is my favorite too. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply foodieforager April 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I just had a thought. I have several pounds of wild fresh ramps and will try this with those. I have been freezing, pickling, making vinegars, etc. but never thought of this!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre April 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

      Foodieforager: Ramps might work, but they’re very delicate, so you might have to cut down the cooking time. Also, I worry that the greens might cook too much. Do let me know how it turns out. You have intrigued me now. Might try it myself!

      One more thought, this is a wonderful method for making mushroom confit – although the cooking is slightly different, I sauté the mushrooms at high temperature, before I confit them.

  • Reply ayamlin April 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Hi!
    I like garlics.
    but I’ve never made Garlic confit!
    I’ll try to do it.
    but in Japan Garlic is not cheap.
    we buy a garlic for $1.5.
    Do you get it inexpensive?

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre April 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

      Ayamlin, Garlic in the US is about $4/lb. It’s not that cheap either, but you know, a little goes a long way…

  • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre April 22, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Jay, I’m with you on this one… It’s hard to resist having garlic confit on crusty bread!

    Foodieforager & Emily, Thank you for stopping by and do let me know how it turns out when you make some…

    Bon Appetit!

  • Reply Emily April 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

    This looks great! And you’re right, I have never made this before.. so I am definitely in for a treat :-)

  • Reply foodieforager April 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I plan on doing this soon! I have been meaning to for quite some time and this post was a nice reminder!

  • Reply jaystevens137 April 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Viviane, this looks outstanding. I think I’d have a hard time waiting to use this for recipes, and instead go straight for some crusty bread or toss some into pasta!

  • Reply Divina April 20, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for the step by step procedure Viviane. They are indispensable in the kitchen. I so agree with you that we can’t live without them. They also make a perfect gift. Thanks a lot.

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